In this episode, Daniel describes the various reason why it is bad idea to use laundry soap as a moss killer on your roof. It is dangerous to you, your roof, and the ecosystem.

RoofLifeB015-119 Podcast Transcription: 

Shayla: You are listening to the Roof Life of Oregon Podcast and I’m talking with Daniel who is a roof consultant at Roof Life. And, Daniel, today I want to talk about DIY Roof Repair. What are some of the rumors you’ve heard out in the field about what will keep moss off your roof?

Daniel: That’s a great question. DIY – my wife and I, we love DIY. There are things that we look at. She’ll look at Pinterest and things like that and go, “Oh, can you do that?” Absolutely. I’m going to give it a shot. There’s something, wrong, definitely you don’t want to do. There is a wives’ tale and this has been going on for a long, long time, “put laundry soap on the roof, it’ll kill the moss.” Please don’t do that. Yes, laundry soap will kill the moss. Two reasons you don’t want to do that. One is, if you want to go for a ride and break  leg or kill yourself, do that, because put the laundry soap and get it wet, you might as well be standing on a slip and slide. Homeowners have been killed or serious injuries falling off the roof, stepping on this stuff. Please don’t do that. Hire a professional to do it the right way.

Here’s the other thing. Laundry soap is a de-greaser. Let’s talk about the way a shingle is made. It’s fiberglass mat, and then there’s asphalt, tar, oil, that’s impregnated into the fiberglass mat on both sides. Then granules are put on top of that. The granules serve two functions. One is they protect the asphalt from the sun, so your roof will go twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years. The granules also give you the pretty colors; it makes the house look pretty. When you put laundry detergent on a roof, again, it’s a de-greaser. The roof is made out of tar. So it starts to get down into the tar, loosens up the tar, makes it de-grease, and then all your granules start to run off your roof. All your granules are gone, the asphalt’s now exposed, and your roof has just shortened its life by half. It’s going to kill your roof.

Shayla: I can’t imagine either, Daniel, it’s very good for the environment.

Daniel: It’s definitely not good for the environment. The newer versions aren’t quite as bad, but the older stuff had phosphorus in it and when that stuff went off and down into the gutter system, it went down into the creaks, it went everywhere, and it’s bad for fish, bad for the environment, definitely not the thing to do. They’ve made some changes so it’s not as bad, but you still don’t want it going down into the gutter system.

Shayla: Alright, if you guys have any questions about this topic, please reach out to Roof Life of Oregon. They have a treatment that is going to be safe for your roof, and keep the moss off and you’ll too, so you won’t be up on the roof yourself. If you have any questions, reach out to them today. Thanks, Daniel.


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