How to Stop Moss Growing on Roof Tiles

Roof Care & Maintenance
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How to Stop Moss Growing on Roof Tiles

All roofs are susceptible to moss growth, but moss is particularly common and damaging to tiled roofs. If left unchecked, it can lead to a number of serious long-term issues. Not only will moss make your roof look quite unsightly, it can also cause structural damage and block your home’s drainage system.

Cleaning moss off a roof yourself is simple with the right equipment, but if done incorrectly you could damage your roof tiles. There are many ways to get rid of moss from your roof. These include different methods and equipment, which we’re going to talk about below. We’ll also discuss how you can prevent moss from coming back.

What is Moss?

Moss is an umbrella term for species of non-vascular herbaceous plants that grow rapidly in damp conditions. The many species of moss in the UK are some of the hardiest plants by a long way. It’s also one of the fastest-growing, able to expand and multiply across your roof in a matter of days. Often compared to garden weeds, most homeowners consider moss on their roof a nuisance. Unlike ordinary garden weeds however, moss is often highly invasive, and able to thrive in places where weeds would struggle.

What Causes Moss to Grow on a Roof?

Moss spreads via releasing spores like many plants. Moss growth is far more likely on damp, cool surfaces that don’t receive much sunlight. This makes north-facing tiled roofs especially prone to moss and algae build-up, as they can quickly take root in the dark nooks and crannies between and under roof tiles, shingles or slates. Roof tiles made from clay or concrete are particularly susceptible to moss growth. This is because their porous surfaces and frequent exposure to rain and damp conditions make them the perfect environment for moss to root down and spread very effectively.

Why is Moss Bad for my Roof?

Although most mosses pose no danger to humans, moss growth can severely compromise your roof. Moss is incredibly effective at absorbing moisture, which means that any moisture trying to leave your roof will be captured. Moss is also very likely to grow in between roof tiles, filling up the voids between them which can lift the tiles and expose what lies underneath to the elements. This combination of excessive moisture and exposure to rainwater is what leads to serious structural damage such as rotting timber or damp insulation.

How Do I Remove Moss from My Roof?

There are numerous ways you can remove moss from your roof, depending on how significant the spread is already. If it’s only in the early stages, small patches of moss that haven’t rooted themselves into your roof space significantly can often be washed away with a hose pipe. Moderate pressure from most garden hoses should be enough to uproot juvenile moss, which won’t have worked its way into your roof tiles just yet. However, the tiniest segment of root can soon become moss again, so it’s vital to remove every trace from your roof when cleaning it. No matter how significant the problem, you should avoid using a pressure washer, as this can cause damage to your roof tiles.

How To Remove Moss Naturally

One of the most effective ways to remove moss from your roof without chemicals is to brush and scrape it away using handheld tools. There are a number of tools you can use, including a long-handled brush, scrapers or trowels. Be careful when working on top of your roof, and only walk on your roof tiles if necessary. It’s important to be gentle when removing moss by hand, to avoid damaging the coating on your tiles. As with any other method, be sure to remove all remnants of moss before finishing, as moss can quickly anchor its way back into your roof and spread in a matter of days.

An Easier Way to Get Rid of Moss…

One of the fastest and most effective ways to remove moss from your roof is by using a dedicated moss remover. This is a fantastic product that can be applied quickly and easily by a homeowner, with very fast results. The only tools required will be a watering can or garden sprayer used to apply the chemical, with no hard scrubbing needed. Our moss remover kills moss at the roots, detaching it from the roof and making your job exponentially easier.

How Do I Apply Moss Remover?

Firstly, you should only apply roof cleaning or sealing products on a clear, but cool day with little wind. This is because excessive heat can cause the solution to evaporate too quickly to have an effect, and wind can blow it off your roof tiles. You should also take care to protect any plant life nearby from the chemicals using plastic sheeting, and hose them down afterwards to ensure no damage.

To apply the moss remover, work backwards on your roof applying a gentle coat using your garden sprayer. This is not only the most efficient way to work, but you’ll also be keeping yourself safe by never stepping onto a wet, slippery tile. Once this initial coat has been applied, simply wait for it to dry and then gently brush away any remaining debris.

What Can I Do to Prevent Moss?

Now that you’ve hopefully been able to remove most of the moss plaguing your roof, it’s time to start thinking about how to stop it growing on your roof tiles again. There are a few steps you can take to make moss growth less likely, such as trimming back trees to allow more exposure to sunlight. Cutting back branches so they don’t overhang has another benefit. Moss doesn’t just appear – one of the ways its seeds are often spread onto the roofs by branches, sticks, and twigs that fall onto our roofs. Cutting back trees and removing any sticks on your roof will prove a major deterrent.

Another way to keep on top of the issue is regular cleaning and maintenance. This applies to your roof as well as your guttering system. Drainage systems are havens for all types of moss. They are often very damp and dirty, where fallen leaves father after being carried along by rainwater. Cleaning a gutter can vary in difficulty depending on the shape and size of the house and guttering, but it is more than worth it considering how much of an effect it has on decreasing the amount of moss present on your roof.


We hope this guide has been helpful and given you more of an idea of how to deal with moss growing on your roof. Remember that prevention is always better than cure, so performing regular roof maintenance and stopping moss early in its lifecycle will not only make it easier to get rid of, but prevent any serious damage to your roof space or tiles. To recap, here are our top tips for stopping moss from growing on roof tiles:

  • Always take care and wear necessary equipment when working on your roof
  • Never pressure wash roof tiles to avoid damaging them
  • Use gentle hose pipes and hand tools to clean major debris from your roof
  • Moss remover is incredibly effective at killing moss
  • Regular cleaning and maintenance is the best way to prevent moss growth
  • Keep your gutters free of leaves and any other debris
  • Cut back any trees that may be dropping leaves onto your roof or preventing sunlight

By following these tips, your roof will look fantastic all year round, and improve its strength and longevity for decades to come. Moss is a truly fascinating form of plant life that has a myriad of benefits to us and the world around us, but it’s best kept well away from your roof tiles. If you’re dealing with more general dirt or debris as well as moss, check out our guide on how to clean roof tiles.

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