How to Remove Moss from Roof Tiles

Moss is a universal nuisance in the world of roofing. It seems to crop up out of nowhere and although is seemingly harmless, it can actually cause some pretty costly problems if left to overgrow. Thankfully, there are a variety of different methods you can utilise to remove any pesky invasions, all of which can be implemented completely DIY.

Why Is Moss a Problem for Roof Tiles?

Let’s start by discussing why moss even needs to be removed in the first place.

Appearance

The obvious reason that you may want to banish moss from your roof tiles is its unsightly appearance. Moss can stick out like a sore thumb, creating an almost ‘mouldy’ look, especially if your roof tiles are lightly coloured.

Tile Damage

Moss grows at its strongest in areas of the roof that are damp and shaded. As it grows, the thick moss ‘roots’ can lift your roof tiles, causing cracking and breakage.

Rot & Structural Integrity

Moss acts just like a sponge, meaning it has the ability to absorb large volumes of moisture. As this moisture sits on and soaks underneath the roof tiles, it can seriously jeopardise the integrity of your roof. Wood components may begin to rot, leading to dangerous structural issues and costly repairs.

Drain Obstruction

When pieces of moss break off from the tiles and move down into your gutters, they can quickly begin to clog up the drainage system. This leads to leakages, water damage and even more expensive repairs to your roof.

Bird & Insects

Moss has the tendency to attract birds and insects. Although wildlife is great for the garden, up on the roof it can cause havoc with risky infestations, structural damage and drain blockages.

How to Remove Moss from Roof Tiles

If you’ve spotted a span of moss growth on your roof tiles and are on the hunt for an easy method of removal, look no further than the practical techniques below:

Long-Handled Brush

Straightforward, and cost-effective, simply using a long-handled stiff brush to dislodge and remove the moss from your roof tiles is often enough if the growth is not too severe. This does require you to access the roof directly, so if you aren’t very confident in working at height, we may suggest enlisting the help of a professional.

If you do choose to attempt yourself, make sure to always wear appropriate footwear and walk carefully across the roof surface as to not injure yourself or damage the roof tiles.

Garden Hose & Scraping

If those last troublesome pieces of moss won’t dislodge using only a brush, you could also try a long-handled ‘T’ tool to finish the job. This tool is designed to scrape away the growth and should be combined with clean water from the garden hose to wash excess debris away as you go. Be very careful when scraping to ensure you don’t scratch or damage your roof tiles.

Specialist Removal Agents

For tougher moss growths, you may need to add a specialist chemical product into the mix to actually kill the moss at its source. There are a multitude of different variations on the market, each with slightly different application guidelines so you must make sure to carefully read all instructions before use.

Certain moss killers can be applied directly onto the roof tiles without the need to rinse with water afterward. Other products should sit only for a certain period of time and then need to be washed away with clean water to prevent damage to the tiles.

For easy application, we recommend looking for a product that can be applied by spray bottle. This can then be attached directly to your hose for a strong and even coverage over the moss covered area.

Always remember to carefully read through all manufacturer’s instructions regarding application, sitting time, removal etc. It is vitally important that you double-check the product you are using is suitable for the roof tiles installed. If you are unsure, we always recommend that you consult a professional for further help.

Home Remedies

If you’d like to save money or are looking for a less-toxic alternative to store-bought moss killers, there are certain mixes you can make at home which can be pretty useful in combating moss growth.

Chlorine Bleach Solution

Chlorine bleach has been known to remove fungi, mildew, and moss, although you must ensure that it is properly diluted before spraying onto your roof. This is because it can be pretty damaging to other surrounding plants and shrubbery that you aren’t looking to kill.

A practical ratio for this solution is one quarter chlorine bleach to one gallon of water. You can then add quarter of a cup of a heavy duty cleaner such as trisodium phosphate.

Warning! – You must make sure you never use any ammonia-based products for this, as mixing with the additional bleach can generate dangerous, toxic fumes. If you are at all unsure of how to mix a home-made solution, we recommended that you do not use this method.

How to Remove Moss from Roof Tiles Step-by-Step

Now we’ve discussed a few of the potential techniques for removing moss, lets talk through a simple step-by-step method that combines each.

Step 1 – Health & Safety

When working at height, you always need to ensure you take the appropriate precautions in order to keep yourself safe. Make sure your ladder is steadily positioned on a firm and even ground surface, with a safety harness correctly in place to provide extra security.

Equip yourself with all of the necessary PPE including non-slip footwear suitable for roof work, safety goggles, gloves, and protective clothing.

Step 2 – Prep the Area

Protect any nearby plants using plastic sheeting. A lot of moss killer products can have adverse effects on all types of shrubbery, so you’ll want to ensure these are fully protected.

Step 3 – Soak & Brush

Using a standard garden hose, soak the moss covered tiles in clean water. Make sure to work from the top of the roof downwards when doing this so that the water can run down the roof slope.

Use your long-handled brush to carefully brush away as much of the moss as you can. Take your time doing this, working in smaller sections to ensure as much of the moss is removed as possible.

Step 4 – Moss Killer Application

To kill the moss at the ‘root’, spray your moss killer solution across the entire area of the roof. Dependant on the product you have chosen, you may have to leave the solution on for a period of time and wash off. Alternatively, you may be instructed to leave without rinsing. Always follow all manufacturer’s guidance and advice.

If you are using a home-made solution, it is recommended that you leave the product to soak into the moss for at least 20 minutes before rinsing with clean water.

Step 5 – Remove Remaining Debris

If there are any remaining areas of moss, you can use your bristle brush once again to remove. Rinse off any remaining solution or dead/loose moss using your garden hose.

Can I Use a Pressure Washer to Remove Moss from my Roof?

Although a pressure washer is effective at cleaning your roof quickly, it is generally not recommended for moss removal. This is because the force of the water can cause pretty substantial damage if the roof structure is vulnerable in any way. When high-pressure water jets are aimed directly toward broken or missing roof tiles, you can end up putting your roof in a worse state than it was originally in.

How to Stop Moss Growing in the Future

After cleaning your roof and finally removing every last piece of moss, the last thing you want is it for to come back. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to prevent moss growth and keep your roof tiles clear from this pesky plant. To stop moss from rearing its ugly head in the future, have a read through our handy guide on how to stop moss growing on roof tiles.