How to Slow Moss Growth on Your Roof

Moss growth, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, can be something that seems like a steady and productive onslaught. No matter how many times you scrub, those green spores seem to keep coming back over and over.

We wanted to give you a few ways that can slow the moss growth on your roof. Instead of doing one massive cleaning every six months, this requires a bit of proactive care that’s ultimately in the best interest of the long-term health for your roof.

Here are our best tips:

Give your roof a light sweep

When moss growth is in its infancy, often you can remove it by just giving a gentle sweep. However, it’s most important that you don’t break or loosen any of the shingles. If you brush too hard, you risk breaking off the protective mineral granules on your shingles.

Prune your trees

When you look, you’ll probably notice moss grows primarily in shaded areas of your roof. We aren’t advocating to chop all your trees down (please don’t!), but trimming or thinning out the branches could allow more sunlight. This lets your roof dry quicker and thus slows the growth of moss.

Keep your roof free of debris

This is mostly in regards to fallen leaves and twigs on your roof, as well as leaves that can collect in your gutters. The issue here is these can provide nutrients for the moss, and thus facilitate their spreading and growth.

Look for algae-resistant materials

The most obvious of these are algae-resistant shingles, but those are normally installed when you’re getting a new roof altogether.

Otherwise, you want to look towards installing zinc or other metal strips. You slide these under existing roof shingles, as they will kill the moss or lichens that were growing there previously.

What happens if you don’t clean regularly?

Moss does not cause immediate issues, but rather slow-moving, long-term damage. Beyond being tough on the eyes, moss growth can damage wood shingle and shake roofs as well as asphalt shingles. As it collects rainwater, the moss can rot the roof surface away over time. Even worse, it can be damaging to you and your family’s health.

How do you know the problem is pretty bad?

The most telltale sign is taking a look at your roof – if the moss is thick and blanketing the shingles, you have an overgrowth. Otherwise, you can check in your attic and see if there is any water damage or moisture coming through.

If the problem gets bad enough, most people opt for a deep cleaning with a chemical solution. This can be done by yourself, or you can opt to call professionals.

We see moss problems all the time (especially given the wet climate here in Vancouver, WA). At Warner Roofing, we can suggest ideas for slowing moss problems – if that’s the case, feel free to get in touch with us.

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