Denver Roofing: Article About Roof Maintenance Tips
Over time, damaging algae, moss or lichens can grow on asphalt shingles and leave heavy roof stains. While many people mistake these black stains for roof mold, the staining is actually caused by the dead cells of resilient algae called Gloeocapsa Magma. The algae come from airborne spores that land and feed on roofs. It is prevalent on damp asphalt roofs that lack sunlight and feeds on the shingle's limestone filler. Unless it is removed, it will continue to grow and darken.
Roof mold occurs when the Gloeocapsa algae die and leave an accumulation of dead cells behind. Since the dead cells are dark in color, they cause black streaks to appear on the roof. The stains commonly show up after many months or years. Knowing the underlying cause of these stains could save a homeowner from expensive repairs and worries. Homeowners with severe roof stains can begin to correct the problem by contacting an experienced Denver roofing expert who can inspect the roof.
There are several ways homeowners can remove algae and black mold themselves. Chlorine bleach is one solution, but it is a temporary fix, as the stains will shortly return. In addition, any runoff will kill plants and grass and will interfere with termite protection products. Detergents and cleaners such as trisodium phosphate, known as TSP, mixed with bleach and water is another solution.
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However, cleansers should be only lightly sprayed on the roof and rinsed thoroughly and carefully with a garden hose. Moreover, these products can cause a roof to become slippery, so homeowners should use extra care during the job.
During the process of removing destructive roof organisms, homeowners should beware of several potential dangers. First, they should make sure the method of cleaning and the products to be used are safe for the roof. For example, using a power washer or stiff brush may further damage roofing materials, leaving the homeowner with a larger problem. Therefore, roof cleaning should not be done if the roof's shingles appear worn out and brittle. A skilled roofer should replace shingles in this condition because any attempt by the homeowners to clean the shingles will cause them to break off.
Regarding the prevention of roof algae, homeowners might consider removing large trees or overhanging branches so that the roof can receive more sunlight. Similarly, installing copper or zinc strips along the roof's ridge will produce metal salts when mixed with rain, which will stop the growth of algae. Another method for keeping algae at bay is to remove any accumulating organic debris from the roof such as pine needles and leaves.