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moss cleaning in nifty lift on high roof

Roof Moss Removal: Effective Techniques for Long-Term Prevention

Is your moss-covered roof casting a shadow over your property's beauty and structural integrity? Let us reveal the professionals ' secrets to removing and preventing moss. You need professional roof cleaning services in order to have a moss-free roof for the longest time.  

moss cleaning in nifty lift on high roof
Technician cleaning moss on high roof using a nifty lift

Why does moss grow on the roof

Moss grows on roofs for several reasons:

  •  Moisture

Moisture is the main factor for moss growth on roofs. Rain, dew, and humidity create an environment that favours moss spores germination and thriving. Areas with high moisture retention and poor drainage (gutters, valleys, and shaded corners) have a high risk of moss infestation.

  • Shade

Shade is another factor for moss growth on roofs. Areas with little exposure to sunlight throughout the day stay cooler and retain moisture for a long time, which makes moss flourish. Nearby structures, overhanging trees, and architectural features may aggravate the problem as they cast shadows on the roof.

  • Organic debris accumulation

Organic debris (twigs, pine needles, and bird droppings) collects in time on the roof and offers nutrients and substrate for moss growth. The materials trap moisture and form a layer of organic matter that moss spores will feed on. Clogged gutters will aggravate moisture retention.

  • Climate and environmental conditions

Areas with high levels of rainfall, humidity, and moderate temperatures make for a perfect breeding ground for moss. Closeness to water bodies and coastal areas also increases moisture levels. As a result, moss infestation will worsen.

  • pH level

Moss thrives on roofs with acidic runoff from close trees or pollutants. Bird droppings, acidic rainwater, and airborne pollutants decrease the pH level of the roof surface. The habitat for moss growth will be ideal.

  • Roof orientation and slope

North-facing roofs receive less sunlight and trap moisture longer than south-facing roofs. Therefore, they are more vulnerable to moss infestation. Low-slop or flat roofs may collect water easier and stagnant areas cause moss growth.

  • Roofing materials

Some roofing materials (asphalt shingles, wood shakes, etc) offer organic substrate that moss will thrive on. Porous and textured surfaces favour moss rooting and spreading. Also, aged or poorly maintained roofing materials develop cracks, crevices, and gaps that trap moisture and help moss grow.

What are the consequences of moss growth on roofs

The consequences of moss growth on roofs can be serious:

  • Roof damage

Moss growth can alter the roof's structural integrity. Moss spreads and grows roots on the surface, and it can dislodge roofing materials (tiles, shakes, or shingles). Cracks, gaps, and exposed areas will form and let water infiltrate. Collected moss and debris add weight to the roof and cause sagging.

  • Water infiltration

As it acts like a sponge, moss absorbs and retains moisture from rain, dew, and humidity. In time, moss creates dense mats and becomes a barrier that traps water and affects drainage. The trapped moisture will seep into the roof decking, insulation, and attic space. Water damage in the house will be imminent.

  • Decrease the durability of roofing materials

Moss growth deteriorates roofing materials and leads to premature replacement. Moss roots pry apart roofing materials and cause their degradation. Moisture retained by moss favours algae, lichen, and fungi to grow. They also alter the roof and accelerate degradation.

  • Alter the aesthetic appearance

Moss growth affects the aspect of the roof and decreases the curb appeal. Moss-covered roofs look aged, neglected, and unsightly. The green and black discolouration from moss will stain and streak roofing materials. The roofs will look dirty even after cleaning.

  • Pose health hazard

Moss growth also poses health hazards to people living inside the house. Moisture trapped by moss is ideal for mould and mildew growth that aggravates respiratory problems, allergies, and health conditions. Mould spores decrease indoor air quality and affect the health of people with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems.

Professional techniques for roof moss removal

Professionals employ various techniques for efficient roof moss removal:

Manual removal

Scraping, brushing, and hand-picking moss from the roof's surface are often used by professionals.


Professional roof cleaners use specialized tools such as roof scrapers or wire brushes to physically remove moss from the roof's surface. The workers carefully scrape away moss growth and work from the top of the roof down to prevent dislodged debris from collecting.

Roof cleaners employ scraping to remove thick layers of moss and difficult growths that have attached to the roofing materials. The method ensures precise removal without the use of harsh chemicals and pressure water. The risk of damage to the roof is minimal and the results are immediate.

Even if scraping is efficient, the roof cleaners have to be cautious when using it so they don't damage the roofing materials. They use adequate tools so they don't scratch or gouge the roof's surface.


With brushing, the workers use stiff-bristled brushes or brooms to manually remove moss from the roof. The roof cleaners gently scrub the affected areas and work systematically to dislodge moss growth and loosen debris. Brushing removes loose moss and surface buildup and prepares the roof for further maintenance.

Since it's non-invasive, brushing doesn't damage the roof. For best results, it has to be accompanied by other moss removal techniques. It's time-consuming and labour-intensive, especially if the roof is big or has areas with dense moss growth.


Hand-picking refers to manually removing moss by hand, with roof cleaners pulling moss growth from the roof's surface. The workers examine the roof and detect the individual patches of moss. They use gloved hands or hand tools to gently remove moss. The method is efficient for small or isolated areas of moss.

With hand-picking, the workers selectively remove moss without disturbing the roofing materials. If the roof has a big dimension, hand-picking takes a lot of time and effort. Professionals have to pay attention to the most minute detail to remove moss without damaging the roofing materials.

Chemical treatments

Chemical solutions

The roof cleaners use chemical solutions specially formulated for moss removal. Typically, they contain fatty acids, potassium salts, copper sulfate, zinc sulfate, and sodium hypochlorite (bleach). They evenly distribute the solution over the moss-infested areas, for proper coverage.

Some solutions are left to dry on the roof, whereas others require rinsing off after some time. Chemical solutions are highly efficient in killing moss and preventing regrowth. They go deep into the moss and attack its root systems. To eliminate moss growth, several applications will be needed.

Chemical solutions kill moss but pose risks to the environment, nearby vegetation, and roof materials. Roof cleaners take on safety measures to minimize environmental impact. They protect the sensitive areas with correct dilution ratios and apply during the best weather conditions. This way, they avoid runoff into waterways or storm drains.


Biocides are chemical substances made to inhibit the growth of moss and other living organisms. The biocides are made with quaternary ammonium compounds, benzalkonium chloride, or didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride. They disrupt the cellular processes of moss, which causes its death and decomposition.

Roof cleaners apply biocides with spray equipment, brushes, and rollers. They evenly distribute the product over the moss-infested areas. To achieve the necessary concentration, the technicians may dilute the solutions with water.

Biocides are highly efficient in killing moss and preventing regrowth. The protection lasts for a long time. As they are chemical solutions, biocides can be hazardous when applied incorrectly or mishandled. Roof cleaners protect themselves, nearby vegetation, and the environment.

Moss-killing agents

Moss-killing agents are made to target and kill moss growths on roofs. Typically, they contain active ingredients such as fungicides, surfactants, and algecides. They remove moss and reduce the risk of regrowth.

Professionals apply moss-killing agents as ready-to-use sprays or concentrates that may be diluted with water. They apply the product right to the areas affected by moss. The results are fast and long-lasting as they penetrate the moss, break down its cellular structure and prevent germination.

Regular application of moss-killing agents maintains the roof moss-free for a long time. Professionals follow safety guidelines to protect themselves, others, and the environment. They prevent overspray or runoff into delicate areas. They dispose correctly the unused product correctly.

Pressure washing

Professionals use specialized equipment (high-powered pressure washers) to deliver a focused stream of water at high pressure onto the roof. The pressure washer has nozzles for roof cleaning so professionals control the water pressure and flow.

Roof cleaners use pressure washing to dislodge and remove moss, algae, dirt, debris, and other organic growths from roof's surface. The water stream goes deep into moss mats, breaks apart the rots, and detaches them from roofing materials. Pressure washing also removes streaks, stains, and discolouration from moss.

The cleaners can adjust pressure washing to roofing materials. They can use various water pressures, nozzles, nozzle angles, and cleaning solution concentrations, according to the type of debris and surface materials. Asphalt shingles, tiles, metal, and wood can be cleaned with pressure washing.

Compared to manual cleaning and chemical treatments, pressure washing is quick and affordable. It quickly covers vast roof surfaces. If mishandled, high-pressure water washing can damage roofing materials (asphalt shingles, wood shakes). Pressure washing may also dislodge the roof's materials.

Professional roof cleaners reduce the impact on the environment. They contain and correctly dispose of runoff water that contains dirt, debris, and cleaning solutions. The roof cleaners will comply with local regulations and reduce the impact on the environment.

Eco-friendly alternatives

Natural biodegradable cleaners

Natural biodegradable cleaners are environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical-based moss removal solutions. They are made with enzymes and microbial agents that break down moss and organic debris. They don't harm the environment.

Natural biodegradable cleaners break down the cellular structure of moss. They make it detach from the roof material and decompose it. The cleaners are non-toxic and safe around humans, pets, and plants. They don't have harsh chemicals and synthetic adhesives. They don't leave harmful fumes or residues.

After use, natural biodegradable cleaners break down into harmless. They don't pollute and are safe close to water sources, vegetation, and wildlife. The risk of harming the ecosystem is minimal.

Non-toxic treatments

Non-toxic treatments provide a safe approach to moss removal. Vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and citrus extracts can be used to remove moss. If applied properly, such non-toxic treatments are effective.

The non-toxic treatments kill moss and inhibit regrowth by modifying the pH balance of moss. They create an environment that inhibits moss growth. Some treatments work by breaking down the cellular structure.

Non-safe treatments are safe for use near children, pets, and sensitive treatments. They don't have harsh chemicals that may affect health or environment. The treatments are also non-corrosive and non-abrasive and don't damage the roofing materials.

Non-toxic treatments are biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and don't leave pollutants or harmful residues. They are safe to use near vegetation, water sources, and wildlife.