What are those Black Streaks on My Roof?

It seems that there are more roofs in certain regions that are developing dark black streaks. You no doubt have seen this eyesore on your own roof or the roof in your neighborhood. However, be aware that if you see those ugly black streaks on roofs in your neighborhood yours is next. You may have already noticed that parts of your roof are becoming discolored or have been discolored for quite some time. Soon that discoloration will turn into black streaks.

Those black streaks are actually a strain of algae that only grows on roofs called gloecapsa magma. This type of algae eats limestone filler in shingles particularly asphalt shingles. The fillers has been added for the past 30 years and started when asphalt shingles were starting to be replaced by fiberglass shingles which is mostly used today. Algae loves limestone and you may have already noticed that parts of your roof in shaded areas has become discolored. Any part of your roof that faces to the north generally gets less sunlight. Because of the lack of sunlight water that accumulates from ice, snow, and rain accumulates because sunlight cannot dry it up. This in addition to the limestone from shingles is a feast for algae spores that land on your roof. Algae spores are not black when they land on your roof, however, the longer they are on your roof they turn black. If you notice black streaks on the northern part of your roof chances are the rest of your roof has them also. The black that is created is actually a sheath that protects the algae from the UV rays of the sun. These dark black streaks also effect energy bills because dark absorbs more heat.

The spread of those dark black streaks goes from roof to roof just as dandelions spread from yard to yard. There are several methods that are used to remove algae from roofs. The safest and most efficient way is to hire a professional roof cleaning contract. Roof cleaners are trained and experienced in removing algae and in some case preventing regrowth. One of the more common methods is to use a low pressure spray to gently remove the algae without harming the roof. A professional roof cleaner will also take precautions to protect your lawn, plants, and shrubbery from chemicals that will run off the roof during the cleaning process. If you are concerned about the environment ask your roof cleaner what products they use to remove algae. Many roof cleaners use eco friendly products that will safely remove the algae without harming the environment.

Hiring a professional roof cleaner be sure to ask what methods and procedures they use to remove algae and those ugly black streaks. You may also want to ask if they have the training and experience necessary to clean different types of roofing materials. If you have an asphalt shingle roof be sure the roof cleaner you hire has the knowledge and experience to effectively clean asphalt shingle. Unlike other roofing materials, asphalt shingle requires certain cleaning methods not required with other types of roofing materials.

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