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.