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How to Remove Moss From Roof

March 11, 2022

Moss imparts a dreamy or magical appearance to surfaces such as walls or roofs when it grows on them. It is possible that moss will cause more damage to your roof than you think, despite its attractive appearance!

If you have moss growing on your roof, it is a good idea to think about getting it removed.

How does moss damage your roof?

Shingles are rectangular pieces of roof material, usually flat, that are applied from the base of a roof upwards. They often create an overlapping, appealing pattern.

Moss creates a damp surface by absorbing dew or rainwater by acting like a sponge. The constant moisture on the roof shingles starts to damage them from the surface inwards.

You may be enjoying the green appeal of moss, but the shingles begin to decay behind the beauty. Moss usually starts growing in between the shingles and collects there as it spreads to other areas of the shingles.

The effects of moss aren't noticeable as they happen over time, and once the shingles are damaged, you may begin to experience leaks in your roof due to its unseen damage.

Moss ruins the surface of shingles responsible for reflecting sunlight. This causes cracks in the shingles, which shortens their lifespan and may force you to replace the whole roof.

Leaks cause more damage to your house over a short period of time, like peeling paint, causing wood and rot, and also weakening the concrete walls as moisture is introduced into their structure.

Moss can collect in the gutters, blocking rainwater from flowing freely. It also interferes with water flowing into the gutters by making it trickle through the dense clusters of moss instead, resulting in poor drainage.

As a result, moss must be dealt with, and we will show you how to safely remove it and prevent it from growing back.

How to remove moss off your roof

The best method of handling moss is that which does not damage the roof itself.

You also need to use alternatives that have little or no health effects on you and your family. This is especially important if you collect rainwater through gutters for home use.

1.    Get the necessary supplies

To begin with, you will need a few supplies that you may have at home or that you may need to buy from your nearest hardware store.

You will need

  • A ladder
  • A soft brush
  • Safety goggles and a mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • The preferred moss killer solution, approved by the EPA
  • A garden hose
  • Plastic sheets

Getting rid of moss is a relatively simple procedure, provided you take the necessary steps to ensure the job is completed.

Moss killer solution

It is necessary to use a chemical solution to effectively loosen moss from the roof surface in order to remove it. Moss can be difficult to remove mechanically, especially if it has become lodged between the shingles of a roof structure.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States has regulations in place concerning chemical cleaners that have the potential to harm the environment. It is necessary to purchase moss removers that have been approved. 

  • Preparation

This includes cleaning and preparing the roof and surrounding areas for moss removal before the work begins.

If you are going to be using chemicals to remove the moss, it is important that you protect nearby plants with plastic sheets first.

Choose a sunny day to remove the moss so that any inconveniences, such as snow or rain, will not prevent you from completing the task. Similarly to how rain can make the roof shingles slippery, especially when the moss has become wet from the rain,

Install the ladder and secure it so that it does not slip or fall while you are climbing to the top of the building. Aside from that, you don't want to be stranded on the roof because your ladder has fallen.

The moss killer solution should be prepared in accordance with the directions on the label. To prevent it from blowing onto you, spray it onto your roof in a downward direction and in the direction of the wind.

  • Apply the moss remover

Leave the solution to settle for the indicated time for it to kill the moss and dislodge it from the roof shingles. Some solutions require up to 24 hours to settle.

Safety first

If you are using a chemical remover for the job, make sure to protect yourself from the potentially hazardous effects of the chemicals by wearing rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a breathable face mask.

Cut off the flow of water from the gutters to any water storage containers in order to prevent the water from becoming contaminated with the chemical mixture.  It is recommended that you wait a few days or hose off the roof a few times before resuming the collection of water.

Home-made moss-removing solutions

Homemade solutions that perform the same function as chemical moss removers can be used as an alternative to remove moss.

Apply three tablespoons of baking soda to a liter of water and let it sit for a few minutes before removing it off. By adding additional tablespoons of baking soda to the solution, the concentration of the solution can be increased.

If you want to speed the process, even more, sprinkle baking soda on the moss. Because this is only a temporary solution, you may need to repeat this procedure twice or three times per week.

Baking soda kills moss by raising its pH to an unsustainable level, which kills it.

Another option is to combine 2 cups of chlorine bleach or 8 ounces of dish soap with 2 gallons of water and mix thoroughly. This results in a mild chemical solution that is effective at removing moss.

  • Manually remove the moss

Manually removing the moss should be done with a soft brush, preferably one with a long handle. This should be done in a downward motion, with your back to the top of the roof, in order to avoid damaging the shingles.

In this situation, a hard brush would appear to be the best option, but it would also cause damage to the roof surface.

  • Clean the roof

After removing the moss, rinse the area with a hose set at a low pressure to remove any remaining debris or moss removing solution. Additionally, you should remove the cleaner to avoid damage to the shingles, especially if the cleaner contains harmful chemicals.

How to prevent moss from growing on your roof

If you have already removed the moss from your roof or if you want to prevent moss from growing on your roof, you can follow the steps outlined below to accomplish your goal.

Cut overhanging branches

Moss thrives in areas where there is sufficient shade to protect it from the sun's intense ultraviolet rays as well as to retain moisture.

Although this method is effective as a preventative measure, it will not necessarily remove moss from your roof if the moss has already started growing. It is effective in preventing further moss growth, but you should still take the necessary steps to remove any moss that is growing. 

Install zinc or copper strips

Copper strips have a longer lifespan than zinc strips, but they allow water to roll off their surface, washing the roof and killing any moss that may have grown on it. They are effective at preventing moss from regrowing, but their effectiveness diminishes over time.

If you want to keep moss off of your roof, you can replace the strips after a few years. Some of these strips are pre-made and can be applied quickly and easily.

Use algae-resistant shingles

One of the most effective ways to combat moss growth is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Moss and algae both thrive in the same conditions, and it may be possible to kill two birds with one stone.

Although this will not completely prevent moss growth, it will be beneficial in the long run.

Regularly inspect the roof

Having someone or yourself inspect the roof regularly will help to prevent any moss from growing unnoticed or even spreading to larger areas. You can also inspect and clean the gutters, removing any leaves or other debris that may have accumulated.

This will ensure proper drainage and will help to prevent the growth of moss on the surface.

Fixing the roof

If the moss has caused significant damage to the roof, it is recommended that you replace it.

It is not advised to apply a new layer of shingles on top of an existing layer of damaged shingles that have already been installed. This may be more convenient and time-saving, but it has more negative consequences than positive ones.

Walking on the roof, which is already deteriorating, is extremely dangerous for both the roofers and you. The moss that is already present makes the surface slippery, and the shingles may have been damaged by the moss growth, increasing the likelihood of them falling off.

The combination of moss and broken shingles creates an uneven surface that makes it difficult to apply a new roof properly. Putting a new roof on top of an old one ignores the fact that the current roof is in an unknown condition.

It's possible that the wood beneath the roof was exposed to rot, causing the roof structure to become weakened.

Placing a new roof over moss creates a moist breeding ground for a variety of microorganisms that can cause damage to the house as well as infection in you or your family members and pets.

When to hire a professional

 You may need to hire a professional to complete the job in order to protect yourself, the environment, and the roof. They have received more extensive training in the safe handling of chemicals and the use of safety equipment, as well as the technical skills necessary to complete the job to perfection.

 The average cost of hiring roof cleaners is approximately $490, with a bare minimum of approximately $200 in expenditure.

The final price range varies depending on a variety of factors.

  • The size of the roof
  • The labor input
  • The time taken to clean the roof
  • The extent of rood cleaning
  • The type of material used to make the roof

Frequently asked questions

Can I pressure wash my roof?

Even though it may appear to be the quickest and most effective method of removing moss from a roof, pressure washing is not recommended. While you are casually listening to music, it is tempting to sit back and watch with satisfaction as a clean, moss-free layer is left behind.

Pressure washing your roof shingles can cause damage to the shingles by removing the protective coating that protects them from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. This exposes the shingles to ultraviolet rays, which cause them to crack and break over time.

Should I remove moss if it appears dead on my roof?

As much as moss may appear dry or dead during constant dry weather, some species of moss actually survive when dry for months. These will eventually regrow when the weather conditions are favorable for their development.

If the moss has dried out, take advantage of the opportunity to remove it yourself or have someone else remove it for you because it is relatively easy to remove.

Can moss-removing chemicals damage my roof?

Before applying a solution of moss-removing chemicals to the entire roof, test it on a small section of the roof to ensure that it will not discolor the roof's surface.

If this occurs, you should consider using more gentle chemicals or making your own homemade solutions.

Can vinegar remove moss?

When used to remove moss growing in the yard where there is soil, vinegar is very effective. It works by lowering the pH of the soil to a point where the moss can no longer survive.

Vinegar is effective in removing moss, but it may kill other plants in the vicinity.

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