Roof algae An Understanding of Algae Growth on Your Roof

Take a look at your roof. Do you have black stains or shady areas covering the roofing shingles? While these stains are often confused for black mold, the dangerous kind that can grow in areas like your bathroom showers, what you're actually looking at is a type of algae.


Most humid areas of the country, including coastal areas like the southeast states, commonly experience algae growth on the roof. You may be wondering if you need to visit a Fairburn discount roofing company for supplies like new shingles to replace the algae-ridden areas. You may also wonder how extensive the damage this fungus causes may be.


Here is the info that you need to know about roof algae.


About Algae

While the term 'algae' typically brings to mind dirty ponds and swimming pools, algae can actually grow outside of the water as well. Algae refers to a wide variety of organisms that use photosynthesis for nutrition and has a nonvascular body, or a lack of connective tissues that transport nutrients throughout the body. This means that every cell of an algae organism must consume its own nutrients.


Typically, the type of algae found on roofs is Gloeocapsa magma, or blue-green algae. This type of alage is unique in that it has developed a protective sheath so that it can grow in direct sunlight without being damaged by UV radiation, the cause of death of many types of fungus.


It sends out spores into the air to reproduce. Often, this means that several roofs in one neighborhood will all develop blue-green algae. It's important to note that, despite its name, the colony of algae may not actually appear blue-green, but can be almost black in appearance.


Clean roof

Is It Harmful?

You'll be happy to learn that blue-green algae won't compromise the structural stability of your home's roof. While mold can eat through and soften roofs to the point that holes can form and major portions of the structure can even collapse, blue-green algae is slightly less harmful. It's only real drawback is its dingy appearance, which involves dark streaks that discolor your roof. For many homeowners, especially those who wish to resell their home, blue-green algae is a problem that needs fixing.


How Do You Get Rid of It?

Getting rid of blue-green algae is surprisingly simple. Just attach a sprayer with diluted bleach onto a hose, then spray the roof. Let it rest for about 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with just water. You may want to place a tarp around plants on the ground so that they don't get rinsed with bleach. This can kill most plants, as bleach is a substance virtually designed to kill organisms.


Don't be surprised if the stains don't wash away immediately. The bleach slowly kills the algae, so it eventually washes away off your roof.

Note that a professional can do the job for an inexperienced homeowner if they so choose. Many people are incapable of accessing their roofs for one reason or another and would prefer a pro's assistance.


Can You Prevent Algae?

If you successfully clean your roof of algae, there's still a chance it can come back. Thankfully, there are some roofing supplies that actually prevent algae's growth.


The first is a copper or zinc strip. If successfully installed on the top and side edges of your roof, metallic particles will flow down with rainfall down the surface of the roof. Metals such as copper and zinc kill algae and prevent its growth. If you're worried about metal particles getting into your yard, visit a roofing supply company for shingles that already contain metal particles, so there's no need for the rinse-away strips.


If you want to find high-quality shingles, roofing staples, and other repair supplies, visit a Fairburn discount roofing supplier like Preferred Roofing today.