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Roof Moss Removal: Top Tips & Methods | Ploughcroft

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Roof Moss Removal: Top Tips & Methods

Once moss starts to grow on a roof, it can spread quickly and might cause damage. Here are some top tips on effective roof moss removal before it does any harm.

A moss-covered roof might make your home look as though it belongs in a fairy tale, but it can actually harm the structure of your home if left for too long.

If you’ve noticed moss growing on top of your home, it’s a good idea to take action and remove it as soon as possible. Once moss starts growing, it spreads quickly and can be difficult to remove.

If you’re not sure how to remove moss from a roof, here’s everything you need to know about how to get rid of it before it turns your roof into a sea of green.

What Causes Moss to Grow on Roofs?

Moss can grow without any roots, which is why it’s able to grow on the top of buildings. It thrives in damp places that don’t see too much sunlight, so roof tiles provide the perfect breeding ground, especially on the north side of your home. The north side of the roof doesn’t see as much sunlight — so the tiles are more likely to remain damp and humid.

If trees and greenery surround your home, they can also fuel moss growth. Just like any other plant, moss needs nutrients to grow, which it can get from natural debris that falls onto your roof, such as leaves.

Should I Remove Moss from My Roof?

While a mossy roof might make your home look like a fairy tale cottage, you should remove the moss as soon as possible.

Moss starts growing on the surface of the roof, but will gradually move underneath tiles. Once this happens, the moss has the power to lift the tiles and continue to work its way down through your roof, slowly causing it to rot.

If left for too long, moss can cause serious roof damage, and you might even need a roof replacement if there’s too much structural harm. So definitely remove moss from the roof as soon as you can.

How to Remove Moss from a Roof: 8 Simple Steps

1: Assess the Accessibility of Your Roof

Accessing your roof is a task that you should approach with caution. If you feel safe and confident cleaning the moss yourself, you can carefully use a ladder to access the site of moss growth. However, if it looks like it might be tricky to reach, or you don’t like the thought of climbing up to the roof, you can always contact a professional roofing company to ask for help.

2: Choose the Right Moss Killer for Your Roof

If you plan on using moss killer to get rid of the stubborn greenery, you should do some research into the best moss killer for your roof type. Choosing the right moss-fighting product will lead to better results and there’s less risk of damaging your roof.

3: Wait for Dry Weather

To clean moss off the roof, you’ll need to be up on a ladder, or on the roof itself. This is already a dangerous job, but in wet weather, there’s more risk of slipping. Removing moss from a roof can also be a lengthy process — so why not wait for a bright day so you can soak up the sun while cleaning?

4: Scrape off Any Dead Moss

Once you’ve reached the moss on the roof, use a scraping tool to scrape it off the roof tiles. With the surface layer removed, you’ll be able to remove deep-seated moss in seams and from under tiles more effectively.

5: Hose the Moss with Plain Water

Use a garden hose to spray away the dead moss. Spray downwards so that the moss loosens and falls into the gutter — rather than being scattered onto other parts of the roof.

6: Use a Long-Handled Brush to Scrub the Moss

With the surface layer of dead moss scraped off and hosed away, you’re free to scrub away at the remaining moss. Use a long-handled soft-bristle brush to scrub it off the roof gently.

7: Apply Moss Killer

Sometimes, the above steps are enough to get rid of the moss on your roof. But if there’s still a lot remaining, you can use a moss killer. Different moss killer products will have different instructions on how to use them, so read the instructions carefully before applying.

You don’t have to do this on the same day as the previous steps. In fact, it’s best to wait for a cloudy day — otherwise, the sun will quickly dry up the cleanser before it’s had a chance to work its magic.

8: Consider Hiring a Professional Roof Cleaner

If the above steps haven’t worked too well, or you’d just rather have someone else take care of the problem for you, consider hiring a professional roofing company to clean the moss from your roof. Professional roof cleaning won’t just get rid of moss — it will also extend your roof’s life expectancy and prevent future problems.

How to Remove Moss from the Roof Naturally

For small patches of moss, brushing, scraping and hosing might be all you need anyway. But if your moss is stubborn and you’d rather stick to natural remedies for moss removal, you can still follow all the steps above — except for the moss killer application step.

However, a great natural way to remove moss from the roof is to use vinegar. Vinegar is environmentally friendly, and it acts as a natural weed killer.

Use distilled white vinegar with an acid strength of no more than 5%. Just pour some into a spray bottle and when you get up to the roof spritz any moss you see. It will take a few days for the vinegar to kill the moss, so this is a method best saved for a sunny weekend as any rain will wash away the vinegar before it’s had time to act.

A few days after applying the vinegar, use a brush to rub away the dead moss, and then hose down the roof.

How to Prevent Moss Growth on the Roof

Once you’ve cleaned the moss from your roof, you’ll no doubt want to keep it moss-free for the foreseeable future. The best way to prevent moss regrowth is to use copper — a natural moss-killer.

You can add copper ridges or copper wire to roof, so — when it rains — a moss-killing copper solution will be released. Copper wire is a cheaper alternative to copper ridges and it won’t affect the appearance of your roof. Whichever option you choose, it’s best to ask a professional to fit the copper to your roof. Roofing experts are used to working at height and will know the best way to install copper wire or ridges.

Another way to prevent moss is to prune back any trees that overhang your home. Leaves fuel moss growth, so if they are less likely to fall onto the roof, moss is less likely to grow.

If you need advice on roof cleaning, or if you’re worried moss might have damaged your roof, we can advise you on all roof related issues. For professional advice on your roofing options, from cleaning to repairing to roof replacement, contact Ploughcroft today.

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