How to Remove Moss from Roof – Effective Methods & Prevention

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roof shingles with moss on them close-up

Oh, no! A green layer of ever-prevailing moss has decided to cozy up to your roof. While it might make your house look like a home from the Shire, a green covering on your roof can drastically shorten its lifespan. You can, however, follow three simple and actionable steps to clean the moss off your shingles. Even better, you can keep that moss from ever coming back when you know how to remove moss from roof.

First, let’s start with the tools and materials you need to begin:

  • Plastic sheeting.
  • Ladder.
  • Old clothing.
  • Safety glasses.
  • Rubber gloves.
  • Slip-resistant shoes.
  • Pump spray bottle.
  • Commercial cleanser.
  • Spray nozzle and a garden hose.
  • A scrub brush that has soft bristles and a long handle.
  • Plastic sheeting.

Step 1: Preparation

When you first learn how to remove moss from roof, one of the first things you learn is how it actually isn’t overly difficult. In fact, you can add this to your list of seasonal or as-needed roof repairs. As moss forms on your shingles, it begins to lift them up and the water can seep underneath them.

A. Preparing the Ladder

To start the process of how to remove moss from roof, you grab a ladder and put it near the area troubled with moss growth. You will want to wear slip-resistant shoes and old clothing. In addition, put on some rubber gloves and eye protection. You will hose down the area with plain water, but you spray the water at a downward angle.

B. Scrub-a-Dub-Dub!

After you have sprayed down the roof, you will use the soft bristled brush to scrub from the top of the roof down. As you do this, however, be sure not to lift up the roofing shingles as this can cause damage. When you rub it down, do this gently. Scratching, scraping, scouring or pounding on the roof can harm the shingles. Also, scrub one small section for each time. You don’t want to break, crack or rip the shingles.

Expert Tip: Never handle a pressure washer when on a roof. The power from the water jets can lift up and harm the shingles. It can also remove the granules that protect your roof.

a man with a hose on a roof

Step 2: Prepping the Commercial Cleanser Ready

For the more extreme moss problems, you may have to do more than a simple scrub. Luckily, you can apply a variety of commercial cleaning solutions. You can also concoct your own DIY solution to get the job done. Before you get started, wait until a cloudier day. You want the solution to last as long as possible before it evaporates.

Beware of Damage: Spread Plastic Sheeting

Unfortunately, both commercial and homemade cleansers and sprays can discolor decks, siding, and pathways and they can turn plants black and kill them. Before you begin, spread your plastic sheeting below the work.

Popular Cleansers You Can Use

How to Remove Moss from Roof: Making Your Own Solution

Along with buying a rooftop cleanser for moss, you can also buy a large spray bottle with one of the following four DIY rooftop cleaning recipes:

  • Add eight ounces of Dawn’s Ultra dish soap with two gallons of water.
  • Put 1.5 cups of white distilled vinegar with two gallons of water in the mix.
  • Add one pound of powdered oxygen bleach and two gallons of water.
  • Add 1.5 cups of chlorine bleach and two gallons of water.

Step 3: How to Remove Moss from Roof and Keep It from Returning

On the whole, you want to prevent moss from cropping up, but if it manages to pop up, you want to handle the problem and keep it from ever returning. To do this, you install copper-coated sheet metal or strips of zinc. You will place this below the upper part of the ridge from both of the sides of the roof.

Expert Tip: Copper kills moss and algae much better, but consumers often prefer zinc to copper because it costs much less.

Purchase sheet metal as a roll and cut it out into four to two-inch strips. You will attach the strip to the roof and use nails and screws with rubber washers to manage the problem. Along with using metal sheets, you want to prune away neighboring tree limbs that hang close to the roof. Natural sunlight has proven a powerful prevention method of keeping your home moss-free. Moss prospers and thrives in a damp and shady environment with a pH of 5.0 to 5.5. In addition, it often does best in a humid environment. You have three options to kill moss:

  • Eliminate the water and moisture.
  • Get rid of the shade the moss grows in.
  • Create a highly acidic environment that makes the moss hard to grow in.

If you choose the acid route with how to remove moss from roof, exercise caution. An acid that’s too strong can start to eat away at the shingles and decrease the lifespan, rather than lengthen it. If you haven’t tested your solution before, try it on some spare shingles first to learn if it will have a negative impact on them.

Putting It All Together

Hopefully, you have found this article on how to remove moss from roof helpful. If you’d like to learn more about taking care of your roof, feel free to subscribe and like this article. We also encourage an active discussion on how to remove moss from roof in the comments below to hopefully shed some light on the best methods to get rid of moss on the roof.

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