How Do You Remove Moss from a Roof?

How Do You Remove Moss from a Roof
February 26, 2024

Moss on a roof can give a home a picturesque, fairy-tale look, but the reality is far from charming. Moss is not just an aesthetic issue; it can lead to significant roof damage if not addressed promptly. Understanding how to effectively remove moss and prevent its return is crucial for maintaining the integrity and longevity of your roof.

Why is Moss Bad for a Roof?

Moss thrives in moist environments, and its presence on a roof can lead to several problems. Firstly, moss can retain moisture against the roofing material, which can cause rot in wood and corrosion in metal roofs. Additionally, as moss grows, it can lift and displace shingles, creating gaps for water to enter and potentially leading to leaks and water damage inside the home. Moss can also block water flow on the roof, causing water to pool and seep under the roofing materials, exacerbating moisture issues.

How Do You Remove Moss from a Roof

How To Remove Moss From a Roof

Removing moss from a roof requires careful handling to avoid damaging the roofing materials:

  1. Use a Soft Brush: Gently brush away the moss using a soft bristle brush, working down the roof to avoid lifting and damaging the shingles. Do not use a pressure washer, as the high pressure can damage shingles and dislodge granules that protect the roof.
  2. Apply Moss Removal Products: There are several moss-killing products available, including those based on zinc sulfate or copper sulfate. These can be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some products may require a period to work before rinsing off, while others leave no residue and do not require rinsing.

Methods You Shouldn’t Use To Remove Moss From a Roof

Avoid using pressure washers or harsh scraping tools to remove moss, as these methods can cause significant damage to roofing materials. Additionally, while homemade solutions like bleach or vinegar can kill moss, they may also damage plants below and can corrode metal fixtures on the roof.

How Do You Remove Moss from a Roof

How To Prevent Moss on Your New Roof

Preventing moss growth is key to maintaining a healthy roof:

  • Trim Overhanging Tree Branches: Reduce shade on the roof and improve sunlight exposure to keep the roof dry.
  • Ensure Proper Roof Ventilation: This reduces moisture buildup that moss needs to thrive.
  • Install Zinc or Copper Strips: Placing these at the roof’s peak can help prevent moss growth, as rainwater washes trace amounts of metal ions down the roof, creating an environment where moss cannot grow.

What if the Moss Grows Back?

If moss returns after treatment, reassess the roof’s environment and maintenance routine. Continuous shade, excessive moisture, and debris accumulation on the roof can all contribute to moss regrowth. Addressing these issues and applying preventive measures can help keep moss at bay.


Moss on a roof is not just a cosmetic issue but a potential cause of significant damage. Removing moss gently and applying preventive measures can protect your roof’s integrity and extend its lifespan. For those seeking professional assistance, Roof For Life offers expert services in moss removal and roof maintenance, ensuring your roof remains in optimal condition, moss-free, and functioning beautifully for years to come.