Not only can moss and algae buildup on your roof and become unattractive, but it also causes roof and shingle damage. This article was written to help inform homeowners about this issue and how to prevent this reoccurring problem.

The degrading process of moss or algae may be more prevalent in some types of roofs than others.  It can affect asphalt, metal, clay, and concrete roofing materials. Essentially all materials are at risk of moss and algae growth. When moss or algae grow between shingles, more moisture and water seepage is allowed between them. In turn, this can create rotting, leaking and other roof-related issues.

Fortunately, getting rid of this harmful substance is rather easy and can be done on your own, without professional help. There are a few essential steps in the removal process and several other preventative steps you can take to ensure no further reoccurrence of mold or algae.

How to Spot Algae & Moss Buildup On Your Roof

Typically, the algae or moss growth begins as small spots located on the roof and eventually convert into longer streaks running down the infrastructure.

The first and most important step in eliminating the growth of these types of bacteria is to reduce the amount of moisture and shading. Believe it or not, sunlight is actually beneficial to controlling this kind of growth and therefore to your roof’s lifespan.

Other Essential Steps Include:

  • Trim tree branches to reduce the amount of shaded area over your home’s roof
  • Do not allow debris to accumulate on your roof
  • Use a leaf blower regularly in a downslope direction to avoid getting debris in the cracks of the shingles
  • Keep up with gutter maintenance and if needed replace with new gutters

Cleaning Your New Roof in Grand RapidsRemoving Algae and Moss From Your Roof

There are several ways to get rid of moss or algae once they have occurred.  You can purchase a cleaner at your local store, or you can save a little bit of money with a DIY-cleaner. First, be sure that other areas of your home and landscaping are guarded with plastic sheeting to prevent any unforeseen damage due to overspray. Additionally, it important to spray the roof with water before applying the DIY cleaning mixture. Once applied, let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then lightly scrub the scum off.  Be careful to remove as little of the shingle grit as possible.  Complete the job with a thorough rinse with clean water.  Make sure to give a good long rinse to any plants below your roof’s edge.

DIY Cleaning Ingredients:

  • 2 gallons of water and 1 ½ to 3 ½ cups of white distilled vinegar
  • 2 gallons of water and 1 ½ to 3 ½ cups of chlorine bleach
  • 2 gallons of water and 1 pound of powdered oxygen bleach
  • 2 gallons of water and 8 oz or Dawn Ultra dish soap


Prevent Algae From Growing On Your Roof

There are further preventatives such as installing roofs with zinc or copper strips. These strips work by creating toxic environments that make it difficult for algae to thrive. However, it is important to be careful (or use a professional) when installing these strips as they can often create further damage if nails are used to position them.

What To Do If The Shingles Are Too Damaged Already

Sometimes you will find that moss has been allowed to remain on the roof for too long and the damage has already been done.  If this is a concern, contact us for an honest estimate.  We may be able to save the roof and simply repair the damaged roof; however, if you do need a new roof installation we will give you the very best price available.

If you have any questions or concerns about this article or your roof, please feel free to contact us.