Moss grows in damp and shady environments. It not only looks unclean but also gives your home a ghostly look. If it grows on roofs, it can severely damage the surface and structural integrity of your roof and home. So, removing it is a must-do. We’ve put together a roof cleaning guide for you to get rid of any moss on your roof and to keep it from coming back.
Why does moss grow on roof?
Moss is a soft green plant that can quickly grow in humid areas with a pH range of 5.0 to 5.5. Its development depends upon the type of surfaces like wood, clay, asphalt or metal.
How to remove moss from your roof?
- Gather equipment
To remove the moss, first you need to gather the following equipment:
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Rubber gloves
- Safety rope
- Work clothes, including a cap to protect your hair, and slip-resistant footwear
- Garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle
- Moss-remover of choice
- Backpack-style garden pump sprayer or a large spray bottle
- Scrub brush
- Long-handled soft-bristle brush
- Pick a cloudy day
Choose a cloudy day to do this job. Cloud cover gives the chemicals and roof cleaning products time to be absorbed into the roof. The longer the chemicals can sit, the better they will be absorbed. However, don’t leave them too long. About 20 minutes is enough.
- Dress for the job
Cleaning moss off a roof is a messy job and can be somewhat dangerous. Wear old clothes that fit well, so they do not snag or restrict your movement. Put on safety glasses, rubber gloves, a cap and slip-resistant shoes too.
- Protect nearby plants
Before getting on the roof, you’ll need to protect any nearby plants and trees. This is because some moss removers can kill other plants. As you clean the roof, some chemical run off may land on nearby plants.
If possible, choose an environmentally friendly product. Otherwise, use plastic sheets to cover nearby plants and wash plants off after you’ve finished cleaning the roof.
- Hose moss off
Use a hose to spray water over your roof. This should remove any loose moss. Remember to work down from the top of the roof so that the moss washes off the roof.
- Scrub the moss
Using the two brushes, work from the top down to scrub any remaining moss from the roof. Rub it gently and do not scrape or scour the roof. It is best to work in small sections to avoid any breaking or cracking roof shingles or tiles.
- Apply chemicals
To prevent moss from growing back, use your moss killer. Use a spray bottle or backpack-sprayer and only use what you need.
You can also install strips of zinc or copper-coated sheets below the ridge to change the pH balance on your roof. These metals are toxic to moss and algae, and you can purchase them in rolls. Attach these sheets using screws and roofing nails.
When it rains, the metal elements are washed off the sheets and onto the roof, making it unpleasant for moss to grow on the roof.
Don’t forget to trim back any overhanging trees and branches so that your roof gets as much sun as possible, so the damp conditions that moss likes are less likely.
- Rinse the roof thoroughly
Once the chemicals have had time to sit, use a hose to rinse them off the roof. Don’t use a power washer as it can break or chip tiles or shingles.
Even if you do not use any chemicals, rinse your roof thoroughly to clear away any remaining moss.
Don’t forget gutter cleaning either. Make sure your gutters aren’t clogged with moss debris.
- Scrub again if needed
After rinsing, if there is any moss remaining, scrub it off and then rinse again to clean the roof. Any remaining moss can quickly grow back and take over the roof once more.
Why is moss prevention needed?
If moss grows on your roof, it can damage your roof and home’s structural integrity. It can cause holes and leaks in your roof, damaging the ceilings, walls and furniture. So, it is better to handle moss before it gets worse. Clean your roof thoroughly, using chemicals if you need to and then make sure to install metal strips and make your roof as unpleasant as possible for moss.
Why is safety necessary while removing the moss?
It’s important to take safety precautions when removing moss from your roof. Working on a roof is dangerous anyway, you can easily lose your balance and fall or misjudge where the edge is.
As moss is slippery, this makes working on the roof even more dangerous. Moss-removers can also be harmful to people, so it’s important to avoid contact with them.
Dress appropriately, including goggles, gloves and slip-proof footwear. Take your own safety seriously. Every roof can develop moss but by following the above cleaning steps, you can get rid of it and prevent it from coming back.