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How to Remove Moss From Your Roof

Newer homeowners may not realize that a home’s roofing system isn’t something that can be left alone without maintenance or regular upkeep.  A general assumption is that roofs and shingles are hardy and can withstand years of being unmonitored until they hit the end of their estimated lifespan of fifteen or twenty years.

Although it would be nice to “set it and forget it”, it’s simply not the case, no matter how durable roofs are made to be.  Roofs should be inspected annually and even between these professional inspections, they can suffer from missing or uprooted shingles, damages to the underlayment, bowing from ice dams, and most commonly, have moss or algae growth that can lead to further damage.

moss covered roof

Make Your Own Moss Remover

Moss can be removed with chemicals you probably already have in your home.  To make an effective moss remover solution, mix one-quart chlorine bleach with one gallon of water and a ¼ cup of heavy-duty cleaner like trisodium phosphate.  Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners because you’re mixing with bleach and this can create toxic fumes.

Spray the solution all over the affected areas of your roof while sticking to the general roof and chemical safety guidelines.  Be smart—wear protective gloves, have a friend spot you from the ground if you’re using a ladder, only work in good weather, and be mindful of the solution’s runoff to your garden beds.

Ready-Mixed Cleaners

Want to skip the mess and time of concocting your own mixture to clean off moss?  There are plenty of ready-made cleaners you can pick up at stores like Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, or online.

Products like Wet and Forget Liquid Mold Remover and Bio-Advanced Moss and Algae Killer come pre-mixed so all you have to do is hook them up to your hose and spray away.  Some products don’t require any rinsing afterward. 

Follow all of the suggested safety instructions, just as you would with a cleaning solution you’ve made yourself.  These are powerful products designed to kill moss and algae growth.  You’ll need gloves and, in some cases, tarps to protect your surrounding landscaping.  Be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions while applying ready-mixed cleaners to remove moss.

Scrub the Shingles

Whatever cleaner you’ve decided to use, you’ll need to scrub the shingles because moss growth can be rather stubborn.  The cleaner will kill the moss, but you’ll still need to work to physically uproot it from your shingles.

You can use a basic scrub brush but it’s probably better to use a brush designed for roofs as they’re made with long handles so they can reach from ground level.  The more you can stay off of the roof, the better, especially once the roof has been doused with the cleaning solution and rinsed off.

Pressure Washing

Sometimes, moss growth can be so stubborn that it doesn’t want to come off with the standard clean-rinse-scrub method.  If that’s the case, you can opt to try pressure washing, however, this is something you may want to avoid undertaking on your own.  Inexperienced homeowners can easily damage roofing systems with a pressure washer.  Shingles can become damaged and moisture can seep into the roofing system, compounding the problems and leading to expensive repairs.

a man cleaning moss off his roof

No matter where you live, you should be able to find a professional pressure-washing company to do the job for you.  Variables that play into the cost of pressure washing include the cost of labor where you live, the size of your roof, the pitch of your roof, and how much time and effort it takes the company to remove the moss.  In the grand scheme of things, paying for a professional pressure washing company to remove the mold is a small price compared to the time and energy of doing it yourself, not to mention the potential damage you could inflict on your roof.

Preventing Moss Growth

Once you’ve successfully removed the moss from your roof, it’s time to think about prevention so you can avoid having to do the dirty work of removing it again.

Moss grows in areas on the roof that lack sun exposure.  Moss loves the cool shade and moisture, and by eliminating overhanging trees that provide this coverage, you can therefore stop moss from growing on your roof.  Trim back trees that hang over your roof.

Next, tackle any excess moisture that could be responsible for feeding the moss growth.  Do this by keeping your gutters free and clear of debris and removing any leaves, branches, or any other debris that clutters your roof and could collect water runoff.

At Feldco, we provide a breakthrough design and triple-layer protection to keep your roof healthy for whatever mother nature decides to throw at it. On top of that, we have factory-trained installers that are ready to install asphalt shingles with the correct precision. Get a free quote today to start your project.

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