If you’ve noticed green growth on the top of your home, it’s time to take action and learn how to remove moss from your roof. While it may seem harmless, moss can create big trouble for your roof system, degrading your shingles and encouraging the growth of mold and rot.
From how to hire a professional to taking the steps to remove moss on your own, this guide can help you tackle unwanted growth on your home’s roof.
Today’s Homeowner works with an independent reviews team to create evidence-based research that helps our readers make informed decisions. The reviews are always independent. For transparency, we may be compensated if you purchase through a link.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional To Remove Moss From a Roof
While it’s possible to remove moss yourself, you may want to consider hiring a professional. If not done properly, you can damage your shingles, which is what you’re trying to avoid by clearing the moss in the first place. A professional roofer not only has the knowledge and experience to get the job done, but they’ll have the right supplies.
Cleaning your roof can be dangerous — it involves handling chemical substances and requires agility on a ladder. If you hire a professional, they can identify any other issues you may have with your roofing, which can be critical for preventative maintenance.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional
If you decide to hire a professional to clean your roof, make sure to do your research. You’ll want to hire someone bonded and insured in case of an accident. It’s also essential to read customer testimonials for any company before you hire it. This can help you avoid working with anyone who may try to upcharge you with hidden fees or unnecessary services.
If a roofing contractor is unwilling to provide references, certification, or reviews, it can be a red flag. A reputable company should stand behind its work and be able to provide this information.
DIY: Tools and Materials You’ll Need
If you want to go the DIY route, you’ll need to gather some supplies beforehand. You’ll also need some sort of moss-removing solution. There are several products on the market; just make sure to follow the mixing instructions for the best results. Improper ratios can result in an ineffective moss-killing solution.
It’s possible to make your own moss-removing solution, which is generally less harsh than commercial chemical solutions. While a chlorine bleach solution is effective for fungi, mildew, and moss, it may damage surrounding plant life. One recipe for a plant-friendly roof-cleaning solution is to mix together dish soap, white vinegar, and water. Pour your homemade moss removal solution into a pump-style garden sprayer for easy and even application.
In addition to a moss-removing solution, you’ll need the following items:
|Garden hose with spray nozzle||$30–$60|
|Pump sprayer or large spray bottle||$10–$15|
5 Steps To Removing Moss From Your Roof
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to get to work. Follow these steps to remove moss and other debris from your roof.
Step 1: Take Necessary Safety Precautions
Do a safety check before undergoing moss removal, as you’ll be handling chemicals and moving up and down on a ladder. Wear old clothes, eye protection, rubber gloves, and slip-resistant shoes. Keep your safety rope or harness handy if you climb to the roof’s peak. Cover any plants or other landscaping in plastic sheeting. Afterward, safely close the ladder up, ensuring it’s on a solid, level surface.
Step 2: Hose Down Your Roof With Water
Working from top to bottom, gently spray the moss-covered areas of your roof with water. Don’t use a pressure washer — it’s too high-powered for the job and could damage your asphalt shingles. Spraying water downwards will ensure that it runs off and that no tiles or shingles are lifted or broken in the process.
Step 3: Brush Moss Off Of Roof’s Shingles
Gently scrape the moss from the shingles or roofing tiles using your soft-bristled brush. Work in small sections so you can control the motion of your scrubbing. This will help you avoid breaking, cracking, or ripping roofing material and help minimize the removal of asphalt granules.
Step 4: Spray On Moss Remover
Apply moss killer to all affected areas using your pump sprayer or large spray bottle. Thoroughly soak the moss to ensure proper removal. If you’re using a store-bought chemical solution to kill moss, let it sit according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the package. You’ll need to let a homemade remover sit for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 5: Gently Scrub and Rinse The Roof
After the moss removal solution has set, gently scrub your roof with the soft-bristle brush. Hose away any remaining dead moss or residue, remembering to spray downward with low pressure to prevent shingle damage.
Tips for Preventing Moss Growth on Roofs
Once you’ve cleaned the moss from your roof, you’ll want to keep it from returning. According to our research, these are the best ways to prevent moss buildup on your roof’s surface:
- Ensure sunlight reaches your roof: Sunshine naturally discourages moss growth, so allowing plenty of light to shine on your roof will help keep it moss-free. Trim any branches that may be causing excessive shade.
- Maintain your gutters: Clearing debris from your gutters will help your roof drain properly. As you clear your gutters, you’ll want to clean moss out and remove other debris that can absorb moisture, like leaves and seedpods. These can accumulate on your roof, preventing proper runoff and creating an ideal environment for moss to grow.
- Attach zinc or copper flashing to your roof: While this preventative is a time and financial investment, it’s a long-term solution. Attaching zinc strips or copper flashing to the peak or ridges of your roof is a great way to manage moss. When water flows over the metal during rain, moss-retardant particles are released and deposited over the surface of the roof, discouraging new moss and algae growth.
Why Is Moss Bad for Shingles?
A roof covered in green moss can look picturesque and quaint — but damage may be lurking below. As beautiful as it may be, moss growing on your roof can cause expensive problems and issues. Roof moss, left untreated, can degrade virtually any roofing material.
While asphalt and wood are most susceptible, metal, clay, and concrete roofs are also at risk. As moss grows on your roof, it gets in between and underneath the shingles and acts as a sponge, allowing openings for water to seep through to the roof underlayment. Once that happens, you could face one or a multitude of the following problems:
Any one of these issues can cause major damage to your roof and home — damage that can result in expensive repairs. If you’ve noticed moss on your roof, you’ll want to take steps to remove it.
Final Thoughts About Removing Moss From Your Roof
Removing moss from your roof is a necessary preventive measure when it comes to home maintenance. With household materials like a ladder, scrub brush, and hose, moss removal is relatively straightforward. While the steps don’t involve anything complicated — rinse, scrub, spray, repeat — it can be tricky if you don’t have experience.
We recommend hiring a professional to remove moss from your roof effectively and efficiently. Roofers have the experience and skill to remove moss without damaging your shingles or underlayment. A reputable roofing contractor should be insured, which is critical if there is an accident or any damage to your home during the moss removal process.
FAQs About Moss on Roofs
What Time of Year Should You Remove Moss From Your Roof?
To prevent potential damage to your roof, moss should be removed as soon as it appears. While moss grows very little in the summer, fall and spring rain, and mild winters can encourage growth. That being said, DIY roofing projects, including moss removal, shouldn’t be completed during wet weather for safety purposes.
Is It Safe To Remove Moss From Your Roof?
Following the proper precautions, removing moss from your roof is safe. However, it requires particular materials and techniques. If you’re unsure, you should hire a professional.
Does Moss Mean I Need a New Roof?
Moss growth on a roof doesn’t necessarily mean you need a roof replacement. You should act quickly to remove it, though, as it can severely damage the structural integrity of your roof if left untreated.
Does Insurance Cover Moss on a Roof?
A roof covered in moss is a liability for insurance companies, and leaving moss unattended can render you uninsured. If moss is present on your roof, your insurance company may cancel your policy unless the moss is removed.