The roof on a house or building is the most important part of the structure. It protects, keeps in heat, and provides shelter from the elements which is why maintaining your roof properly will be one the most important and beneficial investments you can make. There are many different types of roofs out there and they all require some type of maintenance in order to ensure their longevity. It is important to always hire the right person for the job being done, whether it is to clean, repair, or replace an entire roof making sure it is done correctly and efficiently is vital.
Many people have seen and read that pressure washing your asphalt roof is something you should do. However, this can be one of the biggest mistakes one can make. Roofs often attract algae growth which can look like dark streaks running down the roof, especially on the northern or shady side of the roof. This growth is caused by bacteria which are known as gloeocapsa magma. There is not a lot of scientific evidence stating that these black streaks are harmful to your asphalt roof, however when your roof is darker than usual, it attracts and absorbs heat a lot faster than it normally would. This can increase your energy bills and can make your home look old, not maintained, and decrease overall value. Another reason why this bacteria growth is bad for your roof is because it can grow beneath your actual shingles and cause more damage by making your shingles bulge and pop up. Along with algae growth, moss often grows on roofs as well; moss can cause even more damage by growing under the shingles and causing them to be loosened, leak water into the home, and eventually completely fall off, leaving you with an expensive repair and oftentimes water damage. Lichen Growth (a composite organism of a fungus and green algae), commonly looks like round flat, light green spots ranging from silver dollar sized to groups that can extend for several square feet. Lichen roots to the surface of the shingles and left to continue, will eventually loosen and remove the color granules causing permanent damage.
Although it’s been advertised that power washing your roof can help with this problem, it can actually cause more damage than good. Pressure washing a roof can strip the asphalt shingles of important composition layers. Although pressure washing your roof does remove the black streaks and moss that often grows on roofs, it does not eradicate these growths for the long term. Pressure washing your roof can destroy the perfectly good layers of composite asphalt shingles and can actually rip off some of the roofing layers. Moss and bacteria can loosen the shingles by growing in and under the shingles which then become loose and are then blown off by the pressure washer.
To completely take control and remove all bacteria and moss growths on a roof one needs to hire a roofing specialist and ensure that the specialist uses a chemical. Oftentimes the chemical used, which is usually sodium hydrochlorite, gently kills off the bacteria and washes away naturally when it rains. This chemical can keep streaks and moss in control for an average of three years. Using a gentle chemical wash is much safer and beneficial to your roof than completely replacing it or damaging it with a pressure washer. Getting your roof cleaned by a professional using a chemical can also add years to your roof. Not only does it save your roof from moss and algae damage but it can make it look better and make it last longer; there is no need to completely replace your roof if you just have some moss and algae growth.
If you have a cedar roof, you can also clean it with this method, but it must be sealed after that. Although the cost may be a little higher due to the fact that cedar roofs are more susceptible to damage and mold, it is still very important to do so. Making sure your roof is always in good shape will ensure that your home is protected and lasts a very long time. All roofs can be cleaned; whether one has asphalt shingles, clay tiles, metal roof or slate tiles, they all need some type of maintenance and cleaning to keep them looking and working their best. Although hiring a professional to clean your cedar or slate tile roof may cost a little more, due to the fact that they are more intricate and fragile, it is a good investment and will ensure that your roof stays in perfect condition.
All in all, roofing is an important part of a home and can very often be overlooked due to the fact that it is not always visible from the ground and that it is not actual living space. Inspecting your roof and maintaining it will ensure that your entire home is protected and that your roof will last as long as it possibly can. Making sure you hire someone to do the job right will definitely be a good investment for the present and the future of your home and roof. Be aware that some roofing companies will offer to pressure wash your roof for a cheaper price than chemical treating it, however this should not be done, no matter what the company says, pressure washing at any pressure is unsafe and will cause damage. If the deal is too good to be true, it is not a good company to work with.