In the world of home maintenance, exterior surfaces are just as important to keep clean and free of harmful fungus as interior spaces. While many homeowners are familiar with routinely cleaning a deck, driveway or pool area using a pressure washer, they may not be aware that this powerful mechanical sprayer can also clean moss, mildew and algae off their roof.
While moss and fungus are normal organisms that are usually benign, when left unchecked they can cause serious damage to your roof. Unlike algae, which is dark green in color and appears as surface stains, moss grows in densely packed clumps. Besides being an unsightly eyesore, these dark deposits can lead to a leaky roof and water damage inside your home.
If you aren’t vigilant, the spores of mold, fungus, and mildew can spread to other parts of your home, including the attic. While they aren’t as dangerous as roof moss, these organisms can still pose a health risk and are difficult to remove from porous surfaces like wood or drywall. Breathing in mold spores can trigger respiratory problems, headaches, and allergies.
Aside from being a visual eye sore, fungus, mildew and mold can have a significant impact on your home’s value. Fortunately, with the proper tools and techniques, you can quickly and easily rid your roof of these troublesome organisms.
Often misidentified as “roof mold,” the black discoloration and streaks of encroaching flora is actually a type of algae called gloeocapsa magma. It forms where moisture tends to dwell, such as shady and damp spots or along the edges of your roof. This non-flowering, blue green algae protects itself from damaging ultraviolet rays by producing a dark pigmented sheath on its surface. The growth of this unsightly organism is exacerbated by a range of mitigating factors, such as overhanging trees, clogged gutters, standing water, and porous roofing materials.
Algae stains are not as easily removed as mold and mildew spores, but there are solutions that can help. One option is to use a cleaning product formulated for roofs that contain copper and zinc. These compounds are toxic to algae, and when rinsed down the roof with rain, they leave traces of metal on the shingles that prevent future growth.
Another solution is to use a spray application that contains a bleach solution. The chemical properties of chlorine bleach combine with trisodium phosphate (TSP) to create a strong and effective cleaner for most roofs. However, it is recommended that you put on rubber gloves and a breathing mask before starting, as chlorine and TSP are both hazardous to lungs.
While it is possible to remove algae with these solutions, they are not long-term treatments. To prevent the problem from returning, it is best to invest in a Reston power washing services that specializes in roof cleaning. These companies will use a power-washer and a hose with a high pressure nozzle to blast away heavy dirt, debris, mold, mildew and algae from your roof, restoring it to its original, attractive state.