How Moss on Your Roof Can Lead to Costly Repairs in Florida

With the start of the rainy season in Pinellas County, Florida, every inch of the earth gets covered in green plant material, including the roof of your house. In areas where the weather is humid, it is common to spot houses covered in moss and algae. But if you consider this mushy green substance a pretty thing, think twice.

No matter how common moss is and how harmless it seems, not many know that it is something they should get rid of, immediately. And one of the best ways to do that is by trimming trees or removing old trees. Why? Because moss loves shade, which trees provide, but too much shade can be bad in a moist climate like Clearwater, Florida.

This benign looking plant can do considerable damage to your house and cut down the life of your Florida home.

Moss growth on the roof or elsewhere in your house could be a sign that you need a major renovation or repair. Additionally, leaving them unchecked can further damage the roof or any other moss covered area and its repair costs can burn a hole in your pocket.

So, before we take you through all the damages roof moss can do to your house and how to prevent its infestation, first let’s understand what moss is.

What is Moss?

Moss is one of the tinest plant species and is classified under Bryophyta. As per biologists, there are over 12,000 different varieties of moss found in the wilderness and urban areas. Although the leaves of moss are only one cell thick, they are big enough to cover the entire surface in a matter of days. And, they are not picky; they enjoy latching onto buildings and roofs as much as they enjoy hanging out on rocks and trees.

Unlike flowering plants, mosses rely on spores instead of seeds to reproduce themselves. Places with adequate moisture, shade, and humidity are ideal for mosses to thrive and spread.

If your roof lacks proper water drainage system;  has water blockage issue, or is overshadowed by big trees from around, don’t be surprised to see these tiny plants making it at home.

Moss On the Roof

Now coming on to why it is never a good idea to leave roof moss to themselves.

Most  homeowners mistake moss with algae, lichen, or mold which are pretty easy to get rid of and have no harmful implications on the house. And, it is this very ignorance that can make you pay for hefty repairs later.

As mentioned earlier, roof moss can significantly weaken the structural integrity of the house and damage its foundation, considerably cutting on the life expectancy of the house.

But how on earth these tiny plants are able wreck so much havoc on such strongly standing houses?

Mosses are actually living sponge that can soak gallons and gallons of water, and moisture from their surroundings. But, unlike sponge that can be rung out of water, there is no way you can suck the water out of moss. The water soaked by the roof moss seeps into the concrete and later into the wooden sheathing underneath. It is from here that the bad things start to happen. Once the moisture reaches the wooden sheathing, the wood starts to decay.

The rainwater leakage further worsens the condition of the house as it causes the growth of mold on the ceiling and interior of the house.

While the damage to the wooden sheath can weaken the structure, the mold growth can bring in a lot of health problems, including asthma. Further, adding to the financial burden. Hope it is clear that moss removal is critical to keep the home and family safe from potential risks.

Preventing Roof Moss from Spreading 

When it comes to keeping our house free from moss, prevention is always better.  The good part is, it is fairly easy to tackle with moss on your own. However, if the roof moss is becoming too much of a problem to handle, it is never too late to seek help from professional moss remover. Here are some of our practical tips to prevent moss from spreading and hurting your home’ s integrity –

  • Installing copper or zinc strips along the sides of the roof can be an effective way to prevent moss and mold growth. When the rainwater tickles through the flashing, the metal which is known to control moss and mold, gets dissolved with the water and averts the growth of mold and moss.
  • If your roof is shaded with trees or other structures, chances are moss will grow on your roof pretty easily. To prevent that from happening, cut down the trees of branches shading your roof.
  • In case the moss growth is not too thick, you can remove it with the help of brush and moss removing solutions found in stores. Giving a gentle scrub to your roof with a soft bristled brush should help you eradicate the moss and mold. However, be careful while scrubbing the roof as rigorously brushing can hurt the shingles and sheathing. Additionally, the chemicals present in the solution can damage the vegetation. To prevent chemical damage to your plants and foliage, generously water them or cover them in plastic sheets prior to cleaning your roof. After you are done cleaning the roof, rinse it off thoroughly with water.
  • When using chemical bleaches and cleaners, it is essential to cover your mouth and wear eye protection gear as they can cause eye and skin irritation.
  • One of the easiest moss-killer cleaners to make is the dish soap and water mixed solution. The regular application of the solution on the moss will dry them up and turn them organ in color.
  • Another effective way to check on the moss growth is aeration of soil on the roof. Once you have addressed the water drainage issue, it would be pretty easy for you to prevent moss from covering your roof.

If you are using a ladder or rope to climb up the roof, be careful and consider hiring professionals. Also, since applying chemical cleaners can be unsafe for plants, pets, and even humans, many prefer using home remedies or organic methods (Or calling a professional).

If you don’t want to go through all these troubles, you can install a new type of shingle that inhibits moss growth. Alternatively, you can give a call to our professional team to help you deal with the issue. We are certified arborists who can tackle your moss removal and other tree services. Contact our tree professionals to discuss your needs today!

B&T’s Tree Service

B&T’s Tree Service provides professional tree trimming and tree removal services to both residential and commercial clients throughout Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, St. Petersburg and all of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.