A Rolling Stone May Gather No Moss, But Your Roof Does

You may recognize the title of this article from a centuries-old proverb translated from Latin. Unless you’re under 40 years old, in which you think the term “Rolling Stone” is either a pop culture magazine or part of a British rock group.

Moss: The Stealthy Roof Invader

Even though moss may never be found on a rolling stone, it can occupy the roof of your home. In fact, roof moss is a common problem in almost every part of the country, although it is more plentiful in regions characterized by substantial rainfall and/or significant humidity. And it’s not just shingle roofs that are susceptible to moss; these small flowerless plants can grow on clay tiles, wood shakes, concrete slabs, metal panels or even asphalt sections of roof.

It can happen anywhere.

Furthermore, moss growth is usually more prevalent on a portion of roof that faces north, since this side tends to stay wet for longer periods of time than roof areas which face other directions. And portions of a roof which are in near-constant shade may also have moss because the sunlight cannot adequately dry the roofing surface.

In addition to being unsightly, substantial moss growth atop a home can also cause problems for your roofing materials if left unaddressed. That’s because the shallow root system can serve to keep roofs damp for quite a bit longer than normal; and the more moisture that is present, the faster that an asphalt shingle will erode and the shorter its lifespan will be. It’s not uncommon for moss-laden roofs to have small leaks caused by rotting shingles.

How To Get Rid of Moss… For Good

Fortunately, moss is fairly easy to remove from a shingle roof. You’ll need to take a standard bristle scrub brush (preferably attached to a pole or long handle) up on top of the roof. Then brush the moss down away from the roof’s apex to tear out the shallow roots; never brush upward because you could remove the bond between the layers of shingles. For extensive moss growth, you can spray down your roof to dislodge the plant’s roots or use a solution of oxygen (but not chlorine) bleach while you are scrubbing.

This is what is called a full-on moss assault (moss-ault?)

Here’s some even better news: you can take steps to keep the moss from returning to your roof. All you need to do is purchase or cut strips of copper that are four to six inches wide and around ten feet long.

When you are finished clearing the moss off your roof, take one of these strips, line it up parallel to the top of your roof, and slide it under the top layer of shingles. You only need to slide it for an inch or so underneath the shingles, or just enough that it remains firmly in place. Do this all across your roof (or at least as far as the moss grew).

Now you have a natural barrier against future moss growth. When rain falls on the top of your home, it will run down over the exposed copper and take some of the copper molecules with it. These molecules will serve to create conditions which inhibit moss growth on your roof; think of it as a “natural poison” to eliminate moss.

See? That looks much better!

While you’re removing moss from your roof, take a little time to inspect the overall conditions of your shingles. If you think that it’s time for a roof replacement, contact Harry Helmet for a free, on-site estimate. Harry Helmet has been providing exceptional quality and unmatched customer service for over three decades, and they back up their work with a full ten-year warranty. You can set up an appointment online by filling out this form, or call Harry Helmet directly at 1-888-5-HELMET.

Written by Del Thebaud

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