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.
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.