Tips on Cleaning Roof Algae Safely
Before tackling the task of cleaning roof algae, it’s best to understand why algae is growing there in the first place. Often, algae begin forming on roofs because of debris such as leaves and twigs that accumulate around a roof. Because algae require warmth and light to grow – sun exposure is great for algae! – if you remove these elements, then the issue can be resolved rather quickly. Once you’ve got all the fallen debris removed from around your roof, sweep the area clean before applying any treatment.
Algae stains will often start small and look like spots or streaks across your shingles — this makes them harder to notice than larger pieces of debris and so they become more difficult to address over time. The best way to identify algae before it spreads is to walk around your roof and pay attention to the darker colors, as that’s where algae will typically grow.
Even if you’re not able to remove all of the algae from a roof, there are ways you can still address the problem. You can apply an algaecide or paint over existing spots with a waterproof coating. In both cases, be sure to follow directions for proper use — these chemicals aren’t intended for regular application! In some cases, roof cleaners may now come with bleach included so those chemicals now have anti-algae agents built right in.
The best thing about this method is that you get the benefit of killing off existing algae while preventing new growth moving forward. Be sure to not overuse chemicals on your roof, as that can have unintended consequences for local wildlife and plants.
If the algae is really thick across your roof, you may need to consider hiring a professional to help you get rid of it. Using power washers or even pressure hoses are both options for removing algae from roofs, however – just be careful of damaging shingles in the process! Many power washing companies offer special prices during the summer months when algae growth spikes, so don’t be afraid to shop around if cost is an issue for you.
Different types of shingles require different treatments, however. For example, oil-based stains on asphalt shingles will usually come off with a power washer, but claying or using a detergent solution is recommended for use on tiles.
Remember that safety should always come first when you’re working on a roof! Be sure to wear protective clothing and equipment such as gloves and goggles to avoid any accidental injuries from debris — especially if those materials hold sharp objects like nails with them.
As long as you pay careful attention to the condition of your roof and take steps to remove algae where it appears, you can save yourself the hassle and cost of having to replace your roof prematurely due to damage from algae growth. Before rushing into hiring a professional service or purchasing chemicals, consider doing the work by hand so you know exactly what’s going on — this way, you’ll be able to determine which method or combination of methods is right for your roof.
If you’re considering replacing the entire surface, research the different types of shingles available to help you make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your roof. For example, metal roofs do best in areas that get high amounts of snowfall or other debris, asphalt roofs are cost-effective and long-lasting while tile roofs require low maintenance but also come at a higher price tag.
There are many ways to remove algae from your roof — just take the proper precautions with whichever solution you choose! This way, you’ll be able to enjoy a clean roof without worrying about damage from sunlight exposure or accidental slips and falls on the job site.
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