Your roof protects your house and family from the elements. All weather conditions can cause damage, including heat, cold, sunlight, and storms. You may eventually notice green clumps appearing in the shaded areas of your roof. These unsightly splotches could be moss. Here we will discuss how to remove moss from a roof naturally.
Moss is not just an unsightly nuisance. Moss can eventually cause roof damage. The moss is a water absorber and keeps the roof below it damp. Moss can trap water that is dripping down your roof shingles on sloped roofs. The moss on asphalt shingles can cause them to lift and be more susceptible to being blown off by high winds. If you find roof moss, it is crucial to learn how to safely remove it.
Why Is There Moss On My Roof?
Roofs are often plagued by moss and other plant – or fungus growth, even in areas that don’t get much rain. The ideal place for algae, moss and lichen to grow is in moist, shaded areas. This will typically be the North-facing part of your roof that gets little sun. Spores can spread easily by birds, wind, and insects, and when the conditions are right, they will blossom.
While moss-resistant chemical coatings may be available for older asphalt, fiberglass, and slate shingles, the growth can still take place. Even if you are a good shingle cleaner, moss can hide in the cracks between your shingles.
If moss grows on a roof it is likely that the protective coating on your metal roofing has been worn away. Moss can grow in places that are not exposed to the sun. This can cause it to retain water and become damp. This can lead either to corrosion or rust.
Repainting your roof is the best option when you have to remove large amounts of moss from a steel roof. A professional roofer is more qualified to safely remove moss from a metal roof and spot signs of wood rot and leaks underneath. It takes practice to understand how to locate a roof leak. Before you attempt any patchwork yourself, it is best to hire a professional.
It can be very difficult to remove moss growth once it has established itself on your roof. Although they like a moist environment, moss or lichen can survive for months without any water. This is why it’s unlikely that your roof will be cleared up. Moss will attract many birds and insects to their growing areas. If you don’t control the moisture, other plants could grow in the mossy areas. This can cause major structural problems to your entire house.
How Can You Get Rid of Moss?
Take a Look At Your Roof First
To avoid costly repairs, it’s a good idea for your roof to be inspected by a roofing professional once or twice per year. A large amount of moss may already have caused damage to your roof. It may be more cost-effective to replace your roof rather than spend time cleaning off the moss. You should take the time to inspect for leaks. You might be able to repair them by applying sealant or replacing shingles. You should inspect your attic for any signs of rotting wood. You might be able to repair the attic depending on how severe the damage is.
A professional roofer will inspect for leaks and repair or replace shingles. They can also reseal flashing that has been damaged. A professional roofer at Old Time Roofing can quickly spot structural issues and has all the necessary tools and training to safely work on your roofing system.
If your roof inspection shows damage, it is time to replace the roof. We’ll talk about preventative measures that can be taken to stop moss growing on the new roof.
Remove Moss and Other Growth
You should take safety precautions if you choose to remove moss from your roof. You should use a rubber-footed safety ladder and have someone to help you. Never walk on your roof without a helmet. For traction, roofers wear a safety harness and rubber-soled shoes. If necessary, they may also install roof brackets and toe boards. You risk serious injury if you don’t use a ladder to fix the problem. This will likely cost you more than hiring professionals.
These steps can be used if you are able to reach the growth using a ladder. But, be careful, there are many ways that you could cause damage to your roof.
1. Scrub It Off
You could damage your roof by scrubbing it. Protective oils and tar are used on asphalt shingles to protect them against UV light and moisture. Shingle granules can also be removed if you use too much force. Protective coatings are a common feature on metal roofs. You can reduce the roof’s lifespan if you scrub your roof too hard or use the wrong brush.
It’s important to use a soft scrub brush to clean your roof. Don’t scratch the roofing material! To avoid lifting shingles from shingle roofs, you should brush from top-to-bottom.
You can spread the spores by scrubbing the moss. In as little as six weeks, you might see more moss growth. Even if moss is broken off, it can regrow. Even the smallest amount of moss that you have missed with a brush, can be reestablished quite quickly.
2. Get Your Roof Cleaned
It’s important to clean the entire roof before you apply any agents to kill any remaining moss. Although pressure washing your roof might seem like an easy solution to roof cleaning problems, it is not. Pressure washers can cause damage to shingles and protective coatings, which can lead to roof leaks. It’s better to use a standard spray attachment when you are cleaning off your roof.
3. Eliminate The Spores
There are many sprays that you can use against moss growth on your roof. Vinegar, 50/50 bleach solution and water are two common options. They are extremely effective. They are also effective in killing other plants, unfortunately.
Any spray that falls on your landscaping can cause serious damage if it is not removed. To prevent this, you can thoroughly water your plants before you rinse off the roof. To reduce their exposure, you can use plastic sheeting to cover walkways or plants that are sensitive.
Many homeowners prefer to let the sprays remain on the roof rather than rinsing. While vinegar and bleach evaporate quickly, they can still be quite harsh on roofs and cause damage to protective coatings.
There are many products available that can be used to treat moss, including vinegar and chlorine bleach. These gentler formulas contain less harmful ingredients like zinc salts and baking soda, which are less likely to harm your lawn or cause water contamination. They are still very effective in killing the fungus and plants that grow on your roof.
How To Prevent Moss Growth
Sunlight is a natural moss deterrent. To prevent shade, keep the trees away from your roof. This will protect your roof against falling limbs or animals who might seek shelter in your attic.
Sticks, leaves, and other organic materials attract the spores. Regular cleaning of your gutters and roof will prevent moss spores growing on your roof. Proper drainage is essential for roofs with cedar shake or wooden shingles. Standing water can cause wood rot, mildew and roof leaks.
To prevent corrosion, galvanized steel roofing panels are coated with a zinc protective coating. Zinc also discourages molds and plants from growing on your roof. The coating can become worn or damaged by hail and falling debris over time.
Zinc strips can be installed along the roof’s ridges if you have a traditional roof made of shingle. Zinc will be washed away by the rain, which will eliminate any moss and algae growth.
It’s Best To Leave It To The Pros
Do-it-yourself roof maintenance is dangerous and can lead to serious damage. Many times, repairs that you make yourself are not covered by insurance or home warranties. It is possible to save a lot of money by hiring professional roofers.
A Old Time Roofing offers a variety of roofing services including inspections, routine roof maintenance, and moss elimination. For over 30 years we have been serving The greater Tampa Bay Region and surrounding areas. All of our pricing, timelines and maintenance come with our guarantee. Get a free estimate by contacting us today!