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Silver Spring Roofing: Article About Moss Growth

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In humid areas, it is not uncommon for Silver Spring roofing contractors to see a bright green moss growing on shingled roofs. Some homeowners mistakenly believe that moss growth is just a cosmetic problem that needs to be cleaned away. Some even think that it adds character to the home. However, what they fail to realize is that if it is not removed, it can seriously damage the roof.

Moss grows on almost any surface. It reproduces by sending spores into the air, which land on a roof or other surfaces. During moist, cool months, it begins to grow. There are major differences between mold and moss. Mold can be washed away and causes little to no damage to the roof.

Moss will grow on top of shingles as well as in the space between where shingles overlap. It can grow into a very thick covering that can be a few inches thick. Moss prefers to grow on the north side of a roof, especially if that area is covered by trees and is not exposed to direct sunlight.

When moss takes root, it begins to collect rainwater like a sponge. Capillary action causes some of the collected water to be pulled into shingles and roof underlayments. Eventually, the water saturates the felt underlayment and comes into contact with the sheathing material below.

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In short order, the sheathing material begins to grow mold and decays, leading to problems with structural integrity and putting the roof at risk for collapse. In extreme cases, moss has caused the framing support for the roof structure to decay.

As rainwater begins to leak through the roof as a result of moss damage, mold will start to grow in the walls and in the attic insulation. This in turn puts the health of the building's occupants at risk as well as requiring expensive mold remediation.

A good way to keep moss at bay is by installing flashings that are made of copper or zinc along the peak of the roof. As rainwater drains down the roof, some of the metal from these flashings dissolves and kills the moss.

Homeowners who live in areas where moss growth is a problem should talk to roofing contractors about purchasing shingles that have built in moss inhibitors to prevent its growth. There are inexpensive chemical solutions that homeowners can use to remove moss from the roof as well.

The cost and effort to annually treat moss on the roof is negligible when compared to the expense associated with making repairs as a result of moss growth.

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