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How To Remove Moss From Asphalt Shingle Roof

Where Can I Find A Reliable Roofing Contractor In Columbia Md

How to Clean and Prevent a Mossy Roof | Ask This Old House

When it comes to your home, the only green you want to see is your neighbors being green with envy. If your homes roof has moss or algae problems, its always better to address the problem right away instead of waiting for it to become more serious.

As a reputable provider of roofing services in Columbia and other Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey communities, Nu Look Home Design is superbly equipped to meet your roof-related needs.

In addition to roofing services, we can also assist you with a variety of different home improvement tasks, including installing new doors, siding, windows, solar, and gutters. Contact us and schedule your free in-home roofing consultation today.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Roof

In addition to unnecessary wear and tear on your roof tiles from the weather, the number one concern that you should have if you don’t regularly clean your asphalt shingle roof is moss growth. As moss thickens and continues to grow on your roof over time, it can actually raise up the singles in an unnatural way.

Not only will this allow debris to gather in an area where it doesn’t belong, but it also promotes water buildup. This in turn not only limits the lifespan of your roof and could cause individual tiles to rot, but it also makes a leak much more likely – leading to damage inside your home, as well.

Black algae and similar types of issues are also very common on asphalt shingle roofs that are not properly maintained, all of which mean that cleaning your roof on a regular basis should always be a top priority in the life of any homeowner.

Cleaning an Asphalt Shingle Roof

Most asphalt shingle roof cleaning methods require the use of some type of chemical – this is especially true if you’re dealing with algae stains and other visual issues. Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t use harsh chemicals or you could artificially shorten the life of your tiles. Use a product specifically designed to not only remove moss and algae stains, but one that is marked safe to use on asphalt shingle roofs.

Once you’ve taken the chance to wet down your entire roof with the aforementioned solution, give it a chance to sit – usually about 15 minutes or so will do just fine.

Does A Roof With Moss Need To Be Replaced

If you notice moss or algae on your roof, dont panic. The presence of moss doesnt always mean youre destined for a whole new roof, nor does it mean your home has suffered water or moisture damage.

Moss tends to form in areas where it is shielded from the sun. If sections of your roof are under heavy tree cover, these are prime spots for moss to thrive. And if you live in a damp climate that sees a lot of rain, chances are you will notice telltale signs of algae or moss forming on your roof at some point in your homes lifespan.

The presence of moss doesnt always mean that your roof has sustained damage, especially if you catch it early. Like leaves in your gutters, moss is only a problem if you allow it to grow unchecked.

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How To Prevent Moss On Roof

Happily, there are preventive measures you can use to keep your roof moss-free. First, let the sunshine in! Trim branches overhanging your roof, keep gutters free of debris, and regularly remove moisture collectors, such as leaves, branches, and seedpods, that pile up on the roof and encourage moss to grow. The best long-term solution? Attach strips of zinc or zinc-coated metal flashing strips just below a roof’s peak or ridge caps. When it rains, water flows over the metal strips leaching out moss-retardant zinc particles, which attach to roof shingles and/or tiles to stop new moss from forming.

Working safe, smart, and strategically guarantees your moss-removal operations will run smoothly. These prevention measures mean you’ll be able to stay off the ladder and roof for seasons, if not years, to come.

How To Prevent Moss Growth On Roofs

Wash Safe Industries ROOF WASH Premium Eco

Moss grows most commonly on north-facing roofs because moisture lingers without direct sun exposure. Roofs beneath tree limbs can also become mossy because of the shade and the buildup of tree debris. Trimming tree limbs back from your house so that sun can reach the roof will hinder moss growth.

In persistently mossy roof areas, you could attach strips of zinc or copper to the top of the roof. Zinc and copper molecules kill moss and algae. Special asphalt shingles that include copper offer another long-term solution to prevent moss growth. PJ Fitzpatrick has been in business since 1980. Weve provided this information about how to remove moss from roofs to help you maintain the integrity of your home. If you have any questions about the process, or need assistance, please dont hesitate to contact us.

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Use Vinegar Or Bleach To Kill Moss On Roof

Q: I have moss on my roof, little green plants. My insurance company said to get rid of it. How can I do that? Will vinegar kill the plants, just as you said it will kill weeds growing up between bricks of a patio?

A: The insurer should have told you that moss on the roof can cause the shingles to decay, but that will take a long, long time. Yes, vinegar will kill the plants, because vinegar is like acid rain, which can damage any green living thing. Bleach will also kill it. The dead moss will be easier to scrape off. Or, scrape it off while it’s still green with a dull scraper, and hose down any earth that remains.

Q: Help! I am stuck with a soap-scummy shower door. Nothing will take it off. I tried vinegar, ammonia, and dish detergent, separately, without success. Any ideas?

A: Yep, the old monster raises its scummy head every now and then. Vinegar should do it, because vinegar is a good neutralizer of soap. There are so many solutions on the market that I am not convinced any of them work that well. Here’s what I have in my vast file: X-14 Bathroom Cleaner, Clean Shower, Citra Solv, and baking soda. One solution will work for sure: Get rid of the door and put in an old-fashioned shower curtain. They are colorful and inexpensive. When it gets scummy, throw it away and buy a new one.

Q: What is a good way to paint radiators? Mine are in good shape, but I think I’d like to paint them black.

That thundering roof

Choose A Safe And Effective Product To Clean Asphalt Shingles Without Damaging Them

The first step in maintaining your roof is to roof it right. If youre not doing the work yourself, choose a qualified professional roofer to do the job. And choose your roofing material wisely. Some roofing will require less maintenance than others. Choices include metal and slate. Some roofings types last longer than others, as well. That said, data shows that you are probably going to choose asphalt shingles, which can last a lifetime, but likely not without some repairs and maybe replacing a few shingles here and there. And, you may need to clean the roof once in a while.

Twenty years ago I bicycled about 500 miles along the Oregon / Northern California coast and marveled at the number of asphalt shingle roofs carpeted with lichens and moss. The roof growth gave character to many seaside and forest cottages. Though the roofs looked cool, I knew the shingles probably wouldnt last too much longer.

Lichens and moss accelerate shingle deterioration by loosening shingle granules and exposing the asphalt and fiberglass base materials. The granules arent just there to color the shingles they protect the base materials from sunlight and weathering.

About five years ago, I noticed a few patches of lichens growing on the north side of my roof. Like most lazy homeowners, I ignored the problem. Then about two years ago, when the roof looked like those out in the Pacific Northwest, I knew I couldnt put off treating the growth any longer.

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Guide For Algae & Moss Removal On Your Roof

If you live in the South, Midwest, or another region of the country that has warm, humid summers, you may have noticed stains and streaks showing up on your asphalt shingles. These stains look a lot like moldbut in fact, much of this so-called mold is actually blue-green algae . In some cases, what looks like mold might be more properly classified as moss.

In less frequent instances, the streaks on the roof actually are mold, which can be very dangerous for your family and more difficult to get rid of. The most serious mold cases can cause asthma, headaches, and other health problems, so its crucial to understand the difference.

How To Remove Moss From An Asphalt Roof

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Q: We have a green roof that is not meant to be green. Moss is collecting on one side of the asphalt roof. The roof is otherwise in good shape. What I have learned so far is that the roof should not be power-washed. How should one remove the growth, and who does this type of work? I am not interested in getting on the roof myself.

Falls Church

A: The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association distinguishes between moss, a plant with leaves that can grow into thick clumps, and mold and mildew, which are common names for types of algae that simply discolor the surface. Algae creates ugly black or brown streaks but doesnt damage a roof. Moss which is what shows in the pictures you sent is more worrisome because it can damage asphalt shingles. A thick growth of moss works like a sponge, keeping the roofing damp for long periods, and it can lift edges of shingles, making them vulnerable to blowing off in a windstorm.

To clean either algae or moss, the association recommends putting on protective gear and protecting plants, spraying with a 50-50 mix of household bleach and water, allowing that to sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes and then rinsing with low-pressure water. The bleach will kill the algae or moss, but rinsing wont necessarily leave the roof sparkling clean. Algae will disappear and wash away with subsequent rains, the association advises. Moss will loosen over time and may be removed with a leaf blower.


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Why Is Moss Bad For Shingles

You may feel that a bit of moss gives your roof some charm, just as ivy growing up the side of your house might. While moss may be beautiful, it is a detriment to your roof. Heres why:

Most plants gather water from their roots, but mosses gather water from their leaves. Therefore, they do not mind that shingles, unlike soil, are a dry and relatively nutrient-free environment. They will grow roots directly into the shingles, which can destroy the shingles and create the opportunity for leaks.

When it rains, moss will soak up water and retain it, creating consistently wet conditions on your roof. Moss growth will also interfere with proper drainage of water off the roof as water needs to trickle through or around the moss instead of running straight down to the gutters. The resulting constant exposure to water can degrade shingles.

Over time, moss can also work its way under shingles, lifting them up. This uplift creates opportunities for water to penetrate lower layers of the roof and, potentially, your home.

While minor moss infections may not cause many issues, it is likely to become severe over time. Once you spot moss growth on your roof, you should take steps to resolve it. If you have a severe infection, you may have no choice but to remove the shingles that have been damaged by it. A professional roofer can help you assess what kind of intervention your roof needs.

Can You Really Remove Moss From Your Roof With Household Laundry Detergent

Many homeowners claim that you can easily and safely remove moss from your roof by using simple household cleaning laundry detergents like Tide or Clorox. All you have to do, they say, is sprinkle the detergent on your roof and wait for it to kill the moss. Then wipe it or spray it away. Easy peasy.

Removing moss from your roof with detergent is a common myth, and while many myths are more or less harmless, the Detergent Myth is one that is both dangerous and destructive to your roof. If you are considering using detergent to remove moss from your roof, please read the rest of this article before deciding if thats the best course of action.

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How To Kill Moss And Algae On A Roof

To clean moss or algae off the roof yourself, buy a moss- or algae-specific cleaner that does not use bleach and is rated by the EPA. Alternatively, you may create a solution of:

  • 1-2 quarts of bleach
  • 1 gallon of water
  • ¼ cup of trisodium phosphate or a substitute, such as OxiClean

Make sure you are aware of the drawbacks before you applying any homemade solution.

You will first want to gather your materials. You may want to use:

  • non-slip shoes

STEP 1: After gathering the materials listed above, you will want to cover or use plain water to thoroughly wet any plants or landscaping that you want to protect.

STEP 2: Remove any clumps of moss that you are able to easily remove . It may be easier to do this once you have sprayed the moss with water. You may use a soft-bristled scrub brush, using gentle downward strokes to loosen or remove what will easily dislodge from the shingles.

STEP 3: Spray the moss and/or algae with the store-bought solution or your DIY formula.

STEP 4: After leaving the spray on for 15-20 minutes , hose down the roof with plain water using low pressure. Most of the moss will come off with the water, but it is important to spray down the entire treated area thoroughly so that you dont leave chemicals on your roof. If you are treating only algae, this is your last step!

Please note: not all sprays need to be rinsed off. Read the product instructions for information specific to your product.

Why Laundry Detergent Is Dangerous On Your Roof

Best/safest way to remove black streaks (algae) from ...

Using detergent to remove moss from your roof isnt just dangerous for your shingles. It can also be dangerous for you. Moss is wet. Detergent may be dry in the box, but once it comes in contact with moss it becomes slick and slippery.

Slick and slippery is not what you want while youre up on your roof. Homeowners dumping detergent on their roof have lost their balance on that very detergent and ended up in the hospital. Some have even died.

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Need Local Roof Moss Removal Near You

Of course, if you live in Seattle, Bellevue, Shoreline, Issaquah, or the surrounding areas, feel free to call us at or contact us with any questions. Were happy to help you find the best option for you and your roof. You can also check out our Evergreen Roof Care page for more information. Evergreen Window Cleaning & Home Maintenance is happy to serve however we can.

Roof Moss Removal: Cleaning Mold Algae & Moss From Your Roof

We don’t recommend trying to handle roof algae and moss removal on your own. We recommend hiring a professional.

If you are a DIY person capable of climbing a ladder and not afraid of heights, you may be able to tackle algae or moss removal yourself.

The safest method for your roof and the environment is to use a product called Spray and Forget or Wet and Forget. These products can be purchased at most local hardware stores, can be put into a hose-end sprayer, and applied in many cases from the ground or a ladder or the edge of the gutter. These methods can take 3-6 months to work but are the safest. Take some time to research these products before use.

Another more aggressive method for quicker results is the use of water and bleach. Below are the general steps for this method:

  • Mix 1 part oxygen bleach cleaner with 1 part water.
  • Pour the bucket of solution onto the affected area of the roof and let it soak for 30 minutes.
  • For larger sections affected by algae or moss you could put this solution into a spray pump and apply. Be extremely careful not to step on wet algae or moss as it is very slippery and could cause a slip and fall!
  • After 30 minutes, rinse the mixture off with your hose on a low-pressure setting. NEVER PRESSURE WASH YOUR ROOF. The moss won’t come off your roof immediately, but within a few days, it will dry up and blow off with the wind. If your roof is pretty well-covered in moss, you might need to use a leaf blower to get rid of the remains.

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How To Remove And Prevent Black Algae Stains On Asphalt Shingle Roofs

If you live in a humid area of the country, youve probably seen unsightly dark streaks on asphalt shingle roofs. Though often attributed to an accumulation of dirt, defective shingles, mold, or mildew the most common culprit is actually a blue-green algae known as Gloeocapsa Magma that is spread by airborne spores.

While algae growth does little harm to roofing, the stains dont help the overall appearance or resale value of your home.

You may also have noticed that algae stains are absent directly below the metal flashing around chimneys or roof vents. This is due to fact that copper and the zinc coating on galvanized sheet metal are toxic to algae. Every time it rains, trace amounts of metals are washed down the roof, inhibiting algae growth.


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