Controlling Moss on Your Home - March 26th 2012
Spring has sprung and for homeowners, the sunnier and longer days make the perfect recipe for outdoor spring cleaning and maintenance projects. For many homeowners typically in milder climates, the concern is moss building up on exterior surfaces such as decks, siding and rooftops. Some people view moss as unsightly and others are concerned the prolonged wet surface will decay shingles resulting in water leaks and premature replacement of the roof.
The challenge for homeowners is how to safely get rid of the moss that builds up on the roof. Over the years, Zinc Sulphate has been a popular choice but today there is more awareness about the products that we use in and around our home and how they affect the environment around us. Although Zinc Sulphate is effective in controlling mosses, when used in large doses, it can pollute local rivers and streams and is potentially toxic to fish and other aquatic life.
There are other types of low-toxicity moss killers available, an environmentally friendly is called Roof Wash by Wash Safe Canada. To treat roof moss: Apply a coat of Roof Wash to the infected area of the roof. Once applied, you now have the option of letting Mother Nature rinse the roof for you or rinsing it yourself. If you do not clean your roof the day of the application you will notice that all of the moss that was sprayed will be turning brown and drying up. This happens very quickly, within the first week after the treatment. The good news at that point is that the moss has stopped eating away at your roof. Now all there is to do is to wait for the sun, wind and rain to remove the moss. With every day that goes by you will notice less and less moss on the roof until the roof is free of the moss. The process usually takes 60-90 days before the moss is completely gone.
Pressure washing to remove moss can damage roofing and should be avoided. When it comes to moss removal from your homes roof, the first thing you should be concerned with is your own safety. Make sure that you have the proper safety harness on, as well as protective eyewear. A wet roof is very slippery. Do not get up on your own roof if you have never gone up there before, or if you are not completely comfortable doing so. Leave it to the professionals who are trained in working on roofs and more specifically in moss removal.
Another effective product is my Home Cleaning Formula which is ideal for cleaning algae from porous surfaces such as concrete and stucco. It was formulated to be phosphate free as phosphates promote excessive algae growth. Spraying my home cleaning formula in the heavy duty mixture will help keep your patios, decks, and roofs free of moss.
Moss Prevention Tips:
- Keep your roof clean. Sweep off debris such as leaves, needles, or small branches that slows drying of the roof.
- Remove and thin out overhanging branches: Trim or thin out any overhanging branches to reduce shade and falling leaves and needles to reduce the shade and moisture that are breeding grounds for moss.
- Physically remove as much moss as possible with a broom or rake then apply a least-toxic moss killer to the problem area. Make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions on the container.
- It is recommended to use moss control products just on the parts of the roof most prone to moss problems. These will probably be on areas that do not get direct sun such as north-facing slopes and areas shaded by trees or other buildings.
- When installing a new roof consider installing zinc strips, galvanized flashing, or a zinc-impregnated roofing material.
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