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Your cabin roof: one part of the woods where moss doesn't belong

Q. Thick moss covers the cedar-shake roof of my cabin near the Canadian border. The cabin is in the woods, but it does receive some sunshine. What can I do to remove the moss? Marion Forslund Grand Rapids, Mich.

The longevity of wood shakes relates to their being kept free of debris. The more sun, the less moss; and the drier the clime, the fewer the fungi. Attic ventilation is also important, along with good housekeeping on the roof itself.

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Fungicidal chemicals will inhibit moss, fungus, and mildew, and thus contribute to the life of wood shingles and shakes. Pentachlorophenol (penta) is good protection against decay and termites. Penta is toxic to plants and people, so handle with care.

Fungicides are contained in products sold under the general category of clearwood preservatives, many of which also include a water repellent. Among those on the market are Woodguard, Woodlife, Cuprinol, CWF, and Pentaseal.

Accumulation of debris on the roof may foster moisture which, in turn, nurtures moss and fungus.

Commercial firms specializing in roof cleaning and treatment are active in some areas of the country. Treatment consists of the removal of debris, followed by controlled water pressure and the application of a chemical deterrent. The chemical controls regrowth of the fungus or moss for a time.

Retreatment is recommended about every third year.

Q. Would you please list the names and addresses of several manufacturers of balsa building kits for models of homes? Ted Stokes Seaside, Ore.

If you care to look at the Yellow Pages first, see listings under the following headings: Hobby & Model Construction Supplies (Retail & Wholesale), Model Makers, Architects' Supplies, Craft Supplies, and Balsa Wood. Among that series you may find a nearby retail outlet.

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With the aid of our local librarian, we add to the list the following names in balsa, cardboard, or other:

* Handcraft Designs

Division of Bill Muller Wooden Toys

87 Commerce Drive

Telford, Pa. 18969

(215) 723-8103

* Westchester Hobbies

102 East Post Road

White Plains, N.Y. 10601

(914) 949-7943

When in the adobe-manufacturing business, we made captivating quarter-inch-scale models of walls out of sugar cubes. The mortar was moistened powdered sugar.

Simulating mission tile, the roof was made of red corrugated cardboard. It was a sweet-looking project. To the real estate editor:

To melt ice on quarry tile and concrete, we used ammonium sulfate fertilizer when we lived in Wisconsin and Arkansas and with no harmful effects.

Since living in Pueblo, Colo., we have bought it at a hardware store and have had the same good results. It is manufactured by Phillips Petroleum Company, Bartlesville, Okla. 74004. It comes in 50-pound bags.

It is not harmful to rugs, etc., even if it is tracked into the house, and because it is a fertilizer, it is also good for the grass. Mayme G. Prep Pueblo, Colo.

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