Let’s face it shingle roofing, especially that installed on homes in the northern, humid states will develop some sort of unsightly dark staining or streaking from an accumulation of dirt, defective shingling, mold growth, mildew or the most common culprit algae. Algae are easily spread because it is spread via airborne spores. Little harm is actually done to roofing from algae however the stains are unsightly and decrease the value of your home.
There is a method that can be used to avoid algae stains or various inexpensive techniques to clean them from roofing once they have occurred. Metal flashing can be utilized to prevent algae growth from occurring. This occurs because the copper and zinc coating on the galvanized sheet metal is toxic to algae. When it rains small amounts of metal get washed down the roof preventing the algae from growing.
Another way to prevent algae from growing on shingles is by installing shingling that is resistant to the growth of algae. Many roofing material manufacturers have started offering shingles that have copper granules mixed into their product. This development in roofing technology is something that homeowners should request when meeting with their new roof contractor.
Most important though, what do homeowners with algae growth already present on the roof do to clean their roofs? As suggested with any home improvement project requiring a ladder or being up on the roof the first suggestion is to hire a professional roofer. Professionals have the knowledge, time and tools available to remove the algae from your roof in a safe manner.
When using chemical cleaners to remove the built up algae from shingling the following items come in handy:
If you do decide to clean the algae off of your roof on your own it is important to take safety precautions to ensure your safety. Shingles that are wet even more dangerous so make sure to wear slip resistance footwear and a safety harness. Be sure to also protect your eyes and skin when working with chemicals. Another thing to consider is the vegetation beneath to avoid damage to landscaping. Try to pick a cloudy day to work on to prevent the cleaner from evaporating before it has time to set into the shingle.
The basic recipe for the cleaning solutions is a quart of bleach, a gallon of water and a quarter cup of TSP. Pour the ingredients together and transfer the solution into a sprayer. After applying the cleaning solution to the shingles rinse them using a garden hose.
If you wish to prevent the algae from growing but aren’t ready for a roof replacement with the newer algae resistant shingling try installing a small strip of copper or zinc coated sheet metal along the side of the roof ridge. This will offer those same benefits without having to replace your home roofing.
Let’s face it there are certain jobs that homeowners should feel confident about tackling on their own and others that should be left to the professionals. New roof installation is one of those home improvements that even the most experienced DIY homeowner shouldn’t tackle on their own. No matter how many YouTube videos you watch or books you read there are more benefits to hiring a professional then trying to do it yourself.
Let’s look into each one of these separately to fully understand why hiring a roofing contractor is better than installing or repairing a roof on your own.
Experience: Most homeowners don’t specialize in roof installation or roof repair. Most of us don’t have the expertise it takes to properly install a new roof. Roofing contractors are like all other professionals, they spend hour upon hour on roofs perfecting their techniques. In fact many professional roofers have spent a majority of their time before starting their own business working under roofing contractors with years of experience. Contractors, no matter what their specialty, are required to become licensed to work in their area of expertise.
Roofing contractors are also knowledgeable on the materials it will take to cover a variety of different roofs. Whereas many do it yourselfers tend to overestimate or underestimate just how much they will need in materials. It won’t matter how much preplanning or research that is done installing a new roof on your home for the first time is an experiment. Do you want that for your home?
Safety: When working on a ladder or roof there is always a certain aspect of risk involved. A number of accidents occur each year that are related to well meaning DIY homeowners that have fallen off their roofs resulting in injury or death. Consider the last time you took on a new skill. It is almost guaranteed that the all of your concentration went into completing the task at hand verse your surroundings. In certain situations this may be just fine but in roofing it could be incredibly dangerous.
Professional roofing contractors have the tools to get the job done while having the tools to keep them safe doing it. Changes occur within every specialty in construction, the same is true of roofing. Let the professionals who are skilled in their job, using their tools and techniques take on the job of replacing or repairing your homes shingle roof. It will keep you safe on the ground where you belong.
Time: Most homeowners don’t have the time it takes to spend replacing their homes roof. A full crew of skilled contractors can take up to a week to strip off old roofing shingles, replace worn out roofing and install the new roofing. A lot of things factor into this: the weather, the number of crew members and the type of roofing material being applied. The time you estimate that it will take you to complete your roof will be added to if the weather doesn’t cooperate, more materials are needed or any other number of factors.
Before you commit all of your free time to installing a new roof to your home really consider all of the benefits found with hiring a professional roofing contractor to do it for you.