Moss is one of the biggest threats to your gutter system. Not only does it weigh down your gutters and create an unsightly scene, it clogs your gutters, resulting in rainwater overflow which will damage your home exterior and interior. Thankfully, this natural growth phenomenon can be identified with ease, and attended to before your gutter system and home sustains significant damage.
5 Tips to Keep Moss from Growing in Your Home’s Gutters
1. Stop it Where it Starts – on the Roof
The first line of defense in gutter moss prevention is found inches away on the roof of your home. The more moss there is on the roof the more likely it will spread to your gutters. You can physically remove any existing growth by using a flexible roof rake (found at your local home and garden center). If noticeable moss remains, grab a softer bristled scrubbing brush, climb (safely) up your ladder and gently scrub from top to bottom. Remember to cover your gutters section by section when removing moss and sweep up the grounds surrounding your foundation when done.
2. Don’t Provide an Environment Conducive to Moss Growth
Moss thrives in a moist and shaded environment. The less exposure to the sun your gutters get the more likely moss will grow. Trim tree branches that hang near your gutters, as they may be shading the system from sunshine. Tree limbs are only a part of the equation. From season to season certain spots on your roof will receive less exposure to daylight, especially on the north side of your home. Make sure that you pay extra special attention to these zones by climbing up and inspecting them more often than you would the sides that receive more sun.
3. Install Strips of Copper or Zinc Above Gutters
Copper and zinc have properties that prevent moss growth. Cut (or buy) long strips of standard copper or zinc flashing and run a line around your roof a foot away from your gutter system and along any other zones that seem especially susceptible to moss growth. The strips will be tucked under the shingles. About 1.5 to 2-inches of the metal should be exposed, out from under your shingles. The copper or zinc strips do no only prevent moss from crossing the line, they allow a spillover effect. When rainwater hits the surface, it runs-off of the flashing and carries traces of copper (or zinc) sulfate, which is a natural herbicide that prevents moss from growing.
4. Apply a Moss-Killing Eco-Friendly Solution
In some climates, such as that found hovering over the Pacific Northwest, moss growth is a persistent beast. You may find that no amount of raking, brushing, and copper/zinc stripping can completely keep moss at bay. You may need to use a moss removing solution. In the past, homeowners would use a strong chemical formula but without professional application such a solution could be detrimental to shingles and the health of those applying the moss-remover without proper care. Then of course there are environmental implications. For the safest do-it-yourself (DIY) alternative buy an eco-friendly roof moss removal solution. Visit your local home and garden store and request a non-corrosive, non-caustic, non-acidic, biodegradable, and eco-friendly formula that is designed to penetrate and dissolve moss (and mildew, mold, algae, and lichen) from all roofs and gutters.
5. Bring in a Professional to Remove Moss from Your Gutters
While the advice above is very effective, it requires a lot of work on your part. If any task is not properly attended to, additional damage to your roof and gutters may be sustained. Your ultimate moss prevention and removal option is to bring in a professional to remove moss from your gutters as needed. You may consider doing so on an annual basis if you are not able to undertake any DIY maintenance throughout the four seasons. If you reside within the Greater Vancouver area you can learn more about our moss removal services, including yearly maintenance and cleaning packages, here.