Protect Your Roof with Zinc Strips and Rainwater: A Natural Solution

zinc strips naturally protect your roof

Your home’s roof is more than just a protective covering; it’s an integral part of your property’s overall appeal and structural integrity. However, over time, roofs can become vulnerable to the growth of unsightly and potentially damaging organisms like algae, moss, lichen, fungus, and mold. Fortunately, there’s a natural and environmentally friendly solution to combat this problem: installing zinc strips combined with rainwater management. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the details of how this simple yet highly effective method can help you maintain a clean, healthy, and long-lasting roof.

Understanding the Problem

Before we explore the solution, let’s first grasp why roofs are susceptible to the growth of algae, moss, lichen, fungus, and mold. These organisms tend to thrive in conditions characterized by moisture, shade, and humidity. Consequently, if your roof has these elements, it can become a prime breeding ground for these unwanted guests. Over time, they can take root and begin to deteriorate your roof’s surface, causing structural damage if left unchecked.

The Role of Zinc Strips

Zinc strips, often made of zinc or copper, are metal strips that are typically installed near the ridge of a roof. These strips act as a natural barrier to inhibit the growth of algae, moss, lichen, fungus, and mold. Let’s take a closer look at how they work:

Zinc Ions Release

Zinc, when exposed to rainwater, naturally corrodes over time. As it corrodes, it releases zinc ions into the runoff water.

Inhibition of Algae and Fungi

When rainwater, now carrying zinc ions, flows down the roof, it creates an environment that is inhospitable to algae, moss, lichen, fungus, and mold. These zinc ions disrupt the cellular processes of these organisms, preventing them from establishing themselves and thriving.

Long-Lasting Protection

One significant advantage of zinc strips is their durability. They typically have a lifespan of 20 to 25 years or more. This means that you’ll have years of protection against unwanted growth on your roof.

Check out an installation from This Old House here!

Installing Zinc Strips

While installing zinc strips is a relatively straightforward process, it’s advisable to hire a professional for the job to ensure it’s done correctly. Here’s an overview of the steps involved:

Roof Assessment

A roofing professional will assess your roof to determine the best placement for the zinc strips. Typically, they are installed near the roof’s ridge.

Roof Cleaning

Before installation, the roof should be thoroughly cleaned to remove any existing algae, moss, lichen, fungus, or mold. This step ensures that the zinc strips can function optimally.

Strip Installation

Zinc strips are then securely fastened to the roof using nails or screws, usually just below the ridge cap.

Natural Activation

Over time, rainwater will naturally activate the zinc strips, causing them to release zinc ions and create a protective barrier that deters the growth of algae, moss, lichen, fungus, and mold.

Rainwater Collection: Enhancing the Effectiveness

While zinc strips alone can do an excellent job of preventing the growth of unwanted organisms on your roof, combining them with rainwater harvesting can enhance their effectiveness even further. Here’s how you can do that:

Gutter and Downspout Systems

Ensure that your roof has a well-maintained gutter and downspout system in place to efficiently collect rainwater.

Rain Barrels or Tanks

Install rain barrels or tanks to store the rainwater you collect. This harvested rainwater can be used for various purposes, such as irrigating your garden or lawn.

Rainwater Diversion

Consider implementing a system to divert some of the harvested rainwater to flow over the zinc strips on your roof. This will help distribute the zinc ions more effectively, creating an additional barrier against unwanted growth.


Maintaining a clean, algae, moss, lichen, fungus, and mold-free roof is not just about aesthetics; it’s essential for the overall health and longevity of your home. Zinc strips, combined with proper rainwater management, offer a natural and eco-friendly solution to this common problem. By inhibiting the growth of these troublesome organisms, you can extend the lifespan of your roof and enhance the curb appeal of your property.

To get the best results, it’s advisable to consult with a roofing professional. They can assess your specific roof and climate conditions, ensuring that the zinc strips are installed correctly for maximum effectiveness. With this proactive approach, you can enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, healthier, and longer-lasting roof for years to come.