Is your home looking a little run-down from green moss on your roof ? Moss Is not only unsightly but it can also be damaging to your roof shingles. Cleaning Moss off roof of shingles can be achieved easily and may also save you money.
Maintaining your roof surface is important because it is the first line of defense for your home. Controlling water is a key factor to overall house maintenance and it can cause major damage to your home. During my time inspecting homes I saw many instances where deferred roof maintenance resulted in a costly repair.
Moss mostly grows in areas that are untouched by the sunlight. It can also spread rapidly especially on north-facing roof slopes. Moss on your roof, especially in shaded areas will flourish and should be removed. if left unchecked the moss will eventually fill the spaces between your shingles that are meant to control water runoff. As it continues to grow it will spread underneath the shingles resulting in the roofing materials being lifted.
If you have a moss covered roof and it rains the Moss will absorb excess water. This can allow moisture to enter under the shingle and soak the unprotected roof sheathing below. If left unchecked this will eventually lead to wood deterioration resulting in unnecessary costly repairs.
First things First
You need to consider a few things first before you start to clean the moss off your roof. Firstly are you wanting to just remove or kill the moss ? Secondly are you wanting some sort of defensive strategy to prevent the moss on roof from returning ?
It is recommended that you wait for a cloudy day to start removing moss from your roof. I prefer to do it after a light rain as I find that the moss comes off the roof shingles much easier. If you choose to use a roof cleaning product it will not evaporate as quickly during cloudy conditions. You can remove moss during sunny conditions, but makes the task more difficult. The moss seems to firmly adhere to roof shingles in sunny warm conditions.
Moss can also be removed physically with water and a stiff brush, chemically, or a little of both. When plants surrounding your house beneath the roof overhang are a concern, ensure you use a plant friendly cleaning solution.
If you choose to use a DIY bleach cleaning solution or a pre-made roof moss treatment, be sure to protect nearby plants. This can be achieved by using a garden hose and lightly spraying the plants. Doing this will result in diluting the cleaning solution as it spills from roof eaves and lands of the plants. You should also cover the water sprayed plants and shrubs with a plastic sheet to prevent excess solution from landing on the plant foliage.
Solutions for Cleaning Moss off of roof shingles
There are a few different methods and options available to you when looking at cleaning the moss off your roof shingles . I have included some pre-made, premixed moss removal solutions as well as some Do-it-yourself solutions that you can make yourself.
You can use pre-made cleaners such as MOSS OUT!® For Roofs & Walks or Wet & Forget . The concentrate can be mixed and applied per manufacturer’s instructions and left to kill the moss . Others ready made products are available in premixed sprays and the container can be connected to your garden hose. There is usually a dial on the spray bottle so you can easily control the amount of solution to be applied.
*** WARNING – Follow the manufactures mixing and application recommendations to ensure your safety and avoid damage to your roof shingles and plants.
You may also want to make your own moss remover solution. They are generally less toxic and cheaper than chemical moss remover solutions .
Chlorine bleach can be used to help remove fungi, moss and mildew. The downside of bleach is that it will damage or kill plants. If you choose to use it ensure that you dilute it before applying it to your roof surface .
DIY moss killer recipes
In a 2 gallon bucket blend
- 1 quart of household bleach
- With 1 gallon of warm water.
- Then pour in 1 quarter cup of TSP AKA trisodium phosphate.
- Gently stir the solution
Adding TSP will produce an alkaline solution which will aid in killing the roots of the moss. Some plants including moss flourish when growing environment of pH 5 to 6, which is mildly acidic . Substances such as baking soda, trisodium phosphate or soap increases the pH levels . In turn this makes the environment more Alkaline, which is inhospitable to the moss and it will eventually die .
*** WARNING – never use ammonia-based cleaners with bleach because when mixed together it will create toxic fumes .
4 more Do-it-yourself moss killer recipes you can use:
- Mix 8 ounces of liquid dish soap dish with 2 gallons of water
- 2 gallons of water mixed with 3 cups of white distilled vinegar
- You can use any powdered laundry detergent and simply sprinkle it on your roof shingles.
You can either use a garden-style pump type sprayer or a typical hand pump spray bottle to apply the solution to your roof surface. Personally I use a garden type sprayer, which in my opinion does a better job because you can actually soak the moss with the solution.
Once you’ve decided on your moss-removing solution, it’s time to get started. Follow these step-by-step instructions to rid your roof shingles of moss. As a side benefit you will also be removing any other debris that’s accumulated on your roof surface !
Spot treating your roof surface as part of your on going house maintenance can be achieved by the following method.
In a plastic spray bottle
- Mix 4 tablespoons baking soda
- With 1 quart of warm water
- Mix the solution by shaking the bottle shake the bottle well
Spray the mossy areas on your roof with the baking soda and water solution. The treatment works best if applied on a warm dry day. Spray the solution directly on the moss and allow it to thoroughly soak in. Repeat the application as needed until the moss is completely dead.
Removing moss from roof shingles or tiles
Here’s what I suggest you will need to get started:
- Moss-remover of your choice.
- Safety glasses. Rubber gloves and Slip-resistant footwear.
- Ladder and Safety rope.
- A stiff bristle broom for removing organic debris and a dust pan to scoop it up.
- Garden hose with a spray nozzle.
- Garden type pump sprayer or a large spray bottle.
- Scrub brush and a long handled soft bristle brush.
- No matter what type of solution you are using you will get dirty . Wear safety glasses, rubber gloves, and slip-resistant shoes.
- Use a safety rope if your roof is steep and always use proper ladder safety when climbing and positioning a ladder.
- Cover all plants in proximity with plastic sheeting.
- Sweep up all organic debris and scoop it up so it doesn’t end up in your gutters and downspouts.
- With a hose spray all moss-covered sections of your roof with water.
- Work from the peak of the roof downward to ensure water doesn’t lift and break shingles and the water pours off the roof
Before applying the moss remover solution
- Use a long-handled soft-bristle brush or a scrub brush and gently brush the moss from the roof shingles.
- Work on one small area at a time allowing you better control of the brush. Brush in a downward stroke only to protect from breaking the shingles.
- Apply your preferred moss remover solution onto the moss and either :
- Let the solution set on the moss per the manufacturers instructions.
- Or if you are using a DIY moss remover solution, let it set for about 20- 30 minutes.
4. Using a garden hose, rinse off the moss remover solution and resulting dead moss. Then brush the roof surface again to remove the remaining moss and rinse the roof again with your garden hose.
Prevent the moss from returning
Fortunately there are some preventive measures you can use to keep moss from growing back on your roof. You can start by trimming tree branches that over hang your roof surface, as well you should regularly remove organic debris . Organic debris such as tree leaves, branches, and needles will trap moisture and encourage moss to grow.
The best long-term solution to prevent moss growth is to attach strips of zinc , copper , lead or zinc-coated flashing strips near the ridge cap located at the peak of your roof. When it rains the rain water flows over the metal strips. In turn this will leach out zinc particles resulting in the rain water being more Alkaline. As described above moss does not grow when alkaline conditions are present . The addition of zinc or other metal strips is best done when the roof is first applied. It is not impossible to add the metal strips to an older roof , but it would be necessary to remove the existing ridge cap in order to place the zinc strips.
If you have any questions or comments on this post Cleaning Moss Off of Roof Shingles 5 DIY Recipes please leave them below.
Do you have family or friends that would find this information useful ? If so please share this with them . Thank you Rick