Roof Cleaning: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

By January 30, 2021 No Comments

A dirty roof with visible algae growth

There is no part of your house quite as exposed as the roof. Every hour of every day, year after year, the roof of your house bravely faces the elements. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that your roof can incur some serious damage which needs serious measures to fix.

Here are the things that not only make your roof dirty but damage it too, and what you need to do about them:

1. Dirt & Dust

Regular, old-fashioned dirt and dust are washed away with the rain. As such, they generally require no intervention from you.

2. Algae

If you notice black stains on your roof, you’ve probably spotted algae. Also known as gloeocapsa magma, algae thrives in shaded areas of the roof and takes on a blue-green hue only when it receives little light.

For a DIY defense against algae, make a mixture of chlorine bleach and water in a 50:50 ratio. Fill up a sprayer with the solution, then thoroughly wash and cover the roof with it using a low pressure setting. Leave it on for around 30 minutes, then wash it off with clean water in the form of a low-pressure spray.

3. Moss

Although moss is a plant, it does not result in the kind of green roof you should be looking for. Its roots don’t penetrate deep into the surface, but it needs plenty of moisture to grow. This is why you’ll find it in the sections of your roof which receive little sunlight and remain wet for longer periods of time.

You can get rid of minor moss growth in the same way as algae, using the method described above.

4. Lichens

Lichens are the result of algae and fungus coexisting. Similar to how plants have roots, these nuisances have tentacle-like structures that they drive into the shingles on your roof. Lichens and their ‘roots’ retain water, so they accelerate the usual aging process of any material that they grow on.

To eliminate the lichens on your roof, fill up a sprayer with a solution of water, vinegar and dish soap. Spray and cover the roof thoroughly with the solution and leave it on for a few days. Once the lichens are dead, you’ll need to scrub them off the roof by hand and follow the scrubbing with a low-pressure spray of clean water to rinse your roof.

A man cleaning his roof

Remember that algae, moss and lichens damage your roof by first affecting the shingles, through moisture retention, heat absorption and material degradation. They also cause wood rot in any wooden elements of the roof, paving the way for mold which is extremely harmful for human and animal health.

Stay on top of any roof troubles (pun intended) through vigilance, dealing with minor issues yourself and, most importantly, having an annual inspection and cleanup done by a professional exterior cleaning company.

Our team of experienced professionals at Wash Pros Exterior Cleaning provides exceptional cleaning services as well as landscaping services in British Columbia. Whether it’s roof demossing in Port Alberni, window cleaning in Qualicum, siding cleaning in Nanaimo or gutter cleaning in Parksville, you can count on our effective methods to give you reliable results.

Contact us today to obtain a FREE estimate for your house.



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