Moss in paving brick

RobtOApril 21, 2005

I had paving brick installed around my deck a few years ago. The first couple years I would spread sand to fill in the cracks between the bricks every so often. This year I noticed I have some moss growing in between the bricks in a few spots here and there. I like the looks of the moss between the bricks but have heard that it will actually accelerate the aging and deterioration of the brick. Any truth to this? Thanks, RobtO

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judithjane(z7, NC)

I've had moss growing around & on brick for 10 years. If there's any change in the brick, it's not apparent.

As a child, I lived in a house built in 1929 that had a slate and copper roof. After a rain, we would go out to look at the roof which had magically turned to bright green velvet thanks to a thick covering of moss. The house still had it's original roof in perfect condition when it was sold in 1990.

If moss causes brick or stone to age quicker, it must take a really long time. Now wood is another story


    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 12:36PM
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nancycon(zone 5 W. PA)

I have 100 year old brick that gets moss covered in the humid rainey months of summer. I wash it down with a half water half clorox solution making sure not to touch the surrounding valuable plants. It works well. As far as the moss eating away or deteriating the brick, if its hard brick I don't think it will any faster than the freezing and thawing we get. If yours are new pavers, more than likely they are a cement product. I'd check with the manufacturer or installer to see what recomendations they might offer. I don't have a problem in the winter when I salt the sidewalk but salt can eat cement and eventually break it down.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 10:18PM
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Broken_Pots(z5 IL)

This is one of those perpetual chicken and egg issues. I think the moss grows better in the cracks of old bricks which gives the impression that it is forcing the crack to open up - moss often looks like it is squeezing its way out of the brickwork. Any cracks make great environments for moss spores to settle and grow which draws our attention to the previously unnoticed 'new' crack some of which can be microscopic.
After I removed some moss from a concrete patio corner it looked clean and free of lichen, an embarassment for me since I like the aged look better. So maybe it protects stone/concrete rather than destroying it?
I also think that the same can be said of wood - has anyone heard of moss bringing down a tree? but I have seen trees devoured by moss after they fall and the wood is no longer protected naturally.
From a botanical point of view moss is non-vascular so it doesn't have roots that swell up over time which makes IMHO it incapable of forcing open a crack.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 3:37AM
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