A weathered and unclean exterior can cast a gloomy shadow over your entire abode, leaving it looking lackluster and neglected.
As responsible homeowners, we strive to maintain an inviting atmosphere, ensuring that our house stands out positively in the neighborhood. And this extends to your roof.
A grimy roof not only diminishes your home’s curb appeal but can also inflict damage upon it. Hence, the significance of upholding a clean roof should not be underestimated.
Beyond Ordinary Grime
Your roof endures the brunt of nature’s elements day in and day out. While rainwater typically washes away most dirt, there are other natural factors responsible for the emergence of dark stains and verdant patches:
These elements present a more complex challenge than mere dirt, necessitating further understanding.
Dark stains on your roof are often attributed to gloeocapsa magma (GM) algae. Thriving in moist, cool, and shaded areas, this bacterium feeds on asphalt and limestone roofing. In environments with minimal light, GM algae adopts a blue-green hue.
Shaded sections of the roof are more susceptible to algae growth, which can facilitate the growth of various molds. Consequently, certain roofs may exhibit stains on one side only.
According to a report by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing Association (ARMA), algae spores are carried by wind or animals, enabling them to spread rapidly within neighborhoods comprising single-family homes, townhomes, and apartment complexes.
Lichens are symbiotic organisms formed by the fusion of algae and fungus. Described by ARMA as fungus that coexist with algae, they display a branching growth pattern with root-like structures that penetrate the shingle’s oil-based foundation for nourishment. Eradicating lichens from the roof can prove challenging, as they tend to reappear due to humidity and rainfall.
Unlike algae and lichens, moss is an actual plant. With a shallow root system, moss thrives in moisture-laden environments. Areas with limited exposure to sunlight retain dampness for longer durations.
Overhanging tree branches not only provide additional shade but also deposit debris, which serves as a nourishing food source for moss. Similar to algae, moss spores are often dispersed by wind or animals, enabling them to spread effortlessly throughout neighborhoods.
Unveiling the Hidden Threats
Algae, fungus, and moss stains pose a significant risk to your roof, leading to shingle deterioration and wood rot. These issues not only result in costly repairs but also shorten the lifespan of your roof. Opting for a professional roof cleaning can help mitigate or eliminate these damaging effects.
- Shingle Deterioration:
GM algae, as mentioned earlier, consumes asphalt and limestone, causing significant harm to your shingles.
Additionally, according to ARMA, roofs with algae stains tend to absorb heat, creating excessively high temperatures in the attic. This heat exposure essentially bakes the shingles from within, drastically reducing their lifespan.
Lichen colonies can cause extensive damage to shingles by creating pockmarks and ultimately ruining their integrity.
Moss, in particular, poses a severe threat to roof shingles. It can cause the edges of shingles to lift or curl, often indicating the need for a roof replacement. Moreover, as moss retains moisture, it can freeze during winter, exacerbating shingle damage.
- Wood Rot:
Moss’s ability to retain moisture and divert water puts your roof deck at risk of wood rot and leaks. Moss tends to grow in the crevices between shingles, the last place where water evaporates from a roof.
Detecting moss growth on your roof is relatively straightforward. However, signs of wood rot may go unnoticed by the average homeowner. Yanni Avramidis, vice president of production for Long Roofing, emphasizes that hidden wood damage can lead to undetected leaks and further complications.
Wood rot not only compromises the longevity of your roof but also promotes mold growth, which can be hazardous to both homeowners and their pets.
Unwanted critters may take advantage of the weakened wood caused by rot, leading to additional damage. Animals like squirrels have been known to chew through roof areas and supporting wood structures, taking advantage of rotted wood.
Entrusting Professionals for Optimal Results
While maintaining an aesthetically pleasing roof, professional cleaning services also safeguard your investment by prolonging its lifespan. Although DIY roof cleaning may be tempting, it is highly recommended to hire a professional roof cleaning company.
Conventional high-pressure washers can inadvertently harm your roof while attempting to clean it. It is crucial to employ specialized equipment that ensures the shingles remain intact, avoiding any potential damage caused by excessive pressure.
Reputable roof cleaning companies utilize biodegradable cleaning solutions, prioritizing environmental sustainability. Conversely, DIY projects often involve a water and bleach solution, effective against algae but harmful to plants and the ecosystem.
Averting Future Growth
Once the stains have been eliminated, it is crucial to adopt preventive measures to inhibit regrowth. According to ARMA, the application of a biodegradable chemical cleaner every 18 to 36 months can effectively deter future growth indefinitely.
ARMA also recommends the following steps to discourage moss and algae:
- Pruning tree branches to minimize shade and debris accumulation.
- Clearing existing debris that has accumulated on the roof.
- Ensuring proper airflow on the roof to prevent debris from getting trapped under shingle edges.
- Regularly cleaning gutters to maintain optimal drainage.
When Cleaning Alone Falls Short
In severe cases where algae, fungus, or moss growth has already inflicted significant damage on your roof, mere cleaning is insufficient.
If you notice missing shingles, shingles exceeding 25 years in age, shingles lacking granules, flipped-up tabs, or brittle shingles, it is likely that your roof requires replacement.
Has Your Roof Suffered from Algae, Moss, or Fungus Damage?
If you suspect that algae, moss, or fungus have caused substantial damage to your roof, reach out to Houston Restore Pros through their online platform.
A licensed professional will visit your home for a complimentary assessment, providing you with an obligation-free consultation to replace your old roof with a stunning new one.