Moss doesn’t have to cost a lot of green — Bonner County Daily Bee Columns

Moss doesn’t have to cost a lot of green

Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:00 am

Roof moss problems and the cure:

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve received numerous calls from area home and business owners requesting information on roof moss removal. As I drive through Bonner and Boundary counties, it is very apparent that last winter was a gray cold moist period because of the amount of moss growing on people’s roofs. In this week’s article I thought I would discuss what moss is, the problems it presents and how to get rid of it.

Biology of moss:

Mosses as a group do not have roots and consequently do not use soil as a system for retrieving moisture and nutrients. In order for moss to develop it must have flowing or falling water in order to grow and thrive. Moss requires flowing water to reproduce. Some moss has a remarkable ability to survive desiccation. In extremely dry periods they are dormant, waiting for moist periods to return. Once it does they kick into overdrive and rapidly reproduce, very similar to mold. Mosses are an important part of our ecosystem as diverse as peat bogs, tropical forests, salt marshes and volcanic hot springs. Some mosses produce antibacterial qualities which help in reducing the spread of infection.

Growth patterns:

Most moss growth is on the north side of a building’s roof. It generally grows on roofs that consist of three tab composition shingles, cedar or shake systems. It generally grows where there is a lot of shade, direct sun light dries it out and kills it. It’s generally hard to determine how much moss growth it takes to cause roof damage; however, it is my belief that moss doesn’t belong on a roof; therefore, it should be eliminated from the building because of the potential damage it can cause by lifting up the shingles which would allow moisture to penetrate into the building.

One possibility is to install a metal roof. Moss can’t grow on smooth surfaces. So if you are thinking about installing a new roof, consider installing a metal roof. If you have a three-tab composition, shingle or shake roof consider installing zinc sulfate strips across the length (end to end) of your roof. Pressure wash the roof first to remove moss buildup. Then install (Nail) the three inches wide zinc sulfate strip under the second tab or shingle layer of your roofing material, it’s fairly simple to install. They can be purchased from one of our local hardware stores. After installing the zinc sulfate strip, using a pump garden sprayer, spray the roof down with a solution of 50-percent bleach and 50-percent water. This solution will dry out and kill any residual moss and lichen that remains after pressure washing. After taking care of the moss problem prune back your trees and shrubs to allow more direct sun light to penetrate onto the contaminated area.

When cleaning with any cleaning product, always wear eye protection and rubber gloves to protect your hands. If you would like to share a cleaning idea or concept with the reading audience, call Ed at NWES (208-255-2266) or toll free at 1-877-311-NWES. E-mail them to nwees@hughes. net or send them to Bonner County Daily Bee, 310 Church St. Sandpoint, ID 83864, Attn: What Would Ed do? For more information about Ed’s company, check him out at NWESINC. COM.

Copy written by Edmond E. Madan, certified forensic, fire, flood, mold inspection and remediation contractor. Ed is the president of Northwest Executive & Environmental Services, Inc.

Leave a Reply