Why We Don’t Recommend Using Zinc Strips to Remove Moss

April 15, 2022

Unsurprisingly, it’s never ideal to have a moss garden (or any greenery!) growing on your roof. A common way to avoid or clean moss on roofs is by installing zinc strips. On paper, zinc strips sound like the perfect solution to keeping your roof moss-free. But while it may keep the moss off your roof, it could be letting water in. Today, we’ll dive into the benefits and disadvantages of zinc strips and some better alternatives.   

What is a zinc strip? 

Zinc strips are metal sheets that are installed onto your roof just below the ridgeline. Zinc is poisonous to algae, moss, lichen, fungus, and mold, making it ideal for keeping those pesky plants off your roof. It is installed just below the ridge of your roof. When rain falls, it will hit the zinc strip and carry tiny particles of zinc all the way down your roof, effectively killing anything plantlife it touches. They are sold in rolls of 50 feet and have to be installed at least every 15 feet for them to operate effectively. 

Why are zinc strips bad for your roof? 

Any harsh chemicals can quickly deteriorate your roof and greatly reduce its service life. The most significant problem with zinc strips is that they are only effective for 5 to 8 years. Afterward, you will have to rip them out and install brand new ones. Not only is this costly and time-consuming, but it can leave nasty nail holes in your roof. Furthermore, because they are installed under the shingles, they have a tendency to work nails out of their holes. When they eventually warp, they allow water to squeeze between shingle and deck, leading to even more water damage. This potential damage greatly outways the cost of getting your roof cleaned on a yearly basis. Zinc is also toxic to fish, making it extremely environmentally hazardous in coastal regions. 

What are the alternatives to zinc strips? 

There are plenty of services out there to keep your roof clean and free of plants. Our goal at IBEX Roof is to maintain the integrity of your roof so that it lasts as long as possible. We have a two-phase moss removal process that involves treating your roof with a solution that will not cause damage to your roof. We then wait about one to two months to let the moss die off naturally before coming back for a final cleaning phase. While this process takes some time, we promise it’s worth it for a beautiful and reliable roof. 

If your roof happens to be more susceptible to moss and algae growth, consider an annual cleaning plan. Our team at IBEX Roof can work with you to come up with a plan to ensure your roof looks great and lasts longer. Don’t wait until your roof becomes a “green roof” to consider a thorough roof cleaning. No matter what roofing issues you have, from maintenance to repairs to replacement, IBEX Roof is on top of it.

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