Remove Moss from Roof
Problems With Moss
Moss digs its roots deep into and under your roofing shingles, growing between them and pushing other shingles out of place which causes leaks. On top of that, as the team at Expert Home Report, explains, moss is inherently wet. Moss thrives in dark, cool and damp areas and both feeds on and encourages rot with the accumulation of more moisture, since its sponge-like surface retains so much water. If left unattended, the water damage from these leaks will cause mold and rot in your house’s wooden structure, and the openings in your roof may even attract insects and rodents. In short, moss can be considered an unqualified threat to your roof and house. It is possible to kill and remove moss yourself using various home remedies and plenty of elbow grease, but as it advances, the difficulty and danger in attempting the removal increases exponentially. In addition, climbing on your roof can be dangerous on its own.
Laundry Detergent to Kill Moss
A widely believed approach is that sprinkling common washing detergent powder across the moss will kill it. Then, you can just spray or scrub the dead moss off the shingles to save on expensive professional services. Experts from Roof Life of Oregon confirm that it is technically true that commonly available detergent will kill moss. In addition, they say, you can physically remove the treated dead moss by spraying it with a high-pressure hose or scrubbing and scraping, although this method is more complicated and expensive than it seems. It takes a surprising amount of detergent to kill moss. In addition, the cost of a pressure washer or other high-pressure hose adds to the expense of such a project. Furthermore, misuse of such a powerful stream of water can lead to roof damage that would be quite costly to repair.
Dangers and Complications
Because moss holds so much water, as soon as detergent comes into contact with it, the already slippery surface of the moss will become slimy. When this occurs, the danger of walking on or near it increases drastically. Serious injuries and even fatalities regularly occur from DIY attempts to remove roof moss. Even if you are able to approach the moss from a ladder without having to step on the roof, there are other factors to consider, such as the toxic nature of detergent and its impact on plants below or near the roof and the impact of the detergent on your roof, as well as at the end of your downspout. Further, detergent is effectively a degreaser, which means that it dissolves the asphalt, tar and oil protecting your shingles and forming a waterproof surface on your roof. Writers from Keeping It Clean claim that this can as much as halve the lifespan of your shingles, effectively negating the purpose of removing the moss. If you were to wait for the rain to wash away the detergent instead of hosing it off yourself, the intervening time allows the detergent to further dissolve those compounds.
DIY Alternatives for Moss Removal
A variety of methods have been explored to kill and remove moss from a range of surfaces, and they all have their own drawbacks. The team at Infinite Roofing explains that vinegar can take a few days to kill moss and lichen, after which you can remove the dead moss with a scrubbing brush or broom. Roof Life of Oregon notes that vinegar leaves a lingering smell. Garden Guides reports that while killing moss with vinegar between 4 and 8 percent acetic acid is effective, even on concrete and tile, it will also kill other vegetation. In addition, copper sulfate is an effective moss killer and is not toxic to most plants. It stains porous surfaces as well as skin, clothes and plants, and it raises the acidity of the soil. Bleach is as effective as detergent, or more so. It, of course, has an effect on the color of any surface. It also has the same toxic and degreaser drawbacks as detergent. These are among many other DIY options, as well as store-bought moss killers, but the prospect remains a risky one when professional services can safely and effectively remove your roof moss. Things You Will Need