When your roof turns green
No matter how clean the exterior or interior of your house is, algae and moss on the roof can make it look dirty and old. So, what causes algae on roofs? The problem is more common in the country’s area where it is humid more often than not and typically on roofs with asphalt shingles.
Usually, algae are associated with dirt accumulating on the roof or defective shingles, but the truth to be known, it is the airborne spore. If your house has algae on the roof, there is another house nearby that has it too. Algae is caused by several things such as:
- Clogged gutters
- Overhanging branches
- Standing water
- Porous roofing material
- Poor roof ventilation
Gloeocapsa Magma, commonly called algae, is a black/green stain that is accented by mildew and mold. We can find it on the roof and sides of houses, typically the north side. Except just under the metal flashing of the chimney and roof vents. Why? They make roof flashing from a galvanized sheet metal that is coated with either copper or zinc. Algae has a toxic reaction to these coatings, so each time it rains, small amounts of those metals wash down the roof and algae growth is inhibited.
Your next question may be, “Is algae on roof bad for it?”, and the answer to this is an astounding YES! First, algae live off asphalt shingles and your roof is a smorgasbord, all-you-can-eat buffet for it. Then, when algae are left there, it not only thrives off the asphalt shingles, but it becomes airborne and off it goes to other roofs, spreading itself. Then moss is soon to follow, which feeds off the algae and it becomes like a sponge, collecting and holding rainwater.
After enough time, that layer of moss gets heavy and moisture seeps under the shingles, onto the decking, and into your attic. As that moss keeps building up, along with the algae on the roof, eating the shingles, the moss is causing the shingles to decay. What can you do about this? Well, you could move, or you could have your roof professionally cleaned, which is the more logical approach.
How do I get rid of roof stains?
There is a variety of algae roof cleaner products available at your local big-box home improvement store. They are labeled specifically designed as algae remover. You can also use a mixture of household bleach and water. Unfortunately, these algae on roof stains will return, so you must plan to do this roof cleaning periodically.
Keep in mind that repeatedly using harsh chemicals and pressure washing to remove algae on the roof, it can cause erosive effects, damaging and shortening the lifespan of your roof. The better solution is to hire a professional roof cleaning contractor to do the job for you.
They have the experience, knowledge, supplies, and tools to do the job right and causing no damage to your roof, siding, or the landscape below and around your house. You can have a roofing contractor install copper or zinc-coated sheet metal strips along the sides of your roof, under the ridge to prevent the return of algae on the roof.
Can you pressure wash a shingle roof?
If your purpose of pressure washing your shingle roof is to remove dirt and leaves that have accumulated, you can do this with a broom or a leaf blower. Or your water hose with the regular sprayer on it. This, of course, would require that you don’t have a fear of heights and can climb up and down the ladder with a broom, leaf blower, and/or water hose.
Does cleaning your roof damage it?
Roof experts do not advocate pressure washing a shingle roof simply because if it isn’t done properly, it can damage the shingles, even break them off. Therefore, they recommend calling a professional contractor do remove algae on the roof, along with mildew and mold. They have the experience, equipment, and specific algae roof cleaner to do the job right without causing any damage.
After reading this piece, you can see that when it comes to algae vs moss on the roof, your roof will lose. Algae on the roof along with lichen, mildew, moss are natural, but they aren’t a part of nature that you want hanging around, or on, your roof or home. With a regular schedule to have a professional contractor apply a treatment and spray for algae on roof, you will extend the life of your roof by years.
Gloeocapsa Magma may sound like a fancy thing to have, but it isn’t. It is dirty, nasty, and ugly algae on the roof that will destroy your home one at a time, slowly, but surely. Your home is an expensive and important investment for you and your family. Taking care of it by having the roof and siding professionally cleaned periodically will ensure your home will provide many years of enjoyment. If there is algae on your roof in Cincinnati, OH, call 513-563-9988 today!