There are several different growths that can cause damage to your roof, lets run through those briefly:
The algae, Gloeocapsa Magma, the one that leaves those signature black streaks all over your shingles, thrives in humidity and hot temperatures and spreads out, having a destructive effect on your roof. It feeds off the moisture that certain types of shingles hold on to. While the roof is effected, it begins to lose its ability to reflect UV rays and eventually rots the shingles. This has been said to effect roofs severely and can take up to 10 years off the life of a roof.
Lichen is a slow growing plant that typically forms a low crusty or branching growth on algae prone surfaces like rocks, walls, trees and YOUR ROOF. They put out tentacle-like roots deep into composition roofing, breaking down the asphalt granules and creating pock-marks and stains.
Then there is roof moss that thrives in damp, shaded areas. Like lichen and algae it puts roots into the roofing materials and the areas between shingles. Additionally it retains moisture and keeps the roof damp, promoting further growth, as it deteriorates roofing materials.
Any of the above mentioned growths on a shingled roof can create space between shingles and cause the wood underneath to be exposed to moisture, which can cause rot and leaks. These types of growth can be removed by cleaning experts with the right chemical mixture and cleaning method. Typically, the cleaning expert will leave a cleaning mixture on the roof to ensure the roots of the growth are fully destroyed and to help prevent further growth.
It is recommended to give your roof an inspection every year to see if you have any discoloration or growth. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association recommends that your roof system and its components should be examined in the spring and the fall to make sure it is secure and functioning properly. If you do find any growths or discoloration then it might be a good idea to get a roof cleaning expert to come out to your home. However, it’s very important to keep in mind that just because you can’t see growths on your roof doesn’t mean they are not there.
Regardless of what kind of growth your roof has, in most cases, the cost of keeping your roof clean can pay for itself, many times over, by extending the lifespan of your roof and saving you money on repairs and replacements. Most of the time, people will look at their roof and see imperfections and immediately think they need to replace it, however it may just need a cleaning- which could save you thousands of dollars! According to Home Advisor, the average cost to replace a roof on a 2,000 square foot house, is between $7,400 and $10,500. Some homeowners have financing and loan options: How to Pay for a New Roof: Financing and Loan Options.
When inspecting your roof it is important not to attempt to get on top of your roof yourself. Walking on your roof is already potentially dangerous, for both you and the roof, without slippery algae being involved. This also goes for cleaning your roof. We recommend that you hire a professional to inspect and clean your roof as they are experts and know what precautions to take. Not only for the safety of yourself, but also for the safety of your roof, hiring an expert is recommended as they are skilled on how to properly clean your roof without damaging it or voiding any warranties.
When choosing a professional roof cleaner, it is important to ask about their cleaning methods, chemicals, and how they will protect your surrounding surfaces. The professionals here at Space Clean, use a cleaning method called “soft washing” which you can learn more about here, we also cover all of the surrounded areas and landscaping to ensure we do not cause any damage. Our experts also leave a chemical mixture on the roof to ensure we kill any remaining growth roots and help prevent further damage.
Your roof protects you and your belongings from all the elements all year long, given the expense and importance of your roof, make sure you take care of it!
Thanks for reading!
–Space Clean, a locally owned and operated pressure washing and window cleaning company serving Rochester, NY and surrounding areas.