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How to prevent algae on your roof

by: Kirsten Land on January 8th, 2019 about Roofing Advice

Many homeowners are unaware algae can grow on your roof, but it’s becoming more of an issue. You can see it driving down almost any street, no matter how nice or how new the homes are. Algae isn’t mold, mildew, moss, or tree sap. It’s actually tiny bacteria that produces a dark material to protect itself from the sun.

What makes algae hard to stop is that the bacteria travels on the wind. The more humid the area, the more you can have algae growing on your roof. While algae does very little damage to your roof, it can leave unsightly stains and discoloration. Not to mention it can really hurt the value of your home.

Here are a few ways to help prevent algae from growing on your roof. Before you attempt to clear the algae, it is a good idea to consult with a roofing professional to have your roof inspected and treated properly.

Buy algae-resistant shingles

Recently, many roofing manufacturers have noticed algae growing on roofs, especially in more humid areas. To combat this issue, manufacturers began mixing copper granules into roofing products to produce algae-resistant shingles. While these shingles aren’t always used, they are available and can be a good choice for roofs in areas with high humidity.

Clean with chemicals

While algae stains aren’t pretty, they can be removed using a variety of cleaning products that also help keep the algae from growing back for a while. However, it’s important to use caution when using chemicals on your roof, as you don’t want to void the manufacturer’s warranty on your shingles by using the wrong product.

If cleaning your roof with chemicals, be sure to use proper safety equipment, including safety goggles, rubber gloves, safety rope, slip-resistant shoes, and the right ladder.

Algae prevention

In order to keep algae from returning once your roof is clean, you can install a strip of copper or zinc coated sheet metal along each side of the roof just below the ridge. Copper and galvanized sheet metal are available in rolls of various widths and thickness and can be found at your local metal or hardware store or purchased online.

When it comes to algae or other stains on your roof, there are some do-it-yourself options, but we always recommend having a professional come out to inspect your roof to ensure you don’t cause unwanted damage in your attempts to clean it yourself. Contact us today to schedule a free roof inspection.

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