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How To Take Care Of Moss On Your Roof

Posted February 26, 2024 by Patrick Morin
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Executive Summary

  • Moss is a simple plant that can grow along moist surfaces, including your roof, and cause damage as the roots and stems dig into the materials they grow on. 
  • Roof moss can weaken your shingles, absorb moisture into your roof, and make your roof more susceptible to erosion and sun damage.
  • DIY moss removal methods include manual removal, chemical removal, and natural remedies, but they come with several limitations without the expertise of an experienced professional removal service.
  • You should seek a professional roof maintenance company with the right tools and expertise to support proper moss removal without damaging your roof.

Moss is one of the oldest plants and is an important piece of many ecosystems, but when it makes its way onto your roof, it’s more concerning than anything else. In a humid and rainy environment, homeowners in and around the Portland area have to be conscious of moss growing on their roofs and causing problems over time.

When thinking about how to get rid of moss on your roof, you must factor in several steps, including removing the moss, avoiding damage to your roof, and maintaining a moss-free roof long-term. Some people consider taking a DIY approach to removing moss, but there are a few limitations to think about before going down that path over contacting a professional service.


What Is Roof Moss?

Moss is a type of flowerless plant that has only stems and leaves and spreads through tiny seeds called spores. Moss grows like a carpet along moist surfaces with built-up organic matter. You’ll typically find moss growing in damp, shady locations, like on trees or rocks in the forest.

Roof moss is the result of moss growing and spreading along the surface of your roof. If your roof is moist and has other organic matter built up on top, it can create a perfect growth environment. If you don’t remove roof moss soon enough, it can weave its way into your shingles and start to cause damage in several ways. 

Some ways that moss can be damaging to your roof include:

  • Moss can harm the protective oils on your roof shingles, which are essential for protecting against the elements like the sun and preventing erosion.
  • Moss absorbs water, so in wet weather, your roof will capture more moisture, which can come through the surface and into the attic.
  • Moss can spread beneath your roof shingles and potentially cause significant damage to the underlayment.

The risks also depend on the type of moss. Some forms of moss may grow just along the top layer of your roof, while some may grow stems into your shingles and cause more intensive wear and tear. Ultimately, a trained eye will be able to identify the type of moss and how to best address it with the proper moss removal strategies.


Roof Moss DIY Removal Methods

Some homeowners may consider attempting a DIY removal on their own with the intention of saving costs. There are a few ways that homeowners can address moss on the roof. 

Some methods for roof moss DIY removal methods include:

  • Chemical cleaners – Chemical cleaners like white zinc powder are an option for killing moss on your roof, but these chemicals come with risks like corrosion and a lack of longevity, killing more than just moss.
  • Manual removal – Manual cleaning can involve using a pressure washer to remove the moss off your roof, but it’s important to avoid using a strong pressure washer that can cause damage and allow water into your roof construction.
  • Natural solutions – Natural methods for roof moss include mixing three tablespoons of baking soda in a liter of water or combining one part water with one part vinegar, spraying it directly on the moss, and brushing it off after it dries out. 

All of these may be able to provide some short-term relief, but they often don’t address the full scope of the damage. For example, if your shingles are damaged or if the underlayment below the shingles is affected, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to ensure that your roof is still safe and functioning.

Plus, removing moss is one thing, but knowing how to kill moss on your roof is another. Without the right steps, you may find moss growing back in full force again next year after taking a DIY approach. 

Preserving the structural integrity of your roof with more than a quick fix and preventing moss requires more advanced expertise. Unfortunately, DIY approaches are often only short-term fixes and come with a few key limitations.


Limitations of Roof Moss DIY Removal Methods

Although some people may consider pursuing DIY moss removal using the above tips, they may quickly find they’re a bit in over their heads. Removing moss from your roof sounds simple, but there are a lot of factors you need to consider in order to ensure a safe and effective removal.

Limitations of DIY removal include:

  • Time and effort – Removing moss on your own takes considerable time and effort. DIY approaches take even longer due to the lack of experience and proper equipment, making it less convenient.
  • Safety concerns – Any job on your roof comes with potential injury risks, especially a complex one like moss removal. It’s best to leave moss removal in the hands of a professional service that has the equipment and experience to minimize risk.
  • Potential damage As moss roots and stems dig into the roof shingles, trying to remove moss can result in additional damage, especially if you don’t have the right tools.
  • Incomplete solution – Even if you remove the moss from your roof, you likely won’t discover the full scope of the problem. If you remove moss, there’s a strong chance that damage has already been done to the shingles and the layer underneath.
  • Expertise – Not all types of moss are the same, and it can take a trained eye to understand the proper removal method for each type and avoid damage to your roof.

All together, it’s well worth consulting a professional roof maintenance service to help. They’ll know which tools to use and what approach to take to properly address the specific moss on your roof and mitigate any underlying damage.



Professional Moss Cleaning Services

Although it can seem like a good idea to forego a professional service for a DIY approach, the amount of limitations you face makes it well worth contacting the professionals. Working with a professional service offers several benefits.

Professional services will have specialized tools and equipment for removing the full extent of the moss. They’ll also be able to use their trained eye to understand the proper removal methods for the specific type of moss. If there is underlying damage to the roof shingles or the structural integrity, they will develop a plan of action to remove the moss and address other concerns.

At Roof Life of Oregon, we have careful processes and procedures that we’ve established over our 38+ years of experience in order to remove moss without damaging your roof. We also have tools and equipment that we have built ourselves using our experience so we can remove moss quickly and effectively.

To maximize the impact of our efforts, we have a green, non-toxic, and non-corrosive product to remove moss and keep it off for years without posing a threat to your home or family. We’ll even help you maintain your roof with regular inspections so you don’t have to worry about future growth long-term.


How To Select the Right Roof Maintenance Service

There’s no doubt that choosing a professional service for your moss removal is the better option, but you still should do your research on which service to actually call. When looking for the right service, consider the services they offer, their labor practices, and their expertise.

Start by looking at the services that a maintenance service offers. Because moss is complex and can have several impacts on your roof, it’s a good idea to choose a company that is well-versed in several areas of roof repair. A reliable maintenance service will be able to manage not only moss removal but also roof repair. 

Second, you should prioritize choosing a service that values employee labor practices—not just for the sake of the employees but also for a job well done. A company that doesn’t properly pay its employees results in cut corners, tired employees, and rushed jobs. The best way to avoid this is to choose a company that pays by the hour instead of paying by the piece and encourages employee breaks.

Finally, look for expertise. Experience isn’t the only thing, but it is crucial. Experience ensures a service has the right tools and expertise to address potential issues. Choose a service that has a proven track record of satisfied customers.

At Roof Life of Oregon, we check all the boxes. We pay our employees by the hour so they’re incentivized to pay attention to the details of the job, offer warranties on the work that we complete so our customers maintain peace of mind, and top it all off with over 38 years of experience to back up our methods.


Get Rid Of Moss With Roof Life of Oregon’s Professional Cleaning Service

Moss can be damaging to your roof and should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage. That said, moss removal is complex, and without the right expertise, the full problem can easily go untreated, cause sneaky underlying issues, and return year after year. It’s crucial to have a trained eye look at your roof and identify next steps.

At Roof Life of Oregon, we utilize specialized tools and careful cleaning practices to ensure we carry out effective moss removal on your roof. Using our expertise and our track record of success, we’ll kill the moss on your roof and keep it from growing back right away next year.

Call us for a free inspection. We’ll be able to pinpoint all the damage and develop a plan to remove the moss from your roof without long-term risks. Schedule your roof maintenance today so that you can enjoy a healthy roof and complete peace of mind.

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