The dark spots and stains that you notice on roofs as you drive by are actually caused by Gloeocapsa magma, a blue-green algae, native to warm and humid climates. Climates in and around the Bryan, TX area are particularly susceptible due to the humid air blowing inland from the Gulf of Mexico. Though algae stains are not damaging in the eyes of College Station roofing contractors, but they can leave an unappealing aesthetic appearance to your home.
How to Get Rid of the Algae Stains
The best way for a homeowner to clean their roof is with a water hose, water, and bleach. Using a power washer or any high pressure system will remove granules form shingles, potentially causing leaks and future water damage.
A roof wash should consist of a 50/50 mix of bleach and water. Many homeowners have vulnerable plants around their homes. With advanced planning you can cover your plants if you would like or you can spray them down with a protectant coat of clean water.
After the roof wash is completed, be sure to thoroughly rinse the surroundings with fresh, clean water. Be sure to also wash off any plants that are growing near the foundation of your house. The fresh, clean water will dilute any remaining bleach particles to safe levels for plants.
How a New Roof Prevents Algae Growth
Many homeowners like to reduce the amount of maintenance their roof receives. Reasons range from costs savings to age to safety. One way homeowners avoid the algae problem is by designing a roof that hides the discoloration that algae brings to a roofing system.
Alloy tipped roofing shingles are also available for design and build as well. Alloy-tipped shingles contain granules of copper or zinc. These alloys actually kill algae and other bacterial and fungal species on contact and have been used in medicine for hundreds of years (though the true nature of their antimicrobial properties was not always known).
Copper, zinc, and other common alloys destroy algae through chemical reactions. Specifically the copper metal produces free radicals that chemically bind to structures in algae’s cellular biology. The free radicals cause algae cells to rupture in less than one minute.
Prevent Algae Growth on Existing Roofs
Homeowners do not necessarily need to get a new roof from College Station roofing contractors in order to prevent algae build-up. By placing strips under the top row of shingles (those closest to the ridge of the roof) and leaving a small portion exposed to the environment, ensures algae prevention.
The same free radicals that inhibit algae growth during chemical reactions are washed down the surface of the roof with normal rain. This provides the roof with an algae killing coating. Other invasive species like moss are also affected by alloys like copper.
Schulte Roofing is a College Station roofing contractor with over 100 years of combined experience. If you have an algae growth problem or just need more help, visit Schulte Roofing today at their home office.