Getting a roof cleaning isn’t about just making it look good. It is a way to preserve the longevity of your roof, protecting it against future damage, and saving you money. What causes dirty roofs is different than you might think. While dirt and debris are certainly factors, often algae and moss are the true culprits. Here in this article we go more in depth into what exactly can happen when this is left untreated and what you can do about it.
What’s Making Your Roof Dirty?
Being exposed to the elements, it is pretty much a guarantee that your roof is going to get dirty. That’s just a simple fact of life. But what exactly is it that’s dirtying your roof in the first place? Outside of the obvious like leaves, twigs, bird droppings, etc. There are some others:
- Mold (though we hope not)
- Mildew (also not preferred for obvious reasons)
- Dirt (which is easily cleaned off by rain)
If you were surprised by those last two, you’re not alone. It might be interesting to know that two very common causes of dirty roofs are actually algae and moss! But why? How does it get there? The answer is interesting!
Algae and moss spread to rooftops by, get this, birds! That’s right, birds will pick up twigs or bits of materials with moss or algae on them and when they land (either on your roof or perhaps in a tree overhanging your eaves), bits of those two substances will fall into the top of your house. From there, moisture will collect and it will grow and spread.
How Do Algae or Moss Affect Your Roof?
Algae takes on the appearance of a darkish sludge growing on your roof. Moss, however, looks green and even kind of fuzzy. When you see it, though, you probably wonder, “Should I get that off? Is that going to damage anything?”
According to ARMA (the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association), there is no scientific evidence to prove that algae is harmful to shingles, which is great news. It’s not the most attractive thing in the world, but it’s not harmful. You’ll want to get it cleaned off more out of a desire to make your home more attractive rather than preventing damage.
However, while it doesn’t cause damage, it could inhibit the usage of your roof, especially “cool roofs”, by impeding its ability to reflect light and heat off. Instead, it can trap it and cause your house to be warmer than usual.
So algae isn’t necessarily damaging. Just annoying.
When it comes to moss, however, the sooner you get rid of it, the better. Moss spreads quickly, particularly in damp and shady areas of the roof. Because moss itself retains moisture, it can cause your shingles to curl and retract, damaging them and opening up your home to leaks. What starts off as an easy fix (literally getting your roof cleaned) can quickly become a major expense for repairs.
Benefits of Roof Cleaning
You know how cleaning your home can be like taking a breath of fresh air? Getting a roof cleaning can actually be much the same, because when it comes down to it, the benefits are more than worth the bill.
Some of the many benefits include:
- Keeping your home cool. The growth of algae, moss, and other fungi can cause heat to get trapped in your home, making things warmer than they could be, and causing you to increase your cooling bill during the summer. Getting your roof cleaned in fact gives you a larger opportunity to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
- Gets rid of potential damages. When moss grows, if left untreated, it can cause large patches of your shingles to need to be replaced. On top of that, the retracting and curling caused by the dampness can allow leaks to seep into your ceiling and down your walls, causing much more damage. Roof cleaning clears away the debris that could cause future headaches for you.
- Roof cleaning is less expensive than repairing. This is a large part of why getting your roof cleaned is so important. You can clean your roof while it’s in great condition now in order to protect it from more costly damages later.
- Impedes pests. A rotting or damaged roof is like an open door to insects, bugs, and rodents. They can slip right inside, which nobody wants. Keeping your roof clean preserves the longevity of your room and therefore slams that door right in those pests’ faces!
Put in its simplest terms: Cleaning your roof now isn’t just a matter of making your home look good. It is insurance, and one of the easiest ways of saving money in the long run that you can accomplish.
How Does a Roof Cleaning Work?
Roof cleaning isn’t difficult. The main purpose of cleaning a roof is to deter the growth of moss and algae. That is why the usual solution is to mix together a ratio of 1:1 bleach and water, which is then sprayed over the rooftop. It is then left to sit, so that the bleach and eat away at the moss and algae growth. From there, a rinse off is performed with straight water.
And voila! Your roof cleaning is finished!
Should You Perform A Roof Cleaning Yourself?
While it sounds easy, roofing projects come with a fair amount of risk. That is why professionals, like the National Roofing Contractors Association, recommend that you avoid trying to perform a roof cleaning yourself.
Notice Any Damage? Contact Out There Roofing Today!
If after your roof cleaning, you uncover damage, then Out There Roofing is the team for you! We are proud to step in and help repair any leftover damage caused by untreated moss or damage caused by improper cleaning as well. Getting started is simple, just contact us and we can schedule a time to show up and get your roof as good as new!
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. We are happy to help you in any way you can. Because you deserve a roof over your head, and we want to make sure it’s there for years to come!