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How to Get Moss Off Roof (Without Causing Damage)

Written by

Leroy Whitt

Maintaining a home is no small feat, and the exterior can often be overlooked in favor of its more visible interiors. One area that particularly demands your attention is the roof.

Among various roofing concerns, moss growth is a common but potentially hazardous issue that many homeowners face. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about roof moss, from:

  • Identifying it
  • Understanding the risks
  • How to get moss off roof

What Does Roof Moss Look Like?

Before we jump into removal and prevention, let’s first identify what roof moss looks like. Moss is a small, flowerless plant that thrives in damp, shaded environments. On your roof, it typically appears as green, dense clumps or carpet-like patches. It might seem harmless at first glance, even adding a quaint, rustic charm to your home. However, this is one instance where appearances are deceiving.

What Causes Roof Moss?

moss on shingles

Moss spores are carried by the wind and can land on any surface. When they find a hospitable environment—such as the shady, moist areas of your roof—they begin to grow. Here are some common factors that contribute to roof moss development:

  • Shade: Overhanging branches and tree canopies provide the perfect shade for moss to thrive.
  • Moisture: Roofs that do not receive adequate sunlight remain damp, fostering moss growth.
  • Debris: Leaves, twigs, and other organic materials can accumulate on your roof, trapping moisture and encouraging moss.
  • Age of Roof: Older roofs with worn-out shingles are more susceptible to moss growth.

Why Is Roof Moss Dangerous?

While it might look harmless or even charming, roof moss poses significant risks to the integrity of your home. Here are a few reasons why you should take roof moss seriously:

Structural Damage

Moss retains moisture, which can seep into the shingles and underlayment of your roof. Over time, this can cause the materials to deteriorate, leading to leaks and, in severe cases, structural damage to the house.

Reduced Lifespan of Roof

The presence of moss can significantly shorten the lifespan of your roof. The constant moisture can cause shingles to lift and curl, making them more prone to wind damage and reducing their effectiveness.

Increased Energy Costs

A moss-covered roof does not reflect sunlight efficiently, leading to increased heat absorption. This can result in higher energy costs as your home’s cooling system has to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Safety Hazards

Moss makes surfaces slippery, increasing the risk of falls and injuries when walking on the roof for routine inspections or maintenance.

How to Remove Roof Moss: 4 Simple Steps

Given the risks, removing moss from your roof is non-negotiable. However, the process of removing it is delicate and often best left to professionals. Here’s why professional services are your best bet:

1) Expertise and Safety

Professional roofing companies have the expertise and equipment needed to safely remove moss without causing damage to your roof. They know the right techniques to use and can ensure that the moss is thoroughly removed.

2) Effective Products

Professionals use specialized cleaning solutions that are effective at killing and removing moss while being safe for your roof material and the environment. These products are often not available for consumer purchase.

3) Long-term Prevention

In addition to removing the existing moss, professionals can apply treatments that help prevent moss from growing back. This provides a long-term solution, saving you time and money in the future.

4) Compliance with Warranties

Using professional services ensures that the methods and products used comply with the terms of your roof’s warranty. DIY methods can sometimes void warranties, leading to costly repairs that aren’t covered.

6 Steps Professionals Take to Remove Roof Moss

To give you an idea of what to expect, here are the general steps professionals take to remove roof moss:

1. Inspection and Assessment

Professionals start with a thorough inspection of your roof to assess the extent of the moss growth and identify any underlying issues that need to be addressed.

2. Preparation

The area around your house is prepared to protect landscaping and other features from runoff. This might include covering plants and setting up containment systems for the moss and debris.

3. Application of Moss Killer

A specialized moss killer is sprayed onto the affected areas. This solution needs some time to penetrate and kill the moss.

4. Gentle Scrubbing or Brushing

Once the moss is dead, it is gently scrubbed or brushed off the roof. This is done carefully to avoid damaging the shingles or other roofing materials.

5. Rinsing and Cleaning

The roof is then rinsed to remove any remaining moss and cleaning solution. Professionals ensure that the runoff is managed to avoid damaging your property.

6. Preventative Treatment

Finally, a preventative treatment is applied to inhibit future moss growth. This might include installing zinc or copper strips, which release ions that prevent moss from growing.

How to Prevent Roof Moss

After you’ve dealt with the existing moss, you’ll want to take proactive steps to prevent it from coming back. Here are some strategies to keep your roof moss-free:

  • Trim Overhanging Branches: Reduce shade by trimming back any branches that hang over your roof. This allows more sunlight to reach the roof, reducing the damp conditions that moss thrives in.
  • Clean Gutters Regularly: Ensure that your gutters are clean and free of debris. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up onto your roof, creating the moist conditions moss loves.
  • Install Zinc or Copper Strips: Installing zinc or copper strips along the ridge of your roof can help prevent moss growth. When it rains, tiny amounts of metal are washed down the roof, inhibiting moss growth.
  • Keep the Roof Clean: Regularly remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from your roof. This reduces the organic material that moss needs to grow.
  • Schedule Regular Inspections: Have your roof inspected by professionals at least once a year. They can identify and address any issues before they become serious problems.

Why You Should Use a Professional Service

While DIY methods may seem cost-effective, the risks and challenges often outweigh the benefits. Here’s why you should consider using professional services for moss removal and prevention:

Safety Concerns

Roof work is inherently dangerous. Professionals have the training and equipment to safely work at heights and handle slippery surfaces.

Expertise and Experience

Professionals are trained to handle the intricacies of roof care. They can identify underlying issues that a DIY enthusiast might miss and provide comprehensive solutions.

Long-term Solutions

Professional services offer long-term solutions, including preventative treatments and regular maintenance plans. This ensures that your roof stays moss-free for years to come.

Quality Assurance

Reputable roofing companies offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind that the job will be done right.


While hiring professionals might seem more expensive upfront, it can save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and extending the lifespan of your roof.

Whitt’s Roofing Is The One To Choose

mossy roof

Roof moss may seem like a minor issue, but its implications for your home are far-reaching. From structural damage to reduced energy efficiency, the risks are too significant to ignore. While there are DIY methods available, hiring a professional service ensures that the moss is effectively removed and prevented from returning.

At Whitt’s Roofing, we specialize in providing comprehensive roof moss removal and prevention services tailored to your needs. Our team of experts is committed to helping you maintain the integrity and appearance of your roof. Get in touch with us today to schedule an inspection and learn more about how we can help you keep your roof moss-free.

Don’t wait for the moss to cause problems—take action now and ensure your home is protected.

Leroy Whitt

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