You may not realize how important it is to keep your home's roofing clean and growth-free. But that fact is that when a roof is afflicted with algae, mold, lichen, or other plant-life growth for an extended period of time, it can compromise the roof's integrity.
Identifying the problem, assessing the risks, getting the roofing cleaned, and finding ways to prevent a recurrence could save your roof and save you a lot of money.
How Plant Growth Can Harm Your Roofing
Getting your roof inspected, repaired, and ready for the year ahead during a Florida winter is a great idea. But spring brings life, and with it, plant growth - including (potentially) on your roof!
There are several common types of plant growth that can seriously damage your roof. If you see black stains and streaks on your roof, it is probably algae. Algae can actually feed on your asphalt roof, especially preferring shadier, cooler areas of the rooftop. It can be blue, green, or black and definitely doesn't help your roofing's curb appeal.
Fungus and lichen spores may reach your roof via wind or by being carried by squirrels, birds, and rodents. The roots of these plants can dig down deep into the organic base of many of today's most popular shingle-types. Lichens can thrive off a steady diet of shingles! Mosses have shallow root systems, but deep enough to penetrate and weaken shingles. Moss cover can become quite thick and dominate a roof.
Over time, plant growth on a roof can lead to the destruction of both shingles and underlying roof decking. It can also discolor your roofing, and in the case of algae growth, cause higher heat absorption. Shingles can develop holes, marks, and bubbles. And the life-span of your roofing will surely be shortened if continually afflicted by mold, moss, or algae.
How To Protect Your Roofing Against Plant Growth
You may think there is nothing you can do about plants growing on your roof, but in reality, there are steps you can take. Reducing moisture levels is key. That may mean improving attic ventilation, cleaning out stuffed-up gutters and downspouts, and simply sweeping away roof-top debris that could gather moisture.
Another step is to cut back overhanging tree limbs. These provide the shade on your roof that the relevant plants need to survive. The shade also slows evaporation and thus increases moisture levels. Debris dropped on your roof from the trees also provides extra nutrients for molds and mosses.
You can have your roofing cleaned. A tough-bristled, long-handled brush (gently applied) and a water-detergent mix can remove most moss and lichen. Never use a power washer on your roof since it can wash off the granules. You can use a small amount of bleach water to kill algae and mold, however.
A professional roof-cleaning job can restore your roof's curb appeal, and if there is any rot or shingle damage, some roof repairs may be necessary too. In extreme cases, roof replacement and/or switching to algae-resistant shingles might be a good idea.
For help in getting that algae, mold, mildew, moss, or lichen off your roof and keeping it off, contact Sheegog Contracting today! We are the leading local roofing contractors in Central Florida and can assist you with any and all of your roof-related needs!