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Cleaning Moss Off of Roof Shingles 5 DIY Recipes

Cleaning Moss Off of Roof Shingles 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:

  1. Mix 8 ounces of liquid dish soap dish with 2 gallons of water
  2. 2 gallons of water mixed with 3 cups of white distilled vinegar
  3. 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.
  1. No matter what type of solution you are using you will get dirty . Wear safety glasses, rubber gloves, and slip-resistant shoes.
  2. Use a safety rope if your roof is steep and always use proper ladder safety when climbing and positioning a ladder.
  3. Cover all plants in proximity with plastic sheeting.
  4. Sweep up all organic debris and scoop it up so it doesn’t end up in your gutters and downspouts.
  5. With a hose spray all moss-covered sections of your roof with water.
  6. 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

  1. Use a long-handled soft-bristle brush or a scrub brush and gently brush the moss from the roof shingles.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Cleaning Moss Off of Roof Shingles trim tress away 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.

Cleaning Moss Off of Roof Shingles DIY Recipes

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

16 thoughts on “Cleaning Moss Off of Roof Shingles 5 DIY Recipes”

  1. Thank you for your knowledge on this subject. This is great for someone who is not afraid of heights but it saves people money from hiring a professional.

  2. Hi Rick,

    Thanks so much for this extensive guide on how to remove moss from my roof. I really enjoyed reading it and learned a lot. I have been wanting to clean my roof for a while now, but I have never actually looked into how to clean it until now. That’s how I found your site. 

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Wow! What a thorough article! This would really come in handy to my dad.He used to try different DIYs and bought the moss remover off the store shelf, but the moss kept growing after a while.Will share your tips on how to avoid the moss growing back with my dad.

    And the last time he cleaned up the roof, our plants died… Now I know why.

    Thanks for sharing this! Super useful!

  4. I honestly never realized that it was actually a simple process to remove moss from the roof, and that you could use household products like baking soda, dish liquid, laundry soap or vinegar.  That is so cool.  I did know that you could spray vinegar on the cracks of a sidewalk to prevent and destroy grass from growing, so I guess the vinegar for the roof moss makes sense.  

    I had no idea attaching strips of certain metals can prevent the moss from growing.  That’s pretty cool and would save so much future work.

    Great article, and I thank you.

  5. I have yet to experience this kind of mess on my roof but it’s always good to be on defensive side and what you  have given me is some defensive materials on what to do incase I see these moss crop up on my roof which by the way is matter of when not if .I think although lack of sun is one major course I also think those of who have planted trees near our house we have need to worry about the moss it might take time but eventually moss will arrive on our rooftops.

    • HI Charles yes you are absolutely right , the organic debris from the trees near your house will certainly ad to the chances of having moss grow on your roof .  

  6. Thanks for sharing such informative post. I live in a tropical country and therefore, very unlikely will have problem with moss. But there are times, especially rainy season, I can see moss not on the roof but rather on the skirting of my garage, not sure why. Can I use the same method to clean the moss? Or there’s other specific method?

  7. Moss is a problem for my house in Florida. The house has a normal shingle roof and there are some trees around that do provide shade, hence the propensity for moss to grow on the roof shingles. The house is in Florida, an area of the country that gets quite a bit of rain too.

    To now, I have always had a contractor come in to take care of the moss, the siding, and other maintenance work on the exterior, and this is a package deal. The cost has been rising, however, so I am looking for ways to cut them. It seems that this is one way to do just that.

    Your clear advice and tips for solutions to use that will not kill the plants around the house yet will make the environment unwelcoming to moss on the roof do not seem that hard to follow through on. I do realize that it is going to cost me some time, but I am looking forward to giving this a try.

    I think I would prefer the recipes that you have included over the off-the-shelf products, as I do not want to harm my plants nor use too many overly harsh chemicals. These recipes seem to be just enough but not too much in that regard. I will give it a try. 

    Let’s see how this DIY project goes, wish me luck (I will be following your well laid out advice on how to remove the moss found in this post). Thanks (again)… 

    • H i Dave thank you for your comments , if you do a little bit of home maintenance at a time it will not seem so overwhelming .. and yes hiring contractors is getting expensive , I always recommend doing as much of the work around your home as you can , thus saving you money . 

  8. I have to admit that I had no idea of the Moss dangers. It really seems to be able to affect the roof prime functions negatively. In that regard, to be honest, I’ve no idea what is the condition of our house. Will have to do some ladder to check later during the day. Either way, it’s definitely not filling the water gutter system yet. Which is good. 🙂

    All in all, I did find the tips for removing moss really useful. I even wrote a few things down. Many of the stuff you talked about there’s no way in a million years I would have thought of myself.

    Thus, truly, truly helpful! 🙂

    Cheers and have a Wonderful Day!

    Matiss

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