Moss growth is very common in the Pacific Northwest, and as we move into the Spring season.
It is likely you will begin seeing more of it starting to grow on your roof. Most people think of moss as little more than a cosmetic or aesthetic problem at first. However, if left unchecked, moss will damage the structure of your roof and ruin its integrity. For this reason, when it comes to moss removal, the sooner the better.
What Is Moss?
Moss grows naturally on all sorts of surfaces, including the ground, trees, sidewalks, and roofs. It is a rather small plant, with no flowers and no true roots. The tiny spores it produces will often land on roofs after becoming air-borne. Because moss thrives in damp and shady areas, growth is very common during the Spring season and in wetter climates. Oregon experienced an unusually wet winter season this year, so homeowners should pay extra attention to moss growth on their roofs.
What makes moss particularly dangerous, as opposed to mold fungi or algae, is that it grows in the spaces between shingles. In fact, moss can grow into a mat that is up to a few inches thick, which uplifts shingles and compromises the integrity of the roof. Additionally, moss acts like a sponge, soaking up rainwater and retaining it below the underlayment of a roof. Though many homeowners dismiss the concerns with moss, with some even finding moss to provide an attractive aesthetic to their roofs, moss will nevertheless wreak havoc on shingles and other materials, store moisture, stain roofs, form slippery and dangerous surfaces, and promote the growth of other harmful mold and bacteria. So, what can be done about it?
Moss Removal and Prevention
Most of the bulk of moss can be removed by hand with a soft-bristle brush, a garden hose, and some scrubbing. It is important to scrub in a downward motion to avoid lifting or damaging your shingles, however. Avoid using pressure washers, though, as they can damage shingles by pushing water underneath or into crevasses. Additionally, you could opt for a chemical wash to get rid of moss. If you choose to do so, we recommend using a tarp or plastic sheeting for nearby plants around and below your roof. The covering would protect vulnerable plants from the runoff of these chemicals.
As moss thrives in shady areas, it is best to keep trees and any overhanging branches trimmed back to prevent excess shade from being cast onto your roof. Additionally, zinc strips are very effective, and can be installed at the top of your roof, so that rainfall will wash the zinc down the entire roof and create a protective coating. This will prevent future growth of both algae and moss.
The best way to address moss issues is to contact an experienced roofer. Hadley Roofing in
Medford, OR offers a full range of roofing services. We can assess your moss growth and help you determine options to prevent further concerns.