Removing moss from tarmac/asphalt driveways

Asphalt and tarmac are popular choices of material for driveways. They have been used for many years so home owners are familiar with the products and the installation cost when compared to many other materials, making them attractive choices of material.

However the material does have a few drawbacks, one of which is the growth of moss. Tarmac driveways and paths, whilst looking great and being extremely functional, can be breeding grounds for moss, lichen and algae.

The surface, by its very nature, is rough. Moisture retention is therefore very high, which encourages moss and lichen spores to grow. Not only does the surface retain moisture but the uneven surface provides excellent protection for the moss to grow. If you look closely at the surface of a tarmac driveway you will see small pits. These provide perfect 'hidden' areas for the moss spores to slowly grow as they hold moisture and protect the growing plant from car tyres and shoes until it is big enough to look after itself. This is when we begin to see that it is causing a problem.

But killing moss and cleaning your driveway or pathway is not too difficult and can be very successful. You just need to follow some basic steps and use good moss killing products. The best method to kill moss on these types of surface depends upon the way that you wish to work and how you wish the surface to look upon completion.


Before you start spraying your surface with a moss killer, we strongly recommend that you brush the area to remove as much dirt, loose growth and smaller areas of growth as possible. Our WIRE BROOM is especially good for this job as its rigid wire bristles are more effective at reaching into the pits and removing the moss growth than most brooms, making the process quicker and easier. In addition to the wire broom we have a comprehensive RANGE OF BRUSHES to help with an array of tasks.

If your surface has weeds growing, ideally a WEEDKILLER should be applied; weeds and moss require different treatments as they grow and feed in very different ways. A moss killer will not effectively kill weeds and a weed killer will not kill moss.

Finally, you should try to remove anything that casts a shadow over the area. The more sunlight, the quicker the surface will dry. The quicker the surface dries, the less moisture there is to feed the spores and moss. I do realise there are many things that aren't very practical to remove such as your house, cars, large trees (and maybe even the neighbour's house), however if you can cut back overhanging branches and bushes then this will really help to reduce future moss growth.

If a treatment is not applied after manually removing moss, you can effectively make the problem worse by spreading the spores.


Treatment options depend on the method of application and the surface cleanliness required; do you just want to kill the moss, or do you want to clean and renovate the tarmac at the same time?

Option 1 - Clean the tarmac, rinse then follow with moss and algae killer and prevention.

After brushing your tarmac surface, spray the area with BATIFACE. This cleaner should be left on the surface for 15-30 minutes before being rinsed with either a hosepipe and brushed or, ideally, a SMALL PRESSURE WASHER. The rinsing process is required to not only wash away the product but also to help remove the now dead moss, as well as any dirt, generally cleaning the surface. This method is especially effective when surfaces become slippery during the winter months as the BATIFACE is strong enough to get deep into the surface, ensuring all the moss/algae growth is dead and can be rinsed away.

BATIFACE makes the cleaning of the surface easier, and you will find that once the surface has been rinsed the driveway will have been returned to near its original colour. This option is also beneficial when the task needs to be completed quickly, within hours from start to finish.

Once the area has been cleaned and is dry, we advise the application of CONCENTRATED MOSS & ALGAE KILLER - Baticlean CR. Baticlean CR will kill any remaining moss spores that may have been missed during the initial treatment, preventing future moss growth and reducing the need for further treatment.

Baticlean CR should not be rinsed from the surface. This will allow it to inhibit the regrowth of moss and spores.

BATICLEAN CR is a concentrated product. Once diluted, it covers up to 30 square metres per litre - at £4.70 per litre: LESS THAN 16 PENCE PER SQUARE METRE.

Option 2 - Kill the moss and algae and prevent regrowth - no cleaning required.

Once you have brushed the surface to remove as much moss as you can, simply spray the area with BATICLEAN CR. As with the previous option, the product will kill moss on the tarmac as well as the spores and is designed to be left on the surface, where it can inhibit regrowth.

Baticlean CR should be sprayed on to a DRY surface with no rain expected. The moss and algae will gradually die over 2 to 3 days.

Future maintenance of tarmac surfaces

You should always try and keep the area clean and remove leaves and anything that causes shade across the area, especially during the winter months. Brushing the surface occasionally will help and does not take too much effort. In addition, you can treat it every 10 - 14 months; simply brush the surface and, on a dry day, apply a new coat of BATICLEAN CR or just wait until the first signs of new growth appear before applying a new coat.

Our moss killing treatment will kill everything on the surface including missed spores that will grow back within days if left untreated. The effective duration of treatment could be months or even years, but will not prevent growth from new spores that reach the surface after a period; this depends upon many factors such as the climate, location and amount of shade or circumstances preferential for moss to grow.