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Do Zinc Strips Work On Roofs

How Do Zinc Strips Work

Do zinc strips actually prevent roof moss from growing?

For decades, zinc strips have been used to keep moss from growing on roofs. This is an explanation of how they work and how they are installed. It also explains the limitations of zinc strip, from the point of view of good roofing practices and experience.

Zinc strips work when rain rolls over the metal in the strip, and tiny metal particles are carried down the roof. The metal is poisonous to algae, moss, lichen, fungus, mold and other simple plant life, all of which stain, look bad, and are unhealthy for your roof. The moss thats growing will gradually wither, die and fall off, and so should stains and other simple plant life organisms, when everything is working properly. It should also keep the moss away for five years or so.

In order to have the rainwater run over zinc strips and evenly treat the entire roof with leaching metal, the strips of zinc need to be installed, first, under all ridge cap, whether straight or angular . Since the process is effective for about 15 feet, there needs to be another line of zinc strip installed 15 feet further down the roof. If there is enough zinc for the raindrops to run over, in the right places, and all are flat and even on the roof, complete freedom from moss for five years should happen.

Zinc Vs Copper Roof Strips Moss/ Algae Killing Properties

Copper roofing strips have a natural moss poison that kills the existing moss and prevents more moss from growing and spreading over the roof. The copper wire for roof moss also stops asphalt oxidation.

On the other hand, zinc roofing strips contain a vital component called zinc carbonate, which prevents moss growth and other harmful elements such as fungus, algae, and mold.

Copper strips are more powerful when killing moss since they can kill 8-10 inches, while zinc can only kill 4-6 inches unless layered.

Due to high-quality materials, copper strips have a double effect on killing moss than zinc to deal even with the most demanding and strongest mosses.

Tools Needed: Hammer & Scissors

On roofs with moss, algae, mildew or fungus, the existing growth must first be removed , then the root systems must be chemically treated and destroyed . Install Z-STOP zinc strips to keep it from growing back.

Apply Z-STOP zinc strip by butting it up against the ridge cap against both sides of all roof peaks . Apply Z-STOP below anything that blocks rain water flow such as chimneys, gables and skylights. Rain water must run over Z-STOP to become effective.

Nail Z-STOP zinc strip approximately every two feet with neoprene washered roofing nails .

In areas of severe moss, algae, mildew or fungus growth, several horizontal rows of Z-STOP application may be necessary to assure its effectiveness over the entire roof surface.

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Key Features And Benefits Of Copper Strips

  • Double sided copper is 20 times stronger than zinc and lasts significantly longer
  • Copper uses the natural process of ionic interaction with water
  • It will blend with most shingle colors after oxidation
  • Works on roofs made of shingles, slate or cedar.
  • Improve the look of your roof by preventing organic growths from algae, moss, mold or lichen.
  • Save money on having to clean your roof.
  • Copper will continue to work for years and years. It can be reused on each new roof you have.

How Long Do Zinc Strips Last

Zinc Color Coated Galvanized Corrugated Roof Sheet Price Per Square ...

Zinc strips are made of zinc oxide, which is a naturally occurring mineral. They are not made from any other substance. and are used to protect the skin from the suns harmful rays. Zinc oxide is also used in the production of many other products, including: Zit-Free Skin Care The zinc-based products that are available in most beauty supply stores are zinc sulfate-free. This means that they do not contain any zinc. However, they are still zinc free, so they can still be used as a skin care product. If you are looking for a zinc skin cream, you can use a product that contains zinc, such as: Z-Zing Skin Cream You can also use zinc as an ingredient in a lotion, lotions, or creams. You can find zinc in many natural products. For example, zinc is found in:

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Beyond Zinc Vs Copper Roof Strips: Other Ways To Prevent Moss

Moss likes a cool, damp environment and the Pacific Northwest provides plenty of both during the year. It also prefers the shade, so north-facing rooftops or homes with large leafy trees are usually the best breeding grounds for the spongy green stuff. If there are any imperfections in the roof, or places where water can gather, its a recipe for disaster.

So the best way to prevent the growth of moss is to make conditions as unpleasant as possible for moss. Along with water, moss thrives on debris found on most rooftops, including leaves, twigs, and other materials. This stuff can also trap water in the roof, so keeping your roof free of debris is a good first step.

Trimming or pruning trees with branches that overhang your home will go a long way to preventing an environment that promotes moss growth. Depending on the age or health of the tree, this might be a good idea anyway. If a tree is succumbing to disease, it wont take much of a storm to drop a big branch right onto your home!

If that happens, reach out to Warner Roofing and Construction. Since 1992, weve been installing, replacing, and repairing roofs in Vancouver and the Clark County area. Give us a call if you have more questions about the zinc vs copper roof strips debate or if you have concerns about your roof and need a roof inspection.

How To Install Zinc Roof Strips

Strips of zinc flashing, or flexible zinc strips which come on 50â rolls, are placed as close to the roof ridge cap as possible to allow for maximum coverage when the zinc is washed down the roof. The strips are usually placed on both sides of the roof ridge. If the roof has more than one ridge, such as on a hipped-roof or dormer, the strips should be attached on both sides of each ridge.

Starting at one side of a roof, the strip is placed just under the edge of the roofing shingles with the rest of the strip exposed on the top of the row of shingles below.

The zinc strip is nailed into place under the roof shingles using hot-dipped, galvanized roofing nails with neoprene washers. The proper type of nail is important to keep nails from corroding.

The zinc strips are placed next to one another from one side of the roof to the other. It is important not to place them too tightly together to allow for expansion. The process is effective for a distance of about 15 feet below the strips.

If the roof is larger than that, another row of zinc strips should be installed 15 feet below the first row. You can find more information about the proper distance on the packages of roofing strips.

Zinc strips should be also installed below any obstruction that may restrict the rain flow over the zinc and down the roof. This includes chimneys, dormers and skylights.

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Are Zinc Strips Worth Buying

If youre on a tight budget and want to get your moss problem under control, zinc strips are a solid option. If you dont mind spending a little more, copper strips are more aesthetically pleasing and more effective than pure zinc. With either choice, youll still have to perform routine maintenance of cleaning and scrubbing your roof with bleach and cleaning solutions. provides cost guides, comparisons, and term cheat sheets for hundreds of remodeling, installation and repair projects.

Importance Of Zinc Strips On A Roof

Zinc Strips: Do they work? – Field Video #17

Zinc strips help maintain the life of a roof. Its main purpose is to protect the felt from the elements. In order to lengthen the elastomer, zinc strips are used on flat roofs, and rolled membrane roofs.

Although the need for zinc strips has decreased due to new roofing materials, it will always be necessary on very old roofs.

Zinc strips are typically made of 90% pure zinc with 2-3 % silicon and 6 % aluminum. Only pure zinc is used because impurities can cause damage to the metal when exposed to UV light.

There are other types of zinc plates, such as alloys and galvanized steel. The alloy is the most common. It should be noted that these other materials do not meet the standards for installation.

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Do Zinc Strips Work To Prevent Moss Growth On Your Roof

In a nutshell, zinc strips can be somewhat effective for controlling moss growth. When rainwater hits the strips, they slowly release particles that inhibit moss growth. This stops the growth of the unsightly moss on your roof. However, as mentioned above, this isnt a permanent fix and will require upkeep over time.

Installing Zinc Strips Requires Significant Safety Equipment

Todays beautiful home designs often have complex architecture, and this is very evident in the roof structure. Steepness is common. Hips and valleys, dormers, etc. make a pleasing appearance, but create many hazards. Worksafe BC has a lot to say about safety on roofs. Heights over 10 feet require full safety gear, with certified anchors, ropes, rope grabs, lanyards and body harnesses. Many homeowners have been seriously injured or killed simply doing things like cleaning gutters and installing Christmas lights. Safety is a serious consideration when considering roof care and maintenance.

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Principles Of Good Roofing

The nails will be exposed if you install the zinc strips after the roof is constructed. Though this doesnt sound like a big deal, the nail hole will loosen over time, and rainwater can seep in as this happens. This is the start of erosion which is a bigger nightmare than roof moss as it means your roof wont be viable anymore.

Zinc Strip Installation Goes Against The Principles Of Good Roofing


If the zinc has been installed after roofing, the nails are exposed. This is against good roofing principles, but it works for a while, because the nail head dints in the soft metal. The truth that inevitably wins out in all exposed nail head situations is that expansion and contraction a huge consideration in all roofing works the nails out. The nail hole gets looser and looser around the nail as this happens, and rainwater inevitably seeps in. Thats erosion, and the beginning of the end of a roofs viability.

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What Are The Alternatives To Zinc Strips

There are plenty of services out there to keep your roof clean and free of plants. Our goal at IBEX Roof is to maintain the integrity of your roof so that it lasts as long as possible. We have a two-phase moss removal process that involves treating your roof with a solution that will not cause damage to your roof. We then wait about one to two months to let the moss die off naturally before coming back for a final cleaning phase. While this process takes some time, we promise its worth it for a beautiful and reliable roof.

If your roof happens to be more susceptible to moss and algae growth, consider an annual cleaning plan. Our team at IBEX Roof can work with you to come up with a plan to ensure your roof looks great and lasts longer. Dont wait until your roof becomes a green roof to consider a thorough roof cleaning. No matter what roofing issues you have, from maintenance to repairs to replacement, IBEX Roof is on top of it.

Zinc Vs Copper Roof Strips Moss Prevention Coverage

When water hits the zinc roofing strip, it releases zinc particles that then move down the roof with the water. These zinc particles do a good job of killing moss. When hit with water, copper strips release copper sulfate, which is a natural herbicide.

Installing copper strips will give you more coverage than zinc, which means youll kill more roof moss. Neither product provides a long-term solution: Installing zinc strips will give you around 5-8 years of protection while copper will give you a few more years.

InstallationThe installation process for both is pretty similar, the only difference is that you may need to use more strips of zinc. This isnt necessarily a difficult job, but as always when it comes to roof work, you could do more damage to the roof than the problem youre trying to fix. Because strips are nailed into place, you are adding more holes to the roofing materialsnot ideal.

Youll want to read the recommended installation instructions for each product, but the process to install strips is pretty standard. For composite or asphalt shingles, youll first break the seal of a row of shingles, prying the bottom edge up so you can slide the strips under. After sliding the strips into place, youll nail strips into place.

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The Zinc Warps Causing Uneven Treatment Of The Roof

Within a year or two, the flat zinc material cups irregularly. After all the effort of installation, we see that the water isnt flowing over the strip evenly. Its rolling along the strip until it finds the least cupped points and then there is a good coverage of zinc particles only under the least cupped points. The warps and curls are creating uneven flow, as water runs along the strip to find the lower points. This is streaky coverage The uneven flow of metal saturated water creates uneven effectiveness which is clearly visible.

S On How To Install Zinc Strips On A Roof:

Copper / Zinc Strips Failure – Roof Life of Oregon –

1) First of all, determine the length and number of zinc strips that you will need to install.

This can be done by measuring the width and length of your roof. You can then plan out how many pieces are needed for both sides.

2) The next step is to gather all your materials together.

You will need a ladder, nails, hammer, zinc strips and any other specialized tools that might help you with this project.

3) Once all the materials have been gathered together its time to go ahead and start installing your zinc strips.

The first step is deciding where on the roof you want them to be placed. It is best to keep the zinc strips away from any ridge caps or other roofing materials that might interfere with them.

4) Place your first zinc strip in place according to your roof measurements.

Make sure that the top of it is just below the edge of the roof surface. You can then attach it using nails and a hammer.

It would be helpful to have another person or two for this part of the job. This will make it much easier to keep the zinc strip in place while you nail it down.

5) Once all your zinc strips are attached, take a step back and look at them.

Make sure that they are placed evenly around your roof and that there arent any areas where they are overlapping.

6) If all the zinc strips seem to be in place then its time to move onto sealing them into position.

7) Now that all your zinc strips are in place and sealed down, its time to cover them with a layer of tar.

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Are There Any Disadvantages Of Installing Zinc Strips On Your Roof

One disadvantage of installing zinc strips on a roof is that they may need to be reapplied every five years or so.

There are also health concerns about breathing the vapors emitted from solder. Some roofing materials that are currently used for this process may also be considered dangerous to install.

How Is It Done

If your roof already has existing buildup of algae, moss, lichen or mold, you will definitely need to have it cleaned. Our low pressure roof wash kill these growths to prevent it from continuing to feed. Once your roof has been cleaned by us, we then suggest to invest in copper strips. The copper is install at the ridge of the roof with copper nails. Unlike zinc strips you do not have to put the copper in the middle of the roof to get the full effect of its prevention. We clean the roof one day and come back a few days later to do the install. The upfront cost of a roof cleaning and copper strips might seem like a lot to some, however if you factor the years of non-cleaning and maintenance, you will be saving tons of money.

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Choose The Right Roofing

There are a multitude of materials to choose from for your metal roof installation project. Be sure to research all of the available options beforehand to choose the right material for your home, make sure to read our comprehensive metal roofing types blog. Listed below are various options and a short blurb regarding each one.

  • Tin: This is the most common and affordable metal roofing choice. The downside is that it creates noise when it rains.
  • Copper: A copper metal roof is the nicest to look at but costs a pretty penny. However, it does withstand extreme weather and fire.
  • Aluminum: This choice is lightweight and rust proof but it does need to be painted often.
  • Steel: Another one to break the bank but be worth the investment.
  • Zinc: This metal roofing choice is not only long-lasting, but it is corrosion-resistant and recyclable


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