Moss is a simple, non-vascular plant that doesn’t grow flowers, wood or true roots. While moss can be very beautiful in certain natural settings, it is very bad for your roof. Once moss takes ahold of your roof, it can cause structural damage, resulting in degradation. The moisture leads to mold and bacteria growth that slowly destroy your shingles, resulting in holes in the roof and leaks in your home. Moss is also very slippery, posing a threat to your safety when walking around on your roof.  If you live in a damp, wooded area, your roof may be prone to moss growth. Here are some steps you can take to prevent or get rid of moss.

The best way to prevent moss from growing on your roof is to remove and tree branches and growth that may be shading your roof and allowing moisture to build over time. Additionally, keeping the roof free of leaves and other debris will help to prevent the build up of moisture as well. It is also important to keep your gutters clean.

Zinc strips are also a great way to prevent moss growth. Nail zinc strips along the peak of your roof, tucked under the ridge caps and be sure to seal the nails with caulk to prevent leaking. This allows rain to wash zinc down your roof and inhibit the growth of moss and roof stains. Zinc strips tend to last one to five years before they oxidize and need to be replaced.

If your roof already suffers from moss growth, one of the most common ways to remove it is with a garden hose and a hand scraper. While this may sound tedious, using a more high-powered tool like a pressure washer can cause damage to your roof.

Bleach can also be used to kill moss, but you must be very careful as it can be corrosive to your roof. If you decide to use bleach, be sure to wear protective gear like a mask, eye protection and gloves when handling. First, you may need to hand scrape off any moss buildup and rinse with your roof a hose. Then, dilute the bleach with a four parts water, one part bleach solution and spray the affected areas.

One of the best ways to remove moss from your roof is by using a moss control powder. This powder, made of zinc sulfate, is highly effective without posing any threat of roof damage.  Moss tends to grow in the shade, so when applying the powder, only apply to the shaded areas of your roof or anywhere else you see growth. Keep in mind, this powder may be harmful to any animals or vegetation it comes in contact with.