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