West Bloomfield Roofing: Article About All About Roof Algae

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In the 1970s, there was an industry wide change to the composition of asphalt shingles. This type of shingle began to contain limestone as a filler, and it still does today. The problem with limestone is that it serves as food for a tiny organism called Gloeocapsa magma, otherwise known as roof algae.

Roof algae gets onto the roof when it's carried by the wind or on the feet of squirrels and birds. Together with limestone, sun and water, the algae finds an ideal living environment on the roof. In small amounts, roof algae is scarcely visible, but if it sets up a colony, it can expand into a real problem. Typically, it will take two to four years for roof algae growth to become visible to the naked eye. In very humid regions, the roof can develop visible algae within only a few months. Other problem growths like mold and fungus feed on the organic waste generated by algae, creating yet more problems.

As any West Bloomfield roofing contractor can attest, excessive roof algae is not only an eyesore, but it can also reduce the life of asphalt shingles.

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Too much algae on the roof can increase air conditioning bills, allow mold to start to creep inside and introduce the risk of bird borne bacteria. Some roofing industry experts say that algae growth left unchecked can cut the life of an asphalt shingle roof in half.

The main solution for this is roof cleaning. Professional roof cleaning businesses can do the job. There are also DIY roof cleaners that homeowners can apply and rinse off. Whenever attempting to clean a roof, be careful not to damage shingles and always take personal safety precautions. In addition to removing algae, routine roof cleaning will also remove any buildup of leaves or bird nests.

One method to prevent the development of algae on a roof is to introduce copper to the roofing materials. Place copper strips near the top of the roof. Each time it rains, some copper molecules will wash down the roof and create an environment that's toxic to algae. If a homeowner is installing a new asphalt shingle roof, they can buy shingles that already have copper blended into their granules.

Moss on a roof is particularly problematic because moss has a root system. That root system will absorb water and keep areas of the roof exposed to dampness for extended periods of time. Fortunately, moss can be removed relatively easily with the use of a brush or broom.

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