How to Remove Weeds and Moss from a Clay Tile Roof

What You'll Need
White distilled vinegar
Dish detergent
Table salt
Measuring cups
Plastic container with tight lid
Pressure washer
Zinc strip
Grabber tool
Hot water
Liquid soap with zinc sulfate

A clay tile roof is a beautiful addition to any home of Spanish or Southwester design or style. Unfortunately a clay tile roof is prone to problems that your typical roof is not. Due to the organic nature of the clay tile roof you will find that weeds and moss can become a problem. The way that the clay tile roof is created gives moss and weeds a dark, moist place in which to grow. Weeds can destroy a clay tile roof if not controlled and removed. The article that follows will explain how you can kill and remove moss and weeds from your clay tile roof.

Step 1 - Killing Moss and Weeds

If you attempt to remove moss or weeds without killing them you'll most likely damage the clay tile roof. Weeds will often grow between the tiles. Pulling the weeds can dislodge the tiles. When you kill the weeds they wilt and their roots die. This allows you to remove them safely. Commercial weed and moss killers can damage clay so you can make your own weed killer. Mix 1 gallon of vinegar, 1 cup of table salt and 2 tablespoons of dish detergent. Mix these ingredients together and add to the pressure washer. Turn the pressure washer down to low and spray the entire clay tile roof. Aim for the top of the roof and spray the entire length of the roof. Continue spraying across the one side. The chemical will flow over the clay tiles as well as under them to the base of the roof.

For moss you will add the liquid soap with zinc to hot water and put that into the pressure washer. You will spray it on the roof as you would the weed killer.

Step 2 - Removing Moss and Weeds

Wait up to two days for the moss and weeds to die. You will be able to tell when they are dead because the moss will turn from lush green to brown and the weeds will have wilted. To remove the moss you will use a clean pressure washer with the strength of the washer turned up to high. Ascend a ladder and begin spraying the patches of moss. The water will remove the moss. Removing weeds is a little more difficult. Ascend the ladder with a gripper tool and begin to systematically grip and pull weeds one by one. Once all of the weeds that you can visibly see are removed; you can use the pressure washer to get to the hidden weeds under the clay tiles.

Step 3 - Preventative Measures

To keep weeds and moss from returning to the clay tile roof you need to take steps to prevent them from growing. For moss prevention you will install the zinc strip to the edge of the roof per its instructions. For weeds you simply need to spray your homemade weed killer every few months.