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Understanding moss, algae and lichen growth


The growth of moss and algae is most prolific in areas of shade and damp, typically they are more commonly seen on roof surfaces that are north facing or where trees provide shading. The problem is also worse where roof tiles have partly-porous surfaces, more typical of aging concrete tiles, this is why you tend to see more moss growth on older roofs.


The problem of moss and algae growth is wide spread in UK due to our naturally damp and cooler climatic conditions.  It is estimated that over 1 million homes have significant problems with moss and algae growth.


Although the moss and algae organisms do not themselves cause damage to the roofing tiles, they often create the conditions to accelerate the degradation of tiles and reducing the overall life span of a roof.


Moss often grows in the form of moss balls across the roof surface, feeding off the algae beneath.  With time some of the moss balls fall into gutters, resulting in clogging and eventual overspill of rainwater onto the building elevations creating further maintenance problems.


Moss and algae also spread, spores may originally fall from trees or can be carried to roof surfaces in a breeze. Once settled onto a roof surface given the right local climatic conditions the moss and algae will spread across the roof surface.


Lichens are different from roof moss and algae, lichens are effectively two organisms (fungus and alga) that grow symbiotically with the alga providing the nutrients for the fungus.


Lichens are more sensitive to pollution than moss and thus are less commonly found on roofs in areas with higher traffic pollution.
As with moss and algae the lichens also retain moisture at the roof surface creating similar conditions for the degradation of (some types) roof tiles.


At UK Roof Cleaning we have detailed knowledge of moss, algae and lichens and thus have the expertise to clean these from roof surfaces safely and effectively. You can find out more about our service to remove moss from roof tiles here.


If you are considering having your roof cleaned give us a call on 01992 35 00 33