How to Remove Moss from Your Roof

A very mossy roof in need of professional roof repair

In the wet, rainy, Pacific Northwest, it’s not uncommon to see a house that looks like it belongs in a fairy tale. You know, the ones that have moss covering the entire roof. But, as most of us know, while it might make your house look dreamy and rustic, moss can pose a serious threat to your roof.

As moss grows, its roots dig deeper and deeper into your shingles, causing them to separate and leak. As if that wasn’t bad enough, moss also makes a great sponge. It can trap and hold moisture against your roof, leading to mold, mildew, and lots of deterioration.

The best thing to do when you see moss growing on your roof is to get rid of it. Here’s how to remove moss and algae from your roof.

Step 1: Safety First

Before you even think about removing moss from your roof, you need to get ready. Climbing on your roof is always dangerous, especially when it’s wet.

To keep you safe throughout the moss removal process, put on all necessary safety gear:

  • Slip-resistant shoes – It doesn’t matter how nice the weather is: NO SANDALS!
  • Old clothes – You’re going to get dirty.
  • Rubber gloves – It’s no fun getting your hands all slimy.
  • Eye protection – Keep your peepers safe while you rinse the moss off.
  • Safety rope – To make sure you don’t fall off the roof (or at least don’t hit the ground).

Once you’re geared up, make sure your ladder is secure and make your way up onto the roof.

Step 2: Rinse and Brush

Using a regular garden hose (not a pressure washer), spray the mossy area with water at a downward angle. Wet moss doesn’t hold on as well as dry moss.

When the area is properly saturated, brush the moss off with a long-handled broom. Scrub from the top down to avoid lifting shingles. Make sure you use a broom with soft bristles, so it doesn’t scrape the granules off your roof.

Slowly work your way around your roof, cleaning one small area at a time. Not only does this help you avoid damaging your roof, but smaller movements will also help you keep your balance. Large, sweeping motions are a great way to find the fast way off your roof.

Step 3: Apply a Cleaning Solution

For more widespread and pesky moss problems, you can use a cleaning solution. There are tons of moss and algae cleaners out there. You can find them in any home improvement store or online retailer.

You can also make your own cleaning solutions:

  • 8 oz. dish soap to 2 gallons of water
  • 2 cups of bleach to 2 gallons of water
  • 2 cups of white distilled vinegar to 2 gallons of water

Once you get your moss removal solution, simply apply it to the area once you’ve rinsed and brushed the moss. It’s best to apply moss cleaners on a cloudy day. You don’t want the solution to evaporate before it gets a chance to work!

While these store-bought and DIY solutions are effective for some moss problems, there’s nothing better than commercial cleaners. For that, you’ll have to hire a roofing professional to remove the moss from your roof.

Step 4: Prevent Moss from Growing on Your Roof in the Future

Once you’ve rid your roof of that pesky moss and algae, the next step is to make sure it doesn’t come back.

The easiest way to prevent roof moss is to trim any trees hanging over your house. Trees cast shade on your roof, preventing any moisture from drying. The sun is the best natural moss prevention tool. The more sunlight you get to your roof, the less moss you’ll have to worry about. Of course, those of us “living dark” in the PNW know it’s not always possible to keep the shade off your roof.

Another way to prevent moss growth is to install zinc or copper coated sheet metal strips below the top ridge on both sides of your roof. While this preventative measure might be a bit more complicated, copper and zinc are both toxic to mold and can prevent it from growing even in the dampest conditions.

If you choose to install zinc or copper sheets, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional roofer. They’ll ensure everything is installed correctly without damaging your roof.

The Best Way to Remove Moss from Your Roof: Hire a Roofing Contractor

In the end, the best way to remove moss from your roof is to hire an experienced roofing contractor. Seattle-area roofers are very good at removing moss. We do it all the time! Only a professional will be able to get rid of all the moss, apply preventative measures, and do it all without making you climb up on the dangerous roof.

If you want to get rid of the moss and algae on your roof, contact the experts at Cloise & Mike Construction today. We’ll give you a free estimate for the job and be able to handle any repairs you might need. No matter your roofing need, we’re here to help!