Are Mossy Roofs Bad for Gutters?

How Moss and Lichen Harm Roofing & Clog Gutters

Moss and lichen may provide a charming aesthetic to old school roofing in the English countryside. They are not, however, practical and it’s actually quite interesting to learn how moss and lichen harm roofing and clog gutters (or gutter guards).

We’re all for reconnecting with nature, but it’s best to leave the moss and lichen in the forests and gardens where they can thrive and won’t cause damage to your home in more ways than one. Keep reading to find out why it’s important to keep your roof clear of mossy greenery and thick lichen.

moss and lichen plant that can grow on youy roofing
Moss and lichen plant that can grow on your roofing and block your gutters

What are roof mosses and lichen?

Roof moss is just what it sounds like – it’s the mossy grime that builds up on roofing, particularly after lots of rainfall or humid weather. It tends to start its growth in the corners of roofs, however, if left to its own devices it can quickly spread across the rest of the roof and end up causing all manner of trouble.

Lichen is a mix of fungus, algae and bacterium that can cling to pretty much any surface and, much like moss, can spread in record time.

The two live quite happily together and they both love the damp, humid climates that are found in many regions across Australia, including coastal, temperate rainforest and cooler climate areas.

Close up of pretty moss and lichen
Moss and lichen can look pretty, but can also clog roof gutters…

Why do moss and lichen need to be removed from roofing and gutter guards?

There are quite a few good reasons why moss and lichen need to be removed from roofing and gutter guards

1. Moss causes mould

Because moss is a damp, spongy plant, it’s the perfect breeding ground for mould. If you’ve never had mould in your home, believe us, you don’t want to. It won’t just stay in the moss on your roof, it will spread to the fascias and eaves and potentially inside your home, making it more difficult to eradicate. Mould can also cause structural damage to your home that could end in a huge renovation bill. Not to mention, it can cause serious health issues.

Mouldy neglected facia board

2. Moss clogs gutters and gutter guards 

Gutter guards are built with the elements in mind. They’re made sturdy, but with enough moss, mould and lichen covering them, they may become clogged. This can cause issues with roof drainage and, if your home relies on tank water, may cause the valuable rainwater to divert from landing in the guttering and flowing into the tank.

Moss growing inside a gutter

3. Moss prevents rainwater run off 

Moss may prevent rainwater from running off your roof, causing it to become waterlogged and damaged. When water sits on roofing, it can cause all kinds of issues, seeping through the roof itself, or promoting the spread of more moss, lichen and mould.

Tiled roof covered with green moss and lichen
A tiled roof covered with green moss and lichen

How is moss and lichen removed from roofing and gutter guards?

The best way to remove moss and lichen from your roof or gutter/gutter guards is to first treat it with a weedkiller and then hit it with a pressure hose once it has died off. This is best left to the pros because chemicals + roofing + pressure hose = danger.

If you’re looking for quality gutter guards that will ensure your gutters are kept free from debris, please give us a call on 1300 GUTTER (1300 488 837) and we’ll set you up with the perfect product for your home. As long as they’re kept clear of moss and lichen, they’ll protect your gutters for years to come!

Read about the importance of gutter protection here!

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