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Roof Cleaning Mechanicsville


Roof algae is every homeowner’s pet peeve – black streaks running down your roof aren’t a sign that the asphalt shingles are dissolving or that you need a new roof, luckily, just a roof cleaning. Unfortunately, it does mean that roof algae has become a problem on your home’s roof.
The organisms that live on your roof arrive on the rooftop as either spores or clumps of cells. If they land on the north side of the roof, where the sun is less harsh and moisture more plentiful, the algae will have a good environment to multiply, spreading down the roof.

What is causing the stains?

Asphalt shingles contain limestone, which makes them heavy, durable and reflective, and over time will slowly consume the limestone, ultimately weakening the shingles.
Algae cells mature and then produce a dark pigment that acts as a sunscreen, protecting the cells from the sun. When the pigment accumulates on shingles, the roof becomes less reflective and absorbs more light from the sun,which is then transferred into the house as heat, raising cooling costs.
Roof algae are the first wave in a succession of organisms that can completely take over a roof if not cleaned. The algae can eventually team up with a fungus to form lichen, and moss follows, building a small layer of soil that might catch seeds from bird droppings. By the time plants sprout between the shingles, the time for a new roof is much overdue, and is sometimes is not considered an emergency repair, as the process can take years.
The growths on the roof are blue-green algae, organisms that has been on Earth for about 3 billion years. They were the originators of oxygen in the atmosphere. Gloeocapsa magma is the species that blackens roofs.

Some inexperienced contractors that don’t specialize in roof cleaning will use a pressure washing machine to clean shingles, this is very unsafe and the damage may be immediate or take a couple of years…possibly leading to roof leaks.
Professional roof cleaning contractors use a low-pressure application of antibacterial cleaning solution, which kills the algae and restores the look of your shingles.