How and Why Moss Grows and Damages Your Roof Explained

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The growth of moss on your roof can be a major problem. Unattended moss growth can cause damage to your roof. Although moss may be the most common growth on a roof, you should also look out for algae, lichen, and the accumulation of organic material, such as leaves, twigs, and branches, which will encourage the growth of moss.

How does moss get on your roof? We’ll first look at what could be growing on your roof, then examine why you should take care of it.

What Are Moss, Algae, and Lichens Anyway?

On your roof, you can find moss, algae, and even lichens. They can all damage your roof differently. While most people assume that all growth on their roof is the same, there are actually subtle differences.

A bryophyte, moss develops from plants that are water-based. The carpet is usually springy and has short tendrils that shoot upwards. Moss needs water to grow but it cannot grow in water.

The algae is a type of thallophyte that grows in water. It does not have a stem, a root, or any leaves. Algae is a single-celled plant that grows in clusters.

A lichen is a mixture of algae and fungal organisms. Lichen is technically not a plant, but a type of fungus that exists in a relationship of symbiosis with algae. There are four different types of lichen, each with its own appearance. It is easy to confuse lichen for moss.

Why Does Moss Grow on Roof?

Moisture and organic debris are the two main factors that cause moss, algae, and lichen to grow on your roof. The greater the amount of water and debris on your roof, the higher the chances that moss will grow. The amount of shade that your roof receives is another important factor. The shade on your roof will prevent moisture from evaporating, which is ideal for moss growth.

Moss and algae can be seen from the ground. However, moss can grow on roofs for long periods without being noticed. Moisture can get under your roof shingles, allowing moss growth out of sunlight. This is why moss on your roof can’t be evaluated by just looking up.

Shingle Roof

Moss Can Damage Shingles

Moss can damage your shingles in three ways.

Moss can strip the protective oils from your shingles. This leaves them vulnerable to sun damage and erosion. Your shingles will crack and warp in the sunlight if you don’t protect them.

Moss is a water-absorbing plant. Every time it rains the moss absorbs more moisture, spreading further across your shingles and eating away this protective outer layer. This moisture buildup can ruin your shingles and eventually lead to the need for a new roof.

Finally, moss will spread beneath your shingles. This moss is a water absorber, allowing moisture to enter your home’s interior. Wood rot can occur when moisture accumulates inside your home. The worst-case scenario is that it could lead to more expensive and extensive repairs.

How to Prevent Moss Growth

You now know how moss can grow on your roof. The next question you need to ask yourself is, how do you stop it from happening in the first instance? Two approaches can be taken by homeowners to prevent the growth of moss.

Keep your roof clean. By removing debris and buildup from your roof, you can reduce the chance that lichen, moss, and algae will spread. Be sure to clean your gutters twice a year. Remove all fallen leaves, twigs, and branches. Check for any punctures or damage to the shingles, tiles, or other roof materials that could allow moisture in. Patch all damage properly.

Hire a roof cleaning service to remove moss and algae buildup. Professional roof cleaners use specialized equipment to remove grime, dirt, and stains from your roof. They also use industrial cleaners which are eco-friendly but kill moss, algae, and stains at the roots. This type of cleaning restores your roof’s original luster and extends its lifespan.

Get Your Roof Moss Removed by A Buff and Beyond Pressure Washing

A Buff and Beyond Pressure Washing can safely and effectively remove moss from your roof, preventing the damage mentioned above. They have the experience and expertise to get the job done right, protecting your roof and your home. Contact us at 772-971-2121 today!

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