Is this algae or moss? How to remove it without damaging the shingles?


Roof Moss and Algae Removal TIPS

DEAR TIM: Part of my roof gets very little direct sun and is shaded. Both moss and green and black algae grow on the shingles. Are these organisms causing damage to my roof? What is the best way to remove them. I am very hesitant to use chlorine bleach as it may damage the roofing material. Once clean, is there a way to permanently keep the roof free of the moss and algae? Scott W., Toledo, OH

DEAR SCOTT: People who live in all parts of the nation and have roofs made from all sorts of materials, wood, metal, asphalt, clay or concrete tiles, etc. can have moss and algae accumulate on their roofs.

Those places that receive more rainfall and have sustained high levels of humidity have more moss and algae growth as the moss and algae need water to grow and multiply.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local roof-cleaning companies.

This is moss growing on my own garage roof. The large clump you see towards the top...

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Q: We have a “green roof” that is not meant to be green. Moss (I guess it is moss) is collecting on one side of the asphalt roof. The roof is otherwise in good shape. What I have learned so far is that the roof should not be power-washed. How should one remove the growth, and who does this type of work? I am not interested in getting on the roof myself.

Falls Church

A: The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association distinguishes between moss, a plant with leaves that can grow into thick clumps, and mold and mildew, which are common names for types of algae that simply discolor the surface. Algae creates ugly black or brown streaks but doesn’t damage a roof. Moss — which is what shows in the pictures you sent — is more worrisome because it can damage asphalt shingles. A thick growth of moss works like a sponge, keeping the roofing damp for long periods, and it can lift edges of shingles, making them vulnerable to blowing off in a windstorm.

To clean either algae...

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Here in Oregon, mostly blue-green algae grows on the outside of the house or on the roof shingles. The only way to take care of it is to use a high-base chemical solution, like zinc sulfate. We’ll explain more of that in a bit.

While some people actually like the look of moss on their roof, they may be unaware that it can damage your roof, even promote rot.

What happens is the algae grows and becomes food for the moss. That moss then collects rainwater, like a sponge. If that top layer of moss gets heavy enough, the moisture seeps under the roof shingles and into the understructure. This brings mold build-up and eventually decay.

That means if you see algae or moss on your roof shingles, it’s time to remove it. Here’s how.

Cleaning your roof without damaging it

First we need to say one thing: don’t ever use a high pressure washer on your roof (for some reason it’s the first thing many people think to do). That pressure can strip granules...

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You can certainly clean your roof yourself—but make one wrong move and you’ll damage the shingles or (worse) hurt yourself. It’s best to hire a professional roofing contractor, but for those diehard do it yourselfers, it’s crucial to know the best practices for cleaning your own roof. First, consider the many ways roofs can get dirty or damaged over the years.

Falling debris is the leading cause of dirty roofs, whether it’s leaves, acorns, branches or anything else. It might fall directly on your roof (in which case trimming nearby trees might be step number one) or it could get blown there by strong winds or planted there by birds or vermin. At best, debris makes your roof look bad and can lower the home value. At worst, it can damage the structure and lead to leaks—a natural dam might form, and that backed up water can lead to roof rot.

Cleaning Debris

Assuming there’s no roof damage, the best way to clean off debris is by hand. It’s usually easy to remove,...

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[Summary]Removing Moss and Algae From Roofs Ask the Builder | Ask the Builder DEAR TIM: Part of my roof gets very little direct sun and is shaded. Both moss and green and black algae grow on the shingles. Are these organisms causing damage to my roof? What is


Removing Moss and Algae From Roofs Ask the Builder | Ask the Builder

DEAR TIM: Part of my roof gets very little direct sun and is shaded. Both moss and green and black algae grow on the shingles. Are these organisms causing damage to my roof? What is the best way to remove them. I am very hesitant to use chlorine bleach as it may damage the roofing material. Once clean, is there a way to permanently keep the roof free of the moss and algae? Scott W., Toledo, OH

Easily Remove Moss From Any Surface

Watch How To Remove Moss From Roof Shingles

Spray any exterior surface with Wet & Forget and let the wind and the rain do the rinsing and scrubbing for...

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Profection Window Cleaning, We clean windows, inside, outside, for homes, offices and well, anyone who has a window! We also offer a speciliased moss, algae and black lichen cleaning service. Lichens can be right old so an so's. It's pretty hard to get rid of them isn't it? We use a fantastic product, Mossgo, which nukes the lichen monster. Over a few weeks, the lichen dry up and get washed away by the weather cycles. It is not necessary to pressure wash the surface you have cleaned, but it makes sense in a few cases for aesthetic reasons. We pressure wash when needed, specifically because we want to leave a job clean once we have complete our work. Give us a call or visit our website to arrange a quotation. Tennis courts, sports arenas, patios,...

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I read about preventing moss and mildew in your Wood roofs article. I have smooth, light green blotches on one side of my roof that isn't dark and fuzzy like moss. My roof is only 11 years old. Will this stuff harm the roof? If so, can it be safely removed without damaging the shingles? They're asphalt shingles, not wood.

From your description, you may have lichen growing on the surface of your roof. It's a combination of algae and fungus and usually has a light, mint-green color. It doesn't trap as much water against the surface of the roof as moss, but it can be acidic and has strands that can penetrate into the shingles. These are probably not good things for your composition shingles.

A more common type of growth on roofs is, of course, moss. Moss is darker green, much thicker, holds more water, and also grips into the surface of the shingles.

The third most common type of growth on a roof is algae. It doesn't have the thick growth like moss and...

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What causes moss to grow on a roof and what’s the best way to get rid of it? -B.V.

Moss thrives in a damp, shady environment. For this reason it often occurs on the north side of a roof—since it receives the least amount of sun—or under overhanging trees that provide shade. Over time it can cause roofing to degrade.

You can physically remove moss from your roof with a long handled scrub brush if you’re careful not to overdo it. While a pressure washer can be used, the powerful jet of water could damage asphalt shingles. With either method, work down the roof to keep from lifting and breaking shingles.

There are also several chemicals on the market specifically made to kill moss. Diluted bleach will work as well, though the runoff can damage plants. Be sure to wear rubber gloves, protective clothing, and eye protection when working with chemicals.

To prevent moss from returning, cut back any limbs that overhang the roof, or install strips of...

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Moss is a simple green plant that grows in mats or clumps, while algae is an organism with no root, stem or leaf. Moss and algae are commonly found on roofs and walkways in cool, damp climates.

Moss and Algae

Constant moisture causes moss and algae to grow on roofs, sidewalks, trees and shrubs. Though green and black algae may look like mould on a roof, it's not. Moss has roots and can cause more damage than algae on a roof.

Algae Removal

Algae can be removed with a 50/50 spray of bleach and water. Or, use oxygen bleach, a powder you mix with water, which is less toxic and doesn't discolour the way chlorine bleach could. Green algae is easier to remove than black algae. Do not pressure wash shingles, and be sure to protect foundation plantings. Do not use table salt; it's corrosive and ineffective.

Moss removal

Moss on roofs can be swept off, brushed off or scraped off to remove the moss' shallow root system. Work downward to avoid...

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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Here we explain the causes of algae, moss, lichens, or fungal growth on roof shingles, the effects of these conditions, and how to cure or prevent them. Just brushing or raking off moss won’t prevent future moss growth, and if roof cleaning is not done with care you risk damaging the shingles and reducing the life of the roof. We cite and discuss roofing manufacturer shingle warranty exclusions or inclusions for algae and algae-related roof stains at ALGAE STAINS ON ASPHALT ROOF SHINGLES .

Algae, Fungus, Lichens, Moss Effects on Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Causes of moss or lichens growth on roofs

Moss growing on any roof surface will be more severe on roof sections that area shaded and exposed to periodically damp cool weather conditions.

The presence or absence of much sunlight on a roof surface is often a...

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Moss or algae growth on your roof does more than ruin your home’s curb appeal; it also could be causing your roof to deteriorate at a faster rate. Water and moisture getting trapped beneath moss or leaves could be speeding up the rate at which your shingles breakdown, leading to the need for a roof repair or replacement sooner than would otherwise be warranted. If you notice moss or the black streaks formed by algae, take steps to clean it off in a timely way to help take care of your roof.

Cleaning Debris from Your Roof

When fall arrives and following leaves and pine needles cover your roof, you may be tempted to simply leave them there. After all, you have enough yard clean up to do as it is. A blanket of leaves could be trapping water beneath your roof when it rains, however. In addition, those leaves could be stopping water from making it to the edge of your roof, causing it to back up beneath your shingles and form a leak. Therefore, removing those leaves...

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Chlorine bleach and specialized commercial products removers also remove moss. When using chlorine bleach to kill moss, protect the surrounding vegetation by watering it thoroughly before applying a solution of TSP, chlorine bleach and water to the roof. Keep the affected areas damp for at least 15 minutes after applying the cleaning solution, and rinse with clean water.

Alternately, combine oxygen bleach, TSP and water and then apply the solution to the roof. Allow the cleaning solution to remain on the roof for at least 15 minutes, and use a broom or scrub brush to loosen the moss if necessary. Rinse the roof with clean water, and install zinc or copper strips directly below the roof ridge to effectively kill moss throughout the year.

Commercial moss prevention products are another option. Apply the moss prevention product as recommended on the product packaging.

Do not power-wash the roof to remove moss, as this may damage the shingles. If the moss damaged...

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Always keep your roof clear of moss, roof debris and unwanted plant life, as all these things shorten the life of the roof. Frequent cleaning of the roof helps in protecting the shingles from deteriorating. Pressure washing can save your shingles from damage, if done carefully. If the pressure of water is more than required, it may also damage the shingles.

If you can spot small or large patches of black or fiberglass mesh, your roof is on the verge of getting ruined. It is advisable to hire a cleaning company to take care of the cleaning of your roof. Usually, a regular garden hose and a scrub brush can be used to clean the dirt off your roof. There are a lot of important things that you ought to know about giving a new face lift to your roof.

Remove algae off roof shingles

The black marks or streaks on the roof are not a sign of damage or deteriorating shingles, but that of algae growth on it. Usually algae develop in the area of the roof, which is mostly...

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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

How to clean building stains & algae, fungus, lichens & moss from exterior surfaces:

This article describes cleaning, and preventing future algae, moss, lichens, or fungal growth that occurs on stone, brick, and other surfaces such as buildings, gravestones, sidewalks, stone walls, walks, roadways and in nature.

We discuss how to identify, remove, & prevent algae, lichens, or moss growth on graves, tombstones, stone walls, sidewalks. Photographs of Algae, lichens, moss, mold help identify these substances in nature and on buildings. Photos & text to distinguish among algae, lichens, moss and mold growths on any surface.

We include links to references & researh useful in the identification & control of algae, moss, lichens, and mold.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017, All...

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Moss and algae form on roofs when moisture is present or lingering and the humidity is high. These organisms are difficult to remove and can damage roofing materials over time. The moss root system grows under the tabs of asphalt shingles and raises them allowing water to enter and damage the roof substrate causing dry rot.
Algae do not harm the roof, in general, but cause unsightly black stains. There are three main methods of removing moss and algae. These are mechanical, chemical, and wash down. Which method you use depends on how rapidly you want to dispose of the moss, the type of roofing material you have, and whether or not you have access to the roof of your home.


You can sweep the moss off the roof with a stiff bristle broom or brush if you have access to the roof. Sweep downward, not across the shingles or upward. Protect the shrubbery alongside the house with a tarp or plastic sheeting Pressure washing is also a good cleaning alternative but...
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Wet & Forget Outdoor takes the hard work out of cleaning. It safely removes algae, moss, lichen, mold and mildew from outdoor surfaces. Are you tired of the never ending job of keeping mold and mildew at bay? Do you fight mold on concrete or brick? Moss on your roof? Do you fear the slippery algae on walkways? Or battle mold and mildew on your composite deck? We’ve got an easy solution for eliminating these issues without the use of elbow grease or harsh chemicals—Wet & Forget! Simply spray and walk away! There’s no scrubbing, no rinsing and no pressure washing!

Wet & Forget removes moss, algae, lichen, mold or mildew gently over time, without damaging the surface being cleaned. Wet & Forget is ideal for roof cleaning, deck cleaning, the siding on the north side of the house that attracts mold and mildew and even mildew prone boats that need cleaning! While bleach and most commercial moss, mold and mildew removal products are caustic and can corrode and discolor many surfaces, Wet &...

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You take pride in your home’s appearance and then one day you notice ugly black streaks or splotches on your roof. Alarmed, you think, what’s that on my roof and where did it come from? Here’s a quick rundown of what it is, what causes it, and how Wet & Forget Outdoor erases those unsightly asphalt shingle stains.

What is it?

Although it may look like a mold or fungi, these unsightly black streaks or smear-like stains may indicate a type of roof algae, known in technical terms as, “Gloeocaspa Magma“. This blackish algae creeps it way across neighborhood roofs, gradually turning your home’s asphalt shingles an ugly dark brown or black. Roof algae is most prevalent on north and west-facing shingles and in neighborhoods with lots of mature trees. Your home’s shingles may have curled corners and raised surface bumps, which can eventually result in broken shingles and a prematurely decayed roof.

What is it caused by?

In the 1980s roof shingles were made of asphalt...

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