What Keeps Moss from Growing Between Pavers

What Keeps Moss from Growing Between Pavers?

In Lawn & Garden, Tips by Jamie

While some people see moss between pavers as having an appealing charm that is reminiscent of a quaint cottage near the woods, others view it as a nuisance. If left, moss between pavers can become a safety hazard and there are some useful ways to prevent it.

Moss growth between pavers can be prevented by keeping the pavers clean, preventing standing water from accumulating in the area, and removing new moss growth as soon as you see it. Additionally, applying a stone sealer is a great way to reduce moisture in your pavers helping to prevent moss and mildew growth.

It is easy for moss to grow between pavers, especially in humid areas that the sun does not easily reach. The combination of jointing sand, dead leaves, and dirt provide ideal conditions for moss to grow especially if the pavers are in a spot that retains a lot of dampness and low sunlight. Fortunately, if you find moss growing between your pavers and you do not want it there, there are a few ways to get rid of it.

What Causes Moss to Grow Between Pavers

Moss is a hardy plant that can easily grow on most surfaces given the right conditions. Jointing sand used between pavers combined with natural dirt and debris like leaves, dust, and other foliage provides the footing and nutrients for moss.

You will also find moss in areas that tend to hold on to moisture or are not well lit by the sun. Moss can start to grow in as little as 5 weeks in the right conditions and once it has a presence, it will spread quickly.

For some people landscaping their outdoor areas, moss can provide an ambient charm between pavers but even this requires maintenance due to how quickly moss can spread over the pavers’ entire surface.

Which Tools Work Best to Remove Moss from Pavers?

There are a few tools that enable you physically remove the moss between pavers such as these manual weeding sickles, available in both short handle and long handle options.

The short-handled GREBSTK Crack Weeder has a sharpened stainless steel blade for durability and abrasion resistance. It easily fits between paver crevices to cut away any unwanted grass or moss. Because it has a short handle, it is ideal for small isolated jobs that can be done quickly. Its narrow angled blade allows it to also pull up any weeds or unwanted grass that may have taken root between the pavers.

The long-handled Weeding Sickle has an adjustable length that can be customized to your height for a friendlier ergonomic design, making it ideal for bigger moss and weed removal tasks that will require some time. Its adjustable size makes it easy to store and like the short-handled option, it has a durable stainless steel blade. The blade has two different shaped edges for different types of weed, moss, and grass removal.

The straight edge can be used on soft foliage like soft grass and moss, whereas the wavy blade edge is ideal for deeper rooted weeds and mature grass.

Is There an Electric Tool to Remove Moss Between Pavers?

While the aforementioned manual tools are effective, there are electric tools that can make weeding and moss removal a quick and efficient effort. One such electric tool is the Einhell GE-CC Power X Change Weed Sweeper.

This power weed sweeper is battery powered, using the same battery for all power tools in the Einhell brand. It features a dual handle design for a comfortable grip and optimal maneuverability along with an adjustable length for your height. This weed sweeper works by using steel and nylon bristles to lift moss, grass, and other weeds from in between pavers.


How to Get Rid of Moss Between Pavers Permanently

It is best to wait for a dry, sunny day to remove moss and other unwanted growth from between your pavers to ensure it can be cleaned away completely with minimal effort. Be careful not to agitate the joint sand between your pavers to avoid having to replace it with fresh sand. However, it is not difficult to replace so if needed remove sand and replace later to ensure you remove any moss.

1. Sweep the Area

Sweep away any loose debris such as leaves, dust, and dirt from the surface you are cleaning.

2. Begin Using a Crevice Weeding Tool

Using a manual sickle-style weed remover or an electric-powered weed sweeper, cutaway and pull up any unwanted moss, grass, or other weeds from between the pavers.

3. Continue Inspecting for More Moss

Inspect the area carefully for any remnants of moss. If you see any lingering moss, use your weed remover or sweeper over the area again. For small areas, you can also pour boiling water on the moss and gently scrub away with a stiff-bristle broom.

4. Sweep Away Scraped Up Moss

Give the whole area a final sweep to remove large chunks of loose moss, rinse with a garden hose and allow the area to fully dry.

5. Apply Moss Herbicide (optional)

After cleaning as much moss from your pavers, you may want to try using a moss herbicide product to fully kill any remaining moss. Be careful as these products may be dangerous on your skin, eyes, and more. Read all safety instructions on any product you choose. Plus, these moss herbicides often kill all organisms, so DO NOT spray your garden or your yard.

Here are a few options you can choose from:

Lilly Miller Moss Out – See Latest Price

BioAdvanced Moss and Algae Killer Ready-To-Spray – See Latest Price

Allow any herbicide used to fully dry before walking on the surface, especially your pets.

6. Add More Polymeric Sand (If Needed)

If you happen to scrub away or damage any of the jointing sand, you may need to reapply it. For the joints between pavers, it is important to use polymeric sand specifically. This type of sand creates a weatherproof bond between the pavers that inhibits the growth of organisms such as mold, insects, weeds, and mildew.

7. Apply a Sealer

I highly recommend applying a sealer to your pavers, this creates an even higher resistance to moss re-growing. Basically, a concrete, brick, or stone sealer is designed to create a thin sealing coat that repels water and humidity from your surface. Really it helps water repel and evaporate faster than before.

Before using a sealer water sinks into the pavers, down between every crack. This is how mold, mildew, and moss can grow quickly. Use a sealer and prevent sitting and water accumulation causing such issues.

The option I recommend is called All-Purpose Concrete, Brick & Stone Sealer by Masonry Defender. You can purchase a 1 gallon or a 2.5-gallon jug, suitable for smaller and larger projects. It allows a breathable surface so moss growth chances are significantly reduced.

Preventing Moss from Returning to Your Pavers

Once you have cleaned away any moss growth from your pavers and re-sanded the joints, there are a few ways to prevent moss from returning.

  1. Keep the paver area clean, removing any debris, leaves, and dirt with a broom or leaf blower weekly.
  2. Keep your pavers dry when possible, moving any accumulated standing water off of the pavers. Moss likes damp conditions and will grow in the consistent presence of moisture. Maybe consider building a shelter over the area, like a portico or a louvered roof system.
  3. Inspect your pavers regularly (at least a few times per season). If you see any new moss growth, remove it immediately with a manual sickle or using boiling water.
  4. You can also apply a moss herbicide upon inspection of finding moss on your pavers.
  5. One of the best tips to preventing moss from returning to your pavers is to apply a stone and brick sealer as mentioned above.

Following these prevention tips, you are likely to have no moss return, and if somehow you do it is likely very little amounts. There may be something causing the moss in surrounding areas, roof water dropping on your pavers or something else, keep an eye out and try to see what is causing the moisture buildup.

Anyway, keeping up with regular maintenance and cleaning of your paver stone patio/walkway area significantly reduces the chances of moss growth.


Moss Removal FAQs

Is moss between pavers bad?

While some see moss as an aesthetically please accent between pavers, it is important to note that moss can quickly become intrusive, overtaking the entire surface area. This can pose a safety hazard as moss becomes very slippery when wet.

Moss can hold on to moisture as it prefers damp, dark conditions. If you have an abundance of moss and moisture in your yard, it could pose structural weakness to your lot in the long run.

Will vinegar kill moss between pavers?

Vinegar is an effective natural method to kill moss between pavers. Because it is a natural option, you may need to apply the vinegar solution (vinegar and water) to it a few times before it fully kills the moss in the area. Vinegar is indiscriminate in which plants it eliminates so be careful if there are nearby plants that you do not wish to kill.

Can I use bleach to remove moss from in-between pavers?

You can use a 10-15% diluted bleach and water solution, however, this is not recommended as bleach can be quite harsh on the pavers themselves, potentially damaging and weakening them over time.

Does Roundup kill moss between pavers?

Roundup Weed and Grass Killer can kill unwanted moss, weeds, and grass to the root. It should be used with extreme caution as it is an indiscriminate herbicide and can kill desired nearby plants. When using chemical herbicides, they must be allowed to dry completely before allowing pets near the treated area to prevent harm.

Can I use a pressure washer to kill moss between pavers?

A pressure washer is a natural and safe way to remove moss between pavers however, because of the high water pressure you will likely need to replace the jointing sand between the pavers.

Can I use a broom to remove moss between pavers?

You can use a stiff-bristled broom to remove moss between pavers, however, you must be gentle enough to not disturb or damage the jointing sand as doing so could result in having to replace it.

Final Thoughts

While moss can quickly overtake a paved area, there are many natural and chemical methods to remove it. Follow the step-by-step guide listed above for eliminating moss between pavers and ensure the area stays dry and free of debris throughout the season to prevent moss from sprouting again.