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ROOF MOSS REMOVAL
Moss Removal from Roof Tiles – UK Experts in Moss Cleaning Services
Regular roof moss removal is a vital part of maintaining a safe and healthy home. Moss makes your roof look unattractive and untidy, plus it encourages all manner of bacteria and mould which are even more destructive.
But moss cleaning and removal from your roof tiles also needs to be done using the correct methods, otherwise you can put your roof and your building at risk in other ways.
BLUE SHIELD are experts in moss removal using smart and effective softwashing. This is a gentle chemical clean which removes moss and other unwanted organic pests from your roof without damaging the tiles, unlike aggressive and risky methods such as standard power washing (more on that later).
The most important benefit of our solution is that it also actively prevents regrowth and protects your roof for many months after the initial treatment, which is the opposite of pressure washing which can cause lasting damage that worsens over time.
Read on to understand more about moss, why it’s a threat, and how our friendly experts at BLUE SHIELD deal with it safely and effectively to protect you and your home.
Why professional roof moss removal is essential
Why does moss grow on your roof?
Moss is a simple organism that thrives in moist conditions. It is a plant, although it does not produce flowers or bear much resemblance to most of the other plants in your garden. Therefore it relies on photosynthesis, so it does need sunlight to survive, although it prefers partially shaded conditions to prevent it from drying out.
Overall, moss tends to find everything it needs to make itself at home once it gets onto your roof. It will usually be introduced by an overhanging tree, but the spores can come from any nearby source and be carried by the wind. Once established, the moss can enjoy plenty of sunlight and water, plus nutrients from other organic sources.
Moss also needs to absorb nutrients from soil, but it doesn’t have a deep root system so it can achieve this despite being on a surface – even the roof of your house! The furred texture of the moss allows it to trap organic debris as the wind blows it around, especially from nearby tree branches which deposit a source of food directly onto the roof. This dirt collects around the moss and gets into all the cracks underneath it, providing the layer of soil the moss needs to feed and further securing it to your tiles.
Why does moss need to be removed from your roof?
In most cases, moss looks unattractive on your roof. A few people like the look of it, although they often change their minds when they realise it’s likely to lead to expensive problems further down the line. But what exactly is this innocent-looking plant doing to your roof tiles?
Firstly, moss loves to grow in the cracks and gaps between roof tiles because it can anchor itself more easily. Once it’s lodged in place, it will grow and expand which forces the tiles apart. At first they will open up, allowing water to leak inside more easily (potentially introducing mould and damp problems into the interior of your home). Eventually the tiles may even start becoming fully dislodged and dropping off your roof.
However, the physical damage caused by the moss itself is only one aspect of the problem. The more extreme and long-lasting issues that moss contributes to (but does not directly cause) are what you should really be focusing on. Moss creates the perfect living environment for bacteria, algae and lichens, and these are the things that actually eat away at the surface of your tiles.
What are the main risks caused by moss?
Moss facilitates the growth of these more harmful biological organisms, so moss removal is the smartest roof cleaning solution to prevent all the problems they lead to. The main risks you need to be aware of include:
- Roof and gutter sagging: Moss gets extremely heavy when wet, so it causes rainwater to collect on your roof and puts it under a significant amount of pressure. Moss can also wash down into your gutters and collect there, causing the same problem to occur. Your roof and gutters can eventually sag under this extra weight, leading to further potential leaks and damaged joints.
- Slip hazards: Moss can spread easily, especially if pieces are falling off your roof into your drainage system or onto the ground outside your home. This is made worse when gutter blockages create flowing water down the side of the house. All of this leads to very slippery moss patches, which are a serious slip-and-fall hazard for anyone.
- Long-term stains: As moss leads to the development of algae, these organisms slowly grow into visible stains. Initially you can’t even see them, but eventually they may be very prominent – either black if they are exposed to sunlight for a long time, or light blue/green if they are more secluded. These stains are difficult to remove without damaging the tiles underneath, unless you have expert knowledge of how to safely combine power washing with chemical treatment.
- Damage to tiles: When algae and fungi interact and feed off each other, they form lichens. These are the most destructive of the organisms that grow on your roof tiles. If they are not removed properly, they gradually eat away at the surface of your tiles. This removes the built-in protection they have from UV light and eventually weakens them. The overall integrity of your roof can become compromised after a long enough period of time, causing leaks and all kinds of interior wall problems.
Why NOT to remove moss with power washing
There’s one thing we tell all the customers that contact us for roof moss removal: power washing is NOT an acceptable solution to get rid of moss! The high pressure used for this method is not specifically targeting the unwanted moss or other growths. Instead, it simply blasts the entire surface and strips off anything it comes into contact with, including protective layers that help your tiles to last longer.
If you listen to reliable sources from within the roofing industry (including associations and manufacturers of roof tiles), the general consensus is that pressure washing is a poor choice for roof cleaning and maintenance. The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) warns against moss removal using “power-washing, which may cause damage to the roof, […] often leading to cracked or broken roof tiles.”
The main arguments against what the NFRC refers to as “violent” methods (i.e. pressure washing) include:
1) Short-term damage
Pressure washing can dislodge or break your roof tiles, leaving them in need of repairs to prevent leaks.
2) Long-term damage
Tiles are left scarred and weakened, so even if they do not immediately break, their lifespan is shortened.
3) Removes UV protection
The top layer of UV protection gets stripped off, leaving the subsurface vulnerable to sunlight damage.
4) Fails to kill organisms
Water blasting is relatively ineffective at removing all traces of moss, leading to regrowth soon afterwards.
5) Lack of protection
There is no sanitisation or ongoing protection provided, so as soon as the roof is “cleaned” it is left vulnerable.
6) Messy and untidy
Debris tends to be blasted all over your home, creating an unsightly mess and encouraging organisms to spread.
The problem we often find is that homeowners notice a moss problem on their roof, but since they aren’t sure of the best solution, they go for a cheap pressure wash. The results are instant and the roof will usually look much better, but the damage just beneath the surface is less obvious.
A couple of years later, they will wonder why the roof seems to leak in places and eventually find out it needs replacing! In this case, the moss is not even the biggest enemy of a healthy roof. Removing moss is vital, but sometimes doing it the wrong way can be even worse than ignoring it.
How BLUE SHIELD’s roof cleaning process works
Our process for roof cleaning is all about safety, effectiveness and ongoing protection. We take a completely different approach compared to many professionals who are more interested in selling a one-off clean and have no interest in the long-term health of your home.
We would rather let our results speak for themselves, and hopefully become your long-term trusted preferred partner in keeping your home completely clean and protected from the outside. Every home is different, but here’s an example of how our typical process would work.
First of all, we arrange a date and time that suits you to complete an initial inspection. Our experts will arrive both fully equipped and on time (we guarantee this within a one-hour window, and if we let you down we’ll give you compensation in the form of M&S vouchers worth £25). Our inspection will be carried out from the safety of the ground, and we will report back on the level of cleaning required.
Next our knowledgeable team will be able to remove any excess mounds of moss from your roof by using handheld tools which are effective without the need for any ladders. This protects you from being liable for any accidents, which is an important requirement of many home insurance policies. The reason we remove the excess first is so it does not fall into your drainpipes or gutters and lead to them getting blocked up.
About our specially-formulated chemical softwash
It’s now essential that we use our BLUE SHIELD softwash treatment while most of your roof is accessible. We use a safe formulation of cleaning chemicals, which ensures there is no danger to anyone in or around the area. Please note that this is not the same as using bleach to clean your roof, which can be very dangerous and is not recommended. Our softwash process is very different and much more responsible.
The reason we use chemicals is simply to kill all the organic matter which causes both short-term and long-term health problems for your roof. It is not an instant solution, so while you will probably see an immediate improvement, the full results of our cleaning treatment will only become visible after some time has passed. It might even take a maximum of a few months before the full results become clear, if you have thick layers of lichens on your roof (which will slowly die and be washed away with natural rainwater).
Another thing to be aware of is that we do not need to wash our BLUE SHIELD softwash treatment off your roof tiles once we have finished applying it. It is actually intended to remain on the surface to provide that ongoing protection against regrowth. This is a major advantage when compared to simple power washing or harsher chemical cleaning methods.
By killing bacteria and lichens, plus sanitising the surface to eliminate the chance of them growing back, we provide the best possible cleaning results and future protection for the exterior of your home.
If softwashing my roof kills moss and spores, can it harm my garden?
A question we often get asked is whether the moss removal chemicals we use are harmful to plant life. This is a very good question, since we’re promoting the fact that our solution is designed to kill unwanted plants. However, we rely on a very simple and very effective methodology which prevents any collateral damage in your garden.
Before we apply our cleaning treatment to your roof, we make sure to hose down all your lawn, flowers and plants generously with water. We don’t use any special fertiliser or other chemicals because (as anyone with an interest in gardening knows), there is no one-size-fits-all option and we don’t want to cause any interference.
Because they’ve all been freshly watered, your plants will not be able to take on any more water for at least a few hours. We use this time to complete the moss removal treatment, which can be applied carefully to the target area with much more precision than a high-pressure jet washer.
That being said, there will be some run-off from the solution and we will make sure this is washed away. Because of the low concentration, this is safe to simply wash down your outdoor drains with a low-pressure rinse. As a result, the rest of your garden is protected from any potential effect of your roof treatment.
Why choose BLUE SHIELD to remove moss (and protect your newly-clean roof)?
We understand you might not have used our service before, so we don’t expect you to believe how good our results are until you see them with your own eyes. Our recommendation? Book a visit from our friendly experts to find out exactly how we can help get your home back to the best possible condition.
BLUE SHIELD is proud to offer all these benefits to our customers:
- A free visit from our team – remember, we guarantee we’ll arrive on time!
- Effective moss removal results – guaranteed for a year, or we’ll come back for free
- Affordable solutions designed to help you avoid future repair and replacement costs
- Professional, honest advice based on years of experience
- Easy, stress-free compliance with the terms of your home insurance
- Flexibility and support in the long-term, so you don’t have to stress over maintenance
If you want to get maximum enjoyment out of your home and avoid the stress and anxiety of ongoing maintenance, get in touch and let us help you out.