Sometimes you can look up at your roof and wonder what the heck happened to it. You swear that when you first bought your house (or installed new tiles), it looked clean, neat, and fabulous. Now, though, it is covered in completely gross stuff.
What Is That Gross Stuff On Your Roof? And How Do You Get Rid Of It?
All those furry lumps and stains on your roof are actually moss and lichens. These plants once grew exclusively in damp forests. But they also have an uncanny ability to build a home for themselves on your roof tiles – and they look terrible. It’s like barnacles on the ship or something.
The reason they’re so successful is that practically nothing else can actually grow on your roof. They have the place to themselves and don’t have to compete with other plants – as they do in the forest.
The good news is that you don’t have to put up with these aberrations. There are ways to get rid of them, DIY-style.
Collect Your Materials
Unless you’re pressure washing, you’ll need to collect a bunch of cleaning materials to kill the plants and remove them.
Grab a bucket, water, and then choose your chemical of choice. You’ll want to use either chlorine or oxygen bleach. Both have slightly different effects. Owners of severely encrusted roofs may wish to use both.
Once you’ve filled your bucket with warm water and added the correct amount of bleach (usually a cup), wait a few minutes for it to dissolve properly. Contrary to popular opinion, this doesn’t happen instantly.
Once mixed, pour the mixture into your garden sprayer. (If you don’t have one, you can buy one extremely cheaply online).
Now climb your ladder and spray your roof, ensuring that you get full coverage of all surfaces on which plants are growing.
If using oxygen bleach, allow it to sit on the roof for about twenty minutes, giving it time to kill the plants. If it is a hot day, you’ll need to continually reapply the bleach to make sure that it remains wet for at least 20 minutes.
If you’re using chlorine bleach, then just fifteen minutes will do. Please do not leave the bleach on the roof for any longer than this as it may start to discolor the tiles.
After the allotted time passes, grab a brush – preferably on the end of a pole – and start scrubbing the lichen and moss from the tiles. You should notice that the bleach and brushing combination helps lift the scum from the roofing material, making it look like it did when it was new.
Please note that you may have to repeat the above process several times during the renovation, especially if you have large, mature mosses growing on your tiles. If you’re not using a pressure washer, you’ll also have to put your back into it. Cleaning a roof at a distance is not an easy job. Don’t attempt to do it in the middle of a hot, sunny day. You’ll wind up overheating and possibly making yourself very ill.