Moss is a plant species that grows well in a moist cool area. Moss does not have flower nor seeds. It needs a damp environment to keep it alive because moss does not have the root system to keep water. Moss is really green with tiny leaves.
A green layer moss on your roof may look like a house in a fairy tale. We often see a moss layer on a roof of a wooden cottage in the middle of the forest just like in a fairy tale. It looks rustic and shady but in real life, moss can shorten your roof lifespan.
It can degrade the roof, especially the wooden roof and it can endanger people living in it. Have you ever wondered how moss can attach your roof? The reasons are perhaps you live in a shady environment. Your house receives less sunlight so it makes your house shady.
Or maybe you have a tree which overhangs near your roof and provides shade. The tree protects your roof from the sunlight that makes moss grows perfectly. Knowing that moss can shorten your roof life span, here are some tips that may help you in removing moss.
How to Remove Moss from the Roof Step by Step
Cleaning moss from the roof may not be easy, but it is also not difficult. If you clean the moss for the first time it might not be immediately clean. But by repeating cleaning, there is no more moss left on the roof. You can follow the steps for cleaning moss on the roof below.
Remove the Shade
As it is said before, one of the factors that promote moss is a tree that provides shade. So, practically we need to remove the shade in order to let more light come in. it can be done by removing the tree, trimming tree branches or remove bushes and other plants that block the sun. By having more light that penetrates, there will be no chance for moss to grow quickly.
Remove the Moss Manually
If cutting tree sounds more preventive, you need to do an actual action to get rid of the moss. You may do it physically by using a long-handled scrub brush or a commercial cleanser designed for it. There are some tools and materials we need to prepare:
- Extension ladder
- Safety glasses
- Rubber gloves
- Safety rope (with spray nozzle)
- Long-handled soft-bristle scrub brush
- Pump spray bottle
- Plastic sheeting
After you have prepared the tools above, now you are ready to start manually cleaning steps. Follow the instructions below:
- Step 1. Place a ladder near the moss growth. Protect yourself with slip-resistant shoes, old clothes, rubber gloves, eye protection, and safety rope (if it is needed). Hose off the area with plain water, spraying at a downward angle.Next, remove the moss by using a long-handled scrub brushes. One thing you need to know, scrub from the top to down to avoid lifting shingles. Scrub it gently and work in a small section at a time to avoid ripping, cracking or breaking the shingle.
Do not use a pressure washer on a roof since the high-powered water can damage shingles and remove the shingle granules protecting the roof.
- Step 2. If a simple scrub does not work, you need to use a cleaning solution to get the job done. There are two types of cleanser that you can use, either commercial or homemade cleanser.Some popular commercial cleansers are Wet & Forget; a spray-on product to remove moss, mold, and mildew; Bayer 2-in-1 Moss and Alga Killer, a potassium soap of fatty acids and inert ingredients that you mix with water; and Moss B Ware, a zinc sulfate mono-hydrate powder that can be applied by dry or mixed with water.
However, you need to wait for a cloudy day so your cleanser will not evaporate quickly. Before you start to use this cleanser, you may need to spread a sheet to protect your work area since the cleanser can damage sensitive plants and discolor siding, decks, or pathway.
- Meanwhile, for homemade spray, you can use this following material and put it in a large spray bottle with one of these four DIY recipes:
Mix 8 ounces Dawn Ultra dish soap+ 2 gallons of water, 1 pound powdered oxygen bleach + 2 gallons of water, 1.5 to 3.5 cups chlorine bleach + 2 gallons of water and 1.5 to 3.5 cups with distilled vinegar + 2 gallons of water.Before you use it, hose off the roof with plain water, then apply the cleanser and let it sit for 20 to 45 minutes. Lightly scrub with a soft-bristle brush, and rinse with water at the end.
Make its Environment Acidic (below pH 4)
There are many household items with pH level at or below 4, for instance, while distilled vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar), Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, and Tomato Juice. These things are really effective at removing the moss.
You can use these products directly by spraying it on the moss or mix it with water to kill the plant. Be careful since these acid products may erode certain types of surface. Therefore, diluting the mixture can prevent corrosion.
Make its Environment a Base (above pH 7)
Moss grows in a pH environment of 5.0-5.5 or 6.0. Thus, we can remove the moss by changing the pH environment below pH 4 or above pH 7. The previous section has explained how to change the pH below 4.
So, this part will give you an idea of how to change the pH environment above pH 7. You need to make your environment into a base level. There are some common items that are base, such as baking soda, baking powder, salt, ammonia, soap, and bleach (do not mix bleach and ammonia).
You can use these products directly by mixing them with water and apply them directly to the moss. They are effective in killing the moss.
Those are some helpful ideas to remove moss from the roof. You can clean it manually by scrubbing it with a long-handled scrubber. Yet, if the moss is hard to remove by using long-handled scrubber only, you need to apply cleanser, both commercial and homemade cleanser.
Be aware of using cleanser since it can damage the plant or the roof surface. You can also change the pH environment so there is no chance for the moss to grow. Last but not least, give more space for the sunlight to come in to prevent the moss.