The growth of algae is a common problem for homes with asphalt shingle roofs, especially homes located in the regions of the country in which the weather is constantly humid and warm. The algae often appear as streaks of dark stains that run down the length of the roof. It causes early rotting and aging by holding moisture inside of the shingle. The unsightly stains produced by the algae can affect the resale value and appearance of the home.
The most commonly occurring type of algae on asphalt roofs is Gleoscapsa Magma, which forms a bluish green film on the shingles that will appear black as it accumulates and spreads. Its presence can also lead to the growth of other harmful lifeforms, such as mold and moss. It is easily spread by animals and wind and requires an annual roof care and prevention routine to keep it in check.
One way to completely avoid the growth of algae on asphalt shingles is to purchase shingles that are algae resistant. A homeowner can discuss with his or her Fort Worth roofing specialist about roofing products that are mixed with copper granules, which inhibits algae growth.
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Many roofing manufacturers sell these products, which include shingles, flashing and fasteners.
If algae has begun to grow on an existing asphalt roof, the only way to remove it is to clean it off. Many premixed products are available that are designed to rid roofs of algae stains. One of these cleansers can be used, or a homeowner may decide to mix his or her own cleaning solution. Such a solution is simple to make and requires a mixture of only water, bleach and trisodium phosphate. The solution should be placed in a garden sprayer equipped with a pump and then sprayed onto the shingles. Once the roof is saturated with the cleaning solution, it should be allowed to rest for at least 15 minutes before being rinsed off.
Once the algae has been cleaned from the roof, steps should be taken to prevent its recurrence. The best way is to do this is to use copper. A metal sheet strip coated in copper can be placed below the ridge of the roof along each side. Sheet metal cut into narrow strips can fastened to the roof directly with roofing screws or nails. Wider pieces can be slipped under the top row of shingles and fastened with roofing nails.