All You Ever Wanted To Know About Moss Removal
Moss removal is a task that many homeowners will face at some point. While moss can be an attractive addition to a garden or pond, it can be a problem in many other instances. Moss on concrete sidewalks and driveways is not only unsightly, it is slippery and a hazard to people walking on them. Moss on roofs allows moisture to get under the shingles and can compromise the structural integrity of your roof, as well as lower your home's curb appeal. Moss removal is the only solution to these problems.
Moss growth is a common problem on residential roofing materials, and can lead to damage of the roof. If you have composition or shake shingles, you are in danger of developing a moss problem. Metal roofs do not develop moss, as it cannot grow on such a smooth surface. Moss growth is most common on parts of the roof that are north-facing or in the shade; areas with direct sunlight rarely develop trouble with moss. It is logical, then, that removing overhanging branches that shade the roof will help prevent moss buildup. Keeping your roof clean is another excellent method of moss prevention; debris on the roof will slow drying and encourage moss buildup.
If you already have moss on your roof, there are several methods of moss removal you can try. One method is to sprinkle powdered detergent on the mossy areas; dish detergent or laundry detergent will work. After a few days, you will be able to sweep the moss off your roof with a broom. Another is to simply try to scrape the moss off the shingles. Be warned that using chemicals on your composition shingles, even powdered detergent, has the potential to damage the shingles and shorten the lifespan of your roof. If you have a serious moss problem, it is best to call a professional. In some cases, the only solution may be to remove the shingles entirely, and replace the roof. If such drastic measures are necessary, you may want to consider going with a metal roof. Although metal roofs are more expensive than composition shingles, they are not at risk for moss buildup and have a longer lifespan that can make the price comparable in the long run.
Moss removal on concrete is a simpler procedure. Try mixing a laundry detergent, such as Tide, with bleach and dilute the mixture in water. Spread the solution on the concrete. Brushing it with a long-handled brush will help, but if you don't have much moss you shouldn't have to scrub hard. Let the solution sit for a while, and then hose off the concrete with the highest pressure stream of water you can use.
If you don't want to use chemicals, a high pressure washer on its own can do the trick for moss removal. You can buy a pressure washer or rent one from many hardware or home improvement stores. This will work for moss removal and is more environmentally friendly than using chemicals, but it will take a long time. Only very small areas can be washed at one time, so be prepared for a big job if you have a lot of moss to remove.
Moss removal is possible, but may take a bit of effort on your part. A pressure washer is almost sure to remove moss, but it can be a tedious procedure. The mixture of bleach and laundry detergent is often suggested and can work, but you should use it with care to avoid damage to the underlying material that is covered in moss. As with many things in life, prevention is the key. Taking steps to prevent moss buildup will make future moss removal unnecessary, or at least significantly easier.