Roof Cleaning

Did you know those ugly black streaks on roofs are not only eyesores, but they are also downright destructive? Left untreated, those streaks will literally eat away at shingles until the only remaining option is to replace the roof.

What Causes Roof Stains?

Those unattractive black roof “stains” are actually a robust breed of blue-green algae called Gloeocapsa Magma. Unless the algae are properly and thoroughly removed, it will multiply and spread and can shave years off of a roof’s life through a premature deterioration of shingle granules.

Also, it’s important to recognize that Gloeocapsa Magma is invisible during its early stages and only turns black after it is more advanced. In other words, just because only part of a roof has black streaks does not mean the rest of the roof has not been affected.

How Does Gloeocapsa Magma Destroy Shingles?

Roofing shingles typically consist of three parts. They are fiberglass sheets, petroleum adhesive, and ceramic or stone aggregate. The most important portion of the roofing shingle is the aggregate. It protects the rest of the system from degradation caused by both weather and UV rays.

Over the past 30 years, shingle manufacturers have significantly reduced the amount of asphalt in shingles. They have added other ingredients instead. They consist of items like limestone. Gloeocapsa Magma feast on limestone, which is why roof algae have become such a widespread problem.

Left untreated, the algae literally eats away at the roof until the only option left is roof replacement, which typically costs several thousands of dollars.

Additionally, shingle granules are designed to help deflect UV rays and heat away from the roof’s surface. When the granules have deteriorated or are covered in algae, the attic gets hotter and electric bills to rise.

What’s the Solution?

380 Power Wash uses a method called soft washing to clean roofs. It is a chemical treatment to kill Mold, Mildew, Algae & other organic growth using low pressure and a high volume of water to rinse and apply chemicals.

There are many available options for the eradication of Gloeocapsa Magna the most common and most widely accepted solution being an application of Sodium Hypochlorite as well as Copper Sulfate.

The preferred technique of application of these chemicals is low-pressure washing. This will avoid costly damage to the structure. Many roof cleaning contractors offer this method of cleaning.

The good news is that in many cases, a good cleaning using the proper techniques can eliminate the algae, prolong the roof’s life, and potentially lower electric bills.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) recommends that shingles be cleaned using non-pressure, chemical methods. Using too high of pressure may remove the algae, but it can also remove granules from the shingles, which again will degrade the roof’s lifespan. In fact, using high pressure often voids any roofing manufacturer’s warranty.

Finally, in addition to killing the destructive algae from roofs, a clean roof is much more attractive than a dirty roof. A clean roof instantly increases a home’s curb appeal, and in turn, is one of the most cost-effective improvements a home or building owner can make.

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