Trying to find how to remove lichens from your roof? 

Moss, algae, and lichen are commonly found on residential roofs and many don’t know how damaging they can be. While they might look harmless, they can cause significant damage to your roofing system and should be removed immediately.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at how lichens can affect the roof of your home and how to remove them fast!

how to remove moss and lichens from your roof

What Are Lichens?

Lichens are an organism that evolves from the interaction between algae and fungi. These plant organisms can grow on just about any surface, and not even the most aggressive hail, snow, or rain can wash them away.

They are an invasive organism that typically damages any surface on which they grow. Lichens are found in just about every type of environment, so no matter where you live, the chance of lichens growing on your roof is the same everywhere.

roof with moss and lichens needing removal

How Lichen Affects Your Roof

Ruins Your Curb Appeal

Lichen growths on your rooftop can create quite an unsightly image. They’ll make your roof look like it is poorly maintained and deteriorated. If you plan on selling your home, significant lichen growth on your rooftop can affect your home’s selling price.

Harm Your Shingles

Lichens can eat away at your roofing shingles and effectively remove its top layer. This will dramatically reduce your roofing shingles’ ability to protect your home from the onslaught of the elements. Lichens will also significantly reduce the color of your roof, creating uneven patches across the roofing system.

Loosens Shingles

If lichen is able to grow beneath your roofing shingles, it may loosen the shingles over time and eventually cause it to detach completely. If the lichen growth on your roof is quite significant, you may lose quite a bit of your roofing shingles, which will expose the roof deck of your home to the elements.

Difficult to Navigate Across Your Roof

Trying to navigate across your roof if you have significant lichen growth can be pretty tricky. This is because lichen can hold any water and moisture that lands on your rooftop and therefore creates a rather slippery surface.

How to Remove Lichens from Your Roof

If you find lichens on your roof, you need to remove them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

While you might be tempted to grab the pressure washer, a rake, or other abrasive tools, it is best to use specialized treatments to target the growth without damaging your roof.

man scraping lichens off a roof

Common treatments include: Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner, Jomax, and Spray and Forget. All of these products contain octyl decyl dimethyl ammonium chloride or alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride which have been proven to be effective against lichens without damaging your roof.

To use these products, most times you will need to get a sprayer (a standard pump sprayer will do just fine), and apply a layer (sometimes two) of the solution on your roof. Then all you need to do is wait until the growth dies off.

In the cases where the lichen growth is too severe and has done damage to your roof, you will need to reach out to a trusted roofing contractor to discuss a potential roof replacement.

Man spraying roof to remove lichens

Making the Best Decision for Your Home

If your home has substantial lichen, moss, or algae growth on the roof, it would be best to call a trusted roofing contractor to get a better idea on the extent of the damage and if it is recoverable. With something like lichens on your roof, it might look just fine from a distance, but it is important to remember that there can be substantial damage to your shingles and an increased likelihood of damaging leaks!

If you happen to be looking for a quality roofing contractor in Indiana, make sure to give our team at Impact Roofing a call! We would be happy to provide more information on what to do about lichen, moss, or algae growth on your roofing system, or discuss repairs or replacements if necessary.