When dark stains or streaks begin to accumulate on a rooftop the culprit is a microscopic organism called Gloeocapsa magma. This organism thrives in environments that have an ample supply of warmth and moisture, such as the rooftops across College Station. Gloeocapsa magma, or more commonly referred to as algae, can destroy the aesthetic beauty of a home.
If left untreated, this organism has the potential to slowly eat away at the structural integrity of a roof, via water damage and consumption of the limestone found in composite shingles. There are several ways to handle this unsightly invasion. The least expensive solution is to properly clean your roof and prevent future growth.
Remove Dark Stains
Occasionally cleaning your rooftop is an efficient way to reduce the growth of dark stains and streaks. To achieve this, the first step is to decide which cleaning solution you prefer to use. Roof cleaners, such as Spray and Forget and Wet & Forget, provide an optimal solution, because they are biodegradable as well as lye and bleach free.
Chlorine bleach is highly toxic to the environment, even if it is diluted. With enough exposure, bleach can harm plants, animals, and humans. Homeowners that prefer to use this chemical should consider using an oxygen-based bleach instead. This less invasive version of bleach is more eco-friendly and less likely to destroy landscaping.
When preparing your preferred bleach solution, mix in more water than bleach. Use a ratio of about 60:40. If using a diluted chlorine bleach solution, spray nearby plants with water and cover them up with a tarp before starting. Be sure to collect excess cleaner captured by your gutter system so that the liquid can be properly disposed of later.
After deciding which roof cleaning solution you opt for, the next step is applying the liquid to your roof. During this process, avoid using a pressure washer. Doing so can cause permanent damage to your roof and may void manufacturer warranties. Instead, use a pump garden sprayer and remember the following tips.
- Only Stand On Dry Areas
- Start Near The Top
- Make Columns Less Than Four Feet Across
- Leave Solution On For 15-20 minutes
- Do Not Let Cleaner Dry
- Rinse With Water
- Repeat Once If Necessary
Rooftop stains may be removed with a thorough cleaning, however, they will return if you do not apply further preventative measures. Bear in mind that repeatedly exposing your rooftop to a corrosive chemical bath can have adverse effects in the long run.
To reduce the need to clean your rooftop, install either a zinc or copper strip at the top of your roof. Zinc and copper are natural repellents to algae, with copper being the most effective. In addition, zinc has the tendency to make roofs super shiny, making it somewhat less desirable than copper.
Each type of chemical strip slowly releases small particles of zinc or copper over time. The end result creates a protective coating that inhibits algae growth on your roof. To see this in action, take not of houses with abrupt algae free sections amidst dark roof streaks. Typically this occurs due to either zinc or copper being used in roof vents or chimneys above.
When installing your preferred chemical strip at the peak of your roof, be careful not to leave any nails exposed. Doing so can cause leaks. Also, make sure that the sealant of the roof shingles has not been broken. If they are, your roof may become vulnerable to wind damage. Nevertheless, be sure to leave about an inch and a half exposed for optimal results.
Other Ways to Prevent Algae Growth
With the weather in College Station perfect for algae blooming conditions, outbreaks of the organism can be a real hassle to manage. To further reduce the likelihood of dark roof streaks recurring, consider the following options.
- Expose Rooftop to Sun by Trimming Tree Branches
- Clean Gutters Frequently to Promote Water Drainage
- Remove Debris From Roof As Soon As Possible
Regardless of whether you opt to use a pre-made roof cleaner, create your own mixture, or go straight for the chemical strips, you deserve to have a clean, algae free roof.
For homeowners in need of a new rooftop or maintenance here in College Station, consider equipping your home with an algae resistant roof. Currently, composite shingles are available with copper fragments mixed in. Professional roofing companies, such as Schulte Roofing, offer this roof type to homeowners as a preventative measure against dark roof stains.