Short Answer: Ordinarily, removing moss from an asbestos garage roof can be done safely, depending on the condition of the roof, but you may need to exercise increased caution to ensure your safety. As a roof containing asbestos weathers and degrades, asbestos fibers can be released and inhaled by anyone near them. 

Can I Safely Remove Moss From A Garage Roof Containing Asbestos?

You may think cleaning the moss on your asbestos garage roof is harmless, but worn asbestos can be dangerous if disturbed while you are cleaning the moss.

Why Is Asbestos Used on Roofs? 

For decades, asbestos was used in a variety of roofing materials, including but not limited to: 


Any roof shingles, underlayment, and siding manufactured before 1987 may be contaminated with harmful asbestos.
If you are not sure whether your home contains asbestos, you could consult your county health department or a private, licensed asbestos identification service.

Identifying Asbestos Shingles 

Special training is needed to identify most asbestos products. You could try to ascertain the presence of asbestos by considering: 

  • The age of your home. Homes and roofs built before 1987 at the highest risk for asbestos contamination. 
  • The type of shingle. Asbestos is most frequently found in asphalt- and cement-based shingles. Wooden, plaster, and slate shingles are usually asbestos-free.
  • The location of the material. Older residential and office buildings could be asbestos-contaminated. However, asbestos roofing was most often used to protect low-cost constructions, such as sheds, barns, and housing projects. 

Asbestos roofs have lasted for more than 50 years with good maintenance, and many older buildings still contain asbestos.

If it was built after 1989, your roof may not have contained asbestos roofing because the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had banned many products containing asbestos since then. 

How Does Moss Gather On Your Asbestos Roof?

Since your asbestos roof is open to the air, it suffers abuse throughout its life. The roof attracts dead moss, mold, mildew, dirt, and other unwanted particles. If you neglect to maintain the roof, the roof looks shabby. The unwanted moss and other muck can seep into your roof through the gaps and spoil your roof. Your roof could then leak and become weak.  

Is Asbestos Exposure Still Possible If You Maintain Your Roof Well?

You maintain your roof well if you clean it regularly and remove moss carefully. The roof should last longer because you prevent moss growing on your asbestos roof. The asbestos roof generally will not pose danger if there is no damage to the roof.  

How Can Damage To Your Asbestos Roof Cause Harm? 

The problem is when damaged asbestos escapes into the air as very fine fibers. Some asbestos crumbles easily to turn into dust. The asbestos dust and fibers float in the air. When you or your family members or others nearby inhale these, then they can face danger from asbestos. 

The trouble is that you cannot see these fibers and dust. You cannot even detect the odorless asbestos by smell. Therefore, you will not even know that you are breathing air filled with asbestos fibers and dust.

The other problem is that you may not see any symptoms of any disease. There are cases where people exposed to asbestos have shown symptoms after 30, 40, or even 50 years. 

Asbestos is the main cause for at least 80% of mesothelioma. It is a deadly cancer of the lung, heart, or abdomen. There are about 2,500 deaths reported in the U.S. every year caused by mesothelioma.

Is Removing Moss From Asbestos Garage Roof Dangerous?

It seems that as long as you do not disturb the roof, you could clean the roof to remove moss with a pressure washer. However, since the asbestos roof in your home is pretty old, there is already enough wear and tear on the roof. This can loosen or crumble asbestos. 

In pressure washing, you focus the wash stream on a small area. This creates intense pressure, releasing asbestos fibers and dust from the worn asbestos. 

Pressure washing roofs, walls or products containing asbestos poses two concerns:

Health Danger of Asbestos

The first danger is that the asbestos fibers and dust float in the air. They fill your own front and back yards. Some of these fibers and dust could settle in your lawn. When you mow the lawn after a few days, you release the asbestos fibers and dust again. All these fill the air in the neighborhood of your home.  

Thus, your pressure cleaning releases asbestos fibers and dust, causing risk of asbestos-related diseases when someone inhales this air. 

Legal Danger of Asbestos

The second danger you can face by releasing harmful asbestos fibgers a lawsuit by people affected with an asbestos-related disease. If they can prove that the asbestos came from your roof when you cleaned it improperly, then you have an unwanted problem. You also may face legal repercussions when trying to sell or rent the property.

Can You Safely Remove Moss From an Asbestos Roof By Yourself?

You can remove moss by yourself. But, it means a lot of careful, hard, and dangerous work. You need to climb on to the slippery roof full of moss. You have to use moss killer chemicals, such as bleach to clean the roof. You have to wear personal protective equipment, such as gloves, coverall, boots, goggles, and mask. This is a lot of work.  

The real difficult part is the collection of the moss and waste in approved containers for disposal as per federal, state or local law. In general, it is safer, easier, and sometimes even cheaper to hire a licensed, experienced, professional asbestos abatement company.

What Is The Best Way To Remove Moss From Your Asbestos Garage Roof?

Removing moss from your asbestos garage roof may be dangerous if you are not careful. Your family and others can face risk of asbestos-related diseases. You can also face the risk of a lawsuit for causing others harm because of improper cleaning, if the other party can prove it. 

The best way to remove moss from your asbestos garage roof is to call a certified asbestos trained expert. The expert can do the necessary cleaning and issue a valid certificate to show that your home is free of asbestos.

Minimizing Asbestos Exposure If You Remove Moss from an Asbestos Roof By Yourself

If you do remove moss from an asbestos roof by yourself, you can minimize your exposure to asbestos dust by: 

  • Purchasing a tight-fitting surgical mask or respiratory; 
  • Wearing disposable clothes, such as inexpensive work overalls; 
  • Changing your clothes immediately after the job is complete; and 
  • Taking a shower, being careful not to track any asbestos dust, particles, or paint into your home. 

Getting a Professional to Remove Moss From an Asbestos Roof

Because of health and legal dangers, it makes good sense to get help from a professionally trained asbestos expert to remove moss from your asbestos roof. 

Professionals can make your home improvement effort legal and safe, and make sure the asbestos is disposed of legally and safely.  

In case you want to rent or sell your home, the certificate from the expert will be useful. This is because the prospective tenant or seller may demand an asbestos-free certificate before entering into a contract with you.

AsbestosClaims.Law is your comprehensive resource for all things asbestos. We hope this information helps you.

If you believe that your home was contaminated with asbestos, you could be entitled to significant compensation—money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being. 

In addition to legal claims, veterans disability, social security and employment protection like workers compensation, FELA and The Jones Act for maritime workers, there are asbestos trusts that have been set up to compensate those harmed by asbestos without having to file a lawsuit.

If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, including testing for exposure or how to file a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], or call or text us at (833) 4-ASBESTOS (427-2378) or (206) 455-9190.