We have seen a sudden increase in new Roof Cleaning Contractors. This is in response to the immediate need to clean thousands of roofs east of the Rocky Mountains. As we are sure the market will be flooded with under qualified contractors, sacrificing quality to make a quick buck.These are commonly referred to as "fly by night" contractors, who under-bid the project to make it look more attractive yet leaving the homeowner to bare the cost of having to replace their roof if done incorrectly.
Cyano bacteria has existed on earth for millions of years. Bacteria spores are carried by wind, birds, squirrels, etc. The roof stains are caused by the airborne spores from blue / green algae (Cyano Bacteria). These roof raiders land on your roof shingles and feed on the limestone base of the asphalt the shingles. The fungus, mold and mildew grow on the roof algae, as they require organic food, the algae to survive.
Prior to 1978, cyano bacteria would starve to death when it landed on your roof: After 1978 limestone was added to shingles, and limestone is a favorite food for algae, "cyano bacteria gloeocapsa". Therefore when wind and birds spread algae to your roof, it thrives on your roof by eating it!
Bacteria Gloeocapsa, an airborne bacteria that is spread from one house to another by wind and animals (birds, squirrels).
Roof algae needs three criteria to grow: Heat, moisture, and nutrients.
Your home's roof, provides sun, rain, and limestone in the shingles. Everything to support a colony of bacteria.
Once the algae / bacteria are in place, fungus and mold arrive! Mold, Mildew, Lichens feed on the roof algae. The fungus and mildew, would not survive without the roof algae / bacteria, and the roof algae / bacteria survives, because new asphalt shingles are made from limestone.
As the roof algae grows, it holds moisture allowing the growth to accelerate. Thus the roof stains spread wider and darker over time. The spread of roof algae, and associated roof fungus extends throughout the country.Originally believed to be primarily a Southeastern issue, the spores have been found to survive in some of the harshest climates.
Even shingle manufacturers have indicated that 80 percent of the asphalt shingle roofs in the United States are affected.
An "estimated 40 percent of shingle roofs in Minnesota, have an roof algae problem. Extreme temperatures won't prevent the roof algae spread, extreme heat or cold make them dormant until more favorable weather returns.
At the first sign of roof algae/fungus staining, it makes good sense to clean your roof! Here's why: As the roof algae and fungus grow on your roof, they eat away the base of the shingle and expand and contract with the outside temperature. This growth and movement loosens the granules, creating premature granule loss, dramatically shortening the life of your roof. A 25-year roof may not even last 15 years if nothing is done. Failure to remove the roof algae will raise roof temperatures by preventing the reflective capabilities of the granules from doing their job. These temperatures make your air conditioner work a lot harder and increase your electnc bills sometimes as much as several hundred dollars a year
Actually, many homeowners believe that the black spots, black streaks and roof mold are actually the shingle asphalt exposed through granule loss. It's NOT! The black stains and roof shingle streaks are actually ROOF ALGAE, and ROOF MOLD living on TOP of the asphalt roof shingles.
Mold, Algae and Fungus on roof shingles result in premature failure in roof shingle surfaces and of course unsightly appearances. The algae discolor the surface, dislodge granules and absorb solar heat.Roof Mold will damage the roof shingles Not only is your roof being discolored by the algae, but it is shortening the life of the roof shingles leading to earlier than necessary roof replacement. A typical roof shingle replacement costs between $7,000 and $10,000,
Home Owner Associations are now requiring home owners to either re-roof or clean their roofs. Roof stains are known to reduce property values, and cost thousands when your home is sold. To protect communities, the HO A requires the lawn be cut, garbage cans hidden, and roof stains removed.
Roof Mold and Roof Algae absorb solar heat. Asphalt Roof attic temperatures become a lot higher by preventing the reflective capabilities of the granules from doing their job. These soaring attic temperatures make your air conditioner work a lot harder and increase your electric bills sometimes as much as several hundred dollars a year.
Chlorine Bleach will clean the surface of the shingle but will not kill the whole algae colony. The roof stains usually start to return within 12 to 18 months.
Some contractors and home owners do use chlorine bleach as a cheap roof cleaner, but it is not advisable. Chlorine will also kill your plants, and is harmful to the environment and is not a effective reviver. In some cases, the chlorine runoff from the roof can void your termite warranty due to the interaction with the chemicals in the ground guarding your home. Its too risky to spray and forget the termite protection. In short, using chlorine bleach is not worth the risk when there are other much safer and less costly alternatives.
Fungus, mold and mildew covered roof shingles are an eyesore and unhealthy as well; do you want fungus spores all over, around and in your home? Those people with allergies tend to suffer as the now breached shingle allows water to carry mold spores under the roof. These spores then grow and lead to 'Sick House' syndrome. Prevention of mold and fungus spread is as simple as preventive roof cleaning.
The roof stains are caused by the airborne spores from black algae. This bacteria (cyano bacteria) is spread by the wind, and carried by small animals (squirrels, chipmonks) and Birds (House Wren, Finches, blackbird, robin, grackles etc). As the bird and squirrels deposit the spores on your roof, the bacteria joins the colonies of bacteria and grows. The only way to slow the cycle, is to remove the colonies. Changing the color (bleaching) is NOT enough. The bacteria must be destroyed to break the cycle.
Cleaning the roof bird droppings has always been a concern. Proper precautions (gloves, mask, long sleeves and pants) are advised because Avian Flu viruses are fairly environmentally resistant, which means they can survive for long periods of time in the wild. Our products are formulated so that they are reactivated with each rainfall. Once again renewing the cleaning properties and destroying the bacteria and other viruses
The Cleaning products used during a roof cleaning (like all cleaning products) must be used in accordance with directions by environmental laws. When used as directed, products are safe for plants and pets.
The danger in bird transmission of bacteria is that the Algae creates an easy host for bird flu. In the event of a bird flu pandemic, a clean roof is one less area the avian flu could take hold. We don't advocate panic, but simply cleaning your roof is prudent idea under any circumstance