Moss not only makes your driveway unsightly, it can also be hazardous since it is slippery. This makes driving and walking on the driveway dangerous.
Getting rid of moss from the driveway is fairly easy. But it’ll probably keep coming back if you don’t fix the underlying issues. In this guide, I outline some of the ways you can permanently prevent driveway moss.
What You'll Learn Today
- Why Is There Moss On My Driveway?
- Can Moss Damage My Driveway?
- How Do I Stop Moss From Growing On My Driveway?
Why Is There Moss On My Driveway?
Moss is incredibly adaptable and can grow pretty much anywhere on earth. It’s everywhere from the tropics to the polar regions. Yes, there is something like arctic moss.
While these plants can survive a wide range of conditions, they thrive particularly well in moist conditions.
So if you find moss on your driveway, it’s because it’s damp. I’m not talking about the dampness after rain or snowfall. If the water dries up quickly, moss usually won’t grow.
Persistent dampness is what attracts moss. This can be caused by poor driveway drainage, shaded areas, groundwater, or cracks and holes that trap moisture.
In some cases, moss is a good indicator of an aging driveway. As the driveway wears out, it develops cracks, holes and sunken areas that stay damp most of the time, resulting in moss.
By the way, if you are wondering where moss even comes from, the answer is anywhere. Moss spores can be carried by wind for thousands of kilometers.
So even if you don’t have any moss growing in your yard, it can be brought in by wind from far away.
Can Moss Damage My Driveway?
Moss is not as damaging to a driveway as weeds. The main reason for this is that it lacks roots. So it doesn’t cause cracks or holes. It simply clings to the surface of the driveway.
But if moss grows unchecked on the driveway and spreads over a large area, it could reduce the lifespan of the driveway.
One of the risks is that it makes the driveway even more damp than it was. This excess moisture can damage the driveway.
But the biggest issue people have with moss growing on the driveway is that it’s unsightly. It lowers the curb appeal of your home and can even affect value when selling the house.
How Do I Stop Moss From Growing On My Driveway?
You can get rid of moss by brushing or scrubbing it away, pouring vinegar or boiling water on it, or using a pressure/power washer. Here’re some natural methods.
But it will come back after some time. To completely get rid of it and keep it away, focus on the root causes.
Basically, you need to answer this question: why is my driveway damp and how do I keep it dry?
Once you deal with the persistent dampness, moss will disappear completely. Here are some great solutions.
1. Improve Driveway Drainage
One of the most common root causes for moss on driveway is poor drainage. If your driveway doesn’t properly drain away water, pools of water will form on the surface.
This prolonged dampness creates the perfect conditions for moss to grow.
The slope or gradient of your driveway greatly determines how well it drains. The way your driveway slopes could be causing water to collect on a part of the driveway.
For instance, there could be a low point on the driveway where water from other parts of the driveway and yard collects.
The driveway could also have the wrong surface profile. Generally, you want a crowned driveway where the center slopes down towards the sides. This allows water to easily shed off the driveway. If the driveway is completely flat, water will stay on it when it rains or snows.
Here are a few ways to fix driveway drainage.
- Resurface the driveway to improve slope and surface profile. This involves adding a new layer of material on the driveway. But it only works for concrete and asphalt driveways.
- If you have a paver or gravel driveway, you can remove the surface materials and re-grade the base layer underneath to create a better gradient. Then put back the pavers or gravel.
- If water collects on one spot on the driveway, a channel drain along that area will fix the problem. It’ll collect the water and take it away via an underground pipe. Below is a video showing the installation of a driveway channel drain.
2. Keep Stormwater Away From The Driveway
Even if your driveway has good drainage, your yard probably doesn’t. If when it rains, you get a river running over or along the driveway, it could encourage moss to grow since the driveway stays wet for longer. This is especially true if you live in an area that rains often.
The runoff can also damage the driveway by eroding it and causing cracks, both which can lead to more moss growing on the driveway.
The best solution to this is to find out where the runoff is coming from and divert it. Here are some ideas.
- You can build something as simple as a trench to catch the water before it reaches the driveway and divert it elsewhere. Cover the trench with a grate for safety, especially if you have kids.
- You can also build a French drain if you don’t want an open trench on your property. A French drain contains a perforated pipe surrounded by permeable materials. Runoff and groundwater enters the drain and it’s diverted elsewhere.
- If you have nowhere to divert water to, you can direct it into the ground. You’ll need to build a swale. A swale is a shallow and wide trench filled with gravel or other permeable materials. It captures runoff water and slows it down enough for it to percolate into the soil.
By the way, a French drain can also help if you have ground water welling up onto the driveway and making it damp. The water is probably flowing underground from a higher area. Build a French drain to intercept this ground water before it reaches the driveway.
3. Check The Sprinklers or Gutters
Water on the driveway doesn’t always come from runoff, snow or rain falling on it. It can also come from sprinklers.
If the sprinklers are too close to the driveway, they’ll spray water onto it. If you turn on the sprinklers often, then the driveway stays wet most of the time, creating the right conditions for moss.
Adjust or move the sprinklers so that the water doesn’t get onto the driveway.
Something else to check are the roof gutters. If you have a gutter pouring water onto the driveway, it can also lead to moss. Even worse, it will erode the driveway over time and damage it.
4. Waterproof Sealer
Concrete, paver and asphalt driveways can hold onto water for a bit too long, especially if they have a rough texture with numerous tiny holes for water to settle in.
Applying a waterproof sealer like resin can help. It prevents water from absorbing into the driveway and keeping it damp for too long. Instead, the water flows off the driveway.
A sealer will also protect your driveway and make it last longer.
5. Repair or Replace The Driveway
An aging driveway full of cracks and potholes is perfect ground for moss to take hold. These cracks hold onto water or become pathways for ground water to reach the surface.
If the driveway is not too old, patching the cracks or resurfacing the entire driveway can help.
If it’s too old or damaged, consider replacing it.
6. Get Rid of Shade
Moss will thrive more on shaded areas because they stay damp for longer. See if trimming branches or removing bushes along the driveway can get rid of shade.
If you cannot cut down trees or remove branches, at least blow or sweep away the leaves regularly. Leaving dead leaves on the driveway provides moisture and more shade for moss to grow.
Structures on or along the driveway like a car shade can also increase the risk of moss.
7. Clean The Driveway Regularly
In some cases, there’s nothing you can do to completely get rid of moss. For instance, you probably don’t want to cut down the tree that’s casting shade over the driveway or you don’t have the budget to resurface the driveway.
In that case, the best way to prevent driveway moss is regular cleaning. This will get rid of moss before it spreads too far.
Scrubbing the driveway with a stiff brush and mild detergent is enough to keep moss at bay. Occasionally, get a pressure or power washer for a deeper, more thorough clean.
And if you notice any small patches of moss starting to form, get rid of them immediately.