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Removing Fungus From Roof Shingles

Mold Cleaning & Prevention Tips For Roof Shingles

How to Clean and Prevent a Mossy Roof | Ask This Old House

As the hot, humid and rainy summers common to the Philadelphia area approach your shingle roof becomes susceptible to mold and algae growth. These bacteria are not only unsightly, but they can also begin to eat away at the shingles causing extensive damage to the roof and even your homes foundation. Removing mildew, algae and mold from roof shingles is not easy and can be dangerous if you do not have the proper experience. Reliable Roofing Company provides a few easy DIY methods to remove the mold from your shingled roof, but it is best to call in the expert roofers.

Know The Difference Between Algae Moss Mildew And Mold

You cant properly that the problem unless you can accurately identify it. All three organisms pose their own set of complications.

  • Algae grows naturally and is normally harmless, but excessive growth in the right conditions causes property damage. Its distinguished by its green or black-green color that resembles a surface stain. Algae is slick and slimy to the touch.
  • Moss is a normally benign organism that grows naturally in many areas. Its obvious by its fuzzy bright green color.
  • Mildew isnt a healthy organism. Its powdery residue spreads quickly in warm wet climates. Its color varies but is normally light gray-green.

Mold, unlike the other organisms, isnt a healthy occurrence. Its unattractive and often smells rancid.

Mold usually grows on moist wood or drywall and is identified by the dark splotches it leaves on the materials surface.

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How To Clean Off Mossy Or Lichens

Do not try to clean a roof like the one shown in this photograph. The shingles are worn out and fragile. It will be impossible to clean the roof without damaging it. A new roof is needed.

In our opinion, any roof surface brushing or raking should be done with great care to minimize damage to the shingles themselves. If there is any doubt about the condition of the shingles underneath the moss, work gently by hand on a small area first to see the condition of the shingles below.

If the roof shingles are fragile, brittle, cracking, curled, the risk of serious damage to the roof during moss removal is much more likely. The roof may look cleaner, but its remaining life may be reduced by aggressive cleaning.

Power washing or brushing: it is possible to remove moss from a roof surface by gentle cleaning using a soft brush or a power washer.

But be careful: power washing or even brushing or sweeping an asphalt shingle roof is itself a process that can damage the roof by breaking shingles or by loosening the protective mineral granules from the shingle surface.

As stated at ASBESTOS ROOFING / SIDING POWER WASHING we do not recommend power-washing asphalt shingles nor asbestos-cement roof shingles nor any other roofing product that can be damaged by high pressure spraying.

Otherwise the debris will wash down and clog roof gutters

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Cleaning Asphalt Roofshingles With Bleach And Water

Bleach and water work well when cleaning asphalt roof shingles. Clean the roof following the procedure below

  • Climb the roof using a ladder and inspect the roof to find areas affected with algae, stains or moss.
  • Wet all the plants and vegetation around your home to protect them from bleach mixture.
  • Mix equal parts of bleach and water in the ratio of 50:50 to form a bleach cleaning solution.
  • Pour the solution in a garden hose sprayer.
  • Climb the roof using a ladder and spray the shingles with the solution.
  • Leave the solution on the surface of the roof shingles for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water. Any remaining algae or moss will be washed away with rain or blown away by wind.
  • When using this method ensure that you clean the roof in the morning hours or when itâs cloudy and there is no rain. If you clean on a sunny day bleach will evaporate. Keep repeating the process till the roof is clean. If the problem of algae and moss persists then it is important to consult a professional roof cleaner.

    Protecting Your Home & Yard

    Removing Moss from a Roof

    Mold can often be removed from roof shingles using a basic bleach solution. Unfortunately, bleach can be toxic to the grass and plant life that surrounds your property. As the bleach solution is likely to run off of the roof and onto the property below, it is important to take the proper precautions to protect your home and yard from the effects of bleach. Ideally, you should cover plants, furniture, and other items in your yard with tarps or plastic sheeting. Placing tarps across the grass will also help prevent bleach from soaking into the soil. If this is not an option, simply spray water onto the grass and plants to help minimize the impact of the bleach.

    You will also want to perform a few essential maintenance tasks to discourage further moss and algae growth. Start by trimming back tree branches to allow direct sunlight onto your roof. This creates a less inviting environment for mold. Also take the time to regularly remove debris that accumulates on your roof, such as leaves and twigs which can absorb and hold onto moisture. Gutters should be cleaned on a routine basis to allow for proper water drainage. You may also want to consider adding copper or zinc strips to your roof to prevent moss and algae growth. If you decide to upgrade your roof in the future, opt for asphalt shingles with algae-resistant technology.

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    Black Algae Stains On Asphalt Singles

    Some black stains on asphalt roof shingles are caused by a black algae such as that shown in the photograph here.

    Black algae stains may be mistaken for but are not “extractive bleeding” – a product cosmetic defect.

    When the staining or bleeding appears to run down the roof from individual small points or “spots” we think this is extractive bleeding or “bleed through” on shingles.


    also STAINS on ROOF SHINGLES for a more detailed discussion of bleed through or extractive bleeding as well as black algae stains on roof shingles.

    When black stains on the roof surface are more uniform and cover a wide area that does not originate at one or more single pinpoints in the shingles, this may be a black algae growing on the shingle surface.

    As we said about green algae on roofs, the presence of these black fungal or algal stains on the roof is an indicator that this roof area is in a shaded spot where you may want to be alert for development of moss or other roof problems,

    but the level of damage from the black fungus or algae is probably low, even less than that caused by lichens and certainly less than that caused by moss.

    Avoid any aggressive cleaning methods that might damage the roof surface.

    Causes Of Moss Or Lichens Growth On Roofs

    Moss growing on any roof surface will be more severe on roof sections that area shaded and exposed to periodically damp cool weather conditions.

    The presence or absence of much sunlight on a roof surface is often a determining factor in the amount of moss or lichens growth (more sun, less moss and lichens. When shade and cool moist conditions combine, moss or lichens growth on a roof surface is more likely.

    Moss and lichens are more than a cosmetic issue on many kinds of roofing materials – asphalt shingles, roll roofing, wood shingle roofs, wood shake roofs.

    Sometimes there is so much moss and crud on a roof that we’re not sure what roofing material was used.

    The photo below is actually of a wood shingle roof, though it may make more sense to call this a moss roof in Rhinebeck, New York.

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    How To Get Rid Of Algae And Mold

    If your roof is super bad, make sure you consult someone professional before taking action. Why spend money cleaning a roof when it needs a repair. In that same vein, why repair a roof when it just needs a cleaning? But luckily most of the time to remove algae and mold your roof will just need a good, thorough cleaning.

    One way to clean the roof of algae and moss is with a brush and a little grunt work, scrubbing and separating the greens from the roof. Brushing should start at the top and work down, as going up could mess up your shingles. Bleach shouldnt be used either because it can damage your roof. You should use an environmentally friendly and safe roof cleaning solution.

    Mold And Mildew Growth

    Removing Algae Stains From Roof Shingles

    As you can see, the alga gets on your roof easily enough the wind just has to blow in the right direction and there it is. Just as easily, mold and mildew follow. The standing water and humidity, the rapidly growing spores and wood rot, these are quick and fertile breeding places for mold. This can be expansive, and as a result, expensive. Often the damage is done well before its discovered, as mold on the outside of the house is usually indicative of mold on the inside of the house.

    You cant prevent spores of algae and moss or mildew from landing on your roof. But you can prevent growth. Obviously the best care is preventative care. With regular cleanings you can get rid of the algae before it even becomes an issue, and definitely before it gives way to rot, mold and mildew.

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    Another Less Common Occurrence Is Moss

    If you see green fuzzy stuff on your roof it is most likely moss. Moss loves cool, damp environments. If you have moss on your roof it will be commonly found on the North slopes in addition to overhanging treses or overhanging sections of the roof causing shade and allowing moisture to hang around and the moss to grow.

    Moss spores can become airborne and make their way onto roofs via wind, birds, squirrels, and other small animals, in the same way that algae makes its way to your roof.

    Once the moss spores land on a roof, they will gather in the spaces between shingles and eventually grow into thick spongy moss.

    Algae is a term for a large group of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. They are typically aquatic and lack the roots, stems, and leaves of other plants, though they still contain chlorophyllthe green pigments found in most plants. However, they are not plants but rather organisms also spread by spores, much like moss.

    Mold is the result of algae left too long on a roof. Algae needs perpetual moisture to exist, so they grow best in humid areas. When algae keeps the roof damp for long enough, rot can set in, commonly leading to mold growing and spreading.

    How To Remove Mold From Roof Shingles

    Mold can be found nearly anywhere there is a lot of moisture, such as around leaky pipes, wet basements, and even on your roof. Characterized by its black-greenish hue, algae can gradually eat away at roof shingles, resulting in rot and an unsightly appearance. Mold on roof shingles often appears as black streaks or stains, and while it is more common in climates that experience warm, humid summers, mold can grow in a wide range of conditions.

    Removing fungus, moss, mildew, and associated stains from a roof is no easy feat. That is why many homeowners rely on experienced roofing contractors to complete the job. However, if you believe you are up for the task, take the time to protect your property and gather the right equipment and supplies for the job. Learn how to remove mold from roof shingles and discover why you may want to consider hiring a professional.

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    Is Your Roof Going Way Too Green Use These Materials Tools And Methods To Eradicate Moss From Your Rooftopand Keep It From Coming Back

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    On top of design, Ann has written extensively about remodeling and flooring in the home to ensure all readers choose the best option to fit their lifestyle and preferences. Her remodeling topics have included choosing the best wooden flooring and tiling to create a cohesive, beautiful space.

    Ann Wilson is a leading expert on home design and remodeling. She has over five years’ experience discussing all-things remodeling, color designs, and flooring ideas to help readers make the best design choices.

    Overhead greenery should be limited to the leaves on tree canopies. If moss is covering your roof, it’s time to get cleaning. Moss grows in areas untouched by sun, so it can develop at a speedy pace on tree-shaded and north-facing roofs. Spreading moss can quickly adhere to roof surfaces, filling in voids between shingles and tiles, and reaching under and lifting up roofing materials. This heaving of shingles allows rainwater and other moisture to seep into your roof’s structure to cause decay and rot.

    Before you clean the moss off your roof, you’ll need to consider how you want to kill the plants and remove the dead layers. After cleaning, you’ll also need to put some defensive measures into play to prevent the moss from growing back.

    Why Shouldnt I Add A New Roof Over Moss

    How To Clean Roof Shingles Mildew

    When you need a new roof, it may be tempting to add a second layer of shingles over your existing shingles. Doubling up your shingles can save time and expense on your roof replacement as your roofer doesnt need to remove and dispose of the old shingles. This strategy is convenient for homeowners because the replacement wont take as long or make as much of a mess. However, there are some circumstances where merely adding a new layer of shingles isnt a good idea.

    For example, when you have significant moss growth on your roof, simply covering it up with new shingles isnt wise. Several potential problems may occur if your roofer simply adds a new roof over your existing, moss-covered roof. These potential problems include:

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    Vinegar Solutions Work Against Moss

    A solution of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water has long been touted as an effective herbicide and pesticide. Using it does kill algae and moss, but not mold.

    And caution must be taken to protect nearby bushes and plants because overspray will damage them. Vinegar quickly changes the pH of the soil making it inhospitable to most plants.

    Is Green Or Black Algae On Roof Shingles As Much Of A Problem As Moss Or Lichens

    Algae on a roof surface appears as a thin green coating which is mostly a cosmetic concern.

    The presence of algae on the roof is an indicator that this roof area is in a shaded spot where you may want to be alert for development of moss or other roof problems, but the level of damage from algae is probably low, even less than that caused by lichens.

    Avoid any aggressive cleaning methods that might damage the roof surface.

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    How To Remove And Prevent Black Algae Stains On Asphalt Shingles

    You have probably noticed that asphalt shingle roofs often have unsightly dark streaks, especially if you live in a humid part of the country. People usually think these streaks are caused by things like defective shingles, mold or mildew, or dirt, but in reality, it is caused by Gloeocapsa Magma, which is a blue-green algae that is spread by airborne spores.

    This algae does not necessarily harm your roof, although it does affect the appearance of your roof and thus, diminishes your homes value.

    You wont likely see theses stains just below the metal flashing on your vents or chimney because galvanized sheet metal has a copper and zinc coating that is toxic to algae. When it rains, the algae is washed away by a trace amount of these metals, which inhibits the growth of algae.

    How To Clean Roof Shingles Properly

    How to Remove Moss on Roof Fast ! Part 1 Before

    My friend was complaining about his roof shingles the other day and how they looked dirty. He was frustrated because they were only a few years old and in good shape. He wondered if he could clean them somehow and bring the new look back. But he wasnt sure how to clean roof shingles.

    The best way to clean roof shingles is to use a garden hose with a vinegar mixture. Use a sprayer to spray vinegar solution mixed with dish soap. Be sure to coat the entire roof. Protect your landscaping and divert downspouts to avoid collateral damage. Let sit and gently blow a few days later. Repeat if necessary, then rinse once the roof is clean.

    In this article, well go over everything you need to know about cleaning your roof, including a step-by-step outline of how to clean your shingles, alternative options for cleaning, and methods to avoid when it comes time to clean your asphalt roof shingles.

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    How Much Bleach Is Safe For Your Roof

    When using bleach, the amount you use is a key factor that will determine the results. According to ARMA a 50/50 solution of household strength sodium hypochlorite and water is sufficient to remove moss and algae. Below is a discussion from a roof cleaning expert explaining how much sodium hypochlorite is too much to damage your roof.

    Roof Cleaning With A Pressure Washer

    Some may believe that you can clean your roof simply with a pressure washer, and while that would probably work theoretically, using a pressure washer for roof cleaning is the kiss of death for the integrity of that roof. Especially if you are trying to clean an asphalt shingle roof. The granules will start to come off and will end up in the gutters, which can and does happen normally with age, but speeding up the aging process for the roof, is not the best idea and is something we avoid.

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