Picture this - - -
You are pacing your living room floor speaking with your coworker on the phone in the dead of a Washington State rainstorm, you pause for a moment to ponder a certain thought in the conversation, and feel a definite drip on your head coming from a light fixture above …which technically should have no dripping because 1. IT’S A LIGHT FIXTURE!!! And 2. There is no plumbing above, and there is an entire half story overhead that should be water-tight!!
With a little bit of investigation and the ripping up of some key insulation pieces, you realize that the roof that you thought was just 15 years old, and in decent condition, has actually rotted completely through on one side of your home. Rainwater is dripping through the roof, following your drywall seams and finding any way it can escape the attic space.
You realize that there are two issues: 1 (which we will address in this space) a green, live, and thriving, destroying -MOSS- and 2, a ventilation issue (to be discussed at a later date, because the trauma is still too real to discuss right now)
As homeowners, we all have a rather large investment in common that keeps our home safe from the elements. Here in Kitsap county, our roofs work extra hard with all the rainfall, snow, and windstorms that bring leaves, pollen, dirt, and debris gracefully (and sometimes not so gracefully) landing and settling on one of the most expensive, yet practical investments in our homeowning world.
We invited our friend and fellow local businessman Ryan Nelson - the owner of Cornerstone Cleaning, up on a roof to coach us in his field of expertise, roof maintenance.
Ryan launched Cornerstone Cleaning in the summer of 2017 and has been on countless roofs both personally and with his teams all across Kitsap county. They serve our community with top-notch customer service and truly care about their customers!! His crew combats moss growth throughout Kitsap County and offers many other cleaning and maintenance services.
Here in our neck of the woods, with the combination of high moisture and low sunlight; moss tends to flourish. Moss needs something to attach to like dirt particles and debris trapped in your shingles, and thrives with shade, moisture, and a certain PH balance. (between 5.0 and 5.5 to be exact)
Just a few years without proper maintenance can significantly damage a roof and even force replacement years earlier than expected. The solution?? Consistent preventative maintenance! According to Ryan, it’s actually really simple!
Here is Ryan‘s simple solution to preventing any moss buildup on a new or existing moss free roof:
3 Times per year (between October and April) blow down your roof to remove all twigs, leaves, and dirt particles, apply a thick line of baking soda (baking soda raises the pH balance) along your roof ridge cap line, and around your vents so that when the rain hits it, the baking soda washes down and coats the entire roof. This will discourage moss from making it’s home on your home!
Once moss buildup has occurred it requires a lot more work to kill, and then remove the moss; so it’s a lot easier to start with a clean slate and simply perform preventative maintenance.
However, If you find yourself in a situation where you already have moss built up, the exact same steps will kill the moss, and get you to a point where you can easily remove the dead moss. Put the baking soda on when rain is minimal, and allow several weeks for the baking soda to break down the moss-the existing moss will dry up and die, some will slough off naturally as it dies, and the rest will need to be removed with a push broom, a wire brush, or a stiff bristle nylon brush.
Bottom line- a clean roof is a happy roof!
*products that contain citrus oil *or D-Limonene*, (if you want to get technical)…. are also great at killing existing moss and you can usually see results within a few days!
If you don’t want to get on your roof or need help getting the current mossy build-up removed so that you can start regular maintenance; we couldn’t more highly recommend our friend Ryan Nelson and his team at Cornerstone Cleaning. We scour the county for its integrity and professionalism when looking for trustworthy business professionals to recommend to our clients.
We would love to know if you hire Cornerstone Cleaning, and hear from you about how it went! Share with us any feedback you have on your favorite roof maintenance tips and tricks or how this tutorial helps you!