Is it Crazy to Clean Your Roof, or Lazy Not To?

On your way home, you notice some unsightly marks on your roof. Most likely, this is mold or algae growing on your roof. Luckily, you’re not doomed to look a dirty roof forever because they can be cleaned! In addition to the aesthetic benefits of cleaning your roof, it may also help your roof last longer.

Can a roof be cleaned?

Yes, a roof can be cleaned, but you should not do it personally. Climbing on your roof is dangerous and better left to train professionals. In addition, DIY methods are not as effective and, if done incorrectly, can cause more harm than good to your roof.

How do roofs get dirty, anyway?

Algae on your Roof

Your roof is constantly exposed to the elements. Weather, moisture and falling debris lead to black streaks on your roof. Blue-green algae is the most common cause of these streaks.

Algae thrive in humid environments, such as the Midwest in summer, and it spreads easily, blowing from one roof to another. We tend to see algae build up on the north side of the roof, because of the shady and damp conditions throughout most of the day. If you have other wet spots on your roof, these will become favorite areas for algae as well.

Are algae bad for your roof?

Over time, yes, algae can damage your roof. Algae can wear away the protective coating of your shingles, leading to a shorter life for your roof and the potential for algae and mold problems inside your home.

Mold on your Roof

Though less common, mold can also form on your roof due to damp conditions. Mold causes even more of a problem than algae because of its negative health effects. While the sign of algae is black streaks on your roof, mold is more likely to leave brown, black or green patches on your roof. If you see mold on your roof, you should contact a professional immediately.

Moss on your Roof

Moss is yet another growth attracted to moisture. As it grows, it holds in even more moisture, which can cause your roof to rot. Moss is relatively easy to pinpoint – look for the fuzzy green spots on your roof.

If you live in a humid climate, you should pay attention to the signs of a “dirty” roof. Once you start noticing black streaks, dark splotches or moss, you should have your roof cleaned.

How do you clean a stained roof?

The best way to get your roof cleaned is to contact a professional who specializes in roof cleaning. Online tutorials may recommend you use a power washer and chlorine bleach, but these harsh methods can damage your roof. According to Angie’s List, hiring a reputable roof cleaning company will cost between $450 and $650.

Before a company begins roof cleaning, they will get on the roof to make sure it is safe and secure for cleaning. They will check for cracks to ensure cleaning the roof will not cause any damage inside your home and they will clean out your gutters so that the cleaning solution can drain off of your roof.

Roof cleaning companies will also take into account the weather and the surroundings. Some solutions can harm your landscaping due to the chemicals used in the mixture. Professional cleaners will be careful to make sure your plants are properly protected.

Protecting Your Roof From Dirt and Damage

By taking a few simple precautions you can reduce your likelihood of algae streaks on your roof. Overall, the best way to reduce black streaks is to invest high-quality shingles that are algae resistant. Owens Corning algae protection shingles are a good option. In the meantime, it’s necessary to frequently trim trees and other foliage hanging over your roof. Cleaning your gutters is another way to reduce debris from accumulating. When gutters are clogged there is no place for water to drain, creating an ideal environment for mold, algae and moss on your roof.

Don’t Forget About Regular Roof Inspections

If you notice black streaks or damage to your roof, call in Superstorm Restoration for an evaluation. Our inspections are free, and we utilize drone technology to get a complete view of your roof. We will help you determine next steps, whether that be calling in reinforcement to clean your roof, or repairing the storm damage to your roof. Either way, regular inspections are the best way to prolong the life of your roof and we can help!