A Homeowner’s Guide on How to Remove Moss from Roof

Just recently, our team spoke with a homeowner, Mr. Marion, who wanted his roof repaired. When we asked what his main complaint was, he told us that he kept getting leaks. As we did a roofing inspection, we noticed one thing: Moss was all over his roof.

“Haven’t you considered removing this thing off?” We asked Mr. Marion. “Nope, I think it looks classic and charming,” He replied.

Right then and there, we knew that the moss was the culprit behind the leaks.

How Moss Damages a Roof

If you watched “The Hobbit,” you’d probably appreciate the dreamy and magical appearance of a mossy roof. But sometimes, what seems to be attractive is actually harmful. Is there a need to worry about greenery on your roof? The answer is a big yes.

Moss acts like a sponge. It absorbs and holds water when it rains. Dampness remains for days, allowing enough time for your roofing shingles to get damaged. Damage begins on the outermost layer of a roof shingle until it reaches the sheathing beneath. This is when decay happens.

Usually, moss starts growing in between shingles – since it’s where moss colonies start to collect. The effects of moss may not be clear to you now.

But sit down and think for a moment about the consequences of leaks on your home. Leaks chip off wall paint and are a cause for accidents. Not just that – moss ruins the shingle layer that’s responsible for reflecting sunlight.

How to Remove Moss from Roof: Tips and Tricks

Materials/equipment needed:

  • Extension ladder
  • Garden hose
  • Soft long-handled brush
  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Moss killer solution or your own preference
  • Plastic sheeting (to protect nearby plants)

As a homeowner, you can save the day by taking simple steps to eliminate moss. If you start seeing moss, apply the techniques below.

Cut overhanging branches

Moss thrives in areas of a roof that gets the least amount of sun. These are shady spots where you’ll find overhanging branches. Make sure to have them cut by a professional arborist. Doing this does not actually remove existing moss, but it helps avoid new growths. Let the sun shine on your roof and your roof shingles to do their job.

Protect nearby plants with the plastic sheeting

Since you’ll be using a moss killer solution or household bleach, make sure to cover nearby plants using a plastic sheeting. You can purchase this protective covering at your nearest hardware store.

Hose off and scrub the area

Spray washing the moss off your roof is the easiest method to get rid of it. You can prepare a mixture that’s composed of 50 percent water and 50 percent bleach. Make sure to spray in a downward direction.

Leave the solution on your roofing shingles for up to 20 minutes. This allows enough time to kill moss. As long as you’ve covered nearby plants, you wouldn’t need to worry about killing them as well.

Using a long-handled brush with soft bristles, you’ll be able to manually remove the moss. Again, do this using a downward motion to prevent damaging the shingles.

Never forget the last step which is to wash off your roof with plain water. Some homeowners who use commercial roof cleaning products choose to leave them on.

Install zinc or copper strips

Preventing moss from the start is the best way to avoid dealing with its consequences. Many homeowners attest to the effectiveness of zinc strips. When it rains, water rolls over the metal and washes the roof, killing moss in its path. These strips inhibit moss from growing back. They’re also great at preventing the appearance of black stains.

In a few years, the strips lose their effectiveness so you’ll need to buy and install new ones. Copper strips also make good alternatives and can last longer than zinc.

Premade strips are simpler to install and also look cleaner on your roof. You can purchase these strips online or at a home improvement store.

Important Reminders

Now that you’ve learned how to remove moss from roof, here are more ways to keep your roof in excellent condition:

Never pressure or power wash your roof.

Pressure washing is a method where you use pressurized water to remove dirt and plant growth. Although pressure washing does the job, it can leave roofing shingles damaged. This method destroys the protective coating on the surface of shingles that’s responsible for reflecting UV rays.

Test a small area of your roof first to ensure that there’ll be no discolorations.

Some roof cleaning solutions can potentially to damage some types of roofing materials. Before you actually spray your entire roof with a solution, start on a small section first.

Safety first.

While learning how to remove moss from roof seems like an interesting thing, it can be dangerous to the untrained person. Homeowners should protect themselves with safety goggles and gloves. Wear a piece of clothing that shields you from splashes and you’re okay with getting stained. Make sure you place the ladder on a ground that’s even, clean, and not slippery.

Hire a Roofing Company to Do the Job for You

As you can see, roof cleaning doesn’t come without risks. It’s easy to make mistakes when a homeowner lacks the training and experience to remove moss. Errors can do your roofing material more harm than good. They also put your life in danger (slips and falls when walking on the roof).

We hope that this blog post has provided you with useful knowledge on roof maintenance.

Speaking of roof maintenance, our team at Straight Arrow Roofing offers roof cleaning services. We know that vegetation wreaks havoc on your roofing material (unless you have a flat roof and installed a roof garden!).

If you want to learn more about the benefits of roof cleaning and our process, call us anytime at 289-203-3708. Ready to hand over your roofing maintenance to the right professionals? We’ll provide you a FREE QUOTE.