What Is Roof Moss And Lichen, And How To Remove It

Throughout New England, the weather throughout the year causes all sorts of roofing problems. Now, a cracked roof from ice dams and wood rot from an undetected leak certainly seem more serious than a bit of plant growth.

Moss and lichen are hardly the most talked about roofing challenges in the New England area. In fact, many people simply accept it as part of life. You don’t have to, and honestly, you shouldn’t because these little plants can cause a lot of harm.

Moss and Lichen – Is There a Difference?

Many homeowners use these terms interchangeably, but they are different. Moss is an actual plant. Meanwhile, lichen is a gross blend of fungus and algae. Moss will grow nearly anywhere there is sunlight, persistent humidity, and moisture. Roofing is the dream home for moss. Lichen, however, is just algae and fungus living dependently on each other.

On a rooftop, lichen will usually look like a pale green “skin,” while moss will appear as a brighter green tuft or puff.

Moss and lichen often come as a pair because they both prefer the same living conditions. They also cause similar types of roofing damage. Any plant life on your roof will call for invasive pests such as termites. Even without pests, moss and lichen will do damage to your shingles and can even cause rot.

How to Prevent Moss and Lichen

The best approach is prevention. Regularly cleaning your roof and checking it for damage. Cleaning the roof with vinegar or professional cleaning chemicals can help remove early growth and prevent it from doing any real damage.

The only other thing you can do to prevent moss and lichen is to keep debris off of your roof. Leaves, twigs, and other things that end up on the rooftop are often where organic material begins growing. Typically it’s not “easy” for organic material to begin growing on an asphalt shingle.

How to Remove Moss and Lichen

You can do rounds of a vinegar wash which requires you to get up onto the roof with a spray bottle, then get on the roof a few days later with a push broom. If you choose to clear away the greenery on your own, stay well away from the edges and take all safety measures.

Sponsored by Roof Moss Removal RI

Best Materials For Roofing In New England

There are all sorts of reasons why you might need a new roof, and it’s actually a great opportunity. Homeowners often let their roof go for much longer than it should without properly addressing the need for a new roof. When installing a new roof or re-roofing, the house actually gives you the chance to choose roofing materials, colors, and styles that you enjoy.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is becoming a very popular option, and it’s because of the longevity, durability, and sustainability. If you’re looking for roofing that may actually outlast the house, then metal is the best option for you. Metal roofing materials have become more affordable, and metal roofing offers some of the widest variety in colors and installation styles.

From metal shingles to full panels, there is a lot of creative opportunity in metal roofing. Outside of the visual elements, metal roofing offers a lot to homeowners that other roofing just can’t. They are extremely fire-resistant. Metal roofing will also reflect most heat from the sun, meaning that your attic, and your home, stay much cooler.

Slate Tile

Slate tile has always been around in New England and is extremely popular with the Shingle House style. The most popular option these days is composite slate which is lighter but equally effective. Real slate can require some structural reinforcement during installation, and that adds to the cost. Composite slate, however, doesn’t require that and still comes with stunning visual appeal.

Many homeowners throughout New England are turning to composite slate to revive the traditional slate look without the added weight on their home. Slate is extremely durable and doesn’t fade.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a long-time favorite because they’re often the most cost-effective option. Most houses in the U.S. have asphalt shingles, but they can’t compete in hardiness or lifespan when it comes to other tile options.

Many people enjoy how low-maintenance asphalt roofing is and that it’s generally easy to install. Additionally, there are now high-end asphalt shingle options made from fiberglass.

If you’re looking to stick with what you know and enjoy the style of asphalt roofing, then speak with a roofing contractor.

Sponsored by Roofer Cranston RI

Tips For Finding A Good Roofing Contractor

Many people only need a roofing contractor once or twice in their time owning a home, and some roofing contractors take advantage of that. Here are a few ways that you can be sure that you’re bringing in a great team for the job.


1. Interview Fiercely

When interviewing, you’ll want to get to know this person’s professional work as much as possible.

Always ask:

  • How long someone has been in business
  • How long they’ve worked with their current team
  • How many people will be working on the roof
  • When was the last time they performed a similar job
  • How much you should expect for price estimates
  • How long the project would take ideally, and in bad conditions.


2. Check Their Licensing and Insurance Claims

In theory, anyone can claim to have insurance and licensure. Ask to see their licenses and proof of insurance so you can be sure that everything is covered on your end. As the homeowner, you don’t want to risk any liability when it comes to your homeowner’s insurance or the chance that someone could get hurt on the job.


3. Look At Their Reviews Online

Online reviews aren’t always reliable, but they can give you a general sense of what to expect. If you come across a particularly bad review, ask about their experience with that client.


4. Collect Estimates Until You Feel Comfortable

Somewhere along the line, someone decided that three was a magic number. If you have three estimates and they’re wildly different, then continue to seek out consultations. Collect estimates until you feel that you have a good grasp on what to expect with the work, materials, and labor required for the job.

5. Always Ask for Financial Agreements in Writing

Never allow a contractor or handyman to start a job without getting an estimate in writing and a contract with a final figure that you can both agree to. You and the contractor may decide to create a cushion or allowance for unexpected expenses, but you should sort that out before work begins. Your working contract may include other aspects too such as when the team will work and when they expect to finish.

Sponsored by Roofer Nashua NH

What Are Ice Dams And How Can I Prevent Them?

New England winters bring in the potential of ice dams which can severely damage a home. Ice dams can damage roofing, walls, ceilings, insulation, and the gutter system. What’s worse is that it can come with long-term effects that may go undetected after eliminating the ice dam. Prevention is the best method to ensure that ice dams don’t ruin your home.

How Do Ice Dams Form?

The surface of the roof becomes hot from the heat inside the home. The outside temperatures may still be freezing, but the bottom layer of snow closest to the roof will begin to melt. That melted water will begin to flow down the roof until it reaches a point that is cooler. Then the water refreezes.

If this continues to happen, it can create a large ice dam that prevents the snow from melting and draining off the roof. The water that can’t drain off then begins to build weight on the roof. That water will find its way into cracks, openings, or weak spots in the roof and begin causing damage.

What Damage Can Ice Dams Cause?

The water damage from leaks is the only hazard of ice dams. Ice dams can also come with a substantial amount of weight on the roof, causing damage to the roofing materials and carpentry.

Ice dams can also lead to gutter damage, particularly if the water made it to the gutter or nearly to the gutter before refreezing. Ultimately, the most serious consequences of ice dams come from the aftermath.

If uncorrected or treated improperly, the water and physical damage of the ice dam can lead to mold and mildew. It’s best to dry out any wood and insulation immediately if any area in the attic is wet or damp.

Can I Prevent Ice Dams?

Yes, preventing ice dams is actually fairly easy. Removing snow from the roof is the best option to ensure that there’s not the chance of an ice dam forming. There are professional services for this, and it’s always best to have a pro do this type of work.

Another method to lay down heated strips to help ease the flow of water during cold weather. Heated gutter or roof strips can help ensure that the melted snow doesn’t have the chance to refreeze in or near the gutter system.

Sponsored by Gutter Installation NH

Benefits Of Installing Gutters On Your Home

Gutters offer your home a variety of protection. Without directing rainfall or melting snow, your home’s roof and foundation could be at risk of severe damage. If you’re looking to prevent basement flooding, damage to landscaping near the home, and ultimately, the foundation of your home, then it’s time to consider installing gutters.

Reduce the Risk of Erosion

When contractors build a home, there should be a nearly undetectable slope to guide rain runoff. However, even if rain simply falls off your roof or pools around the base of your home, there is a serious risk of erosion to your foundation.

As rain builds up, it will wash away soil, and it gets worse every time it rains. In areas of heavy rain, such as throughout New England, there’s the possibility of damage to cement or concrete as well as the soil.

Gutters intervene and direct the water to a dedicated area that is away from the foundation.

Protect Your Siding or Home’s Exterior

Without a gutter system, the rainfall will go right down the side of the home. At that point, it isn’t nearly harmless rain, and it comes down the side of the home with particles from the asphalt roofing. The rain will essentially drag the asphalt along the side of your home, leaving not only a temporary layer of dirt but permanent staining and rot damage.

Gutters ensure that this doesn’t happen. The gutter system catches all, or nearly all, of the rainfall from the roof and then expedites it to a safe and designated location on the ground away from the home. That means the asphalt particles never have a chance to touch the side of the house.

Avoid Basement Flooding

As the water in the soil around the foundation builds up, it takes on additional weight. The pooling around the house can add to that pressure, and this causes the basement walls to give. The basement walls can push inward, or crack resulting in extreme flooding.

The only solution is to keep as much pressure off the foundation and home as possible. Flooded basements are not just inconvenient; they are a serious health hazard. All too often, flooded basements aren’t properly repairs or cleaned and can cause mold growth.

Sponsored by Gutter Installation Peabody MA