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Lichen, Moss and Mould: Are They Bad For My Roof?

Lichen, Moss and Mould: Are They Bad For My Roof?

Your roof is your first line of defence against the elements, but it can also turn into an enemy if not maintained and taken care of. That being said, regular roof cleaning and maintenance is crucial to keep it performing at its best.

No matter how hard we try, there is not a single roof that is fully immune to the growth and build-up of various pollutants and debris, no matter the type of roofing material you have. Due to being constantly exposed to the sun, wind and rain, roofs are susceptible to lichen, moss and mould growth. Not only does this build-up look unsightly and detract from your property’s appeal, but if left untreated can begin to cause damage that is costly and time consuming to repair.

To keep your roof healthy and from premature replacement, it is important to understand the damaging effects of pollutant build-up. In this post, we will discuss why lichen, moss and mould growth should be regularly cleaned and removed.

Lichen, Moss and Mould - old house

How Do These Plants Grow?

Moss, mould and lichen are considered non-vascular plants that often breed and expand via spore transmission. They do not have a root system and reproduce via airborne spores that are carried by air currents and breezes. This is why they can suddenly be found growing where they were not seen before.

Moss, mould and lichen grow and thrive in warm, damp conditions. From heavy rains, and warm sunny days the Australian weather makes for the perfect environment where these plants can thrive.

Roofs make for the ideal breeding environment for these plants, as they are constantly exposed to the necessary elements they need to grow. While roofs protect you from the rain, they still retain moisture if left unmaintained. This is caused by a variety of factors including, neglected gutters, a build-up of leaves and debris and poor drainage. This combination of dust, trapped moisture and ample sunlight quickly encourage the growth of moss, mould and lichens.

How Does This Hurt My Roof?

The damage caused by moss and bacteria growth is more than just unappealing, trapped moisture, rapid growth and various health hazards are all detrimental to your roof. Not only does cleaning make aesthetic sense but also saves money from fixing problems caused by their growth.

Moisture Build Up

Trapped moisture can cause detrimental amounts of rot and damage to a roof. Due to their thick growth, lichen, moss and mould build-up can prevent water from properly draining into the gutters, thereby further trapping moisture and allowing it to pool. If left for an extended period of time, the moisture can begin to eat away at the roof causing holes, thinning spots and leaks.

Warping and Cracking

With the right conditions, moss, lichen and mould grow steadily and can spread quickly. As they expand, they may begin to grow under tiles and shingles, causing them to warp, shift, lift and crack. This causes exposed areas of the roof and can lead to additional leaks and internal damage.

Moreover, large areas of growth can be surprisingly heavy, especially when retaining moisture and water. This puts unnecessary weight and strain on an already weakened roof.

Health Hazards

As mould, lichen and moss grow on your roof, there is an increased risk of water leaking inside the home. This can quickly become a breeding ground for further mould growth. However, this growth is often gone unnoticed, until the problem has expanded and begun to cause various health issues. This is especially dangerous when airborne, and can cause a range of health issues and allergic reactions.

Lichen, Moss and Mould - tin roof on wooden home

Removing Lichen, Moss and Mould From Your Roof

Greenery should only be limited to your trees, plants and garden. If most foliage and mould begin to cover your roof, it is a sign that you should get cleaning. Growing in moist, shaded areas of your roof, it is crucial that they be cleaned and removed to prevent the dangers as described above. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can get your roof back into top shape. These include:

DIY Cleaning and Solutions

There are a number of DIY and store-bought cleaning solutions that can remove the buildup of moss, lichen and mould. Experts recommend that this type of cleaning should be left to overcast days, so the see solutions can be left to better absorb into the growth without evaporating or drying too quickly.

Moss can be removed physically with water and some elbow grease, but this runs the risk of further damage to the roof as well as potential fall risks.

Professional Roof Maintenance and Cleaning

For roofs that are significantly overgrown and in need of a full clean, professional roof cleaning and maintenance is recommended. Professionals have the necessary skills, equipment and solutions to effectively and reliably remove any buildup. Whatsmore is that you don’t have to do a thing!

This will remove any lichen, moss or mould growths from your surfaces and structures without the risk of damaging your roof.

Depending on your roof needs and the amount of buildup, cleaning technicians will often utilise the soft wash roof cleaning method. Similar in process to traditional, pressure washing, this is an effective technique to safely remove pollutants and dirt from roofs and fragile surfaces.

Let The Experts Help You

Deciding to clean your roof and remove the build-up of moss, mould and lichen can seem like a hefty decision. With the danger of a compromised roof and the risks of slipping, it is best to leave your roof cleaning to the professionals.

Water Attack Pressure Washing is a full-service pressure cleaning that offers a comprehensive range of pressure washing and roof cleaning services to homes and businesses across the Sunshine Coast. With years of experience, we are able to determine the best cleaning solution for you, that is safe, reliable and affordable.

Quickly and efficiently restore your roof with Water Attack Pressure Washing. Get your free estimate today!

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