Moss usually begins to appear around springtime, when rain is heavier. It is an attractive quality for many things, such as antique fences, old barns, tree stumps, and river banks. As for roofing systems, moss is not even slightly appealing, nor is it conducive to proper roof performance and longevity. Continue reading to learn what kinds of costly problems moss growth can cause for residential and commercial roofs.
What’s Your Lot Like?
If your home or building is located on a shaded lot that does not get a lot of sunlight, your roof is at risk of moss growth. Moss grows when cold and wet meet. So for properties located in these conditions, rain and other kinds of precipitation can lead to moss growth in a very short amount of time. It can also lead to mold, algae, and scum development. There are many problems associated with moss growth on roofs, all of which can be avoided with routine inspections, cleaning, and minor repair.
Have you ever seen roofs with large gray or greenish patches on them? This is a result of moss accumulation, which results from poor roof maintenance. Not only is this unattractive, it greatly reduces the property’s curb appeal. This can affect your relationship with the city, or your neighborhood’s home owners’ association (HOA). It can also impede your need to sell a property on the real estate market.
Moss, mildew, mold, algae, scum, and ambiguous muck will all reduce a roofing system’s life span. Asphalt roofs are meant to last 20 to 30 years or more, but if you allow moss to overtake your roof, it can reduce its life span by 30%. Why? Because moss creates a lot of structural problems in roofing systems.
Moss produces minuscule fibers called, “rhizomes”, which penetrate deep into a roof’s substrate. This loosens important granules that are designed to protect shingles from warping, cracking, and drying out. Furthermore, moss can absorb as much as 20 times its own weight in moisture. This means it holds onto a significant amount of water that just sits on your roof, waiting to damage shingles, underlayment, and the roofing structure as a whole. It will eventually cause wet attic insulation, soaked ceilings, and major interior water leaks.
What could make moss problems worse? Your homeowners’ insurance policy may not cover the damages. It is common practice for homeowners’ insurance companies to periodically come out and inspect the condition of a home they are insuring. This is also common for those who are refinancing. However, if your roof is very dirty, your homeowners’ insurance company may request that you have it cleaned. Sometimes, they cancel a policy altogether, especially if such a notice is ignored.