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Home | How to do it | Moss on Roof: How to Remove and Prevent

Moss on Roof: How to Remove and Prevent

Moss on Roof: How to Remove and Prevent

Although it can look nice and pretty, even sometimes like a fairytale, it’s not good for your house to have moss growing on your roof. Fortunately, there are ways you can remove the moss that’s growing on your roof and prevent it from growing back in the future.

In this article, we’ll discuss why moss is growing, if it can damage your home, the steps you’ll need to take to remove it, ways to help you prevent it from growing in the first place, and the questions our team is most frequently asked about moss growth on roofs.

Here at Legacy Service, we provide installation and replacement services for roofing, siding, windows, doors, and gutters. If you live in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware, and you’re interested in improving your home’s exterior, then you’ve come to the right place. Please feel free to contact us at any time to schedule a free consultation for the service of your choice. If you choose to hire us, we’ll assign a professional project manager who will be your line of contact and walk you through every step of the process, from start to finish.

Without further ado, let’s get started discussing what causes moss on roofs.

Why is Moss Growing on My Roof?

So, you’ve noticed something green and fuzzy growing on your house. To remove the moss from your roof and prevent it from coming back, it’s important to get to the root of the problem and figure out why it’s there in the first place.

The big question is: Why does moss grow on my roof?

Moss thrives in environments that are cool and damp. If there’s moss growing on your roof, it may be because your house is shaded by trees or other structures that allow moisture to linger on your roof, which causes it to grow.

As a non-vascular plant, moss absorbs water through its leaves rather than roots. Its spores are one-celled reproductive units that become airborne and may eventually make their way onto a house. If the spores land on a roof, they’ll gather in spaces between the shingles and grow into moss. Once it’s established, it absorbs rainwater like a sponge and can grow and spread across the roof.

If you’re dealing with roofing moss, then you’ve probably noticed that it’s growing on areas of your house that receive the least amount of direct sunlight. This can include north-facing sections or parts of your roof that are shaded by trees.

Can Moss Damage Your Roof?

A question we’re asked a lot is: Does moss damage a roof?

We’ll give you the bad news first. Moss may look harmless for the most part, but unfortunately, it can cause major damage to your home, especially if it’s left untreated. If it is left untreated, it can cause significant damage and even harm the structural integrity of your roof.

Here’s how it causes the damage: Since it typically grows in the cracks between shingles, it can lift and loosen shingles as it grows, which lets water leak through the roof. Since moss absorbs water when it rains and can retain the water for long periods of time, bacteria and mold can develop, which will lead to the decay of the roofing structure over time.

Fortunately, there are steps about how to remove moss from shingles on a roof as well as how to prevent moss on your roof in the first place. In the next section, we’ll discuss the steps you can take to remove it from your roof.

If you need to replace your roof, please feel free to contact our team at Legacy Service at any time. We’ll schedule a free consultation for you with one of our roofing professionals.

How to Remove Moss From Shingles on a Roof

How to Remove Moss From Shingles on a Roof

So, you’ve noticed something fuzzy and green growing around the shingles on your roof. Sounds like moss. Don’t panic, but it’s time to take action. Letting it stay on your home for an extended period of time will allow it to grow, loosen shingles, and let water leak through. This can damage the structural integrity of your roof. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to remove the moss on your roofing and prevent it from coming back. If you’d prefer help from professionals, you can always hire a company to do it for you.

If you’d prefer to do it yourself, ready to get to work? It’s time to roll up your sleeves and show it who’s boss. Here’s how to get rid of moss on your roof:

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

Before you get started, you’ll want to gather all of the supplies that you’ll need for this project. These tools and materials include:

  • Safety glasses
  • Safety rope
  • Extension ladder
  • Rubber gloves
  • Pump spray bottle
  • Spray nozzle
  • Soft-bristled scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Moss, mold, and algae remover

These supplies will be the best way to get moss off your roof and help with your safety throughout the process. However, the best way to stay safe and make sure the job gets done correctly is to hire a team of professionals to do it for you. It’s recommended that you research local roof cleaning companies to help find one that’s right for your home.

Step 2: Hose and brush.

Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary equipment for the job, then it’s time to get to work. For the second step, you’ll hose off your roof and brush all the moss loose from the shingles. Start by placing a ladder near the area where it’s growing. Remember that safety always comes first, so secure yourself with a safety rope and wear rubber gloves, slip-resistant shoes, eye protection, and old clothes.

Spray the area at a downward angle using plain water. Note: Never use a pressure washer because the high-powered jets can damage the roof’s shingles.

Once you’ve hosed it off, use a soft-bristled scrub brush to remove the moss. Scrub gently from the top down, so you can avoid lifting shingles. Work in one small section at a time.

Step 3: Use a cleaning solution.

Some moss problems require more than just a simple scrub. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to use either a storebought or DIY cleaning solution. Fortunately, there are a variety of cleaning solutions that can get the job done. Use a cleanser of your choice during the next cloudy day (too much sun can make it evaporate too quickly). Also, remember to spread plastic sheeting below the work area so that you don’t damage sensitive plants or discolor siding and pathways.

Popular cleansers include Moss B Ware, Bayer 2-in-1 Moss and Algae Killer, and Wet & Forget.

If you’d prefer to make your own cleaning solution, you can use any of these three recipes:

  • 2 gallons of water + 1.5 to 3.5 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 2 gallons of water + 1.5 to 3.5 cups chlorine bleach
  • 2 gallons of water + 8 ounces Dawn Ultra dish soap

Remember to wear rubber gloves throughout this process to help avoid exposing your skin to the bleach.

Step 4: Rinse off the cleaning solution.

After you’ve sprayed your cleaning solution on the moss, it’s time to relax for a little while. Let the cleaner sit for about 20-45 minutes. While it’s sitting, the chemicals in the solution are killing it and loosening its grip on your roof. After that, you should lightly scrub with a soft-bristled brush and then rinse with plain water using a hose that’s on a low-pressure setting.

It’s normal if it doesn’t immediately come off of your roof. It typically takes a few days for it to dry off and blow away with the wind. If your home still has a lot on it, you might even want to use a leaf blower after a few days to blow off the remains.

Step 5: Install zinc or copper for future prevention.

Last but not least, it’s important to take the necessary steps for moss prevention on your roof. Removing it from your home is only half the battle. Not it’s time to prevent it from coming back.

How to keep moss off your roof involves installing strips of zinc-coated or copper-coated sheets of metal on both sides of the roof below the top ridge.

Copper is known to be more toxic to algae, but zinc is typically much less expensive, making it more affordable for homeowners. Purchase the sheet metal in rolls and cut it into two- to four-inch strips. Use roofing nails to attach the strips to your house.

Do I Need to Replace My Roof if It Has Moss?

Do I Need to Replace My Roof if It Has Moss?

The good news is that you don’t always need to replace your roof if it has moss. As long as the structural integrity of your home isn’t compromised, you’ll just need to remove it, complete any necessary repairs, and take measures to prevent it from returning. However, it’s best to get the opinion of a roofing professional to see whether it needs to be replaced or not.

Many people also ask us: Does moss damage roof shingles?

Yes, moss can damage your roof’s shingles if it’s been left untreated. It usually grows in the cracks between shingles, and as it grows thicker, it can loosen the shingles and allow water to leak through. This can lead to mold, bacteria, and other types of decay.

At Legacy Service, we recommend you contact an expert who does inspections to see if you need a replacement. If you do need a replacement, get in touch with our team! We serve homeowners throughout southeastern PA, NJ, and DE. If you need installation or replacement services for your windows, doors, roofing, siding, or gutters, you can count on us to provide you with a beautiful new home exterior.

How to Prevent Moss from Growing on Your Roof

Whether you’ve recently removed moss or you’re looking to stay ahead of the game, it’s important to know how to prevent moss on your roof. Fortunately, several doable steps can be taken to prevent it from growing on your roof in the first place. In the sections below, we’ll discuss various ideas for moss prevention on a roof. There are also roofing professionals who will help homeowners in need if you’d prefer to hire an expert. Now, let’s take a look at what you can do to prevent it.

Step 1: Kill existing moss with a cleaning solution.

Before you can prevent more from growing, you’ll have to kill and remove any existing moss with the help of a cleaning solution. In the aforementioned section titled “How to Remove Moss From Shingles on a Roof,” we discussed different types of cleaning solution you can use, how to make your own mixture, how long to let the cleaner sit on the house, and how to clean it off. These steps will help you remove it from your roof so that you can move on to the prevention methods.

If none is currently on your home, you can skip this step and move on to number two.

Step 2: Trim trees and limit shade.

Moss thrives in environments that don’t get much direct sunlight. This includes areas that have plenty of trees, overhanging branches, and ultimately, shade. The good news is that you can do something about it! Regularly trim your trees so that there’s less shade on your roof throughout the day, and remove any trees that are too close to your house or may present any problems in the future. This is also good because it helps prevent debris (like leaves and twigs) from landing on your roof, which provides it with the right nutrients to start growing. Your local tree service company will be able to help you with tree trimming or removal.

Step 3: Clean out your rain gutters.

Rain gutters should be cleaned out about twice a year or as needed, depending on how much debris they tend to accumulate. Trimming or removing trees should help, but leaves and debris can still get stuck on the roof or in the gutters, causing them to become clogged. If the gutters are clogged and overflow onto the lower roofs or stop draining altogether, this would be good news for the moss and bad news for your roof. Fortunately, you can prevent that from happening by staying on top of your regular gutter cleanings. Also remember to check your downspouts and make sure they drain at a safe distance from the house. You can either contact gutter cleaning professionals or grab a ladder and do it yourself.

Step 4: Install anti-moss strips.

Once your roof is free from moss, the trees are trimmed, and your gutters are clean, then it’s time to install zinc or copper anti-moss strips. Zinc and copper are the two elements that disrupt its ideal environment, helping to prevent its growth as well as the growth of algae. Homeowners who choose to install copper- or zinc-coated sheet metal can have them cut into strips and installed just below the top ridge on both sides of the roof. You can buy sheet metal in rolls and cut it into two- or four-inch strips. Use roofing nails or screws to attach to the house. It’s useful to know that copper is more toxic to it, but zinc tends to be less expensive.

FAQ: Moss on Your Roof

Unfortunately, allowing moss to grow on your house is not the same thing as having a “green” roof. If you notice it on your roof, then it’s best to get rid of it right away. While a small amount may be harmless, if it’s left untreated, it can spread and grow, causing more significant structural damage down the line.

In this section, we’re going to answer some of the questions our team is asked most frequently about moss on a roof. If you’ve been wondering, “Why does moss grow on roof shingles?”, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look:

Is it necessary to remove moss from a roof?

Yes, it is necessary to remove any moss that’s growing on your roof. While a little bit can be harmless, it’s important to remember that it’s a living thing and will eventually grow, which can cause significant damage to your home. So, if you notice any on your roof, it’s best to remove it as soon as possible, whether you’re planning to do it yourself or hire a team of professionals to do it for you. Getting rid of it now will help prevent future problems down the line. You’ll be glad you did.

Why is there so much moss on my roof?

Moss thrives in cool, damp environments, and most of its spores tend to be produced during the spring and fall seasons. If there are parts of your roof that don’t get much direct sunlight throughout the day, then they can be more susceptible to outbreaks of moss. The longer it is able to exist, the more it will grow across your roof and even between and under the shingles. It’s best to have a roofing professional inspect it to see whether you need to replace your roof altogether or just remove the moss and make any necessary repairs.

How much does it cost to remove moss from a roof?

How much it will cost to remove the moss from your roof depends on a number of factors, including whether you need to hire a team of experts or you can do it yourself. If you can do it yourself, the materials you’ll need for the job are inexpensive. Many homeowners will probably already have most of the items, which include a spray bottle, chlorine bleach, a ladder, and a garden hose.

If you need to hire a professional, the cost will depend on the amount of moss, size of your roof, and the labor rates for your location. A rule of thumb suggests that getting moss removed professionally will cost about 5% of what it would cost for a full roof replacement.

When should I treat my roof for moss?

If you’re looking to prevent moss, then your roof should be cleaned by professionals about once a year. If a problem is developing, this can help catch it early on. Also, use the steps in our previously section called “How to Prevent Moss from Growing on Your Roof.”

If you’re looking to remove moss, it’s best to remove it as early as possible so that it doesn’t grow and cause more significant damage to your roof. Treating it before fall rains is an excellent time of the year because that’s when its growth will start to kick into high gear.

It’s Time to Get Started on Your Moss Removal

It’s Time to Get Started on Your Moss Removal!

Now that you know why moss grows on roofs, the steps you’ll need to take to remove it, and how to prevent it in the first place, it’s time to get started on your removal project! There are plenty of roofing professionals who will be happy to remove it from your roof and provide the necessary repairs.

In other cases, you may need a full roof replacement, especially if your roof is getting up there in age, has significant damage, or has too much moss to remove. At Legacy Service, we can help with that! We provide full roof replacements for homeowners throughout southeastern PA, NJ, and DE. If you need to replace your roofing, siding, windows, doors, or gutters, please feel free to contact us at any time to schedule a free estimate.