Dealing with Moulds, Lichen and Moss on Tile Roofing

Dealing with Moulds, Lichen and Moss on Tile Roofing

Suggestions on how to better remove moulds, lichens and moss

There’s nothing like moss, lichen, or mould on your roof. The ugly growth spreads roof tile to roof tile and will eventually damage your home.

A clean roof is a thing of beauty. As such, if you have any of the above growing on it, it’s crucial to act on it right away. You need to remove the overgrowth as soon as possible, but how?

Don’t panic. Read on to know about moss, mould, and lichen and how to deal with them.

Note: safety precautions should be taken, especially with using any of the solutions suggested below.

How Do Moss, Lichen, and Mould Grow

How Do Moss, Lichen, and Mould Grow

Moss, lichen, and mould grow in warm, damp conditions. If you live almost anywhere in Australia, chances are you’re in an environment that encourages such growth.

Australian weather can become hot and moist and can change in an instant. You can have torrential rains one day and a blazing hot sun the next day.

If you leave shingles unattended for a long time, you’ll have spores blown up. Dust and dirt build-up between the gaps, with moisture and ample sunlight, means moss and lichen growth. Mould spores will grow further as more organic matter stays on your roofing. The slower you act, the more growth you’ll see on your rooftop.

Before Cleaning Your Roof Tiles

Before Cleaning Your Roof Tiles

Before you start working on your roof, you need to take a few extra precautions. Doing it yourself is fine, but your safety should always be a priority.

Before doing clean-up, make sure that you have a safe way of accessing your roof. Use a sturdy ladder that can support your weight. Ladders need to have the utmost stability and a solid footing. If the surface is not level, you’re risking a potential fall from a high place. Use planks or cardboard to help create a flat footing for your ladder.

Check the weather before going up, too. There’s no point in cleaning up if it’s a rainy day ahead of you. Working while it’s raining also opens you up to problems like slicking and slippages.

Be careful with your footing. Moss and lichens have quite slippery surfaces.

If you’re unsure of your skills or your health, let a professional roofing service handle roof cleaning for you. 

Cleaning Your Roof Shingles

Cleaning Your Roof Shingles

So, how do you stop mould, lichen, and moss from growing on your roof?

The first answer is to do general cleaning. Make sure you have a safe way to access your roof and bring a few tools with you. These will include brushes and brooms to start with the cleaning process.

Remove twigs, leaves, dust, dirt, debris, and any other build-up. Remove as much organic matter as you can, especially if it’s rotting. Rot can damage your roof and encourage the growth of lichens and moss.

Use a stiff brush like a push broom to scrape any stubborn dirt and mould patches. Start from the highest point of your roofing and sweep downward. Work your way towards the eaves and the gutter, but take care around the edge of your roof.

Using a Vinegar-Based Cleaning Solution

Using a Vinegar-Based Cleaning Solution

Once you have the general cleaning done, you need to prepare a cleaning solution of your choice. There are several ways to clean your roofing, depending on your preference.

First, you can combine around 50 ml of dishing washing liquid with a bottle of distilled vinegar or acetic acid. Put this into a spray bottle and spray on the moss and lichens.

Vinegar is acidic. It penetrates the porous, underlying membrane of the mould. With a pH value of around 2.4, it’s acidic enough to dissolve organic material.

If you’re using pure white vinegar, wear a mask and goggles if possible. White vinegar can be strong, as it is usually made with lab-grade acetic acid. If it’s too strong, dilute it with 1 part water for every two parts vinegar.

Spray the vinegar solution on your roof and then you can either scrub with a brush or leave it as is. A strong enough solution should take around a couple of days to kill off the growth. Brush the dead organic materials and rinse with a hose or a bucket.

Using Bleach-Based Cleaning Solution

Using Bleach-Based Cleaning Solution

A good alternative for white vinegar is bleach. Bleach solution works great because it’s cheap, easy to access, and doesn’t leave weird smells.

Bleach also works faster than vinegar. If you’re in a hurry or don’t want to come back to scrub, this is a great alternative. 

Bleach or sodium hypochlorite oxidises organic material, breaking molecular bonds. By doing so, it disinfects surfaces and protects them for a while.

To use bleach, combine one part bleach to three parts water in a bucket, creating a 25% bleach solution. If you have access to it, add a tablespoon of trisodium phosphate (TSP) to the bucket of the solution.

If you have a pump sprayer, use it to spray the solution on the surface of your shingles. Try to get to areas usually away from reach like the underside of a roof tile. Without a pump spray, you can use a simple hand spray.

Leave the bleach solution to sit for around 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the mould and lichens’ severity. Work downwards as you scrub off the organic material.

Once you finish scrubbing, rinse your roof with water. See if your roofing tiles still have some material on them. If it’s still slippery, add a second application and let it sit for another 15 minutes.

Scrub and rinse. If you use bleach, you can expect a clean, uniform look across your roof. 

Make sure to rinse downspouts and gutters, especially if you used a stronger solution. Bleach can corrode gutters if they are left unwashed.

Let the Experts Take out Moulds, Lichen, and Moss for You

Let the Experts Take out Moulds, Lichen, and Moss for You

Moss, mould, and lichen growth on tile roofing can be a pain to clean. And it can damage your roof if left unchecked, so you need to give it a good work. The right solution and some elbow grease can help you remove the overgrowth, but a roofing specialist can more safely and effectively take care of it for you.

Leave the task to a licensed roofing tradie. Call Amazing Roof Restorations today and find out how we can help get your roof back to its beautiful, brand new look.