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Moss And Its Effect On Your Roof

By Patrick Large on May 04, 2012

So what exactly is moss, or more specifically, mosses? Mosses are typically soft textured small plants. They tend to grow in locations where there is a lot of shade, a lot of dampness or a combination thereof. There are near 12, 000 species of moss known in existence currently. While many moss types find their way onto plants and rocks, including trees (thought they are non-parasitic), the ones homeowners are often concerned with are those that find their way onto a home's roof and occasionally onto the outer walls. Moss in this instance thrives on two things, dampness or moisture and cracks or gaps. These two things are an enemy to the household roof as they allow water damage to work it's way into the home interior while destroying the roof surface, be they shingles or other type, at the same time.

More specifically, moss can effect your roof in numerous ways, beginning with eroding away the granules on the surface that protect your roof. The second thing it does, as you will notice on sidewalks and such, is that it works its way into grooves and cracks. When it comes to a shingle roof it pushes its way in between the shingles, forcing them upward, removing protection and allowing water invasion. The Moss also naturally retains the water, again helping it to seep beneath the protective layer of shingles.

Wikipedia lay outs some specific methods for eliminating or at the bare minimum inhibiting moss growth as follows:

  • Decreasing availability of water through drainage.
  • Increasing direct sunlight.
  • Increasing number and resources available for competitive plants like grasses.
  • Increasing the soil pH with the application of lime.
  • Heavy traffic or manually disturbing the moss bed with a rake
  • Application of chemicals such as ferrous sulfate (e.g. in lawns) or bleach (e.g. on solid surfaces).
  • In containerized nursery operations, coarse mineral materials such as sand, gravel, and rock chips are used as a fast-draining top dressing in plant containers to discourage moss growth.

One common moss removal treatment is a zinc sulphate spread. This is a highly effective method that does not stain. The process of spraying the zinc will take a few hours at most for most normal size roofs. Then a period of six to eight hours should be allowed for drying depending on weather conditions. The spray will slowly wash off of your roof with rain over the course of about a year. The spray serves as a deterrent to any future moss outbreaks for usually a minimum of a year up to four years in total.

When prevention is not enough you will want to retain proper moss removal services. They identify and replace damage tiles. Carefully removing only the necessary portions and resealing them to adjoining tiles. Commercial grade fungicides are usually employed to destroy moss infestation. After removal zinc strips or spray as noted above will be put in place to avoid future growth.

Not all mosses are damaging. Black-mold like appearance of mold on a roof are usually formed due to an algae known as Gloeocapsa magma which is harmless buy unsightly. To help you identify and clean your roof of moss or algae research local moss removal and roof cleaning companies. Often a business that does one will do both. Protect the investment in your home from the top down through proper roof maintenance, which will include moss removal and prevention.

Patrick Large is a freelance writer for USA Gutter Window & Roof Cleaning out of Portland, Oregon. They provide Portland moss removal services in addition to traditional roof and gutter cleaning.

Original article published on SooperArticles.com

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