It’s not a good sign when you see moss and lichen growing on your roof. When you see green, it’s time to call an expert roof cleaning service in Surrey. Although moss can lead to costly repairs, it is one of the most interesting and versatile plants in nature. While we don’t necessarily appreciate it growing on our houses, we can still marvel at its unique properties. Here are some interesting facts about moss you probably didn’t know:

It Has Antibacterial Properties

Before the advent of readily available antibacterial creams and ointments, peat moss was used to staunch wounds all the way up to World War I. When allied armies ran out of cotton, they realized that sphagnum moss was over twenty times more absorbent and contained antibacterial properties that actually helped soldiers recover. Outside the battlefield, this type of moss was used in children’s diapers and as sponges by indigenous North Americans, Britons, and Germans.

It Doesn’t Have Roots

What allows moss to grow on our rooftops and tree branches is the fact that the plant doesn’t have a root system. To attach themselves to surfaces, they use thread-like rhizoids, which also take in moisture from the air. Because they need moisture, mosses like to grow where they’re constantly splashed with water. Male and female reproductive cells only reach each other when they’re submerged in water.

It’s Used for Heat

Peat is everywhere in the northern parts of the British Isles, especially Scotland. The dank bogs and near-constant rains make for an ideal environment for these tiny plants. Up until the electric grid reached into the remotest parts of the Isles (and even afterwards), people used peat moss to heat their houses. Peat dries into thick bricks, which can be burned like coal. It wasn’t uncommon for boots and shoes to be lined with moss in the colder winter months, as these minute plants also have insulating properties.

Its Presence Can Be a Good Sign

Because this plant is highly absorbent, it protects the earth underneath from soil erosion, which, as we know, is a negative side of effect of rapid climate change. Speaking of which, moss is more frequently being used as an inexpensive bioindicator to detect high levels of air pollution or drought stress in major cities. The presence of too much nitrogen pollution, for instance, can cause different mosses to change their shape or disappear. The healthier the moss, the healthier the air. 

Did you know that as a descendant of algae, moss was the first plant to survive on land? While all these facts make for great trivia, they don’t change how we feel about moss on our rooftops. Trust your local de-mossing experts. Call Diamond Clean today!