How Moss Affects Your Roof

Image of moss growing on roof shingles.

There are all kinds of roof problems that homeowners in Toledo, OH, should be wary of, but one that homeowners often overlook and consider minor is the growth of moss. Many homeowners assume that the only real problem moss growth presents is that it may not jive with their overall aesthetic, thereby hurting their curb appeal. Even then, a lot of people like the look of moss on their roofs. However, don’t be fooled. The presence of moss on your roof is not a good thing.

What Causes Moss to Grow on Your Roof?

Moss is a type of plant that can grow on almost any surface, from trees to pavement to roofs. Basically, moss is formed by the production of airborne spores. Existing moss produces spores that travel to another location where they settle, they grow into moss. Moss thrives in humid environments, which is why it tends to spread particularly fast if it appears on a roof. This is because the moss will have access to rainwater, which it will absorb.

Since direct sunlight will dry out moss faster, you’ll generally find moss on roofs that are covered in shade from nearby trees. Once established, moss will absorb rainwater like a sponge and begin spreading across the roof, often growing to as much as one inch thick if left unaddressed.

Can Moss Growth Damage Your Roof?

As moss grows, it will grow thicker and thicker. It won’t just grow across the surface of the roof either, it will grow between the cracks of your shingles. This can cause your shingles to lift up and crack, making them more vulnerable to water leaks. Not to mention that since moss absorbs water, it will cause excessive moisture to sit on your roof, which can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria — and in severe cases, it can lead to rot that could potentially compromise the structure of your roof.

Preventing Moss Growth on Your Roof

Because the presence of moss can lead to significant roof damage, you’ll want to do everything you can to prevent moss from growing on your roof in the first place. The following are a few tips on how to prevent moss growth on your roof:

  • Trim nearby branches – There are several reasons why you don’t want branches hanging too close to your roof. First of all, moss can grow on trees. This means that if there are nearby branches, it will be easier for spores to be transferred from the tree to your roof. Secondly, branches provide shade, thereby promoting the growth of moss.
  • Keep debris off the roof – You should have your roof cleaned by a professional whenever debris begins piling up. The presence of debris on your roof, such as leaves or branches, can cause moisture to become trapped below. Not only can this moisture cause damage to your roof, but it can also help promote moss growth as well.
  • Clean gutters regularly – You should have your gutters cleaned on a regular basis anyway in order to prevent clogs. However, debris in your gutters can retain moisture and can promote moss growth, especially since the gutter system will be shaded for parts of the day by the roof itself.
  • Fix leaks as soon as you find them – If you spot any leaks in your roof, make sure you have them repaired as soon as possible. Even minor leaks should be addressed right away. This is because the presence of leaks means that there’s a greater chance of moisture buildup, which will promote moss growth.

Removing Moss From Your Roof

Homeowners inclined to do it themselves should think twice about attempting to remove moss from their roof on their own. First of all, it can be very dangerous to go up on your roof if you don’t have the proper training, experience, or equipment. Secondly, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could cause more harm than good. For example, if you’re trying to use a pressure washer to wash the moss off, you could accidentally cause damage or even tear off shingles. As such, moss removal is best left to the professionals.

Contact Armorvue Home Exteriors Today

If you notice moss growth on your roof, then you should have it removed by a professional as soon as possible.  Even if you only notice a small patch of moss, it’s important to address it. Not only can moss grow rapidly, spreading across your roof, but it could also be indicative of other problems that may not be visible from the outside. If your roof has been severely damaged and you need a new roof installation, contact us at Armorvue Home Exteriors in Toledo, OH, for a virtual appointment today.


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