Moss On Roof - Knowledgebase Question

Tacoma, WA
Question by timmounsey
December 31, 1999
Is moss growing on the roof of my house a problem? If it is, how do I get rid of it, or bring it under control?



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Answer from NGA
December 31, 1999

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Moss, lichen and algae grow actively in wet weather and will put in an appearance on rooftops, decks, lawns, walkways and shady sides of outdoor structures.
Not only are they slippery, but they will shorten the life span of a roof if they are not controlled.

First, scrape away as much moss as possible. A power washer works to remove moss, lichen and algae. Be careful with the tools, as they can damage your roof as well as remove the moss. Keep all organic debris such as leaves and branches off of your roof, deck or patio. Remove branches that overhang your roof and decks to allow direct sunlight and good aeration and faster drying. Use commercial moss removers to keep moss and algae from returning. These are best applied when the moss is actively growing, in the fall, winter and spring. If possible, apply them during a dry spell. Controls containing zinc sulfate are relatively safe around plants and are available for home use. Zinc sulfate also comes in a granular form for dry application. Follow the label directions. Zinc sprays or granules will corrode copper so should not be used if gutters and downspouts are made of copper.

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