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Clean Roofs For Longer Life

Homeowners rarely notice their roofs until a problem develops. As long as it repels moisture, a roof is a low-maintenance component that requires little thought. However, neighbors, appraisers, Sunday tourists and visitors typically take in the entire house upon first glance, and a stained or mossy roof makes a poor initial impression. From a practical standpoint, allowing vegetative growth to remain on the roof over time will cause it to deteriorate more rapidly than it should.

Marlton roofing companies are excellent resources for pointers on roof cleaning products and procedures. Although this type of cleaning is typically a do-it-yourself project, using the most effective products and tools makes the job go more smoothly in a minimum amount of time. In most cities, cleaning services are available to help homeowners who are unable to complete such a project themselves.

Depending on the climate, various types of vegetative growth make ugly discolorations on roof surfaces. Algae, a strain known as Gloeocapsa Magma in particular, develops on roofs in humid regions. This species feeds on the minerals embedded in asphalt shingles. Rain spreads the algae across the roof, resulting in unsightly black stains. In addition to the loss of aesthetic appeal, darkened, algae-covered shingles trap more heat in the attic space beneath, leading to higher cooling costs for homeowners.

According to experts at the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, algae streaks are difficult but not impossible to banish.

They recommend homeowners use a cleaning solution of one cup trisodium phosphate (TSP), five gallons of chlorine bleach and five gallons of water. Ideally, people can apply this solution from a secured ladder using a garden sprayer that will gently saturate all parts of the roof. For larger surfaces, the homeowner may have to lay walking boards on the roof for better access, taking extreme care not to slip on the wet and slippery shingles.

A follow-up rinse of fresh water from the garden hose removes the solution, and the stains should be gone. If not, mixing a stronger solution of one cup of TSP, two and one-half gallons each of bleach and water may do the trick. Effective commercial algaecides are also available.

Mossy growth makes a roof look old and uncared for. More importantly, moss takes root in shingles, causing decay and requiring premature replacement. The first step in the moss removal process is to kill the growth. Several products are available that are effective, but the experts advise starting with the mildest, least caustic product first to avoid unnecessary damage to the roofing. Homeowners can spray the product on the roof or apply it with a mop.

Once the moss is dead, the resident can remove it with a broom or with a pressure washer. However, when using a pressure washer on a roof, it must be done in a downward direction from the ridge of the roof to avoid driving water beneath the shingles. After moss removal, some experts advise the installation of zinc strips that release zinc carbonate into water runoff, discouraging future moss growth. Have a question regarding roofing, gutters or new skylights? Please ask Fortified Roofing of Marlton NJ today!

Term of the day, courtesy of Fortified Roofing, Marlton NJ:

Zinc strips

Along with galvanized flashing, zinc strips are a product that roofers use to prevent mossy growth on roof shingles. Most brands are effective for about 12 months, so homeowners should replace them annually. Zinc strips work best on undeveloped moss, so homeowners should clean moss from roof surfaces prior to applying them.

Marlton roofing FAQ of the day:

What other kinds of growth can affect roofing?

Lichens grow on roofing material, especially asphalt and wood shingles. Although they do not absorb water like moss so are not as heavy, they are more tenacious and mar shingle surfaces when removed. They are greyish green in color and are more noticeable on dark roofing. Mold and mildew also grows atop roofing, causing surface stains.

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