Cleaning Moss from Roof

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Old 05-28-13, 03:59 PM
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Cleaning Moss from Roof

What is the best way to get moss off from my roof? I've gotten 2 estimates so far for a "soft wash," $481 and $900. What about power washing it off? Would that be sufficient? I haven't gotten an estimate on this yet but am thinking it will be much less.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 04:03 PM
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Welcome to the forums Kathy!

What type of roofing do you have? Pressure washing will shorten a shingle roof's life drastically!
 
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Old 05-28-13, 04:03 PM
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Try that then plan on having a new roof put on.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 04:04 PM
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It's not going to be much less than the $481 estimate. I certainly wouldn't do it for less than $400.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 05:16 PM
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My roof is a shingle roof. Thank you all for the info. I won't even bother with getting an estimate for power washing. I'd better lock in with the lowest estimate for the soft wash then. Thank you again.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 06:59 PM
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I live in the land of moss. There are LOTS of companies that power wash both cedar shake and composition shingle roofs. Some advertise that they use a low-pressure system to prevent roof damage.

While definitely unsightly, I am not convinced that moss on the roof materially affects the life of the roof. Most cedar roofs in my area are in need of replacement 20-25 years after installation and most re-roofs use composition shingles due to the cost of the cedar. The composition shingles will generally last around 25-30 years depending on the weight of the shingles used.

Of course this is my experience and that of my friends and neighbors. We don't get a huge amount of rain in the greater Seattle area although it does rain fairly constantly from about October to May precluding any roofs from completely drying. For those areas that get gully washers, three-four inches of rain per hour, the story might be completely different.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 07:03 PM
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Do the copper/zinc(?) strips work for moss as they do for the mildew/mold/lichens?
 
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Old 05-28-13, 07:16 PM
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My previous house was an almost ideal test bed for the zinc strips. One side had an almost perfect southern exposure and the other side was almost perfect northern exposure. I also had a tall Arborvitae that shaded the easternmost edge of the northern side.

I had the zinc strips installed at the ridge when I had the roof replaced. The southern side, which never had any moss to speak of, continued to not have any moss. The northern side that had always had a fine crop of moss, especially where shaded, still grew a pretty good crop of moss on the lower areas although the areas closer to the ridge were generally moss-free. Then there was a big windstorm that tore the zinc loose from the eastern edge to about the middle of the house.

This house had been built in 1953 with composition shingles.The southern room had a new layer of shingles when I bought the place in 1977 but the northern roof was original. It was more moss than shingle by the time it started to leak which was in 1985 or '86 so more than 30 years of service.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 08:08 PM
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Zinc is popular in Michigan for keeping the moss away but it might not kill the growth you currently have. Strange as it sounds you can broadcast high nitrogen fertilizer on the roof and the direct contact with the moss will burn and kill it. I did this on my too-shady northern cottage and it killed the moss in about one month with just one application. $30 is a cheap first try and you can still go with the $400 pro wash later.
 
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Old 05-29-13, 08:48 AM
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Try "Spray And Forget" from Home Depot. I had the famous black streaks and some Lichen on my light gray roof. Tried to wash it by hand with a soft brush, looked better but quickly came back.

Last fall I purchased "Spray And Forget" and sprayed my whole roof. Winter came and went, I never really looked at the roof, most of the growth was on the rear side and we weren't out back all winter. This spring, while cleaning up the yard I glanced at the roof and was amazed at how it looked. All the black streaks were gone, even the Lichen was gone! The stuff actually worked. Mind you it probably took a while, like the product says. So over a period of a few months, it did it's thing and did it well too.
 
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