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Dealing with Moss on Your Roof

Your roof is one of the most important aspects of your home, and requires maintenance and attention. If you already have practice good roof maintenance skills, you’re a step ahead of the curb. But if you’ve noticed your roof has been neglected (either by yourself or by your home’s previous owner), it’s important to get your roof in good shape and start practicing good maintenance as soon as possible. One particularly damaging sign of neglect is moss. While a roof covered in moss certainly has a warm and rustic look to it, moss is relentlessly damaging to roof shingles. The moisture in moss can slowly erode any type of shingle.
Wood and asphalt are especially vulnerable, but metal, concrete, and clay shingles will also see damage from moss. Put simply, moss will inevitably shorten the lifespan of your roof, so if you have moss buildup, it’s important to learn how to remove and do so as soon as possible.


Your highest priority in roof maintenance should always be safety. Use a sturdy, properly sized ladder and lean it against a stable part of the roof. Always have a spotter to make sure the ladder remains stable. Wear footwear with proper grip, especially in wet weather. Gloves can also go a long way in preventing skin abrasions. Finally, if available, a harness or safety rope can make a world of difference. Once you’re ready to get up to the roof, here’s how to remove that pesky moss.

The Basics

Thankfully, the tools for removing moss are not complicated. You’ll need a hose (preferably with a spray nozzle), plastic sheeting, a soft bristlebrush with a long handle, and moss remover solution. There are lots of commercial options available, though some can damage skin and plants. This is why you should wear gloves, and cover any gardens below with plastic sheeting. The sheeting can also be used to catch the moss as you remove it for easier clean up afterward. The first step when removing moss is to spray the shingles with the hose. While you can use a jet spray to uproot the moss, never use a power washer. Power washers can damage and shatter shingles, rendering the moss removal process redundant. Once the moss is sprayed, use the brush to lightly scrape away at the moss. Moss remover solution is only necessary with particularly embedded moss, and will come with specific directions on the bottle. Some need to be left on while others ask to be rinsed off quickly.

DIY Solutions

If you want to make you own moss removal solution, there are a number of DIY solutions you can make. Here are 4 options you can mix into 2 gallons of water:

1. 8 oz dish soap
2. 1 lb of oxygen bleach (powder) or 2-3 cups of chlorine bleach
3. 2-3 cups white distilled vinegar


Preventing moss buildup is an important part of roof maintenance. So once you’ve removed it, here’s how to ensure you’ll never have to do it again. Pruning tree branches to let more sunlight on the roof is a great natural preventative. Alternatively, installing strips of copper or zinc below the top ridge of the roof are also effective. Copper is more effective, but zinc is
significantly cheaper.

Too Late?

If your roof has been damaged, contact us for a free repair quote.