What Bleach Does To Your Roof
The reason you shouldnt use bleach to remove moss from your roof has to do with the composition of your shingles. Your shingles are made of a fiberglass mat that is covered with protective oils, tar and asphalt. It is this very oil, tar and asphalt which protect your shingles from the elements: wind, sunlight, water, etc.
Moss and algae breakdown these protective layers, shortening the lifespan of your roof. Which is exactly why you want to remove moss in the first place.
Bleach and other detergents, however, do the same thing.
Bleach is particularly bad because it will get underneath your shingles and leave behind a tough, dirty residue as it dries. This creates a false foundation underneath the shingles of your roof. Rainwater and runoff adhere to this residue, eventually escalating the very moss and algae growth that the bleach was supposed to destroy. Instead of getting rid of the problem, bleach actually makes the problem worse.
Its easy to spot a home that has used bleach to kill moss on the roof. When were hired to clean a roof where the homeowner has used bleach in the past, we find plenty of dead, white moss. This is the initial moss that the homeowner wanted to kill. What homeowners dont realize is that this bleached moss is actually more difficult to remove than if the homeowner had simply called us first.
Why Is There Growth On My Roof
Moss and other plant or fungus growth is a very common problem for roofs, even in parts of the country that dont see much rain. Moist, shady places are the ideal spot for moss, lichen, and algae to grow. Typically, this will be a North facing part of your roof that doesnt get much sun. Spores can be spread by wind, birds, and bugs, and when conditions are ripe they will bloom.
Newer asphalt, fiberglass, or slate shingles may have a moss resistant chemical coating on them, but older shingle roofs are commonly invaded by moss or other growth. Even if you know how to clean your shingles regularly, moss can be found hidden in the crevices between them.
When moss is growing on a metal roof, theres a good chance the protective coating on your metal shingles has worn off. Because moss usually grows in areas untouched by the sun, it can retain water and stay damp, which can lead to rust or corrosion.
When youre removing large patches of moss from a metal roof, the best bet is to repaint your roof. A professional roofer has the experience to remove moss and repaint your roof safely, and they are much better at spotting signs of wood rot or leaks under your roof. It can take practice to learn how to find a roof leak and its best to consult a professional before attempting any patchwork on your own.
See our guide on how much is a metal roof.
So how do you get rid of it?
How Much Does It Cost To Remove Moss From My Roof
If you do it yourself, the materials you need to remove moss from your roof are inexpensive.
All you need is a ladder, garden hose, spray bottle, and chlorine bleach. Most homeowners already have those supplies.
If the moss is thick and well established on your roof, like the photo below, you should hire a professional.
The cost depends on the size of your roof, the amount of moss, and the labor rates in your area.
According to AngiesList.com, roof cleaning can cost between $250 and $1000, with an average cost of $550.
As a rule of thumb, professionally removing moss will cost about 5% of what it would take to replace your roof altogether.
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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 its best to get rid of it right away. While a small amount may be harmless, if its left untreated, it can spread and grow, causing more significant structural damage down the line.
In this section, were going to answer some of the questions our team is asked most frequently about moss on a roof. If youve been wondering, Why does moss grow on roof shingles?, then youve come to the right place. Lets take a look:
How To Clean Moss From Roof
Weâre here to help you learn how to get moss off roof. Follow our step-by-step guide and you should be able to get your roof moss-free with ease. Just remember to don your safety goggles and shoes first, and be careful whenever you use a ladder:
Soak moss affected areas with water from your hose.
Work from the top so that the water runs down off the roof.
Use your long handled brush to gently scrape loose moss away.
Work downwards in small sections to avoid damaging tiles.
Sometimes the above steps will be enough. However, itâs more than likely youâll need a cleaning solution. If thatâs the case, continue with the next steps:
Fill your spray bottle with a cleaning solution .
Soak the moss and leave for the advised amount of time â instruction labels will tell you how long.
Rinse off the now dead moss and brush it away â and repeat the process if necessary.
There are plenty of quality chemical cleaners thatâll do the job, but if you want to know how to remove moss from roof naturally, these methods can work really well too:
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Extend The Life Of Your Roof
Now that youve learned how to safely remove moss from your roof, you may be looking for more tips for maintaining your roof.
Roof Maxx roof rejuvenation instantly adds 5 years to the life of your asphalt shingles with just one treatment. Contact us or fill out our free quote form below to learn more about our all-natural treatment today.
So Is Moss Bad For Your Roof
Yes. 100% all moss, even if it’s a small patch or the width of a lawn, it can create irreparable damage to your roof if left untreated. This type of destruction can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in roof replacement. But don’t fret, you may not need to get an entire new roof just yet.
Get a free assessment to see if your roof simply needs a good cleaning. If you’re lucky, you might’ve detected your moss growth early and have time to tackle the issue before it worsens.
Before you hit the point of no return, consider Clean Break Home Services, we offer moss removal and roof cleaning in Vancouver, along with other professional cleaning services for your home’s exterior.
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How To Remove Moss From Your Roof
Roof going way too green? Use these materials, tools, and methods to eradicate moss from your rooftop.
Greenery overhead should be limited to leaves flushing out tree canopies. If mossy foliage covers your roof, it’s time to get cleaning. Moss grows in areas untouched by sun, so it can develop at a speedy pace on tree-shaded and north-facing roofs. Spreading moss can quickly upholster to roof surfaces, filling in voids between shingles and tiles and reaching under and lifting up roofing materials. This heaving of shingles allows rainwater and other moisture to seep into a roof’s structure to cause decay and rot.
Before you clean moss off a roof, you’ll need to consider how you want to kill the plants and remove the dead layers of moss. After cleaning, you’ll also need to put some defensive measures into play to prevent roof moss from growing back.
How To Fit Zinc Or Copper Strips
Zinc or copper strips should be fitted under the shingles that cap the roof ridge, with at least an inch or two exposed below. Remember that before you fit the metal strips you should remove any existing moss or algae growth you can do this with a stiff brush, or alternatively purchase a moss-removing chemical, but if you arent confident in going up onto the roof, ask a professional. Its important not to use a pressure washer to remove the moss because it can damage the roof shingles.
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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.
Apply A Cleaning Solution
For more widespread and pesky moss problems, you can use a cleaning solution. There are tons of moss and algae cleaners out there. You can find them in any home improvement store or online retailer.
- 8 oz. dish soap to 2 gallons of water
- 2 cups of bleach to 2 gallons of water
- 2 cups of white distilled vinegar to 2 gallons of water
Once you get your moss removal solution, simply apply it to the area once youve rinsed and brushed the moss. Its best to apply moss cleaners on a cloudy day. You dont want the solution to evaporate before it gets a chance to work!
While these store-bought and DIY solutions are effective for some moss problems, theres nothing better than commercial cleaners. For that, youll have to hire a roofing professional to remove the moss from your roof.
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Is It Bad To Have Moss Growing On Your Roof
Yes, having moss growing on your roof is bad. Moss typically grows well in dark, wet, and cool climates. However, moss is dangerous for your roof, whether you have tiles, composite shingles, or cedar shakes. This is because moss is wet and will give your roof constant moisture, resulting in high amounts of rot.
Also, as moss continues to grow on your roof, it can push under tiles, shingles, and shakes, thereby pushing them to create damage on your roof. Moss also causes leaks on your roof and brings pests. When moss grows on your roof, it digs holes and has thin spots, eventually leaking. Additionally, bugs and rodents are usually attracted to moss.
Moss also has a lot of weight, which will be subjected to your roof. A large mat of moss is surprisingly heavy, spongy, and holds a lot of water. This weight will be added to your roof and cause it to deteriorate over time. Therefore, youll be living in a house with a roof thats likely to fall at any time.
Mix Of Laundry Strength Liquid Chlorine Bleach And Water
Laundry strength liquid chlorine bleach mixed with water is also a great homemade recipe you can utilize to get rid of moss growing on your roof. Heres how to do it.
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How To Remove Moss On Roof Shingles
If you decide to remove moss or mold from the roof shingles yourself, you need to prioritize your safety. Here are some of the safety measures to consider.
- Always put on a helmet when heading to the rooftop
- Wear soft, rubber-soled footwear for improved traction
- Remove the moss while standing on a ladder, if possible
There are many methods to remove shingles from the roof, including scrubbing moss off the roof, washing the roof, and applying chemicals. Each method has its pros and cons.
Since moss tends to grip shingles quite firmly, you may get tempted to scrub it off. Scrubbing roof shingles is a delicate process that can leave your roof damaged if not done the right way. The damage can be even worse when dealing with asphalt shingles.
Asphalt shingles have granules that can get knocked off when you apply a lot of force during scrubbing. Using the wrong brush or scrubbing the roof shingles too hard will shorten the roofs lifespan. To avoid damages, use a soft-bristle brush.
Using a long-handle soft-bristle brush, scrub the roof gently to avoid scratching the roofing material. Brush the roof slowly gently from top to bottom so you dont lift the roof shingles. Do not scrape or bang on the roof, as that may cause more damage.
Pro Tip: Be very careful of the water dripping down onto your ladder. It can increase the risk of slipping and cause injuries. Get someone to dry the ladder before you get down.
How To Treat Moss
Online you can find many suggestions on how to treat moss on your own. While it may sound easy, some of these suggestions are ill-advised and are merely temporary solutions that can lead to a bigger problem.
Despite what those articles say, do not use a pressure washer on your roof! Pressure washing is a surefire way to damage your roofs tiles and shingles. As well, its costly and only removes the surface layer of moss, leaving behind spores that will ultimately grow back.
Other recommendations include hand-scraping moss off your roof, yet hand-scraping is only a preliminary method in the many steps involved in removing moss. Similar to the pressure washer, hand-scraping will only remove the visible layer of moss and fails to get rid of spores and clusters that can spread and stimulate regrowth.
Bleach can also kill moss, but if not used properly, it can lead to discoloration and ruin vegetation on and around your house. Its important to be cautious when using bleach, especially if youre not familiar with the solution as it can irritate the eyes and/or burn your skin. Its often best to leave the chemicals to moss removal professionals like Clean Break Home Services, who use a 12.5% industrial standard bleach solution and know-how to create a safe mixture that offers maximum effectiveness.
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The Benefits Of Removing Moss
While you may not necessarily have to remove the moss-covered shingles before a new roof installation, you should consider it. There are many benefits of removing the moss-covered shingles, including:
- Reduce long-term costs: By removing the old roof, you keep the opportunity to double-up roof layers during your next roof replacement. The maximum layers of shingles allowed to be on the roof, according to most building codes, are two. So, once you use this strategy, you must tear off both roof surfaces during your next roof replacement.
- Maintain home value: Are you planning on selling your home soon? A properly replaced roof is more likely to appeal to potential buyers, while a poorly replaced roof may negatively affect your home value.
- Avoid the risk of damage: You can avoid all of the risks listed earlier in this article by simply removing all of the moss-covered shingles.
What If I Like The Moss
Some homeowners find moss enchanting, like ivy growing up the side of their home. If youd like to grow moss or other plants on your roof, you could consider investing in a residential green roof. Thin, extensive green roofs are enough to grow succulents and mosses. If youre interested in taller plants, consider an intensive green roof.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Moss On My Roof Without Chemicals
To follow up on the previous section, there are some other strong substances that you can use, which are not considered artificial. For example, you can get rid of moss using a mixture of water and either Dawn Ultra dish soap or chlorine bleach. Again, though, you can easily substitute these products with white distilled vinegar.
How To Keep Moss From Growing On Your Roof
If youve noticed moss growing on your roof, you may not be very alarmed. Its just a harmless plant, right?
While a little bit of moss may not cause major harm immediately, untreated moss growth can do serious damage to a roof eventually. Unfortunately, from asphalt shingle roofs to metal roofs, no type of roof is immune to the problems moss growth can cause.
The good news is that a little bit of elbow grease and know-how can help you control moss. Check out our guide to learn how to keep moss from growing on your roof and how to remove it.
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Can Moss Damage Your Roof
So whats the big deal? A little moss cant cause any damage, right? Wrong.
A small amount of moss is harmless, but if its left untreated, it can cause significant damage and degrade the structural integrity of your roof.
As I mentioned before, moss typically grows in the cracks between each shingle. As it grows thicker, it lifts and loosens shingles and allows water to leak through.
Also, moss absorbs water when it rains and retains it for long periods, which can lead to mold, bacteria, and the decay of the roofs framing over time.