How to get rid of moss on the roof?
The spread of moss on soft tiles is one of the most common problems of this type of coating. The debate about whether moss is so harmful to the tile and whether it must be removed is still ongoing. And the arguments of both sides are very significant. But even if you like the appearance of moss on the roof of the house, sooner or later you will have to think about limiting its distribution, since the area of green shoots on the roof will only increase with time. Methods of combating mosses are very different, but you can not do without laborious work.
Despite the fact that moss often annoys on other types of roofs, it is on soft tiles that it is one of the main problems that appear in almost any location of the house on the north side of the slope. And for houses located in the forest, among trees, structures with insufficient insulation or improper calculation of the slope of the moss, it is completely inevitable a few years after laying over the entire roof area.
- What harms moss tiles and factors of its appearance
- Mechanical or physical methods for controlling moss
- Copper "rescuers" from moss on the roof
- Chemicals and herbicides against moss on the roof
What harms moss tiles and factors of its appearance
Green roofs, in which plants are used as an additional insulation, a means of effective thermal insulation of buildings, are at the peak of popularity today. But moss growing on an ordinary roof cannot be attributed to this kind of eco-coating. Unlike specially created green roofs, here it is a parasite plant along with lichens.
The destructive effect of moss on the roof is controversial: to some extent, this coating plays the role of additional protection and protects the tiles from destruction. But the concomitant effects of moss and lichens on the materials and construction of the roof are negative, and tile manufacturers all without exception claim that it is worth getting rid of such an aesthetic decoration as quickly as possible. And there are a number of reasons for this:
- Moss retains moisture.
- Overgrowth affects the effect of negative temperatures and transitions from positive to negative indicators, which are very poorly tolerated by all types of tiles, especially soft roofs.
- Moss and lichens create an ideal environment for the development of bacteria, dust, other plants, as well as for the habitat of beetles, ants and other insects.
- Moss almost does not affect the coating and the structure of the tile, which can not be said about the reliability of fastening. Most roof tile companies claim that moss increases the clearance between roof elements.
Of course, on the other hand, mosses absorb moisture, which can penetrate into the material and protect it from destruction under the influence of water. But such a “plus” does not outweigh the negative impact of mosses.
Moss and lichens are considered a specific soft roof problem. Despite all the beauty, this material requires a specific approach and special conditions. The roofing materials that have a porous, rough surface are most affected by mosses and lichens. This applies not only to soft tiles, but also to cement-sand, composite, ceramic, ordinary metal tiles with a matte finish and even asbestos-cement sheets.
Factors leading to the spread of moss are the same for all types of roofing. Mosses and lichens threaten the roof if there is a malfunction or excessive pollution of the roof, for example, in a forest or near large trees. The likelihood of their spread increases the proximity of the swamp or pond.
Moss usually appears on the north and northwest sides of the roof. You can notice the first signs of roof damage by lichens and moss no earlier than 3, and most often 5 years after laying the material.
Combating moss is more difficult than preventing its appearance. Important preventive measures are to prevent the accumulation of dirt, dust, leaves, sand, moisture stagnation, heating materials on the roof, and the quality of work. Prevention is the best method of struggle in the case of building a house covered with soft tiles, and when you choose other materials.
Even at the planning stage, you should consider providing measures to prevent the appearance of moss and lichen. Special rolled materials made of copper in the form of ribbons and a thin mesh made of copper are installed under the tile and the ridge element before installation, but such “lining” is still not very popular with us.
If you are faced with the problem of moss and lichens on the tiles, then you should not despair: there are many methods of struggle, and everyone can choose their own option.
Mechanical or physical methods for controlling moss
It will not work to cope with moss by simply processing magic miracle preparations without removing the already appeared moss and pollution from the roof. Cleaning the tiles from the accumulation of dirt can be considered as the main method of dealing with the problem or as the first step to get rid of moss forever. But in any case, such a cleaning will have to be carried out.
There are two methods for mechanically removing moss from roof tiles:
- The most reliable, productive and popular - cleaning with a powerful mini-sink, a jet of water under pressure in which will completely save you from moss on the surface of the tiles and other contaminants. It should be remembered that for this purpose only high-power washes are used and work must be carried out not from bottom to top, but from top to bottom, directing the jet along the tile, from the ridge to the ledge so that the jet does not get overlapped or under the material.
- Manual cleaning with brushes and water. This is a more time-consuming method, and less productive. Not only whether all the formations can be removed, but also possible damage to the material itself depends on the thoroughness of the work. It is necessary to work with the roof very carefully, but at the same time as scrupulously as possible, removing all dirt and plant debris from the roof. For washing, use hard and medium-hard brushes only from natural bristles. First, the moss is removed by dry treatment, and then thoroughly washed the entire roof, getting rid of the remnants of dirt and plants.
It should be borne in mind that manual or mechanical cleaning of the roof from moss is a temporary measure and will allow you to get rid of this problem for a maximum of 1 year. If you want to limit yourself only to machining, then get ready for the fact that you will have to repeat the procedure for cleaning the tiles regularly. If you want to get rid of the need to carry out a complex procedure of washing the roof at a height associated with danger and considerable physical exertion, then after cleaning it is necessary to take measures to prevent the appearance of moss and lichens in the future.
Copper "rescuers" from moss on the roof
In order to get rid of the problem of soft roof fouling without chemistry, you need to use copper-containing preparations or install a special device on the roof that enriches rainwater with copper ions and prevents the spread of moss. After all, copper is the simplest and most reliable assistant from among the natural enemies of moss.
Special copper-containing products can be found in hardware stores and specialized firms. Today their range is expanding significantly and despite the considerable cost, such drugs are highly effective in combating moss. Most often, such preparations are labeled precisely as means intended for the destruction of moss.
There are so-called structural processing methods associated with the use of copper. The easiest method is to install a copper brush on the ridge, special boards or plates made of copper. They are mounted on top, they cost a lot, they require fastening with copper nails, but they are very effective (this is how they deal with the problem in Scandinavia).
Another universal and more affordable method is the fight against mosses on the tiles using treatment with copper sulfate. This method works best after removing the moss with a sink or manually. Spraying the tiles with a solution of copper sulfate can prevent the appearance of moss for many years.
If you use this control method as the main one without mechanical cleaning, then in order to cope with the problem, you will have to resort to several treatments and continue to conduct them regularly. Traditionally recommend the same concentration of the solution as when working with fruit trees - from 350 to 500 ml per 10 liters of water.
Chemicals and herbicides against moss on the roof
Manufacturers of soft tiles to combat mosses on the north side of the roof recommend using a solution of 1 part chlorine-containing bleach mixed with 10 parts of water. Such a solution is applied to the roof surface with a sponge, always in the direction from the ridge to the eaves.
If necessary, large growths from the lichen are first removed with soft brushes, and then the roof is treated with a solution. But the use of such a solution can not but affect the plants growing near the house and can harm the ecology of the garden. In order for this method to be effective and not cause harm to your site, all liquid must be collected, monitored for drains and to ensure that during operation the solution is not sprayed onto the surrounding area.
In addition, bleach can also damage facade materials, windows, and wooden structures. And the treatment will have to be carried out regularly, 2 times a year, in spring and autumn, on calm days with an air temperature of 5 to 15 degrees Celsius.
It is much easier to use special tools designed to combat mosses and lichens on the roof, many of which are among the biological products. Basically, such specialized compounds are produced by the countries of Scandinavia. Apply them with a sponge or spray, they last up to 4 years and when choosing the right product are absolutely safe for the garden. True, it is still difficult to find them here, but the price makes us think about the appropriateness of such a method.
To combat mosses on the roof, you can use any systemic herbicide intended for garden plants. Processing with a solution of the drug allows you to completely destroy the colony of moss and lichens. The processing method - spraying or manual washing - requires taking into account possible harm to the body, taking protective measures and affects the surrounding areas (for example, you can not use the terrace for several weeks).
You can deal with mosses and preparations intended to clean the pool of algae, but their impact on the ecology of the garden is even more destructive.
To protect a roof cleaned by hand or by washing, special antiseptics for ceramics, concrete and stone and various protective impregnations are suitable, but when using them, the type of roof should be taken into account. And there is always a risk of whitening the roof and violating the aesthetics of the materials.
It is possible to prevent the spread of moss by increasing the smoothness of the surface and improving the rolling of water by covering the tiles with a special protective varnish or silicone impregnation (if the roofing material allows).