How to Prevent Moss From Growing On the Roof

Moss and algae can do considerable damage if they’re left for too long. Both use the combination of moisture and organic materials – aka your roofing materials – to grow and colonize. As a result, structural materials begin to rot and decay, leading to expensive, long-term damage.

Tips For Preventing Moss & Algae From Growing on Your Roof

The following tips can help you keep moss and algae from taking up residence on your roof.

Eliminate Moss & Algae ASAP. If you already see green and/or blackish growths on your roof, it’s important to remove them as soon as you can. In the right conditions, mold can grow pretty fast and this growth directly relates to the rate at which roofing materials decay. Established moss growths can be manually removed. Then, a thorough wash and the application of a bleach-water solution can be applied to remove the rest.

Moss growing on roof
How do you prevent moss from growing on your roof?

Unless you’re familiar with ladder- and roof-safety, professional moss and algae removal is often the safest and most efficient way to eliminate these offenders from your roof.

Trim Overgrown Tree Branches. Moss and algae require a moist environment. This is why we typically see the largest infestations accumulating in the shady areas created by overgrown tree limbs. Hire a certified arborist or professional tree trimmer to keep mature tree branches in check. Trimming them back and away from your roofline will help prevent moss and algae on the roof and will also prevent roof damage from fallen limbs and branches.

Keep Gutters & Downspouts Clean & Clear. When gutters and downspouts are full of debris, water has the chance to accumulate for extended periods. During the rainy season, this can lead to days or weeks of overflow, causing water to spill over and soak into roof and eaves materials. As long as temperatures are warm enough (about 35°F to 80°F), the ever-present moisture provides a perfect environment for moss to settle in.

Inspect gutters and downspouts at least twice a year to remove debris and make sure water is flowing through them as designed. Clear any clogs immediately to prevent water damage and repair any rusted, split or corroded gutter/downspout runs as soon as you can.

Use Strips of Zinc Flashing. Remember we said that moss and algae use organic materials as a food source? Thin strips of zinc flashing (copper and lead flashing work as well) can be installed underneath rows of shingles where moss and algae are the most prevalent. Clean the roof first to eliminate any current moss or algae. Then, apply the strips as per the manufacturer’s directions. Always contact your roofing manufacturer and apply the strips as per their instructions to avoid violating your warranty.

Always use a safe ladder and climbing practices while performing work on a roof. If this is not your area of expertise, hire a professional roof cleaner or roofing contractor to do the work for you.

Need the help of a professional to clean your roof, gutters, and/or downspouts and/or to prevent future moss and algae growth? Contact Proman WC at 425-908-9121 or 510-478-4880. Don’t forget to ask us about our 15% discount for new customers.

Post Storm Gutter Cleaning Tips

Inspecting and cleaning the gutters is an essential part of maintaining your home’s roof system. If you skip this important step, the accumulated debris can lead to undesirable scenarios:

  1. Gutters can overflow before water has a chance to make it to the downspout.
  2. Pooled water can seep over the edge and make its way into your interior roof and wall spaces.
  3. The reaction between rotting organic materials and water can lead to corrosion of the gutter and downspout materials.
  4. Water can collect and pool near your foundation, causing long-term foundation damage.

After winter storms, it’s a good idea to take peek around the gutters – or hire a professional to do it for you – to make sure they are free of debris and to clear them of any twigs, leaves, or dirt that can compromise the gutter system’s function.

What to Look For When Inspecting Gutters and Downspouts

Here are the tools required for inspecting and cleaning gutters and downspouts:

  • A safe, secure ladder that extends well above the edge of your roof
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Latex or latex-free gloves
  • A trowel
  • Two buckets with wire hooks
  • Garden hose with nozzle or gutter cleaning attachment

Now it’s time to get started.

  1. Check the weather. Ideally, you want to clean your gutters when it’s dry. If possible, choose a day when you’ve had dry weather for two to three days before so accumulated debris has time to dry out. This makes the removal of debris much easier.

    Post Storm Gutter Cleaning Tips
    What should you do with your gutter following a storm?
  2. Set up your ladder. Make sure all four legs of the ladder (or two if you’re using an extension latter) are planted firmly on the ground. Hook the buckets securely to the top of the ladder. Use one to carry your tools and the other to empty the debris into. Never step higher than the second-to-the-last stair on the ladder. If you feel uncomfortable or unsteady on a ladder, hire professionals to clean the gutters for you.
  3. Remove the debris. Don your latex gloves, work gloves and safety glasses. The latex gloves will protect your hands from wet, rotting refuse that accumulates at the bottom of the gutters. Use your hands to remove the larger debris, like twigs and larger leaves. Then, use the trowel to shovel out the smaller debris. Dump it all into the bucket. If it’s been a while, you may need to head down to dump a bucket load multiple times before the job is done. Remove and clean any downspout strainers (the wire traps that lead to the downspouts).
  4. Hose them down. Now that the gutters are clean, wash any remaining, smaller debris through the gutters and downspouts using your garden hose with an attached nozzle or gutter cleaning attachment. Begin hosing the gutters at the end that is opposite the downspout.
  5. Check the downspouts. Make sure the water is moving swiftly through the downspouts. If it’s not, run the garden hose up the spout to unclog the debris, using a strong stream of water to help loosen the clog. Once the debris is free, spray the gutters again to make sure the water is running freely. If it’s still clogged or slow, work on the downspout again until it’s clear there is no block left.

Is gutter cleaning one of those “to-dos” you just can’t get around to? Have a multi-story home that makes gutter and downspout cleaning more difficult? Contact ProMan WC and we’ll be happy to help. We can also repair any minor damage that may be compromising the efficiency of your gutter system. Give us a call at 425-908-9121 or 510-478-4880.