How to Remove Roof Moss
Removing roof moss is both a practical and aesthetic decision. Moss is a natural decomposer, so it’s important to remove moss from the roof to protect its integrity.
Moss is a type of plant species that prefers moist, cool areas. It’s difficult to know the precise variety of moss growing on a roof because there are many. Characteristics shared by all species of moss include 1) preference of a damp environment, 2) solid green appearance: moss doesn’t have seeds or a root system, 3) moss species are usually vivid green, with tiny leaves and no flowers.
What Factors Promote the Growth of Moss on a Roof?
A shady environment will promote moss growth. If your house is surrounded by beautiful, older trees, you may have some moss growing on the roof. It also prefers to grow on a hard surface:
• Replacing some of your majestic tall trees can help to bring more sunlight to the roof area. Sunlight is a natural moss antagonist.
• Installing a new roof can make a difference as well. Moss prefers an acidic environment and thrives when pH levels of 5.0 – 5.5 are present.
• A professional roof cleaner will use cleaning products at the proper pH levels to kill moss.
Since moss needs moisture to grow, a humid or moist climate will also facilitate moss growth.
How to Remove Moss from a Roof
Logically, the homeowner must expose the roof surface to sunlight and take away the shade that’s promoting moss growth. Creating an acid or base environment, such as above 7.0 pH (higher than the pH of most water sources) can kill moss. Removing moisture will also kill moss, but accomplishing this feat may be difficult or impossible.
How to Expose the Roof to Sunlight
When a roof is in a naturally humid or shady environment, it may be possible to remove or cut upper branches from trees surrounding the house to let in the sunlight. Removing plants and bushes around the home can also help to draw more sunlight to the home.
Although these solutions to moss growth may be relatively expensive, it could help to manage roof moss for years.
Some homeowners don’t want to remove their beautiful trees. In this situation, the best way to kill moss or algae from the roof involves a professional roof cleaning service. The roof cleaner will use products to kill the moss from the roof.
How to Acidify the Roof Environment
Many household cleaning products contain a >4.0 pH level. If you could use these products on the roof, they would probably be effective at removing moss and algae. However, keep in mind that acid products may erode certain roof surfaces. Diluting the product mixture with water can help to avoid unwanted corrosion, but it may also make the product less effective for the purpose of removing moss from the roof.
Common foods, including white or apple cider vinegar, tomato juice, orange juice, or lemon juice would also be effective acidifiers, but you’d need quite a large amount to clean the roof.
How to Make the Roof Environment a Base
Mosses thrive in pH environments of 5.0 to 5.5. Some species grow well in a pH environment of 6.0. Creating a base pH environment can help you to kill roof moss. Some commonly available products can create a base environment, including baking soda, salt, baking powder, soap, bleach, and ammonia. Note: never mix ammonia and bleach. The combination causes a potentially toxic gas.
It’s necessary to mix these solutions with water but direct application to a roof, deck, siding, or sidewalk can kill moss and algae.
How to Avoid Damage from Roof Moss
Homeowners know that it’s very expensive to replace the roof. For that reason, it’s important to safeguard the current roof on the home. Avoid the following to protect your roof:
• Don’t pressure-wash the roof. Doing so will remove the moss, but at the cost of the roof’s performance and life. The high pressure of the water removes granules from asphalt shingles. These granules actually protect the shingles’ integrity and performance.
• Don’t use acid products to kill moss on the roof. An overly acidic solution that’s used to clean the roof may actually erode the shingles. Without properly testing the solution, you can do a lot of damage to the roof. If you don’t know how to test the solution, or if you don’t know if the solution is okay to use in cleaning the roof, don’t use it. If in doubt, test a spare shingle to ascertain the safety of your solution.
• Don’t physically scrape moss from the roof. This is a bad idea, because the physical force of scraping may break, rip, or crack the shingles.
• Don’t spray water in an upward arc towards the roof. This action can force water under shingles and cause leaking into the home. If you have a wooden deck below, water exposure can rot the wood.
Eradicating moss from the roof is an important task. Don’t risk damaging your roof. Contact a specialist to restore and protect your roof and home.