Roof Moss Remover

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Introduction: Roof Moss Remover

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.



Step 1: 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

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.



Step 4: Wiggly Woggly It Up There

The whole thing once assembled is very wiggly woggly, but it's also lightweight and with a little bit of practice, you can work it around on the roof and the moss comes tumbling down!

It works a little better after a recent rain when the moss is wetter and softens up.

Step 5: Big Bucket-o-moss

I got all this in just 30 minutes or so.  This is only about 1/4 of it though.  I've got some work to do.  But at least I have a way to do it!

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    27 Discussions

    That is some very impressive moss.

    if you install a copper flashing on your peak it will kill the moss.

    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.

    3 replies

    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

    that's a clever idea, but I think you're right about the weight, it might be just too much to control both things

    Are you sure you are not damaging the shingles?
    I'm worried about scraping off the asphalt.

    4 replies

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    And if you're looking for something to do with the moss after you're done...

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Moss-Graffiti/

    1 reply

     
    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.

    2 replies

    Oooh! I love waterbears! I have never seen one in real life. That is my next project!! Thanks!

    By the way, if you do make something like this, please post a photo or two?! Thx!

    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.

    1 reply

    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.