Cleaning Roof from Algae and Moss

Roof Algae Cleaning Is Not Complex

roof algae
When people finally get around to understanding that it’s roof algae that is causing the black stains on their roof and not dirt or grime then they usually try to figure out if there’s a solution and what exactly can be done. For some reason, they assume that the remedy must be extremely technical or scientific. But it really isn’t complex at all.

Your first option might be to try the myriad of options and products for roof algae cleaning available on the internet. A bunch of roof cleaners has sprung up on the market and quite often they’ll have pretty good seasonal sales on their sites as well. These powders, foams, and concoctions are usually applied with a sprayer and then allowed to work on their own over time or used in conjunction with a power washer for more immediate results.

My preferred method, however, especially for those who want to make sure not to use pressure for roof cleaning is to turn to a typical household chemical that you’ll have either in the laundry room or pool shed. Yes, I’m talking about bleach and chlorine, which are both actually sodium hypochlorite. Doesn’t it make sense that if chlorine can clean the algae in your pool then it can clean the algae on your roof? Now roof algae can be quite hardy and so the mixture will need to be stronger than pool water, but the basic physics are the same.

This brings me to my next point. I always hear people say that they heard somewhere that bleach and chlorine are bad for cleaning roofs and that they will hurt the shingles and gutters and kill all the plants and other such nonsense. Let me put it this way to you – if you’re okay with swimming in this chemical and exposing your skin, eyes, and kids to it every time you go to the neighborhood pool then why should you be so scared of putting it on your roof? As long as any run-off or overspray is properly rinsed down and diluted then you have nothing to worry about.

Any home professional or inspector will tell you that cleaning a roof with non-pressure methods and a bleach-based solution is the proper way, and this opinion is also backed up by ARMA (the asphalt roofing manufacturers association) and GAF (North America’s largest shingle manufacturer). So you need not fear the algae on your roof as long as you have some bleach or chlorine around the house and a mind for safety during the cleaning. Apply the chemical. Rinse with water. Brag to your friends. That’s all there is to roof algae removal.

If you clean your roof correctly then it should stay clean for years. I would say the average is two to four years before the algae stains begin to show up again, though I’ve seen some roofs go as long as five to seven years or more before another cleaning is required. Compare this type of longevity with other types of home cleaning services and you can understand why there tends to be a price disparity. Roof algae cleaning is also much more dangerous and time-consuming than cleaning a carpet, for example, so you should expect that it’s going to cost more to hire this kind of workout.

Roof Moss Removal Is A Matter Of Chemicals And Patience

roof moss removal

Roof moss removal is a topic that is often expounded upon by people who have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. These self-professed “experts” often claim that the only way to clean the moss from a roof is to walk up onto the shingles with the biggest, baddest power-washing apparatus you can find and start blasting the stuff off. What these ill-informed contractors don’t know, however, is that there is an easier and safer way for most situations.

To be blunt, if you want to kill roof moss then you’d be wise to take a look at chemical cleaning methods first. There are chemical solutions that can be gently applied to roof moss which will completely destroy it and the root system without the need for any sort of power washing. If you’re using the right detergents with the correct ratio then the moss should turn from a green to a whitish color right before your eyes. If it turns a white color then you know it’s dead.

Once you’ve used an appropriate roof moss killer then it’s just a matter of time before Mother Nature rinses the nasty stuff away. It might take a week. It might take a month. The bottom line is that once the moss is dead it just needs some heavy rain to finish dislodging and rinsing off the roof on its own. Yes, this little nugget of roof-cleaning wisdom is not well-known but true professionals are fully aware of it.

This method for cleaning roof moss should be sufficient for most situations where there is only minor or medium-grade moss growth, but I should add the caveat that it may not be enough for some scenarios. If your roof moss is so thick and widespread over your roof that it looks like a carpet or huge rug then you may need to resort to low-pressure pressure washing.

I know, for example, that roof cleaners in the Northwest must often utilize power washers for moss removal because it’s so widespread and thick, and I don’t blame them for doing so. Just remember to be careful and use common sense if you must do this because roofs can be easily damaged by pressure washing if not done expertly.

If you have moss on your roof the worst thing you can do is just let it run its course. If allowed to go unchecked it will really chew up your shingles and drastically reduce the lifespan of your roof. With new roofs running in the tens of thousands of dollars these days I don’t know why homeowners wouldn’t do everything in their power to extend the functional life of their shingles. Make sure to quickly address any sort of organic growth on your roof and you will reap the savings benefits for years to come.

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