Removing Moss from The Roof

26 May 2018 Maintenance

how to remove moss on roof

Is moss growing on your cottage roof? Here are a few tips to remove the moss from the shingles, and some useful tricks to help keep roof moss from coming back.

How to remove moss from the cottage roof

Moss can shorten the life of your roof and force you to shell out thousands of dollars sooner than expected. A new roof is always expensive, but replacing the roof at the cottage can be a major hit, so we want to extend the life of the shingles as long as possible.

What causes the moss to grow on the roof?
The mystery is connected to sunlight, temperature, and moisture. Moss grows in cool, damp, and shady places, so the part of your roof that gets the least amount of sun exposure is more likely to have a moss problem. Cottages with large trees close to the building are particularly susceptible.

Removing moss from the roof
If the moss is just starting to grow, you can normally remove it using a bristled brush. The process works best if the moss is wet, and it helps to use a solution that tends to deter the moss from growing back.

A number of home-made or DIY mixtures are suggested by various experts, and the top picks don’t really come as a surprise, as the ingredients are pretty much the regular go-to options for most cleaning situations.

Chlorine Bleach and water

Vinegar and water

Dish soap and water

It looks like 90-95% water and 5-10% of the active ingredient seems to be the best combination.

As always, it is advisable to do a test run on a small area before going full-out on the rest of the roof. Try to remove the moss as gently as possible, taking care to not damage the shingles in the process.

If the moss has had a few seasons to really settle in, a different approach might be required, including the use of commercial products. These two appear to be popular choices.

Solutions to kill roof moss

How to keep moss from growing on the roof?
Removing the source of shade would be the ideal option, but cutting down large trees around the cabin might not be a desirable or realistic solution.

Moss doesn’t get along well with copper or zinc, so there are strips you can attach to the roof that are supposed to prevent moss from growing.

Zinc strips

The idea is that the strips are installed near the the top of the roof, and when it rains, the droplets pick up particles from the zinc strips and carry them down the full area of the roof. Zinc kills moss, so the problem, apparently, gets solved.

One thing to keep in mind. If zinc is toxic for moss, it might not be good for other simple plants, or the creatures that feed on them. The gang at Oregon State University wrote an interesting article covering the pros and cons of the product.

The drastic solution
If you don’t have the time or the desire to battle with moss, or if your roof isn’t easily accessible, the ultimate solution when the time comes to change the roof would be to go with a metal one. If you plan to own the cottage for decades, the extra cost might be justified.

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