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Easy Tips to Remove Moss Without Chemicals from Lawns and Roof Shingles

written by: Anurag Ghosh•edited by: Lindsay Evans•updated: 1/25/2011

Mosses may look beautiful with their velvety feel and green color, but they can be a nuisance to your lawn and roof surfaces. While there are plenty of conventional ways to reduce moss growth, there is always a safe way to remove moss without chemicals.

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    Environmentally Safe Way to Remove Moss

    Image of a Moss-Covered Area Botanically, mosses are classified under non-vascular plants (i.e. plants that do not produce flowers or seeds and have no internal system for water transportation). These soft plants are usually very tiny with an average height of 0.4 to 4 inches. With a velvety feel, mosses might look beautiful on concrete or other surface. However, their slippery characteristic may pose a hazard, especially on walking paths. Moss growth on roofs downgrades the life of a roof covering and moss in a natural lawn indicates that the turf is unhealthy. While there are various conventional ways to uproot moss, there is always a safe way to remove moss without chemicals from lawns and roofs.

    When moss grows on a roof surface, it absorbs moisture and holds it longer than areas that don’t contain moss. This is particularly true in roofs made from wood and asphalt shingles. Because moss holds water on the roof surface for a longer duration it gradually decreases the life of roof shingles and speeds up their demise.

    Natural lawns with mosses indicate that that the grass is unhealthy. Moss in the lawn hampers the growth of grass by creating unfavorable conditions such as soil compaction, decreased fertility and poor drainage of water. It also does not allow the sun’s rays to reach grass. To remove moss from lawns and roofs it is very important to follow the easy, environmentally friendly tips below.

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    Use a Pressure Washer to Remove Moss

    If you are wondering how to remove moss without chemicals from your roof, then you will be surprised to know that it is very easy to uproot them. Moss on roofs and sidewalks can be safely removed using pressure washer. You can buy or rent pressure washer and then use it to blast moss away. You can use plain hot water or add vinegar or baking soda in the water tank to make the process easier. Alternatively, you can first add the hot water/baking soda solution on the mossy surface and then blow away the area.

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    Hot Water

    Before using any chemicals, it is recommended to use hot water in areas near grass. Pour boiling water on the moss-affected area and then remove moss using a stiff brush. After scrubbing them out, use a hose to wash away any moss wastes.

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    Controlling Moss Growth on Lawns

    Using chemicals to remove moss growth on lawns can adversely affect the grass. The easiest way to remove moss without chemicals is to prevent moss from forming by creating an unfavorable environment. Nitrogen-deficient grass invites the growth of moss. Using natural organic fertilizers such as manure, slurry, peat and brassin, nutrients and minerals can assure a healthy lawn. Applying natural fertilizers slowly releases nutrients and ensures the soil stays healthy and prevents moss from growing. However, if there’s already an infiltration, you can use a rake to remove moss.

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    Image Reference: Photograph of a moss-covered area in Tionesta, Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania, USA. Photo Courtesy: IvoShandor (Wikimedia Commons) Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic