Green, moss-covered roofs may make you think you’re wandering through an enchanted forest on the way to see Snow White in her quaint woodland cottage, but, the moss growing on her roof is doing damage that her seven little friends are going to have to repair. The aesthetics of moss can add an element of charm to some homes, and can make a home seem as if it’s straight out of a storybook, but, if left untreated, can wreak some serious havoc on your roofing system. Moss can accumulate on virtually any roofing surface if the conditions are right. Most commonly moss is found on asphalt and wooden roofs, but any roof that is in a shady, damp environment is at risk of moss growth. Moss begins to accumulate as a thin layer, but over time it grows and finds its way into small cracks and gaps in the roofing surface. As the moss grows it expands these gaps, leaving your roof vulnerable to moisture, leading to leaks and wood rot. Luckily, moss can be removed rather easily.
Depending on the extent of your moss problem, you may be able to remove the moss physically. If the moss has just begun to develop, you are able to remove the moss without risking damage to your roof. Simply spray the moss-covered area with plain water, and using a long-handled soft-bristle brush, scrub the affected area being careful as not to lift or damage any of the shingles.
If your moss problem is a little more severe and needs more than just a simple scrub, chemical intervention may be required. There are plenty of commercial cleaning products on the market that aid in moss removal, but you can also make your own moss remover from household products. See below for a few DIY recipes. No matter if you’re using a commercial product, or one you whipped up yourself, the same application rules apply. Make sure it is a cloudy day. This directly relates to the effectiveness of your solution. If it’s a sunny day, chances are the solution will evaporate before taking any considerable effect. Apply the solution to the area, let sit for 10 to 20 minutes, and then proceed scrubbing away the moss. It is important to note that commercial and DIY solutions can be harmful, not only to you, but your home and your yard. When working with these chemicals make sure to use gloves and wear protective eyewear. Also, be mindful of where you are applying the solution. Some solutions can cause discoloring to roofing materials or siding, and the run off could be harmful to the plants surrounding your home.
DIY Moss-Remover Recipes:
- 8 ounces of Dawn Dish Soap + 2 gallons of water
- 1 ½ to 3 ½ cups of chlorine bleach + 2 gallons of water
- 1 ½ to 3 ½ cups of white distilled vinegar + 2 gallons of water
If your roof is prone to moss growth, a more permanent solution may be required. Innovations in roofing has led to the development of moss and algae resistant roofing materials. These materials are manufactured using materials that are toxic to moss and algae, like copper and zinc. Copper is more effective, but can be expensive, however zinc functions as a worthy alternative without putting a strain on your wallet. You can further prevent moss growth by maintaining the environment of your roof, like trimming overhanding tree limbs. Increasing the amount of direct sunlight your roof receives is an excellent way to discourage moss growth.
Although it has an element of charm, moss can be harmful to your roof if not properly addressed. Make sure to make moss removal part of your seasonal roof inspections. For questions about moss removal and roof inspections, don’t hesitate to contact your local trusted roofing contractor.