Roofing Repair: How to Clean Your Roof

February 26, 2023

If you regularly inspect your roof, you’d discover that it’s not as new and attractive as when you fixed it. You may see mold-like things and wonder how you can eliminate them from the roof. The truth is that these mold-like things you’re seeing are either moss or algae, according to roofing repair contractors.

If they are thick, green patches, then you have a moss problem on your hands. These organisms are moisture-loving, and your roof is a perfect place for them to breed since it’s exposed directly to the rain. The downside to these mosses and algae on your roof, apart from making them unattractive, is that they reduce the performance of the roof shingles.

They do this by causing them to curl up and blow off, eventually resulting in leaks. This is why it’s essential to know the correct way to clean your roof and eliminate these unwanted nuisances. In this article, the best roofing repair contractors in Anderson, SC, will explain what you should use to clean your roofs.

What’s Staining My Roof?

Many people mistake the black discoloration and streaks present on roofs to be mold or mildew. The truth is that they are algae or moss. Although some similarities exist, algae and moss are very different.

Algal growth is common in coastal and humid regions. The most popular type, Gloeocapsa magma (blue-green algae), protects itself from harsh ultraviolet rays by generating a dark pigmented sheath.

This discoloration usually starts as tiny spots and changes into streaks on the roof plane. Then, after several weeks or months, the algae becomes visible.

Algae spores are transported via wind or flying animals and can spread fast from one rooftop to another. That is why it is common to see algae growth on rooftops throughout an affected neighborhood. There is no scientific proof that algae damage asphalt shingles, although it will affect the beauty of a roof.

However, algae will harm the long-term effectiveness of cool asphalt shingles or highly reflective roofs.

Moss is a non-vascular plant that gets water via its leaves instead of the root like other plants. This implies that they require a moist environment to survive. Their growth is highly favored on rooftops that receive less direct sunlight and those that stay damp for long periods.

Overhanging tree branches contribute additional shade and drop debris on the roof that holds in moisture and acts as a food source for moss. Moss spores are also spread via wind and animals like algae.

However, mosses can damage asphalt shingles. They can cause the leading edges of the shingles to lift or curl, which increases the risk of shingles blowing off in the event of a strong wind. In extreme cases, moss build-up can cause lateral water movement resulting in moisture damage to the roof planes or may even cause leaks.

How To Reduce Moss or Algal Growth According to Roofing Contractors

The following are steps to take to reduce algal and moss growths on your roof.

  • Ensure the roof receives direct sunlight. Cut any tree branches that may be preventing this.
  • Trimming these tree branches will also reduce the amount of debris present on the roof that these organisms feed off.
  • Keep gutters unclogged and clean to permit adequate water drainage. Ensure water channels from an upper roof aren’t draining onto a lower rooftop.
  • When it’s time for roof replacement, consider adding zinc or copper strips to prevent algae and moss or installing asphalt shingles that incorporate algae-resistant copper granules.

Things to Note Before Cleaning Your Roof

Before cleaning your roof, there are some essential things to note.

  • Perform the roof cleaning on a cool, overcast day. Sunny weather will make the cleaning solution dry up faster, limiting its cleansing effect.
  • Water the plants surrounding your roof and cover them to prevent the strong cleaning solution from affecting them.
  • Remove debris from the roof.
  • Wear personal protective equipment.
  • Do not use a pressure washer which can loosen shingles and damage your roof.

What Should You Use to Clean Your Roof? 

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association says that the most effective way to wash moss and algae off a roof is with a 50:50 mix of laundry strength liquid chlorine bleach and water. This mixture should be applied with a sprayer and allowed to sit on the rooftop for 15-20 mins. It may be necessary to leave the solution longer.

Afterward, the mixture is rinsed away with low-pressure water. Algae will be eliminated and washed out with subsequent rains. Moss will lessen over time and may be removed using a leaf blower. In extreme cases, it may take more than a single bleach treatment to eradicate all of the moss.

What Should I Do? Clean My Roof or Replace It?

When you see your roof looking dirty and messy, you may wonder what the best option is. Roofing repair contractors usually agree. You want to know whether to replace or just clean it. Most times, the rooftop just needs a little cleaning, and it’d be as good as new.

The moss and algae that build up on the roof shingles sometimes make them appear like they are in a worse condition than they are. Experienced roofing repair contractors in Anderson can help inspect your roof and give expert advice on whether to clean or replace it.

If your roof requires cleaning, replacement, or repair, the repair contractors will help you with that. They will also recommend using shingles made of copper or other material that can repel moss and algae.

How Often Should I Clean My Roof?

When deciding how often you should clean your roof, there are some factors to consider. This is because over-cleaning can cause some damage to the rooftop. Some of the factors to consider include.

  • The climate you live in
  • The amount of sun the roof gets
  • The color of your roof shingles

Under climates characterized by heavy moisture, homeowners may need to clean their roofs every 2-5 years. In dry climates, however, this number may increase. To know for sure, it’s recommended that you seek the opinion of roofing repair contractors.

The color of your roof shingles also plays a vital role in the frequency of your home’s roof cleaning. It is harder to notice dirt in dark-colored shingles, unlike in lighter-colored shingles. As a result, dark-colored roofs can hide their dirtiness for extended periods, so you can hold off cleaning until necessary.

Contact the Best Roofing Repair Contractors in Anderson, SC, Today!

Algal and moss buildup on a roof is an unpleasing sight and can damage roof shingles’ effectiveness. Therefore, they must be cleaned out from time to time. The best Anderson local roofing contractors can help access your roof and determine whether they need to be cleaned or replaced. Contact us today for more information.

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