How Much Damage Can Moss Cause to My Roof?


Moss can create a beautiful effect when it covers a tree or blankets a landscape. A moss-covered roof can even create a whimsical fairy tale effect that’s stunning to look at. However, moss can actually cause significant damage to a roof’s structural integrity. If you have this plant growing on your roof, you need to address it even if you like the look. It doesn’t matter whether you have shingles, tiles or cedar shakes.

Moss thrives in damp, shaded environments. It takes in moisture from the environment and begins to establish roots on your roof. These roots can cause shingles or tiles to lift and the moisture can cause the growth of mold. Eventually, holes can develop in the roof and lead to leaks. Some bugs and rodents may also be attracted to the moss and before long, your roof could be infested.

Because moss holds a lot of water, it can add weight to your roof. Since your roof wasn’t designed to support the extra weight, it may sag or even collapse eventually. Another thing to consider is that moss affects the curb appeal of a home. If you plan to sell your house, moss can turn off some buyers. This can cause you to lose thousands of dollars. Walking on a moss-covered roof is also dangerous so you’re more likely to fall and injure yourself.

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How to Treat a Moss-Covered Roof

If you notice moss growing on your roof, you need to remove it or treat it. You can get rid of moss by hand scraping and using a water hose but this can be tedious. While it may seem like power washing would be more effective, this can cause even more damage to the roof.

If there’s lots of growth, it may be best to call a professional roof contractor in Greenville, SC. Popular suggestions like bleaching the moss can do more harm than good. While bleach will kill the moss, it will damage other vegetation and also discolor your roof. Another option is to use a moss control powder made from zinc sulfate. This won’t damage the roof and many roofing companies offer this treatment.

Preventing Moss on Your Roof

If your area is often damp and your roof is shaded, you should also work to prevent moss growth. One of the best things you can do is install zinc strips along the ridge caps and the roof peak. When it rains, the zinc will be released onto the roof and this prevents the growth of moss growth. These strips usually work for a year and it’s best to install them on a roof that’s free of moss.

You also need to:

  • Trim tree branches that hang over your home
  • Keep your roof free of leaves and twigs
  • Clear leaves from your gutters

Prevention is always best. If you want to protect your roof from damage, you should try to keep it clear of moss. If moss does begin to grow, you should treat it as soon as possible. Moss is much easier to remove when it’s new.

Things to Keep in Mind if You Decide to Remove Moss Yourself

Some homeowners try to clean their roofs themselves in an effort to save money. However, you need to keep in mind that working on a roof requires specialist equipment and training. If you don’t have the right ladder or safety harness, you shouldn’t attempt to do the work yourself.

Also, if you’re not sure which products are safe for slate or tiles, you should seek professional help. If you damage your roofing materials further, repairs could be very expensive. Furthermore, you may not even be able to detect all the damage that’s present. When roofing problems go unaddressed, damage can spread to other parts of the home.

Another consideration is that some of the chemicals used to clear moss can harm other plants and small animals. You should cover large plants to protect them and soak the roots of trees and shrubs before and after you clean. If you’re not sure about any of this, simply call a roofing professional to handle the job.

Contact Lanier Roofing for Expert Advice

Now that you know how dangerous moss can be for your roof, you may be ready to get your roof cleaned. If you contact the Greenville, SC roofing contractors at Lanier Roofing, we’ll help you to get your roof in tip-top shape. Contact us to schedule an inspection and get a free estimate. We offer excellent workmanship and service.

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