How to Remove and Prevent Moss on Your Roof
If you don’t maintain the roof of your house, moss could be an unwelcomed guest living on your roof. It’s always better to prevent moss by maintenance your house regularly before you have to tear off and replace new roofs to your house.
How Moss Damages the House
Moss loves the wet, humid, and cool weather. A surface exposed to heavy rainfalls or covered in shades is a perfect place for mosses to live and grow. Moss holds the water when it rains, like a sponge. Moss storing water from the rainfall makes the shingles damp. This slowly results in damaging the roof, starting from the shingles to the beneath layers of the roof, which is the sheathing. It lifts shingles and allows the water to go underneath. Now, the decaying starts.
Whether you live in hot tropical weather or in cold winter, moss is unavoidable in most cases. If you live in a house, moss is something you should be aware of and take care of.
How to Remove Moss By Myself
Just like how you can DIY reroof your house, you can also get rid of moss on your own. Before you purchase equipment and tools, first try if you are comfortable climbing up and down the ladder and walking around the roof. Be careful at all times, especially when you are around the moss area because it could be slippery and slimy. Here is the list of tools you need and things you could do to remove moss.
Equipment you need:
- Garden hose
- Long-handled brush
- Safety glasses
- Safety mask
- Work gloves
- Moss killer solution (or make your own)
- Plastic sheeting
You can buy a moss killer solution or create your own moss remover. Either method contains a lot of chemicals, so we recommend wearing a facial mask when doing so. First, spray the whole roof with the solution and leave it for about 20minutes. Then, using a long-handled brush, start brushing off the moss. Make sure you are brushing downwards. After removing the moss, you can use a garden hose to rinse off the roof with clean water, or you can leave the chemicals on it.
For homemade moss removers, you can add 8 ounces of Dawn dish soap, 1 pound of powdered bleach, 3 cups of chlorine bleach, or 3 cups of distilled vinegar with 2 gallons of water. For homemade products, you want to wet the roof with water before applying the product.
How to Prevent Beforehand
One of the best ways to prevent moss from growing on your roof is by installing zinc or copper strips. You can install the strips on the ridge of the roof or below the windows where shades are created. Water will roll over the smooth stripes and kill mosses in their path. Copper strips also help moss from growing back. The only small problem is that you need to change the strips once in a while because it loses their effectiveness after few years.
You could also hire a professional arborist to cut overhanging branches that are creating shades to your house. This won’t remove existing moss but helps to avoid new growth.
Don’t pressure wash nor too harsh chemicals on the roof. Pressure washing could be too harsh to the roof, where it could damage the UV rays and damage the protective coating of the shingles. The same applies to using harsh chemicals. Once the moss is removed, you don’t have to apply the remover again. Most of the time, one-time cleaning is enough to remove the moss.
Don’t Add New Shingles Over Moss!
Covering the moss with new roof shingles makes everything worse. You might be thinking of just covering up the dirty, slippery, and odor moss to save time and money. However, this will bring even more severe potential problems. The roof condition will be unknown and could be at risk of collapse. Adding another layer of the roof creates a perfect shady living space for moss to grow and occupy the space. Moreover, it creates bumps in the roof. Because moss is not evenly spread out, creating a new layer of the roof will make the surface uneven. The water will not drain properly and might create small ponds, further making a leakage inside the house. The main problem will be safety. The roof is no longer safe for professionals to walk around and fix any problems. Unless you remove the top layer of shingles and find out what is damaged and not, workers need to make sure they are working in a safe area. Last but not least, cross-contamination. Once another roof is covering the old roof, moss can expand its growth to the new roof and damage it. This blocks your ventilation system and makes the air quality worse inside the house. It damages your drywall that could cause your home to collapse or leak at any time.
Can Moss Be Dead?
Moss is a plant that could survive extreme conditions. Even if the moss on your roof seems dried and turned into greenish-brown, that doesn’t mean it is completely dead. Within just a few rainy days, moss will rejuvenate to its living condition and proceed to grow and damage the roof. It’s always better to keep your roof clean and safe before you have to spend a ton of money on replacing the damaged roof.
Moss could look like it is not a big deal; however, if you just leave it the way it is, it will damage your house and further on cost you a ton of money. If you notice moss on your roof or on damp areas, make sure to remove them by following the instruction. If you don’t have any moss, why not take extra steps and prevent it from happening.