We have a set of steps through our garden, underneath trees so it's always shady. They were re-laid last summer using nice stones and old bricks for the step edges, but already they are treacherous when there is any moisture at all, despite not having much visible growth on them.

A pressure washer would sort them out but the location makes this difficult and I'd prefer a way to treat the stone rather than scrub it.

Do products exist for this and if so, what are they and how are they used?I don't mean specific product endorsements, I'm not sure if I want weedkiller or moss killer or...


It may be that the paving you chose is just slippery when wet anyway; very smooth surfaced paving certainly has this problem.

Chemical mosskilling products are not all suitable for use on hard surfacing, but there are some suitable ones available. Algae, lichens and liverworts can be removed with most patio cleaners, further info here https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=418

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  • I think when it was new it was fine in the winter, I'm guessing it's typical patio type 'slime' like you get on concrete etc, I guess "patio cleaner" might be the answer I'm after! – Mr. Boy Aug 28 '19 at 14:14
  • Brushing over regularly with a very stiff broom will help to keep algae and the like at bay... – Bamboo Aug 28 '19 at 14:21

Secure footing on stone and smooth concrete is not only important from a liability point of view, it also adds to the enjoyment of the landscape when your feet feel secure. Ideally the surfaces will be rough so that there is something to bite into the soles of footwear. Thus the moisture falls between the high points and you walk on the dry.

First and cheap is sand. Keep a pail close by and cast the grains ahead as you walk. Some of the grains will stick into shoe soles and you will carry them with you as you progress. Others will remain behind. You don't need much, just enough to provide a coarse surface, and over the years with use the surfaces will roughen. Positive is that the sand is inert and will not damage any plants, negative is that you will track some into the house on return. Wipe feet! Sand will not be kind to a shiny wood floor.

Second you can consider a product like top and bond for concrete. It is a layer of thin material that sticks to a surface like concrete; it is good for crack filling and you can roughen the surface slightly with a brush. The coarseness will not be too visible and give a good surface for walking.

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