Your Roof – It’s What’s for Dinner – 10 Steps to Algae, Moss, Lichen and Mold Growth on Asphalt Shingle Roofs! What every Homeowner Needs to Know!

by Nate on August 17, 2010

Your Roof – It’s What’s for Dinner – 10 Steps to Algae, Moss, Lichen and Mold Growth on Asphalt Shingle Roofs! What every Homeowner Needs to Know!

The process of roof debris accumulation is a gradual one but a damaging one, nonetheless.

1. First, the roofing shingle manufacturer placed crushed limestone in the shingles used a filler, binder to the fiberglass and asphalt shingle matting which made the modern shingle, a natural snack food “pit stop” for the blue -green cyanobacteria GLOEOCAPSA MAGMA algae.

2. Then, Two, the algae was allowed by the homeowner to start growing and then remain on the roof until it was in “full bloom” and covering most of the Northern facing, roofs exposed areas, then later, as the roof continued not to be maintained and properly cleaned, the algae continued its growth as their was never any treatment or biocide or fungicide agent applied (ever) to stop its rapid growth, and soon it covered the entire roof surface.

3. Once the bed was made, i.e. the algae had propagated, sheathed itself by developing its dark colored husk and turning black to protect itself from the sun’s rays, it continued to grow and grow, until it built a thick bed of algae, holding in the accumulation of the overnight moisture, roof condensation and dew, which allowed the next phase to occur.

4. This next phase is when their is all the right ingredients for additional growth of OTHER organisms BESIDES the GM algae, such as , LICHEN, MOSS, etc.

5. Once the bed has been made by the HOMEOWNER, neglecting to safely use non pressure roof cleaning methods, like the methods and teaching, here on the ARCA and RCIA, the algae was given all the opportunity it needed to “INVITE” additional “roof dwelling friends” to the party up on the homeowners rooftop.

6. This final stage is when the most damage can occur, when the algae has a thick bedding made and moisture is allowed to soak up into this algae bedding like a sponge, holding many other nutrients that occur by the gradual decomposition of the combination of the dying, re-propagating and shedding of the protective outside layers of the GM algae or husks, in combination with the crushed limestone roof shingle filler “combined” so that the roof now has all the ingredients to grow this moss and lichen.

7. This moss and lichen and algae are like any other plant. They have a root system. Once the roots are firmly planted and embedded in a homeowner’s roof, the roots actually suck or pull nutrients out of the shingle, AND, the roots also tug and pull on the roof shingle GRANULES, thereby dislodging and removing them from the shingle.

8. Granule loss exposes the shingle roof to the repeated day in and day out of the SUN’S brutal and harsh ray’s and without the important Ultraviolet Protection, that the granules are designed to provide, the essential oils in the roofing shingle are leeched out of the shingle, causing the shingle to prematurely dry out and become brittle and soon curl and break.

9. Once the roofing shingle has all of these element occurring, the damage is now irreversible and eventually the roof will leak from this massive microscopic attack on the roof that is depended upon to keep all we hold dear and important to us safe and dry.

10. Luckily, much of this can be avoided by proper, regular annual roof maintenance.
Annually, a homeowner can do his /her part to extend and maximize their roofs longevity and life and save themselves thousands in expensive tear-off and re-roofing. Every homeowner should annually get their roof checked for the presence of roof algae, moss, lichen and mold. If any of these are present, the roof should be scheduled for a non pressure roof cleaning by a ARCA or RCIA Certified Roof Cleaning Professional Contractor. Then, once the offending algae, lichen or moss growth is controlled, the homeowner should get set up for annual anti- algae roof treatments to keep their roof looking and performing its very best.

More can be learned by visiting the American Roof Cleaners Association or the Roof Cleaning Institute to find out more helpful information on the subject of Roof Maintenence and Cleaning, Algae Infestation, Lichen, Moss, Mold, growth and treatment on roofs of various types and styles.

Copyright 2008-2010 Roof Clean USA – All Rights Reserved-No copying or unauthorized reprinting allowed unless specific permission is granted by the author.

Written by David Westerman, a Non Pressure Roof Cleaning Expert, 20+ years experience in the pressure washing and non pressure roof cleaning trades. David is Founder of A-R-C-A, the American Roof Cleaners Association, a roof cleaners training and roof cleaners certification website and educational forum and the owner of Roof Clean USA, a safe, non pressure roof cleaning and exterior cleaning company based in Thomasville, Georgia. David can be reached at 229.227.0000

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