It’s time to CAUTIOUSLY remove roof moss

green moss on roof shinglesSeattle and environs set a record Tuesday for consecutive days without rain (now 54 and counting), and this weekend we should break the record for consecutive days above 80 degrees.

Our weather has baked the Northwest tinder dry, and you might consider taking advantage of it if you have parched moss crumbling on your roof. I'm removing mine tomorrow.

When I say "you might," that comes with the huge disclaimer that you should never climb onto your roof if you're at all uneasy or unfit for it, or your roof offers tricky footing. Leave rooftop work for the professionals.

But if your roof isn't steep, you're healthy and nimble, and you use caution, you might consider removing harmful moss before it rains.

We had our house reroofed in 2007 with asphalt shingles. To my dismay, green fuzzy moss began sprouting two winters ago and had grown to sizeable clumps this past May.

chunks of parched moss fallen onto deckThen came our warm dry weather, and I started finding wispy, coarse chunks of brown stuff on my sidewalk and deck. I realized it was dehydrated moss. Sure enough, looking at my roof I saw that winter's green, velvety blight was now parched and brown.

And ripe for removal.

Left unattended to flourish, moss can harm your roof by trapping moisture that can creep under the tiles or shingles.

I went online and found several sites instructing how to remove moss. I wasn't interested in the remedies that involve hoses and walking on wet shingles, but a roofing company advised what I sought.

"It's always best to carry out this type of work in the summer, when the roof is bone dry."

  • parched moss on rooftopSafety comes first. Use ladders with extreme caution. Secure yourself with a safety rope and wear slip-resistant shoes.

  • Remove moss when the roof is bone dry.

  • Avoid pressure-washing, which can harm your roof.

  • Start from the top of the roof and work downward using a trowel to scrape off stubborn moss.

  • Then use a stiff broom to sweep off loose moss and dirt.

  • closeup of parched moss on rooftopClean moss and debris out of gutters.

If forecasters are right, you have only a few days to get this done. Rain showers may return to western Washington and Oregon on Sunday.

by  Jon Osterberg

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