How to Get Rid of Moss

Moss can make your wood surfaces slippery, and can collect moisture, speeding the rate of decay of your wood. If you have moss on your decking, siding or wood roofing shingles, we’ve put this guide together for you to highlight the most accepted remedies, both natural and chemical, for clearing moss.

Non-chemical options

Removing the moss isn’t that difficult; it’s keeping it away that can be the problem. To remove the moss, scrape thoroughly with a plastic scraper until all the moss is removed. Sweep the spot, and then clean it thoroughly with soap and a brush that has medium to stiff bristles. Then rinse the area clean. The best options for ensuring no further moss growth are mostly chemical. The best non-chemical option is to make sure your wood gets plenty of sunlight—even if that means clearing back some shrubbery or trees to get extra light. Some people swear by vinegar as a way of keeping moss from coming back. And it’s true that if you can change the underlying PH of the wood surface, you’ll be able to keep moss from growing back, but it takes many applications to make the wood uninhabitable for the moss. Dish soap can also work; it makes the PH of the wood surface more basic, whereas the vinegar makes the wood surface more acidic.

Chemical options

There are a variety of chemical options out there. Unfortunately, most of the chemical options—even some of the most natural of them—have some pretty significant environmental drawbacks. For example, if you use a product made with potassium salts of fatty acids, even though the product is naturally sourced and totally biodegradable, they’ve been shown to cause disruption in populations of invertebrate aquatic creatures.

Some of the best chemical options include Spray & Forget and Wet & Forget. With both options, you apply and then leave it. They’ll clear moss from your wood surfaces over time, and then they provide protection for several additional months, making the whole process fairly carefree. Both of these options are from smaller American companies. There are also options from larger companies, such as Bayer’s 2-in-1 Moss and Algae Killer. All of these products will work to clear moss and keep it cleared, but remember, they have far more significant environmental impacts than more natural options. Your local Ace Hardware in Seattle will have a great selection of moss killers.

To sum it up:

  • For decks and siding, first clear moss by hand. For roofing, a chemical option might be best, as it will keep you from having to get up on your roof.
  • Don’t use a pressure washer. You’ll pit the wood, which makes it even easier for moss to grow.
  • Change the underlying PH of the wood surface with an acid (such as vinegar) or a base (such as dish soap).
  • Clear shade from around the affected area. Direct sunlight will help keep moss at bay.
  • For particularly stubborn moss problems, ask for advice from someone at your local hardware store.

Visit Ace Hardware in Seattle

Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. has been in business in Seattle since 1926. We’re associated with Ace Hardware, and have been the go-to source in the area for anything and everything needed to complete your projects around the home. Come in to Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. today or give us a call to learn more!

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