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Old 03-16-2013, 06:52 PM   #1
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Source for aluminum oxide?


Where do you get aluminum sulfate for roof moss? About 3 years ago I hired a roof moss removing company to clean my asphalt roof. I had moss growing like tiny trees (4-6 inches tall) completely covering the north side of my roof. They used push brooms and a blade to remove the moss and then sprinkled aluminum oxide grandulas over the roof. It did a terrific job. Now I plan to hire a college kid to clean the roof but the places I have called for aluminum sulfate keep trying to tell me it is zinc sulfate I need. I worked 24 years at an aluminum smelter so I know what the roof cleaning professionals told me they were applying. So, where to get a sack of grandulated aluminum oxide?
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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Source for aluminum oxide?


Dunno, we've always used zinc sulfate. Haven't done one in years so I've no idea what the full-time guys use.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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Source for aluminum oxide?


I agree that it may have been zinc sulfate or copper.
I do not see aluminum doing anything to it.
Round up will also work.

Sure you want to hire an uninsured person to be working on this slick roof?
Got a bunch of over hanging trees shading this roof?
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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Source for aluminum oxide?


ONB is correct, as he often seems to be. The guys you had probably thought they had aluminum but it was probably zinc. I have heard of some guys putting strips of galvanized sheet metal under the tabs of shingles to control algae on roof shingles.

Zinc Sulfate

General Information:
The active ingredient for some moss killers is zinc sulfate monohydrate usually at concentrations of 99%. One brand name is Moss B Ware. Zinc sulfate will not stain roofs or corrode aluminum and galvanized gutters. To use zinc sulfate one can apply powder directly to moss areas. Manufacturers recommend that powder should be applied thoroughly - for example, up to three pounds for every 600 square feet. For spraying combine three pounds to five gallons of water and apply to 600 square feet. This product needs to be applied on a calm day.

Effectiveness:
Powder application has been known to control mosses for two years and spraying application may need to be applied annually. Some roofing companies will guarantee no mosses for up to five years after using this product while treating roofs.

Negative Side Effects: This product is toxic both to fishes and aquatic invertebrates. Zinc sulfate should not be applied to water. If zinc sulfate comes into contact with neighboring plants, damage may occur. Plants and shrubbery should be draped when this chemical is being used.

Possible Alternatives: Though this product is effective in controlling mosses, it is not entirely environmentally safe or smart. Conside the need to control -- is there a different perspective or solution to your moss problem without polluting the environment?

Zinc Chloride
General Information:
Zinc chloride comes in two different concentrations, 13% and 62%. The 13% concentration can be applied directly to moss without mixing with water. Spray directly from nozzle six to ten inches away from target. Make sure to wet the area thoroughly. The 62% concentration needs to be mixed with water before applying to an affected area. Mix one pint of concentration to three gallons of water. Using a backpack sprayer, one manufacture recommends using one gallon for every 100 sq ft. Zinc chloride should be applied just prior to fall rains or in the early spring.

Effectiveness: Zinc chloride is effective in controlling mosses from one year up to five years. Increased application concentrations may be needed in areas of higher moss concentration.

Negative Side Effects: Avoid drift and runoff when using this product. Zinc chloride will affect other plants and lawns. Application should only take place when air is still and when no rain is expected within 24 hours. Zinc chloride is corrosive and should not be used when copper fixtures are present. This product is toxic to fishes and aquatic invertebrates. Avoid contaminating water sources with zinc chloride. If zinc chloride comes into contact with a painted area damage is possible.

Possible Alternatives: Considering the toxicity of this chemical, it may be possible to use a less corrosive and less dangerous product. Please see other chemicals on this web site as well as considering



Zinc - Copper sulfate mix
General Information:
Zinc and copper sulfate comes dry, but can be applied as a powder or mixed with water. This product reacts electrolyticallly with water to stimulate a slow release reaction. Zinc and copper sulfate will not stain patios, decks, walls, walkways, buildings or roofs. However, zinc and copper sulfate may react with red bricks. This product is not harmful to lawns, ornamental shrubs, trees, turf or other vegetation such as flowers and vegetation. To apply simply sprinkle areas thoroughly with powder when it is wet, either after a rain or when early morning dew is present. Do not use this product in high wind. For spray application a wet applicator may need to be purchased. It is not clear if this product is still available commercially. According to information from one manufacturer, apply one pound of moss killer to 1000 sq ft. This product may be applied anytime during the year, but should not be applied while it is raining. Since this product specializes in the slow release reaction; allow plenty of time for the chemical to act. This product is corrosive and should not be used if copper fixtures are present.

Effectiveness: Applications of zinc and copper sulfate are said to last for up to one year depending on the concentrations of moss. Annual application is generally needed.

Negative Side Effects: Though this product is supposedly safe for surrounding plants, it is toxic to fishes and aquatic invertebrates. Do not apply this product to water or let the product come into contact with water sources. When applying this product or any product to rooftops it is essential to avoid runoff. Collecting the runoff in a fashioned trap would greatly reduce the negative effects on the environment.

Possible Alternatives: Based on the manufacturer's information, this chemical would seem to be a slightly better chemical to use when considering the environment. Considering the components, however, leads us to doubt this. See the section on zinc sulfate above. The toxicity of copper sulfate is well known. Deciding whether or not to control is still a good question to consider.


Bleach
General Information:
Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) can be used on a number of surfaces contaminated with mosses including decks, patios, walks and roofs. When used to proper concentrations bleach is non corrosive to metals and will not stain treated areas. One should, however, avoid contact with clothing. Brand names of bleach especially for mosses can be found in the moss control area in garden centers - one brand is 30seconds brand. To apply bleach mix one part water with one part concentrate. Use a backpack sprayer and spray liquid to dry area infected with mosses. Keep surface wet for at lease 30 seconds. After finishing application rinse thoroughly with water. If applying to wood keep wet for at least 15 minutes. An alternative to this concentration is to use four times the water. When applying one will need to keep the surface wet for four times as long. This concentration will cover 600 sq ft on porous surfaces or 1800 sq ft on non-porous surfaces.

Effectiveness: Bleach applications remain effective for up to one year, but annual applications are usually necessary.

Negative Side Effects: Bleach at these concentrations will be toxic to plants if left on for more than ten minutes. After ten minutes, injury or "burning" of foliage will occur. Since this product is toxic to fishes and aquatic invertebrates contact with water sources should be avoided.

Possible Alternatives: Bleach is a good alternative to many other chemical controls, being less toxic to plants and aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, one could consider not controlling the mosses at all.
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Last edited by jagans; 03-16-2013 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
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Source for aluminum oxide?


I have seen people take old copper flashing and put a strip of it all the way accross the roof just like a row of shingles with a small reveal and as it rains it washes the copper down the roof killing the algae.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:52 PM   #6
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Source for aluminum oxide?


If you were wondering...
http://zincstrips.com/

If I recall it's only good for about 12 or 15 feet but it works.
Yes, anything galvanized will deter moss, even nails. Ever look up at a roof with moss yet there will be strips of clean area below all the vents/chimney and other flashings? That's the zinc in the galvanizing leaching down when it rains.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:11 PM   #7
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Source for aluminum oxide?


Well, for about 30 years I've done the roof cleaning on my own. I tie off to my truck (after telling my wife not to go off in the truck dragging me from the roof and up the road). I told the grandfather of the young man that I'd tie him to the truck and supervise him from the ground. When you scrape the roof off, it isn't slippery. The professionals just walked all over it without a harness (although on the north side it is close to 30 feet to the ground).
Never saw another product work like the aluminum sulfate. I tried zinc strips and had zinc strips installed when I last reroofed. Yes, big fir trees all around. Nothing I can do about them. The owner of the lot next door won't take them down and the arborist I hired to look at a leaner that is rubbing on my roof said if we cut the limbs off at my property line, it would kill the tree and then it would come down on my house.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm still looking for aluminum sulfate as the zinc doesn't work well at all. In fact, the moss is heaviest below zinc chimney flashings because the chimney adds shelter from the sun.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:31 PM   #8
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Source for aluminum oxide?


Hydra Blue (51% Aluminum Sulfate). Best I could do for now. But I think it's actually used in certain concentrations to help moss grow, so 51% may make it worse. I'm convinced I could find higher concentrations online when I have a chance.

Last edited by Dorado; 03-16-2013 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:38 PM   #9
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Source for aluminum oxide?


LOL, that's like the story of the two roofers doing that and the one on the ground jumps in the truck to go get beer...

Anyways. I'm not saying you are wrong, just saying what I've experienced. That tree rubbing against your house sounds like a crap sandwich. Your neighbor needs to get with you to remedy that since he is damaging your property.

Wish I could help with the aluminum sulfate. Have you tried contacting DHS to see if they can point you in the right direction?
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #10
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Source for aluminum oxide?


If an online source is good for you, then:

aluminum sulfate

aluminum oxide

You mentioned both chemicals so I'm not sure which you want.
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