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roof algae close view
roof algae close view

Algae on Roof? (What It Means & How to Get Rid of It)

6 min read

May 27, 2024

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Clean Cut

Battling “algae on roof”? These unsightly invaders do more than mar the look of your home; they undermine the health of your roof. This guide outlines critical steps to eradicate algae and proactive measures to prevent its return, ensuring your shingles stay clean and intact.

Inside this blog:

  • Roof Algae: The Unwanted Guest
  • Effective Algae Removal Techniques
  • The Impact of Algae on Energy Bills and Curb Appeal

If you’re ready to get rid of pesky algae, continue reading!

Roof Algae: The Unwanted Guest

Roof algae, primarily of the type Gloeocapsa magma, is identifiable by the common black stains found on roofs. While these stains may seem harmless, they are anything but. Over time, these algae can cause irreversible damage to roofing shingles and foster conditions for mold or mildew, which potentially pose health risks.

The algae feed on the limestone granules present in asphalt shingles, pointing to the materials’ vulnerability as an ideal environment for Gloeocapsa magma growth. Despite its seemingly innocuous nature, this micro-organism can compromise the backbone of your roofing system.

Blue Green Algae: A Common Culprit

Algae on roofs isn’t just any algae. The most prevalent type found on roofs is the Gloeocapsa magma, commonly known as blue-green algae. These microscopic invaders are known for causing unattractive black streaks on roofs that can be difficult to remove, unlike algae that do not cause such issues.

These black streaks on your roof aren’t just an eyesore. They are a sign of an ongoing assault on your roof. The damage and aesthetic issues caused by this algae make its presence a major concern for homeowners.

So remember, those black streaks you see next time aren’t just dirt; they’re a silent invader gnawing at your home.

Recognizing the Signs: Black Streaks and Dark Spots

Knowing what to look for is the first step toward protecting your roof from algae. Algae growth on a roof can manifest as:

  • Black stains or streaks
  • White patches
  • Spots of mold
  • A spread of green moss

As mentioned above, these dark streaks, spots, and discolorations aren’t just unsightly; they can significantly reduce the aesthetic appeal of a home, potentially decreasing its curb appeal and resale value. Observing such discolorations on your roof signals that it’s time to call a roofing contractor for an inspection to assess potential damage and discuss necessary remedies.

Effective Algae Removal Techniques

Should you find yourself battling roof algae, there are effective removal techniques at your disposal. In cases of significant algae, moss, or mold issues, it’s recommended to engage professional cleaning services for a safe and effective removal process. Specialized techniques employed by professional roof cleaners help to remove algae without damaging the roofing materials.

Some products offer a safe, slow-acting solution for removing algae without damaging the roof or the surrounding environment. Alternatively, a blend of oxygen bleach and water, with the option of adding trisodium phosphate, can clean algae off the roof to get immediate results.

Pros and Cons of Power Washing

Power washing is an efficient method for cleaning unwanted substances off roofs, providing a means to quickly address areas affected by algae growth. By removing:

  • dirt
  • debris
  • moss
  • algae

Power washing can significantly enhance the home’s aesthetics. However, power washing comes with its own drawbacks. While it can aid in extending the lifespan of a roof by preventing certain types of damage facilitated by the accumulation of substances like algae, it can also potentially damage the roof if not done correctly.

Chlorine Bleach Solution: An Alternative Approach

For those hesitant to power wash their roofs, a diluted chlorine bleach solution can be an effective alternative. This solution, when sprayed on the roof, can eliminate algae growth. However, the use of harsh chemicals like bleach can risk damage to the roofing surface if not properly diluted and applied.

Ensuring the proper dilution of bleach with water and its careful application is critical. After all, the intention is to protect your roof, not damage it.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you notice any signs of damage, such as:

  • discoloration
  • watermarks
  • dark spots
  • peeling paint
  • mold on your chimney
  • rotting wood
  • crumbling drywall

It is advisable to contact a professional for assistance. These issues may indicate underlying problems that require expert attention to resolve. As soon as you notice signs of potential algae growth, it’s critical to reach out to a roofing professional in order to prevent further damage.

A professional roofing contractor can provide various services including algae cleaning, shingle repair, or even a roof replacement based on the severity of algae damage. Don’t underestimate the potential damage roof algae can cause; when in doubt, seek professional help.

New Roof vs. Repair: Assessing Your Options

A professional contractor is essential in assessing the extent of algae damage to advise on whether the roof needs:

  • Cleaning
  • Repairs
  • Shingle replacement
  • A complete overhaul

The extent of algae damage on an existing roof helps determine whether minor repairs will suffice or if severe damage necessitates a full roof replacement, especially for older roofs.

This decision might seem daunting, but with professional assistance, you can be assured of making a choice that’s best for your home and your finances.

rooftop algae close view

The Impact of Algae on Energy Bills and Curb Appeal

The impact of roof algae extends beyond the roof itself. Algae growth on roofs:

  • Absorbs more sunlight, leading to increased heat within the home’s upper floors and attic
  • Raises energy consumption and utility bills
  • Causes the protective granules of roof shingles to deteriorate, amplifying heat absorption and further contributing to energy inefficiency.

Moreover, the presence of algae detracts from a home’s curb appeal and can potentially reduce its market value due to the negative aesthetic impact. Ultimately, roof algae is not merely a roof problem; it affects the entire home.

Let Us Take Care of Your Roof

A well-maintained roof is not just about aesthetics; it’s about protecting your investment and ensuring the health of your home. In this article, we’ve explored effective removal techniques and explained when to seek professional help.

So, if algae is causing an issue with your roof, contact us at Clean Cut. We’ll make sure that your roof has curb appeal and maintains its structural integrity.

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