More often white-colored asphalt shingles change appearance from white to brown to black streaks over an extended period of time. The black staining effect has been discovered to be caused by natural pigments produce by algae. Fortunately, such discoloration doesn’t mean structural damage; however, it is an aesthetic issue and very unpleasant to the eyes of viewers.
The removal of such discoloration caused by algae can be easy and inexpensive through DIY methods such as scrubbing, oxygen bleach, and power washers. Although it is possible to accomplish this task, algae is slippery so it is quite dangerous to walk on a roof and perform such work. A better idea is to seek the help of an expert roofer to complete this labor-intensive task.
To restore the normal appearance of the top of a house, here are a few tips to follow to eradicate algae discoloration.
- Bleach Solution – The first step is to make an oxygen bleach solution. This can be done by mixing a cup of liquid detergent, a cup of oxygen bleach and a gallon of water. Put the solution inside a 2-gallon garden sprayer and shake it well to mix it well.
- Tools – Gather all the tools needed for the task such as: gloves, rubber boots, broom, oxygen bleach solution, long garden-hose, and a ladder.
- Underlying Vegetation – Before climbing and positioning a ladder in place, lay plastic covering on any vegetation to protect it from the caustic cleaning solution.
- Boots and Gloves – Put on rubber boots and gloves before climbing up on the roof.
- Debris – Clean the roof’s surface of any debris such as leaves, twigs, pine needles, and granulation to prepare the surface for the cleaning process. Proceeding directly to the removal of algae is ineffective without clearing the area before the application of any household chemical solution.
- Inspect – Inspect the surface for the extent of infestation in order to identify the locations that will need to be treated.
- Application – Spray the cleaning solution on the affected areas and allow the chemicals to penetrate the discoloration; let the solution sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Brush – and Brush – Brush away dead algae while spraying the surface with water to remove the stain. Avoid harsh brushing because it could loosen and remove shingle granules. Apply additional solution if the stain is hard to remove. Perform the process until the surface is free from any black stain from the algae.
Hire an Expert
It may be better to contact a professional contractor to handle the job. Such a person has more experience in using different cleaning strategies suitable for the task such as pressure washers and the use of zinc strips. The use of pressure washers should be done by professionals because incorrect usage of the device could cause serious damage by loosening the mineral granules that provides protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Likewise, the application of metal strips to the ridge of the roof is best done by a roofer. These strips will eventually clean and prevent algae infestation through the oxidation process.
The good news for algae discoloration is that it can be removed either by a DIY method or by hiring a professional; the main difference is the cleaning cost and outcome. Removal of algae from a roof is crucial; if such an infestation is left untreated, it could cause actual harm as well as decrease the property value of the building. To bring back the natural beauty and functionality of a roofing system just follow the above simple tips to get rid of that ugly discoloration. Otherwise, contact a professional roofer for assistance and a good cleaning result!
Does your Houston roof need some immediate attention? Schulte Roofing of Navasota provides outstanding service to the entire Houston metropolitan area and can help with any necessary roofing tasks!