Is it Mold or Just Old?
Although dirt, moss and algae can potentially affect many different types of roofs, asphalt shingles are especially prone to staining and discoloration. In the 1970’s and 80’s, many shingle manufacturers began strengthening their products by adding extra limestone to the mix. Although the limestone did indeed extend the life of the shingles, it also provided a food source for an algae known as Gloeocapsa Magma. As with any algae, its best growth conditions are wet, humid, and shady areas which makes our climate favorable for their growth. This also explains why growth typically takes place on the north side of structures as these areas generally get more shade and take longer to dry out from nightly dew and rain. In order to protect itself from ultraviolet rays, the algae will darken and when it rains, the algae spores are carried down the roof. This often results in large, unattractive black or green streaks that make a home’s roof look damaged and old. The good news is that the roof does not need to be replaced. The bad news is that the mold will not go away on its own and the problem may grow more severe over time.
What Happens If I Forgo Cleaning My Roof?
The spores of this algae spread through the air and by animals, landing on roofs all around. This is why it’s typical to see entire neighborhoods with blackened roofs. Not only will the neighborhood be affected, but if algae growth is allowed to continue, a layer of moss may begin to form on your roof. Contaminants like moss and algae hold moisture and prevent the shingles from deflecting heat or cooling down properly. Over time, the shingles will become brittle and begin to curl, warp, or lift exposing the underlying liner. Since the liner acts as a protective barrier between the wood portion of a roof and the elements, you may experience leaks and structural damage than can double the cost of repair.
What Is a Soft-Wash System?
There will always be claims of different ways to do any job, but there is only one safe and approved method for roof cleaning that follows the recommended guidelines of insurance companies and major shingle manufacturers. A soft-wash system consists of a high-volume low-pressure application combined with highly specialized chemicals to treat and cure any infection of algae, moss, or lichens. Soft-washing uses almost no pressure and therefore the streaks and stains are removed from your roof without damaging the shingles. Beware of claims of “low-pressure” cleaning systems that may actually use a gas-powered high-pressure washer.
Why Not Use a Pressure Washer?
A shingle is covered with tiny stones which form the hard shell that insulates the roof against extreme heat and protects against hail, falling debris, and harmful UV radiation. High-pressure cleaning methods will dislodge these stones, damaging the shingles and affecting the appearance of your roof. Once these granules dislodge, your shingles will be vulnerable to the elements which leads to early roof failure and voids any warranty you many have from the shingle manufacturer.
How Is My Roof Cleaned?
With a soft-wash system, most of the cleaning is done from the ground or from a ladder at the gutter line. We also have specially designed attachments for our ladders that keep them off of your gutters to prevent any dents or dings. We usually work as a two-person crew and as one crew member washes the roof, the other keeps surrounding areas thoroughly watered to ensure that they are unaffected in case of overspray. Because we use specially formulated cleaning solutions, soft washing actually kills off algae and mold and sterilizes it to solve the infection. In order to prevent any chemicals from affecting your surrounding landscaping, downspouts extensions are added and any large amounts of debris on the roof are bagged and removed.
Will It Harm My Landscaping?
Our goal is to not only clean your roof, but to also protect your family, pets, plants, and surrounding landscaping. By operating as a two-member team, we are able to pre-soak and continually saturate all of the plants and surrounding areas as a precaution. Our trained staff is also well-versed in keeping overspray and runoff to a minimum. Our specialized chemical formula is a biodegradable, non-corrosive cleaning agent designed to specifically target individual types of fungus and algae while leaving behind inhibitors that prevent them from growing back. For those that are sensitive to using any type of chemical agents, we also offer an eco-friendly product that contains no bleach.
Will It Work For Metal Roofs?
Some manufactures offer lifetime warranties on metal roofs, but that does not mean they are impervious to mold. Contaminants like algae, dirt, and pollen prevent the a roof from shedding water properly. As moisture gets trapped, it provides the perfect environment for mold growth and encourages the formation of rust. We understand that protecting your investment is a priority. With our soft wash system, we guarantee the same results no matter what the material.
What If I Have a Cedar Shake Roof?
A cedar shake roof offers a truly unique look to a home. Although aesthetically appealing, few homeowners are aware of the maintenance required for a cedar shake roof to withstand the elements. The roof is made up of two components: an underlayment and the shingle. The underlayment protects your home from water intrusion and the shingles protect the underlayment. If neglected, moss, mold, and algae can form and deteriorate the shingles causing them to buckle, split, and rot. The humidity in Rochester makes roof cleaning imperative in order to protect and preserve your cedar shake roof.
How Long Will It Last?
Homes on mature lots will likely require treatments more frequently due to the shade and moisture created by larger trees. If your home is near the water in Rochester, roof cleanings should also be scheduled more frequently due to the moisture in the air. Remember that mold travels through the air so if you live in a neighborhood where all of the roofs have black streaks, chances are that eventually your roof will look the same. Our specially formulated cleaning solution is designed to not only clean the roof but help prevent the mold from coming back. We are so sure of the results that we offer a three-year guarantee.