George V. Reilly

Removing Moss

Grill Brush

In Seattle, it is said that moss grows on the north side of the rain. To be sure, moss thrives in the shadier parts of our yard.

On a cold, dry February day, I rented a pressure washer with the intention of scouring the moss from the ground and the flaking paint from the garage walls. Although it was quite effective at removing moss, it made a godawful mess. There were muddy flecks of moss everywhere. Against the flaking paint, it made little impression and I still have to deal with that. I had dealt with perhaps a third of the moss when the pressure washer died. I got a partial refund, but didn’t feel like renting another one.

The following weekend, I scraped up more moss with a shovel. Not messy, but not wholly effective either, leaving small, low patches of moss that are starting to return.

Today, I took on the exterior basement stairs. They are always in shade and the moss carpeted the steps. I used an old grill brush that had grown too foul with grease to be used on the grill. It did an excellent job; I’ve never seen those steps look so clean. The scraper peeled most of the moss off the ground and the brass bristles ripped up the roots with ease.

Bloody hard work, though.

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