Photo by Jan Venter

If you’ve seen green growth on your roof, it’s time to act and discover how to remove moss from your roof. While it may appear to be innocuous, moss can cause significant damage to your roof system by deteriorating your shingles and encouraging the formation of mold and rot.

This guide can help you confront unwanted growth on your home’s roof, from hiring a professional to taking the steps to remove moss on your own.

Why Does Moss Grow on Your Roof?

Moss spores are airborne and can settle everywhere, including on your roof. These creatures thrive in moist, humid environments with enough organic matter to feed on. Because regions facing north and west receive the most shadow, these roof places will have the highest moss growth.

Unfortunately, moss can cause harm to your roof. Moss consumes the asphalt shingle’s surface layer and absorbs excess moisture in the shingles and air, allowing it to spread. Wood rot can result from moss that has spread beneath your shingles, reaching the roof decking and inside your home.

How to Determine If You Have Moss on Your Roof

An unaided ground survey of your roof may not reveal moss, but you may inspect it more thoroughly by utilizing binoculars or, if you’re feeling particularly fancy, a drone outfitted with a camera. Inspect the whole roof, paying specific attention to areas that tend to stay in the shade.

How Does Roof Moss Appear?

If moss is growing on your roof, it’s quite visible. Green, fuzzy growth will be visible between shingles or on metal roofing surfaces. Algae will sometimes grow on roofs alongside moss growths, resulting in dark blotches on the roof’s surface. Lichens, which are frequently green plaques that may or may not be raised or textured, are another thing you may see on your roof.

How To Remove Moss From Roof

Moss begins as a thin green covering on and between shingles, but as it grows, it lifts those shingles up, allowing water to flow through. Hello, rotted wood and leaks!

Fortunately, cleaning moss is a relatively simple chore that can be done on a seasonal or as-needed basis to keep your roof weathertight and attractive. To remove moss from a roof, follow these instructions:


  • Ladder with an extension
  • remover for moss, mold, and algae
  • Safety sunglasses
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety rope
  • Hose for the garden
  • Spray gun nozzle
  • Scrub brush with a soft bristle
  • Spray bottle with a pump

Step #1: Hose down your roof shingles and brush away any loose moss.

Place a ladder carefully near the moss growth, and wear slip-resistant shoes, old clothes, rubber gloves, and eye protection. (You may also want to use a safety rope to keep yourself safe.)

Spray the area with plain water from a downward angle. Then, cleaning from the top down to prevent removing shingles, use a long-handled soft-bristle scrub brush to remove the moss from the roof. Continue to massage softly, rather than scraping, scouring, or pounding on the roof, and work in tiny sections at a time to avoid ripping, splitting, or breaking the shingles.

Take care not to use a pressure washer on the roof. High-pressure water jets can damage shingles and remove shingle granules, which protect the roof.

Step #2: To remove the moss, use a store-bought or homemade cleaning solution.

If your moss problem requires more than a simple scrub, there are numerous professional cleaning options as well as homemade roof moss killer remedies available to help. Wait until the following cloudy day before venturing out to the roof with your preferred cleanser—you don’t want the solution to evaporate too rapidly.

Remember that both commercial and DIY spray cleaners can harm sensitive plants and discolor siding, decks, or pathways, so put plastic sheeting beneath your work area before you begin.

Wet & Forget, a spray-on moss, mold, and mildew remover; Bayer 2-in-1 Moss and Algae Killer, a potassium soap of fatty acids and inert ingredients that you mix with water and then spray on; and Moss B Ware, a zinc sulfate monohydrate powder that can be applied dry or mixed with water.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application; some cleansers should be rinsed off after use, while others should be left on.

You can also manufacture your own moss remover in a large spray bottle using one of the following four DIY recipes:

  • 2 liters of water + 8 ounces Dawn Ultra dish soap
  • 1 pound oxygen bleach powder + 2 liters water
  • 12–312 cup chlorine bleach + 2 liters water
  • 112–312 cup white distilled vinegar + 2 liters water

You should damp down the roof with normal water first, then apply the cleanser and let it sit for 20 to 45 minutes for any of these homemade solutions. Scrub lightly with a soft-bristled brush, then rinse with water.

Step #3: Install zinc or copper on the roof to prevent further moss growth.

Install strips of zinc- or copper-coated sheet metal slightly below the top ridge on both sides of the roof to prevent moss from returning. Copper is more harmful to moss and algae than zinc, but zinc is more cheaper. Sheet metal can be purchased in rolls and cut into two- to four-inch strips. Use roofing nails or screws with a rubber washer to secure the strips to the roof.

You may also consider cutting any tree limbs that overhang the roof—natural sunlight is an effective moss-repellent.

Considerations for Safety

Working on a roof can be hazardous, so be sure you’re not just wearing protective gear like work boots, thick leggings, and a hard hat or helmet, but also that your harness is in good condition and correctly fastened. It is also crucial to have another person around to help hold your ladder or call for aid if something goes wrong.

Related: ROOF WASHING: Guide To Roof Washing and Costs In 2023

DIY Moss Removal vs. Professional Moss Removal

Although you may remove moss manually, you risk damaging your roof unless you are very careful and work slowly. When the granules on your asphalt shingles are washed away by poor cleaning practices, hiring a roofing contractor is sometimes just less expensive than replacing the roof.

Tips for Preventing Roof Moss Growth

After you’ve cleaned the moss from your roof, you’ll want to keep it from growing again. According to our research, the following are the best strategies to avoid moss accumulation on the surface of your roof:

#1. Make certain that sunlight reaches your roof

Because sunlight naturally suppresses moss growth, letting plenty of light shine on your roof will assist in keeping it moss-free. Remove any branches that are casting too much shade.

#2. Keep your gutters in good condition

Cleaning out your gutters will allow your roof to drain correctly. When cleaning your gutters, remove moss and other material that can absorb moisture, such as leaves and seedpods. These can build up on your roof, limiting appropriate outflow and fostering the growth of moss.

#3. Install zinc or copper flashing on your roof:

While this prophylactic requires both time and money, it is a long-term answer. Attaching zinc strips or copper flashing to your roof’s peak or ridges is an excellent way to keep moss at bay. When rain falls on the metal, moss-retardant particles are produced and deposited on the roof’s surface, preventing fresh moss and algae growth.

Why is Moss Harmful to Shingles?

A green moss-covered roof may appear lovely and quaint, but problems may be hiding below. Moss growing on your roof, no matter how beautiful it may be, can cause costly troubles and issues. If left untreated, roof moss can destroy almost any roofing material.

While asphalt and wood roofs are the most vulnerable, metal, clay, and concrete roofs are also vulnerable. Moss on your roof grows between and beneath the shingles, acting as a sponge and allowing water to leak through to the roof underlayment. When this occurs, you may encounter one or more of the following issues:

  • Decay
  • Mildew
  • Mold
  • Rot

Any of these concerns can cause significant damage to your roof and home, resulting in costly repairs. If you discover moss on your roof, you should take action to remove it.

What Is the Most Efficient Way to Remove Moss from a Roof?

There are no shortcuts when it comes to removing moss from a roof. The simplest way is to hire an expert.

What Home Treatment May Be Used to Kill Moss on a Roof?

Although there are various home cures for killing roof moss on the internet, these methods might damage your roof as well as plants on the ground and are not suggested.

Is Dawn Dish Soap Effective at Removing Moss From Your Roof?

There are moss home treatments that contain Dawn dish soap, but Dawn dish soap is not a particularly effective way to kill moss.

Is It Better to Kill Moss With Bleach or Vinegar?

Both bleach and vinegar are extremely aggressive chemicals that can both kill moss and harm your roof. As a result, they are not suggested for moss removal. Instead, use a commercial moss killer to protect your roof and the plants on the ground below.

When Is the Best Time of the Year to Remove Moss from Your Roof?

Moss should be removed as soon as it appears to protect your roof from any harm. While moss grows very little in the summer, rain in the fall and spring, as well as warm winters, can promote growth. However, DIY roofing operations, including moss removal, should not be undertaken in wet weather for safety reasons.

Is It Safe to Clean Moss Off Your Roof?

It is safe to remove moss from your roof if you take the necessary precautions. However, it necessitates the use of specific materials and processes. If you’re doubtful, consult a specialist.

Is Moss a Sign That I Need a New Roof?

Moss growth on a roof does not always indicate the need for a roof replacement. However, you should act swiftly to remove it since if left untreated, it can significantly harm the structural integrity of your roof.

Is Roof Moss Covered by Insurance?

Moss on a roof is a liability for insurance providers, and leaving moss unmanaged might result in you being uninsured. If you have moss on your roof, your insurance provider may terminate your policy unless you remove it.

Last Thoughts

When it comes to house care, moss removal from your grass or roof is an essential preventive action. Moss may be removed rather easily with common household items such as a ladder, scrub brush, and hose. While the processes are simple — rinse, scrape, spray, repeat — they might be challenging if you don’t have prior experience.

We recommend hiring a professional to effectively and efficiently remove moss from your roof. Roofers have the knowledge and expertise to remove moss without damaging your shingles or underlayment. A professional roofing contractor should be insured, which is crucial if an accident occurs or your home is damaged during the moss removal process.

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