Overhanging branches, clogged gutters, standing water, a porous roofing material, and poor roof ventilation can all cause roof algae. Roof algae is an issue that many homeowners face, and many find themselves unable to fix it. That’s where we come in. Read on, we’ll tell you how to remove pesky roof algae and how to prevent its return in the future.

What is Roof Algae?

Roof algae, scientifically known as Gloeocapsa magma, is a dark stain or streak, mold-like in nature, that appears on roofs. It’s most commonly found in warm, humid climates, and can affect a house for many different reasons and cause a rather unsightly appearance. Roof algae is characterized by dark streaks, possible white or green markings across the roof, or even the spreading of moss across the surface of the roof.

How to Remove Roof Algae

You’ve recently noticed some unattractive coloring or moss growth on your roof and you’re wondering how to get rid of it quickly. Quickly is the key word, if you don’t act fast, the problem will only get worse. We recommend having a professional come in for removal purposes, however, if you’re good around the house (and not scared of heights), there are methods that can be useful.

The most common method of removal is a mixture of 50% water and 50% bleach. Plants don’t like bleach, so this is a proven effective method to remove the algae. Pour the mixture over the infected area and let sit for a half hour to 45 minutes. Once you’ve let the mixture set, rinse off the area with water. We cannot stress this enough – do NOT power wash the roof, it will damage it. The algae will take a bit of time to come off with this solution, just be patient.

For directions on how to create the right cleaning mixture for your particular roof, refer to this article here, which discusses the right solutions for removing roof algae.

Again, this method is for those who feel capable of fixing household problems themselves, and for people who feel comfortable up on their own roofs. If you are not one of these people, have no fear, there are professionals who can remove the roof algae, stress-free.

How to Prevent Roof Algae

If the algae on your roof has been banished (either by you, or a professional), it’s now time to take preventative measures to avoid the algae returning. Even if you live in a humid climate, or a rainy climate, or you deal with overgrown trees, there are still ways of keeping the algae at bay.

The easiest way to prevent roof algae from coming back again is to install zinc or copper strips underneath the shingles closest to the peak of the roof, leaving a couple inches of the metal exposed to the elements. When it rains some of the metal molecules will run down the roof along with the rain killing any algae that may be trying to regrow on your roof.

It’s also vital to have regular maintenance scheduled for gutter cleaning and for roof inspections. Make sure there’s never any standing water on your roof, and if possible, trim any trees that may shed onto the roof or block the sunlight. Make the maintenance of your roof a priority, and you’ll save time and money in the long run – not to mention your house will look its very best.

When to Call in a Roofing Professional

Contact a roofing professional the day you notice signs of discoloration, watermarks, dark spots, peeling paint, mold on your chimney, rotting wood, or crumbling drywall– it could be a sign of potential algae growth on your roof. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to treat. It’s never a bad time to ask for the help of a professional.

At Werner Roofing in West Michigan, our goal is to provide quality roofing, roof repair, and roof replacement to communities along the lakeshore (Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg, Norton Shores, Muskegon, and Holland). We have over 30 years of experience in the industry, use only the highest quality materials from top brands, and we pride ourselves on honesty and integrity. We’re proud of our service and our team, and we’re happy to come out and take a look at your roof, and offer a few suggestions to help treat your roof algae issues.

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