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When To Remove Moss From Roof

Difference Between Moss And Algae

How to remove moss from a roof 🙂

Though they might be grouped as the same thing because they grow in the same area of your home, moss and algae are actually quite different and distinct.

Moss always appears more green and fluffy-looking than algae, though it might appear browner during dryer seasons. Moss will also grow up off the roof, while algae will grow flush to the shingles and fixtures, staying flat and unobtrusive. Algae will appear in many different colors such as gray, blue, green, or brown.

A small amount of moss is relatively harmless, but left unattended, it can grow and eventually damage your asphalt shingles. Moss should be removed. Algae actually fosters the growth of mold, which can lead to very serious issues. Algae, too, should be removed quickly and efficiently.

Understand Roof Moss And Damage

Cracks and crevices between roof shingles provide ideal spots for moss to grow and spread. These simple plants flourish wherever moisture collects, particularly on north-facing or tree-shaded roofs. Moss doesn’t need much light or nutrition, but moisture is crucial. In humid areas prone to foggy mornings and moderate winters, a slight dusting of moss can escalate to a serious roof problem.

Left unchecked, roof moss grows into a thick, resilient layer. Established moss acts like a sponge, soaking in moisture from below and above, and keeping your roof constantly moist. Moss creeps under shingle edges as it spreads, prying shingles loose and letting damaging moisture reach the layers below. Damage progresses from shingles to rotten underlayments and damaged framework. Health-threatening mold can develop and travel down walls to affect living areas as well.

Untreated moss gains a foothold in crevices and cracks as it spreads.

How To Remove Moss From A Roof Naturally

Your roof is designed to protect your home and your family from the elements. Heat, cold, sun, and storms all take their toll. Eventually, you may notice green clumps growing in shady places across your roof. These unsightly splotches are very likely moss.

Moss is more than just an unattractive nuisance. Over time, It can cause damage to your roof. Moss absorbs water and keeps the roofing underneath it damp. On sloped roofs, moss can intercept water draining down your shingles. If you have asphalt shingles, the moss can cause the edges to lift, which makes them more vulnerable to blowing off in high winds. It is important to know how to remove moss from a roof safely if you do find roof moss.

Also Check: What Is A Hip 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.

How To Remove Moss With A Dry Powder

What is the Process of Removing Moss from a Roof ...

A fairly effective removal method involves the use of specially formulated dry powder designed for moss treatment on the roof. Powders are usually based on zinc sulfate monohydrate that has lots of uses, including the elimination of moss spores. Check out this dry formula from Lilly Miller Moss Out, available on Amazon. Its granular texture can be sprinkled more effectively on the affected roof.

The powder acts as a strong moss deterrent and killer but it can be a bit challenging to apply correctly. You will need to be able to reach the roof properly because this is the kind of moss killer intended for hands-on application. The good news is that once you gain access to the roof, you will have a clearer picture of the moss problem and can remove the spores more effectively.Try to disperse the killing powder as evenly as possible on the entire roof area affected by moss growth. Dont worry too much about the white streaks left behind. They will be washed away eventually after a couple of heavy rains. Thats actually a key element that enables the full killing power of the dry powder because adding water to the mix will help to distribute the powder properly and clear the surface from the pesky mossy foliage.

Also Check: How Much To Repair A Trailer Roof

Bleach Soap And Water

Usebleach soap and water to remove moss on the roof. Fill up 75% bleach and 6 to 8particles of dish washing soap in a pump sprayer. Shake it well to mix it up. Sprayit on the areas that have been affected with moss on the roof. Wait for a shortperiod of time for rain to wash it off then rinse the roof with a hose.

Based on the discussed methods above, we finally understand that we can remove moss from the roof naturally. It is a win-win situation for both the environment and living things in the ecosystem and the roof without moss. The environment and living things will not be affected by cleaning the roof and the roof will remain clean without moss. Other than removing moss on the roof, prevent its growth.


  • Dietert, M. . Studies on the Gametophyte Nutrition of theCosmopolitan Species Funaria hygrometrica and Weissia controversa. TheBryologist, 82, 417-431. doi:10.2307/3242217
  • Armentano,T., & Caponetti, J. . The Effect of pH on the Growth of Protonemataof Tetraplodon mnioides and Funaria hygrometrica. The Bryologist, 75,147-153. doi:10.2307/3241442
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    Does Bleach Kill Moss On Your Roof

    Another common myth is that you can easily and safely remove moss on your roof with common household bleach. Many homeowners suggest that bleach will kill moss with no problems whatsoever, and there are dozens of hardware and homeowner websites that will tell you the same thing. Bleach, they say, is the solution to all your problems.

    Yes, bleach will kill moss on your roof. So will detergent . What you dont hear about, though, is the damage that bleach can do and the long-term effects of using bleach to remove moss from your roof.

    At Keeping It Clean, weve seen just about everything when it comes to roofs and moss removal, and we can tell you upfront that using bleach on your roof is rarely a good idea.

    Read Also: Does Insurance Cover Storm Damage To Roof

    Will Vinegar Kill Roof Moss

    Yes, vinegar will kill the moss on your roof and is a natural substitute for the bleach and water mixture. The process of removing moss with vinegar is very similar to the process with bleach and water. According to, simply clear your roof of debris, pour distilled white vinegar into a bucket with a few drops of dish soap so it will stick to the moss, spray the mixture on the moss, wait a couple of days for the moss to die, then clear it with a brush or garden hose.

    The Difference Between Moss Treatment And Moss Removal

    How to remove moss from a roof

    It’s ideal to treat and remove moss as it is growing and thriving . If you treat your roof once a year, moss won’t grow beyond the point of routine maintenance. As a rule of thumb, seeing a tint of green on your roof means the moss is outgrowing the maintenance phase, and you may need a restoration plan to completely clear it off. The difference between restoration and maintenance as it relates to moss is whether youre treating the moss or removing it it’s also the factor which determines if you can do it yourself.

    Moss treatment means killing the moss, which begins at the time of treatment. Moss treatment is the process of applying a solution that will kill moss over timetypically five to six weeks. When performed at regular intervals, moss treatment prevents moss growth, which often eliminates the need for moss removal. Think of it like you think about changing your car’s oil versus having to replace the engine.

    Moss removal clears the moss at the time of service, by scraping the shingles. This will need to be followed with a moss treatment to prevent future growth. Today we are going to do both moss removal and moss treatment. We’d like to note that DAPrDAN doesn’t offer moss removal as a service, but we’re happy to recommend other vendors if you contact us at

    One big thing to avoid: Dont use pressure washers on your roof. If you do, you’ll strip away the layer of sand and grit, which offers traction and is the protective layer of your roof.

    Recommended Reading: What Is A Roof Boot

    Worried About Moss On Your Roof We Can Help

    Do you see moss on your roof? Or are you noticing bits of moss or lichen on the ground around your home after a big storm? Moss might be damaging your roof!

    Contact us online or call . Schedule your free no-obligation inspection from our moss removal and prevention team. Well answer your questions and help you understand the best way to protect your roof from damage caused by moss.

    Well never try to sell you a new roof. Well only recommend the services you need to keep your roof in great shape for as long as possible. Read reviews from our satisfied customers and see for yourself!

    Why Is Moss On The Roof Bad

    Although the reasons are some what debated in the roof cleaning industry there is definitely one common conclusion and it is that moss is not good for roofs. We have posted a few of the reasons commonly accepted within the industry for why moss is bad for shingle asphalt roofs.

  • As the moss thickens and grows on an asphalt shingle roof it can raise the shingles up . When the shingles get risen it allows water to go under the shingles causing the decking to rot and causing the roof to leak. The raised shingles also pose problems when heavy winds are present because they will catch the wind like a sail and this can cause shingles to be torn/blown off the roof.
  • A moss buildup on the roof causes more debris to get trapped on the roof. This debris promotes water buildup which makes the roof at risk of much more rotting and leaking.
  • Moss can actually damage the asphalt shingle components leaving it to break down faster.
  • Also Check: How To Clean Solar Roof Panels

    Removing Moss From Concrete With White Vinegar

    Vinegar is an acidic liquid that kills moss by lowering the pH. Vinegar is inexpensive, easy to apply, kills moss effectively, and prevents it from growing back. This is also an excellent solution for getting oil stains out of concrete.

    • Garden hose

    For getting rid of moss in your yard or on the driveway, place one part vinegar and one part water in a bottle or garden sprayer and shake well to mix. Spray the liquid directly on the moss growth on the concrete or the lawn and let it sit for a couple of days. Check the area to see if the moss is dry and dead.

    If not, repeat the spray solution once more. Use a stiff-bristle brush for scrubbing away the dead moss on concrete or rake up the moss from the yard. Rinse concrete thoroughly with a garden hose.

    Use this remedy to get rid of weeds in gravel driveway, too. Adding some salt to the mixture ensures even more success.

    Detergent And The Environment

    Removing Moss from a Roof

    A final word about using detergent to remove moss from your roof: that detergent has to go somewhere. Websites claiming that you can just sweep it off with a broom forget to mention that now you have detergent seeping into the greenspace and water system around your home. Modern detergents generally lack the phosphorus of decades past, but that doesnt mean theyre safe for the environment.

    Would you drink a cup of water mixed with detergent? Of course not. You know its unhealthy and dangerous. So why would you sweep that same detergent onto the ground around your home?

    Your best solution for removing moss from your roof is always to hire a professional. At Keeping It Clean, we use only environmentally safe cleaning products and the most advanced equipment in the industry to fully remove moss and algae down to the root without damaging your roof. Give us a call anytime or fill out the form below to set up a free appointment.

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    How Damaging Is Moss For Your Roof

    Moss can pose a serious danger to the health of your roofs elements. Assessing the damage potential of mossy growth depends on the type of material used for your roofs construction. Whereas sturdier materials such as asphalt, slate, and fiberglass come with some chemical protection against moss or algae growth, the same cant be said about traditional old shingle roofs.

    Mossy growth can hide in deep crevices in the shingles and its thickening will make raise the shingles. This process can easily ruin a roof made of wood because it features a porous surface thats more susceptible to the effect of mossy growth. If the moss gets firmly established in the wood shingles, its safe to say that it will be extremely hard to remove compared to other materials like asphalt or composite.

    The most damaging effect of moss involves its ability to retain moisture. That may not seem a huge problem in the initial stages of development but thick mats of moss can easily encourage root and decay of the shingles. All that accumulated water will slowly infiltrate through the structural elements of the roof causing a lot of damage.

    Prevent And Treat Moss On Roofs

    In the Pacific Northwest, we cherish every shade of green. From our lush, fir tree forests and endless grassy pastures to our sustainable practices ethos, we are green. But there are times when greenery can be a nuisance and even destructive.

    Have other weed or pest issues? Visit our Managing Pests and Weeds page for more natural management tips.

    During the rainy season, as the landscape turns verdant again, so does the moss residing atop our roofs. Revived with the winter rains, the resilient Bryophyta begins to soak up and store excess rainwater as it has no roots. The stored water begins to seep under to the shingles and can seep through the roof underlayment and sheathing, the protective material between the shingles and the roof deck. Waterlogged roofing material can lead to unhealthy growths of mold and costly repairs from rot, sometimes compromising the structural integrity of your roof.

    3 Key Tips for Moss on Roofs

    1. Preventing Moss: Sweep & Blow When Dry
    2. Treating Moss: Baking Soda

    For treatment, use baking soda when rain is minimal and allow several weeks for the moss to die. Products containing d-limonene are also effective at killing existing moss. Results are usually seen in 2-3 days. With either treatment method, some moss will slough off naturally as it dies. Gently remove the rest with a wire or nylon brush.

    3. Caution: Toxic to Aquatic Life
    See our Moss on Roofs flowchart to help you choose the strategy that’s right for you:

    Also Check: How To Start A Roofing Company In Georgia

    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 thats 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 youve covered nearby plants, you wouldnt need to worry about killing them as well.

    Using a long-handled brush with soft bristles, youll 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.

    Remove Moss From A Driveway With A Power Washer

    How to Remove Moss from Your Roof – Step by Step Guide

    If youd rather not use a homemade cement driveway cleanerto remove moss from a driveway, use a pressure washer to spray the moss away from the surface of the concrete with ease.

    • Plastic sheeting

    Make sure to cover plants and other items near the area while pressure washing to protect them from the strong water pressure. Follow the instructions for your washer and use a 25-degree nozzle tip.

    Put on a pair of protective glasses, aim the washer nozzle two to three feet away from the affected area, and use a side-to-side sweeping motion across the moss to remove it.

    While moss is beneficial to the environment and doesnt pose a health risk to you and your family, it is not helpful growing over the concrete around your home.

    Killing moss is easy using simple ingredients like white vinegar and baking soda, and removing dead moss is a breeze with a scrub brush or garden hose.

    Read Also: Can You Put Elastomeric Roof Coating Over Shingles


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