Is Moss Good or Bad?November 13, 2014
I’ve heard people say – even publish articles saying – that moss does no real harm to your house. Let’s think about that for a moment. We understand that in nature, these simple plant life growths show up when things are dirty, wet, and in the shade. What are they doing there? Well, staying healthy, of course, like every other living thing is trying to do. But stepping back, we realize that it lives on decaying matter. Whether on an apple on the table or a log in the forest, we see that there’s a strong relationship between rot and microbe growths. Let’s face it, if something is biodegradable, (it breaks down into soil) then mold, mildew, moss, fungus, lichen and all the simple growths grow in it. If it isn’t biodegradable, they don’t, unless it’s good and dirty. Hmm.
It lives there. Ok. But what causes the breakdown? Their feeding process is the first step. In the environment of wet and warmth, it finds impurities on the surface and begins to feed on them. As it proceeds, the feeding process – acid digestive juice excretions – starts to break down the actual organic surface. The juice is drawn back into the simple destructive life form, along with nutrients. The nutrients that have been keeping the host resilient are being digested. Other, more destructive organisms are attracted to the waste they create. They do their thing. This is rot.
Moss is not the biggest offender, but it’s usually present with mold, mildew and fungus. Fungus growths do the most damage, and take advantage of the nutrients and cover provided by moss.
Would you leave moss growing on your vehicle? The hard, smooth, clean surface, if left in warm shade in the rain, will grow these things. Would you say that it’ll do no harm? Leaving it on, we’ll find that the paint is being damaged by the feeding process. If a surface of well finished metal can be damaged by simple plant life, then so can your home.