How do you get rid of moss?

Moss is a difficult thing to remove from your property. Even after you clean it off, it might seem like it reappears like magic. If you’ve tackled this problem before, you might be wondering how to get rid of moss for good.

Unfortunately, no method is guaranteed to work forever. But there are a few best practices you can follow to get rid of moss now and reduce the chances of it coming back later.

What is moss?

Moss is a simple plant with a basic cellular structure. It is closer to being an algae than a type of flower or tree. There are more than 500 different species of moss in New Zealand, with about 1/5 of them not being found anywhere else in the world. They tend to grow in places that are dark and damp.

Some types of mosses don’t need water for years. They might even appear dead and dried out. But when conditions change back in their favour, they regrow as if nothing happened. Since they are so hardy and can regrow easily, it can be quite the challenge to get rid of moss.

The problem with roof moss

One of the most common places to find moss is on the roof. Roofs that have moss will typically be shaded by nearby trees or tall structures to create the kind of environment that moss thrives in. Once it starts growing, it’s hard to get it to stop.

Because moss is a simple, small plant, it can get into the recesses of the roof like between shingles. This is particularly problematic. As moss brings in more water, it grows and expands. If it’s on and between sections of your roof when it does this, it can cause stress on the roof. With enough time, it can even cause permanent damage.

So how can you get rid of it?

Moss removal techniques

The most common tactic for removing moss is spraying off the roof. But simple water alone won’t be enough for long term success. There are a few different options for removing moss, and often a combination of techniques is needed.

  • Spray down the roof with a hose. A hose with a jet nozzle can remove some of the moss that isn’t stuck on too tightly. But on its own it won’t get it all and won’t last long term.
  • Use a low-pressure water blaster. Moss can be integrated in an area, making it hard to remove. A simple spray down probably won’t be enough to get rid of the tougher spots. Water blasting might be an option depending on the condition and type of roof you have and does a thorough job of getting rid of moss. But using the right pressure is important so as not to damage the roof, and the roof needs to be in good shape so water can’t penetrate. If you aren’t sure, it’s better to avoid this method.
  • Spray down the affected area with a moss killer. It’s important more than the visible moss is taken care of. Spraying moss killer on and nearby the area will kill the moss you can’t see.
  • Scrape off or remove large clumps by hand. While water blasting tends to be more effective than hand removal, it isn’t always an option. When it isn’t, large, stubborn clumps can be pulled out by hand or scraped off. Afterwards, it’s best to add moss killer since hand removal will only do part of the job.

Professional moss cleaning

If you don’t have the tools for the job or don’t have the time, a trained professional can handle the work for you and maximise the chance that moss will stay away for longer. If you’d like to go that route, give us a call or contact us today to get your free quote.