How to Remove Moss from a Roof Naturally (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to remove moss from roof naturally
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While removing moss from your roof isn’t the most convenient task on your list of to-dos, it doesn’t have to be a waste of the entire weekend either. Let’s take a quick look at how you can quickly and easily remove moss from a roof naturally.

To remove moss from a roof naturally, remove all the debris off of the shingles, soak the area with a hose and soapy water, then scrub it away. Make sure there is plenty of available sunlight to help dry the area and to keep moss from growing back. 

Do you want to save a little money? Forget calling in the pros and take a look at these natural and easy ways to remove moss from your roof.

How to Remove Moss From a Roof Naturally

A moss-covered roof is an unattractive look for any home and can be such a pain to clean off and get rid of for good. Luckily for you, we did a little digging around and found the best way to illuminate this nasty, rapidly reproducing plant and keep it at bay for years to come.

What you will need

  • Ladder
  • Hose
  • Cleaning solution
  • Broom
  • Scrub brush
  • Safety Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Tree trimmer (optional)

Always use safety goggles and gloves when clearing moss and any other debris from the roof of your home. This will protect your eyes from the backsplash when spraying the hose or from debris getting into them while sweeping it away. It is also going to keep your hands from getting scratched, irritated, or cut up in the process.

Remember: Never step onto a roof that is wet from water or soap, and be careful when walking around mossy areas as moss is well-known for being very slippery all on its own.

Step one:  Prep the Roof

Before you can clear moss from a roof, you first have to prep the area to ensure you get the best clean possible. To do this, you will first have to set up your ladder to give yourself direct access to the area that needs to be cleaned.

Make sure the ladder is set up in a safe location and angled in a way that provides you with a secure hold.

Next, you want to clear all of the branches, leaves, toys, etc. Anything that shouldn’t be on your roof will need to go.

You might also want to consider cutting back tree branches and vegetation that creates shaded areas over the space. Without direct sunlight, you can cause a whole new set of problems for yourself as the water remains stagnant for a long period of time.

Step Two: Brush off All Loose Moss

Now that the larger debris is taken care of, it is time to get rid of as much of the loose moss as possible with a broom or scrub brush.

During this process, be careful not to lean too far over or assert more force than necessary. You don’t want to put yourself in danger of falling off the ladder; plus, you don’t want to damage your shingles by being too rough.

Step Three: Spray the Loose Moss off of the Roof

Using your hose, spray as much of the loose moss off of the roof as possible. You can use the highest pressure setting on your hose nozzle if offered. This will clear the area for the next step, making it a little bit easier getting down into the hard-set moss and residue.

Step Four: Apply a Soapy Solution

this is the time to apply a soapy solution to your roof. You can either add an approved solution to a pressure washer, or you can mix the solution into a bucket and pour it onto the mossy areas, making sure you cover it completely.

Some of the best DIY solutions to try, include:

  • 1 to 3 cups chlorine bleach  mixed with 1/2 to 2 gallons of water
  • 1 to 3 cups white distilled vinegar mixed with 1 to 2 gallons of water
  • 8 ounces Dawn Ultra dish soap mixed with 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of water

You can also purchase a cleaning solution from local retailers or online. Many places will even provide customers with natural options if this is something important to you.

Step Five: Let this Solution Soak in

Once you are sure you have covered the entire area of moss, you should allow the mixture to soak for about 30 minutes. Making sure the moss is really wet will allow it to absorb the soapy solution better and will also make it soft enough to make the removal a much easier task.

Step Six: Rinse and Scrub

As soon as the timer goes off, you can climb the ladder back to the roof and begin rinsing the sudsy area off, getting rid of all the soap.

The best way to accomplish a deep clean is by spraying from the top of the roof down to the bottom in slow and even lines, allowing the dirty water to flow downwards and away from the spots you already rinsed.

Once the entire roof is cleaned off and has had time to dry, go back up and make sure all of the moss is now gone. If not, you will want to apply more of the solution to the remaining problem areas, then using a scrub brush, remove the rest of the moss, cleaning the area in a circular motion.

Now, that you have eliminated every last bit of the moss, rinse it a final time with your hose, ensuring all of the dirt, debris, and the residue is washed away.

How to Keep Moss From Coming Back

Now that you have a clean and moss-free roof, you are probably wondering what we would suggest doing to keep it from becoming a reoccurring problem, right?

Well, during the cleaning process, you have actually already taken one step in the right direction. Simply trimming branches hanging over your roof is a great way to keep moss from growing since it typically forms in dark, shaded spaces.

You can also consider adding 2-4 inches pieces of Zinc or Copper coated sheet metal to the sides of your roof. Copper is a toxic material to moss, keeping it from having the ability to ever form in the first place.

These metal strips collect rainwater that falls onto the roof, mixing with the metal, creating a natural solution that deters the growth of moss. While copper is much more potent, it is much more expensive than zinc sheet metal, and both are great at getting the job done right.

Avoid the Problem With Metal Roofing

Moss is typically only an issue for those who have traditional shingles protecting their roof. This is because shingles provide a porous surface for moss to establish itself on your roof. Although metal roofing isn’t full-proff at keeping organic materials from growing, it won’t give it an easy space to stay in place.

Types of metal roofing

  • Galvanized Steel Roofing
  • Aluminum Roofing
  • Copper Roofing
  • Zinc Roofing

While steel roofs are the most popular option out there and stay relatively clean without much maintenance, it is an expensive material and the other options will do a similar job.

Keep Moss From Build Up With Cleaning Treatments

While cleaning treatments might not use “natural” cleaning solutions. These services are a great way to keep moss from building up over time, eliminating the amount of time you spend clearing it from your roof.

Most homes will only require a deep cleaning treatment every five years or so, and this is more often than not conducted by professionals.

These particular treatments will involve the use of chemicals designed to kill the growing nuisance. Since moss is a very slow-growing plant it will take around 4-6 years before it even becomes a noticeable and aggravating problem. By getting your roof professional clean once every five years, you can continuously eliminate the growth cycle, making the pores start from scratch each and every time.

Is Moss Dangerous if Left to Grow on Your Roof?

For the most part, moss itself isn’t a dangerous plant. Although it may spread like mold and mildew, unlike these funguses, moss doesn’t contain spores that are toxic to humans.

With that said, moss can be dangerous in other ways, mainly by creating a slick and unsafe surface space, making it easy for someone to take a wrong step and slip off their roof.

Moss on your roof can also be a danger to your garden or landscape below. When it rains or becomes windy, this plant can tumble down on the plants and grass growing underneath, then spread throughout it, killing the vegetation it inhabits.

Moss can also fall from the roof onto your porch or patio and get into the wood finish. If the wood of your porch isn’t properly sealed, the moss can grow inside it and spread like crazy creating a green or black stain in its wake.

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