Instructables

Roof moss remover

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I've got a house with a super tall roof and the moss is having a big party up there.  No one will let me get up there on a ladder, but I just know there's got to be an easier way to get the moss off.   So I created this moss scraper and it's kinda workin....

Update: use 3/4" pipe, it's a little heavier but it's a lot easier to control.  The half inch works okay if you do not have to go over at an angle, in other words, you can stand directly under where you're using it.  But the 3/4" is better.  That's what I'm using in the first video in fact.  The second video (below) shows the 1/2" pipe version working.



 
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of supplies
30 feet of 1/2" 3/4" pvc pipe
male and female threaded connectors
  plus one threaded angle connector and corresponding parts for each attachment you have in mind to add
red hot blue glue (pvc glue)
hack saw
cheap broom or window squeegee
vapor mask

possibly also some epoxy putty or friendly plastic

Step 2: Add connectors to the pipe lengths

Picture of add connectors to the pipe lengths
Img_5983.jpg
Img_5985.jpg
Wearing the vapor mask and using the blue glue (which is a very pretty blue color).  Attach male and female threaded connectors to your pipes so you change the length of the tool as needed by simply screwing in new segments.

Step 3: Create the scraper attachment

With a right angled threaded connector, glue together an angled attachment to which you can add or remove either a broom or squeegee end piece.

Cut off the business end of the broom and/or squeegee so you have a bit of plastic or metal sticking out that will approximately fit inside your pvc pipe.

The broom was a perfect fit, so I just glued it in with blue glue.  I don't know if it will hold, we'll see.

The squeegee didn't quite fit snugly so I'm attaching it with some friendly plastic.  If that doesn't hold it well enough, I'll try epoxy putty next.

Let the glue dry for 24 hours before testing it out.



seabee8901 year ago
I remember as a kid trying to do that as a sumer job to make money,,,,,,,,HORRIBLE IDEA!!! I did not have the motivation or maybe the correct tools to do the job properly and only did one house. Went back to mowing lawns. If I'd had access to this idea then, I would have made bank. Good post and a very safe way to get a job done. I would think of pinning the sections together instead of glus for transportability/ storage.
foobear (author)  seabee8901 year ago
cool! heheh. you can create threaded screw-together sections for portability. good idea!
That is even better, as I was thinking about the idea of using a car wash brush to remove the moss.
I also had the thought of trying to run water up the pipe to soap/water the moss away. I am wondering if that would not make the pipe too heavy to lift/ support. would probably be about 1 or 2 gallons/4-8 liters of water at that length.
Maybe just a thin tube of water up the middle to keep the weight down. maybe some 1/4" plastic hose with a pressure washer supplying the juice,,,,,,maybe I am starting to nuke this. hehe
foobear (author)  seabee8901 year ago
that's a clever idea, but I think you're right about the weight, it might be just too much to control both things
jnkyrd1 year ago
Are you sure you are not damaging the shingles?
I'm worried about scraping off the asphalt.
I can chime in on this point. As a roofer. The stiff brush may wipe some of the asphalt off, if you do this when the shingles are cold that will be minimized. you would probably do as much damge to the shigles crawling around on them or if you did this on a hot day when the tar is more "LIQUID". Probably the style of brush that you would use on a vehicle would be the least abrasive, I am not sure if that would remove the moss. Can someone chime in on a detergent or soap that will prevent moss growth? 20 mule team borax for example?
thanks spddmn6 for answering my question before I had asked it. I had not read that far down the page.
foobear (author)  jnkyrd1 year ago
Not sure, you may have a point.
foobear (author)  foobear1 year ago
Then again, I've seen big 200-250 lb men stomping around up there in their big gnarly workboots, so this seems quite tame by comparison.
ktlevesque1 year ago
When you remove the organic material from the shingle, it is very likely that the granules are removed along with the growth. The course is to not let the moss or lichen grow in the 1st place. As said before, zinc strips or copper strips near the ridge would be best.
Sequimania1 year ago
Great idea. I've got a roof with a very steep pitch that has started growing a nice crop of moss. I'm going to try this as soon as it stops raining. Thanks!
Sibeiko1 year ago
And if you're looking for something to do with the moss after you're done...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Moss-Graffiti/
foobear (author)  Sibeiko1 year ago
cool! thanks! i wanna try that
AndyGadget1 year ago
 
Yep, that reminds me I've got to clear our roof of moss. It's loved the damp summers we've had recently in the UK. I'll make up something similar to yours to get to those hard to reach areas.

Those trumpets are actually the fruiting bodies of lichens (which in themselves are a symbiosis between a fungus and an algae), and are fascinating things. M.C.Escher used them as the garden of a house in his 'Waterfall' lithograph.

Once collected, flush out the moss with water and use a microscope  look for water bears (tardigrades).  Incredible little critters which can withstand extreme heat, cold, vacuum and radiation exposure.
foobear (author)  AndyGadget1 year ago
Oooh! I love waterbears! I have never seen one in real life. That is my next project!! Thanks!
foobear (author)  foobear1 year ago
By the way, if you do make something like this, please post a photo or two?! Thx!
spddmn61 year ago
Powdered Tide detergent kills moss. I know a buddy that would use that to get the crap off roofs for a long time. Also works great in getting the moss out of your lawn as well.
foobear (author)  spddmn61 year ago
I *wish* moss would grow on my lawn. I can't think of a better ground cover. You'd never have to mow it. Always plushy and soft and pretty green. I wish my whole yard was covered in moss instead of grass, that would be sweet. Though I've never seen it anywhere.
mprelle1 year ago
wow..I thought that moss trumpet picture was a playful creation..It is real? weird looking like Dr. Seus...lol
foobear (author)  mprelle1 year ago
Isn't that funny. I thought it was cute.
pinball7021 year ago
It's original and fun to watch. But the simplest way to keep moss off the roof is to tack a strip of zinc (or zinc plated) flashing across the peak -- any peak rain runs down if your house has ells. I've used it in coastal Oregon, Washington state and Southeast Alaska, which is mostly temperate rain forest. It works.
foobear (author)  pinball7021 year ago
You are the third person to suggest that and I will look into it, thank you
HarveyH441 year ago
I remember reading some where, long time ago, that Zinc kills roof moss. I realize that you would need to get up on the roof to install some strips at the peak of the roof. Think rain water reacts with the Zinc, and rinses over the roof... Might be worth search the internet, maybe find someone to install.
+1 Strips made out of zinc are used to keep moss out of the roof. In this case I would have hired a professional roofer because moss might be a sign of a moisture problem. The wood panel under the asphalt shingles might be rotten and in need of replacement. If the author chooses to have the job performed by a professional, I would also have a ridge vent installed to keep trapped heat and moisture out of the roof. I just had my roof replaced for US$4000. Replacing a roof is one of the best investments a homeowner can make.
foobear (author)  HarveyH441 year ago
Thanks for the suggestion!