Algae And Moss Prevention For Asphalt Roofing Systems

12 Apr

When it comes to roof moss removal in Vancouver, it is a common misconception that algae and fungi behave somewhat similarly. But these two organisms have their own unique characteristics and thus, have to be dealt with quite differently. Therefore, before looking at maintenance solutions, we need to have explicit knowledge of what algae and fungi actually are, how they grow, and what enables them to spread. 

Algae is a photosynthetic organism that we often confuse with mold or mildew. This is because we wrongly deduce the black streaks we find in our roofs, mostly in humid atmospheres. These black streaks are actually the protective sheath that gloeocapsa magma, also known as blue-green algae, produces to shield itself from ultraviolet rays. Unfortunately, by the time we discover the discoloration, the algae might have been breeding for several months.

The spread of algae usually occurs through algae spores. These spores are ordinarily carried from one place to another by wind or animals. This is why we typically see the roofing of entire neighborhoods affected by algae. 

Moreover, the growth of algae can have adverse impacts on the effectiveness of cool roofs that are designed to reflect sunlight. Despite not being scientifically proven, they can also affect asphalt roofs, at least when it comes to the exterior. Hence, it is essential to take immediate action when algae are discovered on roofing structures.

Unlike vascular plants, moss is a type of plant that absorbs water through its leaves. As a result, they are usually found breeding on surfaces that retain moisture or subjected to less sunlight. This is one of the main reasons why roof moss removal companies encourage you to trim off tree limbs that protrude onto your roof, as the shade creates a favorable environment for moss growth. In addition to this, such tree limbs tend to fall onto the roof and are capable of retaining moisture while also acting as a source of food for the moss. 

However, as opposed to algae, moss can cause damage to asphalt shingles. They can cause the edges of the shingles to rise or curl, and as a result, the entire structure is prone to be dismantled during extreme weather conditions. This can also create points through which water can leak into buildings along the walls. 

What is the most effective method of cleaning algae and fungi bred roofs?

Spraying a 50:50 mixture of laundry strength chlorine bleach solution and water along the roofing structure is the most effective method of dealing with algae and fungi. This solution should be left on the roof for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, after which it should be carefully rinsed using soft washing techniques. It is essential that you wash off all traces of the detergent since they could damage the structure if left to dry for too long.

The moss will loosen and detach overtime after which they could be removed using a leaf blower or any other less-invasive technique, whereas algae wash off the surfaces during rains. In some instances, depending on the level of growth, your roof may have to undergo several washes to remove the algae and fungi completely.

Furthermore, it would be best if you took protective measures when cleaning your roof. In addition to dealing with a significant height, you will also be handling chlorine bleach. Therefore, make sure that you wear the necessary protective equipment such as goggles while also being vigilant about any plants or other landscape ornaments in the surrounding area that can be damaged during the process.

The following are some precautionary measures you can take to avoid the growth of algae and fungi.

  1. Trim any tree limbs that stick over the roof. This will expose a wider area of the roof to sunlight and will also prevent tree limbs from falling into the roof structure.
  2. Regularly clean your roof with non-invasive techniques such as a leaf blower to remove any debris that gathers within the roof. 

When doing so, be careful to direct the airflow towards downward inclines and slopes to avoid the debris from getting stuck between shingles. 

  1. Have a solid drainage system among the gutters for the smooth flow of water that collects on the roof. Conduct regular checkups to make sure that there are no blockages in the gutters or down pipes.
  2. Use zinc and copper strips, or shingles that contain algae-resistant copper granules. However, do not add zinc and copper strips to an existing roof since you will have to do it either with a nail or by damaging the sealant between the shingles. This can cause water leaks and wind damage. Thus, consider it during a roof replacement.

In conclusion, make it a habit to investigate your roof periodically. Do not let even the smallest growth go unattended as they can rapidly spread throughout the roof within a very short period of time. Thus, be vigilant and take quick action if and when the need arises. You can also hire a professional roof cleaning company in Vancouver to get rid of your moss and algae issue in your roof.