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A Sunny Spot Gathers No Moss

Keeping your home moss-free can be a challenging task, but a very necessary one to prevent damage to your home or your person. 

Moss can cause many problems for homeowners, particularly in moist climates since any damp, shady location is a suitable home for moss. In the right setting it can be attractive, but generally your home is not one of those "right settings." Keeping your home moss-free can be a challenging task, but a very necessary one to prevent damage to your home and to yourself. 

It is particularly common to find moss growing on the north slopes of roofs that are shaded by trees. As moss grows on a roof it can push underneath shingles and loosen them, creating leaks. Brick patios or walkways that slope and puddle water are also excellent growing places for moss, causing potential slipping injuries, especially if the moss is wet. 

You can control moss growth in several ways:

-Let the sun shine in! Removing branches will allow sunlight to penetrate a previously shady area, discouraging moss growth. 

-Drain the water. If moss is growing in an area that collects water, find a way to permanently drain the water from the area or regrade the area to avoid puddling. 

-Bring in the chemicals. Roof moss can also be treated chemically. First, scrape away as much moss as possible with a putty knife or similar blunt object. Then spray the area with a commercially available mix solution. These solutions will contain copper sulfate or zinc and they are corrosive, so wash metal eave troughs, downspouts and metal spray equipment immediately after treatment. Also be sure to protect any surrounding plants. This is most effective when the moss is actively growing and rain is not imminent for several days. 

When removing moss from asphalt shingles or cedar shakes, use the same process, but substitute a solution of one-quart bleach to one gallon of water. Leave the solution on the surface for half an hour and then rinse well.

Permanently removing moss is an important aspect of home maintenance, and a combination of the above methods may be the best weapon against moss making a home on your home.

Sources include: Bob Rost, Oregon State University extension program, www.OSU.edu