Moss growing on a roof is a threat to the integrity of the roof and the well-being of the people living in the house. All roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, wood shingles, and roll roofing provide an ideal environment for the moss to thrive. These organisms are characterized by a green or black coating on the roof. They mostly appear in sections that retain water for a prolonged period, which when combined with indirect sunlight from trees providing shade nearby, allows the algae to spread quickly and permanently damage the roof.
Contacting a professional roofing company in Toronto is the best course of action when dealing with moss on roofs. You can also try the following preventive tips.
- Taking care of the roof and implementing measures that do not create the perfect condition for the moss to grow.
- Conducting regular maintenance and inspections is also a good idea because it helps with early detection and prevents moss from spreading.
- Proper insulation is also necessary for optimal air circulation. It will prevent condensation on the roof.
The idea is to keep excess moisture from sitting on the roof for extended periods.
Additional measures that will protect your roof and increase your safety are:
- Avoiding harsh cleaning products that might take a toll on the roof surface
- Not walking or standing on the roof when it is wet or icy to reduce the chances of falling
- Evaluating the damage or the extent of moss growth from the ground and calling a professional service provider to handle it
It is important to note that moss and algae are slippery. You can easily slip on them and suffer serious injuries.
Causes of Moss growth on the Roof
Moss mostly grows on parts of the roof that are shaded and susceptible to dampness. Cool-weather also contributes to moss growth.
The main factor that determines the growth of moss and lichens on a roof is sunlight. The more the sun, the less the moss growth and vice versa. It means, if the roof has more moisture and is exposed to lower temperatures provided by the shade, that creates a conducive environment for the algae and moss to thrive.
In most cases, the problems caused by moss and algae are more than just cosmetic, regardless of whether they appear on asphalt shingles, wood shakes, roll roofing, or wood shingles. The moisture they retain can damage the roofing materials by affecting the coating and making the shingles more vulnerable to frost damage.
If the moss is left unattended, it will cover the entire roof, making it harder for homeowners to identify the roofing material used.
What are the effects of moss growth on the roof?
Every roofing material has a different lifespan, and sometimes the manufacturers use that as a guide when giving warranties. Since moss mostly causes damage by holding moisture, it can reduce the longevity of the roof covering and cause issues like leaking.
The damage is usually more extensive on wood and asphalt shingles, which can also retain moisture because of debris and leaves collecting on the surface. Freezing conditions can worsen the problem by causing cracking, frost damage, and wearing off, which may go unnoticed under the moss.
Even without freezing, the roots of moss and lichens can still penetrate the shingles and interfere with the overall integrity of the roof or speed up the degeneration process.
The following solutions will prevent or slow down the growth of moss on a roof:
- Raking off Roof Moss
Raking off the moss is one of the most convenient and fastest ways of getting rid of it. Use a leaf rake gently to avoid damaging the roof surface.
- Power Washing
A power washer or a soft brush with water can also produce the desired results. The only problem is that such methods can easily break the shingles or loosen the protective mineral granules from the surface of the shingles. Therefore, extra precaution is necessary.
- Algae-Resistant Shingles
Choosing shingles that are resistant to algae and moss may seem like an expensive option initially, but it is a great way of preventing damage from moss. It is essential if the roof is surrounded by trees that provide shade or there is high humidity or rain in that area. These shingles can prevent costly repairs and regular maintenance.
- Installing copper or other metal strips
Moss cannot grow on metal, so copper strips along the ridge of the roof are a great idea. When combined with rainwater, the metals will release mineral salts that will slowly kill off the algae.
Trimming tree branches that could provide shade and making sure the roof does not contain debris or dry leaves that may prevent sunlight from reaching the roof covering is also crucial. Cleaning the roof, especially during fall and spring when pine needles and other leaves accumulate on the roof hinders moss from getting nutrients that could promote its growth.
- Trim Trees
Unkept trees create a thriving environment for the moss by providing shade. They also deposit a lot of debris that is also part of the problem. When the debris starts to decay, algae and moss receive the right texture and nutrients to grow. Regular trimming and tending to the trees takes away that advantage from the moss, thus denying it the chance to survive.
- Add Anti-Moss Strips
Zinc and copper are the most effective metals in creating a non-conducive atmosphere for moss to grow. Cutting them into strips and nailing them to the roof prevents the growth of both moss and algae. However, they should only be used as the last resort because nailing them can puncture the roof. A good roofer should also be hired for the job to minimize the damage.
- Kill Existing Moss With Cleaning Mixture
If none of these methods work, bleach and water will be sufficient in removing the growing moss. Mix equal amounts of bleach and water and pour on the areas with the growth. Wait a few minutes, then rinse off.
For worn-out or fragile shingles, proper cleaning without causing more damage will be impossible. The best way of dealing with them is by hiring a reputable roofing repair company in Toronto like D’Angelo and Sons. We will inspect your roof and remove the moss to restore your roof’s structural integrity. Our trained professionals are also licensed and insured to ensure you get the quality services you deserve. We can handle all roofing repairs, including sidings, skylights, gutters, and masonry. We also serve various parts of the Greater Toronto Area, including Mississauga, Scarborough, and Brampton. Call us today for a free estimate.