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Black streaks

There certainly are a lot of questions surrounding the topic of roof cleaning. Can you clean an asphalt shingled roof ? Can you clean a roof without harming the shingles ? What are the black streaks on my roof ? What will happen if I don't have my roof cleaned ?

In many areas of the country roof algae ( Gloeocapsa Magma ) is becoming a major concern for homeowners. This type of algae needs three things to thrive. The right amount of sunlight ( or lack of sunlight ) a damp area, and food. Roofs have become a favored host for this algae because it offers everything needed.

The algae feed on the crushed limestone that is used in the manufacturing of asphalt shingles. Limestone is used to keep the shingle flexible and also to help the fiberglass matting absorb the asphalt during production. North facing sections of roofs are the first areas that the algae become apparent. This is caused by the fact that it see's less sunlight, stays damp longer, and the food is there.

Besides making a roof look very dirty and diminishing the home's curb appeal and value, what other damage is being done ? When the roof algae is not taken care of it prevents the shingles from reflecting the UV rays of the sun. Because the shingles cannot reflect heat from the sun, they start to fail prematurely. Signs of wear are curled corners, wavy or humped shingles, broke or loose shingles, and excessive amounts of granules from the shingles appearing in the gutters just to name a few.

Most homeowners will notice and become concerned with the unsightly black streaks caused by the algae on their roof long before any serious damage is done.

The good news is that shingles can be cleaned properly without harming the shingles. The major shingle manufacturers say so themselves. They even have guidelines and suggestions for the proper cleaning of asphalt shingles without harming them. The proper method includes a low pressure ( soft wash ) cleaner application followed by a light rinsing. This rinsing can either be done after the chemical application, or for better protection, the cleaner is allowed to dwell on the roof until a rain rinses the shingles. NOTE: Never allow a pressure washer to be used on your roof.

Many roofs have been damaged by someone attempting to blast the algae off the shingles using a pressure washer. Doing this blows the protective granules off the shingles. Thus shortening the longevity of the roof.

If you notice black streaks on your roof, or know someone else who is, don't loose hope and think you will need to spend thousands on a new roof. First give us a call and we access the situation with your roof for you.

A proper roof cleaning can definitely safe you money.


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