That roof over your head is doing a lot of good. It protects you and your belongings from the elements. It is an integral part of your home’s structure. It is an investment you need to protect. Regular roof cleaning not only extends the life of your roof, it also boosts your curb appeal. Let us explain.
Why should you clean your roof?
Those Black Streaks
One of the most common questions we get regarding roof appearance has to do with those black streaks you see so often running down shingles. Customers will come to us wondering if they need a new roof. We’ve been asked if it was firework damage, or roof failure, or shingle breakdown or the like, and the answer here is “nope.” It’s actually an alge, one that thrives in the Carolinas. The technical name is Gloeocapsa Magma. Sometimes it’s referred to simply as “magma.” Magma isn’t just an eyesore, it is a parasite on your roof, feeding off the limestone filler in the shingles, slowly breaking them down. When these black marks appear, you don’t need a new roof, you just need a thorough roof cleaning. Using biodegradable solutions, roof soft washing removes the bacteria and can serve to prevent new magma from taking hold for up to two years.
Other Organic Debris
Magma isn’t the only roof parasite common to our area. Moss is an organism spread by spores that can thrive on rooftops with the right mix of moisture and shade. In its growth phase, moss will appear in bright green clumps, but it may turn brown during drier seasons. Either way, it is not good. Moss growth can lift shingles, exposing the wood sheathing and roof underlayment to the elements. It creates a moist environment on the roof where bacteria and mold can thrive, resulting in even more invasive roof damage.
Roof mold is a fungi that grows from spores that feed off organic material that has fallen on your roof. Mold is not only damaging to the roof structure, it can also become a health hazard it left unchecked. It can grow on the shingles and the wood trim at the roof line. Mold causes wood rot and, like magma, it will erode shingles. When disturbed by wind, the mold growth will spread through spores which can also be inhaled by people. Mold can wash off your roof onto the ground and be tracked into your home. Mold has been known to trigger asmatics and those with certain allergies.
Mildew in another problematic fungi that can grow on the roof. It typically has a white or gray powdery appearance. Our climate and environment can encourage mildew growth as it thrives in areas that remain damp (think shady trees, humidity and rainfall). It will usually have a powdery white appearance. Mildew spreads very quickly and can be a health hazard, similar to mold.
Lichen is an organism that grows out of algae and fungus. On the roof it usually presents as a light or minty green covering on the shingles. Lichen is remarkably hardy and can survive periods of time with no water. It can damage the roof when its strands penetrate the shingle surface. Left untreated, it can shorten the lifespan of the roof.
Each of these organic growths – magma, moss, mold, mildew and lichen – breeds moisture, which will exacerbate roof deterioration. And, each is fueled by the moist environment found in our area. Leaving dirt and leaves on the roof further feeds these problems – literally – as it can provide nutrients the organisms need to survive. But the good news is that roof soft washing is effective at cleaning away the dirt and removing the unwanted growth.
Why Soft Roof Washing Makes Sense
Traditional power washing is never a safe way to clean your roof. The force of water can damage shingles, tiles, flashing, gutters, vents and chimneys. In fact, power washing can void your manufacturer’s warranty on your roof. At CHS Clean, we only use the soft pressure washing technique for roof cleaning. Soft pressure roof washing involves traditional pressure washing tools, but incorporates special nozzles designed to protect the integrity and finish of the surface. The nozzles disperse water at a lower psi than the traditional pressure washing techniques do. Special biodegradable chemicals are utilized to safely and effectively remove the organic materials during the washing process. The result is a clean, structurally unaffected roof free of organic debris.
Our soft washing technique is compatible with most roofing materials, including:
- Asphalt shingles
- Wood shingles
- Tile shingles
- Metal roofing
Roof cleaning is an affordable way to enhance the appearance of your home and extend the life of your roof. Most roofing experts recommend cleaning every one to two years. Usually a visual inspection is all you need to know if it is time. Not sure what you have going on up there? Contact us for a no-obligation inspection. You can trust CHS Clean for a safe, thorough and effective roof cleaning.