Managing Moss and Plant Growth on Roofs

Moss and plant growth on roofs is quite common. While it can look quite charming, it can actually cause a fair bit of damage that can be costly to repair, from damaged shingles to full on leaks.

If you already have growth here’s what you should, and shouldn’t do to get rid of it:

Do

  • Call a residential roofing company. They’ll be able to safely remove the moss and plants without damaging your roof. And if there are any mishaps, they’ll be able to fix them.
  • Apply chemically acidic cleaners. If you want to go the DIY route, some examples of acidic products are white distilled or apple cider vinegar, orange, lemon, or tomato juice. When using an acidic product make sure you distil it with water and don’t let it sit on your roof too long as it may erode the shingles.
  • Apply chemically basic products. Some examples are baking soda, baking powder, salt, ammonia, soap, and bleach. When using any of these products it’s important to note that runoff can kill any plants you have growing below the roof.
  • Check your local home and garden store for products. These products will either have proper dilutions already or provide you with specific instructions.
  • Use a heavy-duty scrub brush. Long handled brushes are a great option, just make sure you’re not scrubbing too hard and damaging the shingles. Start off lightly and gently increase the pressure until you have it just right.
  • Start at the top of the roof and work downwards to prevent any shingles from lifting or breaking.
  • Always wear heavy duty rubber gloves, protective clothing, and eye protection so that no chemicals come in contact with your skin.

If you go the DIY route, make sure you do your research first. Find out if any chemicals are particularly detrimental to your roof type.

Don’t

  • Pressure wash the roof. While it’s effective at removing the moss, it’s also incredibly damaging to your shingles and could event remove shingles – causing what you were trying to prevent in the first place.
  • Scrape the moss. Scraping can cause the shingles to rip and crack.

There are also a few things you can do to prevent or minimize growth in the first place

Preventing Moss Growth

  • Moss tends to grow better in shady areas. Trim back trees and bushes that hang over the roof.
  • Installing zinc or copper wire along the ridges of your roof can help prohibit growth.
  • Clean your roof on a regular basis of debris.

The weather of the Pacific Northwest – wet and overcast – will still encourage plant growth, so regular maintenance is recommended.

If you have concerns over the moss growth on your roof and would like the opinion of a professional, talk to the Roof Tech team at 604-888-ROOF or info@rooftechconsultants.ca.