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Why You Should Get Rid of Roof Algae

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Gainesville’s warm, humid climate makes many asphalt shingle roofs in our area prone to growing roof algae, a “junk drawer” term for a vast group of diverse photosynthetic organisms. They’re common in nature and we often see them thriving in warm, wet locations. Although they’re perfectly fine in their natural habitat, you don’t want algae growing on your home’s roof surface. Read on to learn how to get rid of roof algae and why it’s important.

What Is Roof Algae?

In North Central Florida, it’s common to see black or dark-colored algae stains on residential asphalt shingle roofs. They may appear as long or short streaks, making your roof look much older than its actual age. There are a number of factors contributing to the growth of this roof algae. In Gainesville, clogged gutters, clumps of pine needles, overhanging branches, or poor roof ventilation are often the culprit of roof algal build-up. Further, frequent rains, intense sunlight, and excessive humidity provide the perfect growing conditions for algae, which is spread via airborne spores.

Algae Stains - Picture of a home's roof with black streaks.

Why Should I Get Rid of Roof Algae?

Roof algae affect roofs differently. Depending on the color of your roof, algae may have little or profound effects on its health. For example, darker-colored shingles will be less susceptible to damage caused by excess heating as a result of the algae. The following are the main reasons you should get rid of roof algae.

Enhance Your Roof Appearance and Lifespan

Thinking back to high school science class, darker-colored materials absorb more heat than lighter-colored ones, which is why you want to wear a white shirt on a hot day vs. a black one. When algae grow on lighter-colored shingles they cause the roof’s surface temperature to get hotter than it would in their absence.

Excess heat damages the roof’s granules and compromises the roof’s overall strength, shortening its effectiveness and lifespan. Maybe your roof is made of darker-colored shingles. In this case, appearance is more of a factor than damage since the roof is already less reflective because of its color.

Often, a roof can look like it’s damaged or much older than it actually is simply because it is dirty from algal growth. This can be important if you’re planning on selling or simply want to increase your home’s curb appeal.

Increase Your Home’s Energy-Efficiency

Again, a darker-colored roof surface is going to absorb more solar and infrared energy from the sun and the surrounding environment. As a result, it will increase your home’s cooling load during the summer months in Florida. Heating begins from the top down into your attic — forcing your home’s cooling unit to work double-time during especially hot, sunny days.

By getting rid of roof algae, you can save money on your energy bills and boost the overall appearance of your home!

How Do I Get Rid of Roof Algae?

In many cases, if you’re a DIYer, you can clean your home’s roof using a standard garden hose and a simple chlorine bleach water solution. All you have to do is apply the solution to your roof from the top down using a gentle spray. After letting the solution sit for about 20-30 minutes, you can gently rinse the roof with a low-pressure nozzle on your standard garden hose.

It’s important that you don’t use a high-pressure washer to rinse your asphalt shingle roof because it will damage the surface by removing the granules. Granules are an important part of the roof system because they give the shingles their water-repelling properties.

However, there are times when simply cleaning your roof is not possible. In this case, it’s best to hire a professional roofing contractor to replace your old roof system with a new one.

Consider McFall Roofing in Gainesville, FL For Roof Replacement

If your roof has aged and succumbed to wear and tear, it’s best to call a residential roofing professional like McFall Residential Roofing. The benefit of working with a local roofing contractor like McFall is that you get the knowledge and expertise you need to make the best decisions for your home. We follow industry best practices and use high-quality roofing materials to give our customers beautiful roofs that will last.

Contact us today to get started on your residential roof replacement.

Where to Save and Where to Splurge on Your Roof

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When it comes to our homes, there are certain parts we want to splurge on, like the foundation, framing, windows, and the roof because cutting corners or costs in these areas can be detrimental to our home’s structural integrity.

Although the roof as a whole isn’t an area we want to skimp on, there are parts where we can choose to splurge and others where we can save. Read on to learn where to save and where to splurge on your roof.

What Are the Various Parts of a Roof System and What’s Their Value?

The roof system has far more parts than what initially meets the eye. Typically, when it comes to residential roofs, we think of either asphalt shingles or metal. For our purposes today, we’ll focus primarily on an asphalt shingle.

When you look at a shingle roofing system, 95% of what you see are shingles. However, there are other parts like the roof vent, ridge vent, attic fan, drip-edges, fascia, gutters, soffit, nails, and decking. Here’s a breakdown of these materials along with their cruciality.

Roof Vents, Ridge Vents, and Attic Fans

Observant people will notice that not all roofs have ridge vents, ridge caps, and/or attic fans. Does this mean that these parts are optional? Yes and no. You can technically get away with not having any of these parts and save on upfront costs. However, having at least one of these parts will save you money in the long run. These components serve the following purposes.

  • They increase the longevity of your roof by dissipating heat from the roof surface.
  • They help keep your attic cooler.
  • They help you save on cooling costs.

Excess heat damages your roofing system from the bottom–up, decreasing your roof’s lifespan. Gaining a few extra years of roof life will save you from having to replace your roof as often. A cooler attic space will also lead to greater energy efficiency and lower energy bills. Therefore, spending a little extra money on at least one of these components is worthwhile.

Energy-efficient roof by McFall Residential Roofing

Shingles and Decking

The shingle type and brand you choose are important — you don’t have to select the most expensive shingles in the world, but you also don’t want to buy the cheapest. Choosing dimensional shingles that have a longer lifespan and qualities like algae resistance are best. The North Central Florida climate is tough on roofs, so you want to go with a durable product that can stand up to the heat, rain, wind, and humidity.

When replacing a roof, it’s important to identify any areas where there’s soft or damaged decking. If any is found, it should be replaced prior to having the new roof installed. Again, longevity and durability are important when it comes to a home’s roof. Although it’s easy to just re-shingle over old decking, the best practice would be replacing or repairing these areas before laying the new shingles.

Drip Edges, Fascia, Soffits, and Gutters

Every part of a roof system is important and serves a purpose (or it wouldn’t be there). However, with drip edges, fascia, soffit, and gutters, there’s a little more flexibility. Buying any standard versions of these products will generally be sufficient. Some aspects of these components come down to preference.

For example, these components come in various colors, brands, and material types. These factors generally play into the aesthetic value more than functionality. However, if you had to choose between splurging on these areas versus the others, you want to splurge on the components like the type of shingles, ventilation, or decking.

Roof - Picture of soffit and the underside of gutters on a home.

When it comes to gutters, you can go with seamless options and guards. Seamless options and gutter guards are desirable because they make gutter maintenance easier. However, seamless gutters require customization and are usually cut on-site. This adds costs. Choosing seamless gutters and gutter guards comes down to preference, not necessity, however.

Consider McFall Roofing in Gainesville, FL

All parts of your roof system are important. However, there are some areas where there’s more flexibility when it comes to cost. The benefit of working with a local roofing contractor like McFall is that you get the knowledge and expertise you need to make the best decisions for your home. We follow industry best practices and use high-quality roofing materials to give our customers beautiful roofs that will last.

Contact us today to get started on your residential roofing project.

Roofing Emergencies: What Are the Signs?

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When it comes to our homes, we all know some issues don’t need to be resolved right away. For example, if one of the light bulbs in your chandelier is out, you probably don’t need to drop everything you’re doing to replace it. However, when it comes to areas of your home like your roof, some issues can be a high priority. When it comes to roofing emergencies, there are a few common signs. Certain roof emergencies require immediate attention. Read on to learn what they are and why they’re important to resolve in a timely manner.

Roofing emergencies - Image of crews re-roofing a home.


Look for These Signs

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the signs of a roofing emergency. However, these are certainly the big ones.

Water Leaks

Water leaks are one of the most significant signs of roofing emergencies. In North Florida, we are prone to torrential downpours. There are times when we can receive as much as a few inches of rain in only an hour.

For this reason, any small puncture or tear in your roof can allow a significant amount of water to enter your home, damaging trusses, insulation, drywall, and flooring. Water not only damages materials but also causes mold growth.

Mold growth presents many challenges through secondary damages and its threat to human health — dealing quickly with a leaky roof is paramount in preventing these.

Missing Shingles

Missing shingles are another sign of a roof emergency. Obviously, the purpose of shingles is to protect our homes from the elements. Due to events like thunderstorms which cause high winds, shingles can sometimes be ripped off the decking.

Older roofs are more prone to losing shingles during high wind events. When a shingle is missing, you may not notice the negative effects right away, but you will likely see your roof begin to leak because of our climate.

You must address this issue quickly and get your roof repaired. It’s not something you can put off for weeks or months. Leaving a missing shingle unchecked will undoubtedly lead to more damage.

Rotting Wood

Rotting wood is something that happens slowly. Common areas of rot on a roof system include the decking and the fascia board. Decking is the wood underneath the shingles and serves as the barrier between your shingles and the attic or trusses.

Another sign of roofing emergencies related to rotting wood is when the decking develops soft spots, or the fascia board begins to splinter and fall away. The roof’s structural integrity is compromised at this point, and these materials must be replaced. If homeowners wait too long, they’re likely to see leaks, roof collapses, or animal intrusion into their attic space.

Trust McFall for All Your Roofing Emergencies

At McFall Roofing, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality work in Gainesville, Florida. Since our inception, our goal has been to fill a need for a reputable roofing company in Alachua county that uses premium materials and industry best practices. If you need residential roof repairs or installation, contact us or request an estimate today to get started on your roofing project!

How Roofing Has Changed in the Last Decade

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Can you remember when there were fewer options for consumers than today? Technology, innovation, and opportunity drive change across every industry and commodity — roofing is no exception. Read on to learn how roofing has changed in the last decade and what the changes mean for homeowners.

How Roofing Has Changed

Roofing has changed significantly throughout the US in the last decade. However, we’re going to focus on the most noteworthy changes that have occurred relative to North Central Florida. The most significant changes include the following.

Increased Asphalt Shingle Roof Options

Just like the beverage selection at the convenience store, homeowners now have an array of options when it comes to asphalt shingles. Not only are there hundreds of color and texture options, but there’s also a growing trend of “designer” roofs. Designer roofs transcend the normal consensus regarding roofs – that roofs are not beautiful and are only practical.

Now, roofs can add aesthetic value and curb appeal to homes. Not only do homebuyers want roofs that are newer and built-to-last, but they also desire roofs that are beautiful and add to the overall appearance of the home. This trend continues here in 2022.

More Insurance Scrutiny Regarding Roof Age

In North Central Florida, we see a new trend with insurance carriers regarding roof age. These changes result from rising insurance scams over the last decade, which have cost insurance companies millions of dollars in lawsuits and attorney fees. The added burden of replacement costs due to frequent hurricanes in the last few years is another driving force. We see insurance carriers cancel policies for homeowners whose roofs are only 15 years or older.

In some cases, insurance companies refuse to write homeowner’s policies for homebuyers purchasing a home with roofs 8-10 years of age or older. As a result of insurance carriers tightening their guidelines, homeowners sometimes must decide to purchase a new roof out-of-pocket or lose their insurance coverage. We expect this trend to continue.

Increased Use of Metal Roofing

There’s a growing trend in the usage of metal roofing. Metal roofing has not only become trendy, but it’s also extremely durable and resilient in the harsh Florida climate. Frequent hurricanes, heat, and humidity punish asphalt shingle roofs. Metal roofs, on the other hand, last much longer than asphalt shingle roofs and add great character to a home’s exterior. Growing demand has also led to more color options for metal roofs than before.

How roofing has changed - Metal roof on a residential home

The McFall Difference

At McFall Roofing, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality work in Gainesville, Florida. Since our inception, our goal has been to fill a need for a reputable roofing company in Alachua county that uses premium materials and industry best practices. Although roofing has changed, McFall’s commitment to quality is unchanging. If you need residential roof repairs or installation, contact us or request an estimate today to get started on your roofing project!

More Than Price: Choosing the Right Roofing Company

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When deciding on any product or service, we often consider many factors. For the average consumer, price is generally the most important factor for determining which to choose. However, is it best to shop around on price alone? Let us consider the adage, “You get what you pay for.” Its application is no different with roofing companies. Although price is an important consideration when comparing contractors, you want to make sure you’re comparing apples-to-apples. Read on to learn what to look for when choosing the right roofing company to use for your home.

Look For These Characteristics in an Exceptional Roofing Company

Besides price, we have boiled down essential characteristics and red flags to look for when hiring a roofing company. Remember, your roof is one of the most critical parts of your home. You want to ensure it’s properly installed on time for the best price.

Trust and Professionalism

As you begin selecting the best roofing contractor, you’re likely to start searching for information about them. While searching, answer the following questions.

  • Do they have a website and social media presence?
  • What about client testimonials?
  • Is there a list of references you can refer to?
Picture of the McFall team members standing in the grass with a house and trees in the background.

The McFall Team


When you submit an inquiry via an online form through their website or call them to schedule an appointment, do they respond quickly? How well they communicate from the first touchpoint is usually a good indicator of their communication throughout the entire project.


Many roofing contractors are booked out far in advance due to supply and demand issues. However, it could be a red flag if they’re not forthcoming about their estimated wait time. The best contractors will always be the busiest and must be booked far in advance. They will also set realistic expectations up-front.

Certifications and References

Roofing companies should be fully insured and have up-to-date professional licenses and certifications. Feel free to ask them for this information as you begin corresponding with them. Licenses can be verified via the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation. Additionally, ask roofers if they have a list of references you can call to view their track record. Keep in mind, it’s like you’re “interviewing” roofing companies for a job much like a company would an employee. It’s easy to skip this step because it can feel intrusive or awkward, but that is better than having a project go badly later on because you didn’t properly screen them.

Detailed Estimates

When receiving estimates from roofing companies, get at least 2-3 bids and favor the ones that have detailed line items. This is especially true when one estimate is significantly higher or lower than another one. For example, if one estimate is significantly lower than the other two, ask yourself, “What line items do they have listed?”

The cost may be less, but that doesn’t mean you’re comparing apples-to-apples in terms of the scope of work and the quality of materials being used. If an estimate only has one or two line items followed by the price, ask the roofing company if you can get a more detailed breakdown. In other words, don’t be too hasty to choose the lowest estimate.


Reputable roofing contractors will also provide a warranty on their workmanship. You want to select a roofing company that offers a 10-year labor warranty on their new roof installations. Warranties are important should you experience an issue with your roof 1-2 years after installation. They give you the peace of mind you need after committing to a large investment.

Marketing Approach

How a roofing company conducts its marketing efforts is an important indicator of its business model. Unfortunately, due to past legal loopholes and conflicts of interest in Florida, many unscrupulous roofing contractors have taken advantage of homeowners.

Until recently, it was easy for roofing companies to send salespeople to neighborhoods where they would identify aging roofs, knock on the door, and tell the homeowner they could get a brand new roof at the expense of their insurance carrier. They would claim they recognized significant “damage” to the roof based on their professional expertise.

Homeowners would unwittingly sign contracts like Assignments of Benefits (AOBs). Signing these documents transfers your rights as the policyholder directly to the contractor. AOBs made insurance carriers legally obligated to work with only the contractor.

Contractors could either claim the insurance money and never return to complete the work or complete the work but later have the claim denied by the insurance carrier. For the latter, the contractor either sues the carrier or comes after the homeowner for the money and places a lien on their property until their invoice is paid.

Thankfully, due to recent changes in legislation, these kinds of scams are more challenging for contractors. Nonetheless, there are still loopholes around laws, so homeowners must remain vigilant.

The McFall Difference

At McFall Roofing, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality workmanship in Gainesville, Florida. Since our inception, our goal has been to fill a need for a reputable roofing company in Alachua County that uses premium materials and industry best practices. When it comes to choosing the right roofing company, McFall has you covered! If you need residential roof repairs or installation, contact us or request an estimate today to get started on your roofing project.

What Makes a Roof Energy-Efficient and Why Is That Beneficial?

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The answer to this question may seem somewhat obvious, but it’s still worth asking. Thanks to technological advancement, our society is becoming increasingly more efficient and sustainable. One way we’re able to decrease energy costs and reduce environmental impacts is by outfitting our homes with new energy-efficient roofs. In other words, having an energy-efficient roof not only helps the environment but also offers the following benefits.

  • Saves you money on energy costs
  • Increases your home’s value and curb appeal
  • Protects the interior of your home
  • Reduces the need for maintenance

As you’re deciding to have a new energy-efficient roof installed at your home, read on to learn more about the various types of energy-efficient roofing products.

Energy-Efficient Roofing Material Types

There are many types of energy-efficient roofing materials available today. Some of these products include the following.

  • Highly-reflective metal roofing panels
  • Certain asphalt shingles
  • Ridge Vents
Metal roof on a residential garage

Metal roofs increase a home’s energy efficiency because they’re highly-reflective.

Energy-Star Materials

Materials must meet U.S. Department of Energy standards to be considered energy efficient. One way you can distinguish energy-efficient materials from others is by looking for the Energy-Star logo on the packaging. Metal roofs have proven to be one of the most energy-efficient roofing systems in this industry, and asphalt shingles can be effective as long as darker-colored options are avoided.

Challenges for North Florida Homeowners

We face different challenges here in Gainesville than those who live in the northern states. For example, it may be more energy-efficient in places with cooler climates to have darker, less-reflective roofs to reduce heating costs during the winter months. However, in the North Florida climate, using lightly-colored or highly-reflective roofing materials (like metal) helps reduce cooling costs, especially during the summer months.

Roof Ventilation

We can also add ridge vents to the home, which increases energy efficiency. Hot air builds up in the attic and must have somewhere to go. Ridge vents provide venting for roof systems by allowing upward heat transfer from the attic to the atmosphere, keeping the home cooler during hot days. In most cases, ventilation is encouraged through the use of powered fans or by natural airflow from the wind. By allowing your attic and roof to “breathe,” temperatures inside the home can be maintained more evenly. Proper ventilation also extends the life of a roof.

Getting an Energy-Efficient Roof

Here at McFall Residential Roofing, we are your go-to energy-efficient roofing contractor in Gainesville, FL. Moreover, our other division, McFall Builders, is a certified green home building contractor here in Gainesville. Therefore, we can apply our knowledge of green building best practices across both divisions. If you’re interested in replacing your current roof with a more energy-efficient one, request an estimate or give us a call at (352) 415-9098 today.