Your roof is the first thing anyone sees when viewing your home so it can make or break that crucial first impression. But should you spend money on getting it cleaned? Or, should you just get your roof replaced?
What Causes Roof Stains?
Fortunately, dust, dirt and other everyday sources of blemishes are easily washed off by rainfall or by spraying your roof with water from a garden hose. This gives you only three things about which to be concerned:
- Blue-green algae – Blue-green algae (Gloeocapsa magma) is actually a type of bacteria that has plant-like properties, for example, photosynthesis. It thrives on roofing surfaces by feeding on the limestone content of asphalt shingles and can usually be found on moist and shaded surfaces. It secretes a dark-colored substance that causes stubborn black streaks.
- Lichen – Lichen is a composite organism that consists of algae and fungus. It can take on many forms and colors; some may look like flaking paint, and others may resemble moss. Certain types of lichen feed on the cellulose found in wood shakes and “organic” roofing materials.
- Moss – Unlike algae and lichen, moss is an actual plant, but one that thrives in the same conditions: moist and shaded roofs.
Removing Roof Stains
Blue-green algae, lichen and moss are especially noticeable on light-colored roofing and won’t be easily removed, even with heavy rain. Lichen and moss can also cause rot on certain types of roofing if not removed. The good news is, there are several ways to remove them:
- Pressure washers – Never use a pressure washer on a roof at its highest setting as it can damage the roofing surface.
- Diluted bleach solution – A mixture of water, bleach and dish soap can be sprayed on the roof. While it does kill blue-green algae, lichen and moss, it may damage surrounding vegetation.
- Zinc or copper strips – Specially designed zinc or copper strips can be installed at the roof ridge. Zinc or copper particles are dispersed through the roof during rainfall.
- Professional removal – Some roofers offer professional roof cleaning. Sometimes, these services are bundled with gutter cleaning.
Should You Get a New Roof?
If the damage to your roof is so severe that shingles have split or have fallen off, chances are you will need a new one. Ask your roofing contractor to inspect your roof. In some cases, repairs can be done if the damage is restricted to a small area. You may also need to trim surrounding trees to minimize shade on the roof. If you end up needing a new roof, consider investing in algae-resistant roofing products, such as GAF StainGuard Plus™ Shingles.
Superior Roofing is your leading provider of roof repair and replacement services. Give us a call at (334) 298-5253, or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Phenix City, AL, and nearby areas.