Cleaning the gunk off of a roof isn’t usually something most homeowners consider. Many feel that once the roof is installed, there isn’t much that needs to be done until some damage occurs. That is a dangerous viewpoint. Much like other things in home ownership, we need to care for and regularly inspect the roofing system’s condition. And, if need be, give it a good proper cleaning on occasion. There are several myths out there that must be corrected and the truth revealed. Let’s explore just a few of those myths, and discuss the facts.
MYTH: Stains are only caused by dirt and grime.
FACT: The most common stain on a roof is actually caused by algae called gloeocapsa magma. This alga feeds off of the calcium carbonate found in limestone and moisture accumulated on the surface of shingles. As the algae grow, it becomes noticeable as dark streaks on a rooftop. Gravity and rainwater work together to cause the algae to grow in streaks down the slope. These streaks are commonly mistaken for common dirt and grime. Actually, the algae can create damage the shingles and shorten the life of a roof.
MYTH: Moss is common on a roof and doesn’t cause any harm.
FACT: Moss loves to multiply in areas that are cool and damp. If you notice moss on your roof, it is probably in an area shaded by trees or other structures. Moss absorbs water through its leaves like a sponge and can continue to soak up rainwater, grow and spread throughout the whole roof if not addressed.
Moss tends to grow in between the shingles where the moisture can sit and be soaked up. Secondly, as the moss grows, it can lift and loosen the shingles offering more space for moss growth. Moss can retain water for long periods of time, and the roofing structure can begin to decay as the moss builds.
The problem of moss must be eliminated as soon as it is found. By proper cleaning, the roof can be restored and last for years to come.
MYTH: A homeowner can easily power wash the roof to clean it.
FACT: YouTube offers up many home projects for the ambitious DIY’er. However, power washing a roof should not be one of those ventures. Many aggressive homeowners have taken on the cleaning project only to cause the granules of a shingle to loosen and fall off. Not to mention losing the shingles altogether.
Secondly, the technique of power washing a roof can be quite hazardous. A wet surface to the untrained homeowner could result in falling off of and creating a health concern. Place your trust in a roofing professional contractor who knows the proper procedures to stay safe.
MYTH: Roof cleaning is just a waste of money and a gimmick used by roofing contractors.
FACT: As noted with the other points, it is vitally important to clean the roof on occasion. In fact, proper cleaning will only need to be done about once every three to six years in order to keep the roof performing at its peak. The charges may vary from company to company, so it is always best to speak with the roofing contractor about the method they use to clean the roof, and the costs they charge.
The cost you paid to have the roof put on can be best protected with cleanings when needed. Protect your investment by having your roof honestly inspected and cleaned if necessary. Contact MHI Roofing in Pittsburgh to learn how we can work with you to extend the life of your roof. We look forward to hearing from you!