The Truth About Mossy Roofs

A mossy roof can look romantic, lending a soft cottage feel to your home. This can make you hesitate to clean it off if you enjoy the look, but at the same time, you have probably heard about the damage moss causes. The following guide can help you better understand the concerns with moss so you can make an educated decision.

Moss doesn't cause direct damage

It isn't typical for moss to cause direct damage to your roof. These plants do not have roots, so they cannot tear apart your shingles. On slate or metal roofs they are incapable of causing any type of damage if they manage to gain a toehold on these slicker materials.

Moss can cause indirect damage

The main concern with damage is indirect damage. This occurs when there is already slight damage or the results of aging affecting the roof – particularly with asphalt shingles that have curled or lifted slightly at the edge. The moss can begin growing beneath the shingle at this point, lifting it further so water seeps under.

Another issue is a lush moss colony. This can block a gutter or a valley on the roof so water doesn't flow off properly. The water then pools on the roof, leading to leaks in warm weather or ice dams in cold weather.

You have removal options

Fortunately, moss can be managed. Enjoying the look of some moss makes it even easier since management practices don't always result in full removal if your home is in a wet, shaded area. A thorough cleaning of the roof followed by a clean out of your gutter system is generally the first step to remove the existing moss before beginning to treat future problems.

Afterward, you can have a roofing company install zinc strips along the ridgeline of your roof. When it rains, the strip will leach out zinc that will run down the roof. Too much zinc kills moss, which solves the problem of future moss growth. This is also a good time to have the roofer replace or repair any curled or damaged shingles so you don't have to worry about moss finding shelter under their protection.

If you still really like the look of a mossy roof, it may be time to consider a green or living roof. This way you can have your moss and not have to worry about it compromising the safety of your roof. To learn more, contact a roof repair company.