If your roof is made of asphalt shingles, you might sometimes spot black streaks and dark spots on your roof and wonder what they are. Most of us wrongly assume that these streaks are caused by the effects of weather and aging. The truth, however, is that they are the work of a very hardy algae species known as Gloeocapsa Magma, that loves feasting on the limestone in your roof shingles. Another wrong assumption that many people make is that those unsightly streaks are merely a cosmetic problem and do little harm to your roof. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those streaks do more than just make your roof look like some prehistoric artifact. The algae actually eats up your roof and gradually weakens its internal structure. The result: your roof breaks down and fails much earlier than should have been the case. That’s why it’s so important to periodically clean your roof. What’s more, moss flourishes on un-cleaned roofs and quickly builds up creating patches of green. This encourages excessive dampness to accumulate on the roof which eventually starts leaking water and it’s all downhill from here.
50% of roof replacements are done when people can no longer stand the sight of their dreary-looking roofs. But replacing the roof is in a good number of cases not necessary. A simple clean up to remove the moss and algae will suffice to keep it in tip-top shape. A clean roof will also reflect away heat a lot more effectively and will thus reduce the need to run your AC unit overtime especially during summer.
Low Pressure vs. High Pressure Cleaning
When cleaning your roof, low pressure cleaning works better than high pressure cleaning. Using high pressure with plenty of harsh chemicals to clean your roof is likely to do more harm than good to your roof. Asphalt shingles are likely to be damaged by high pressure cleaning. If your roof already has a lot of moss on it, use moss killer instead of a high pressure washer to get rid of it. Using a pressure washer to clean your roof will remove the granular layer which helps to protect the shingles as well as break down the bond between individual shingles. Low to moderate water pressure should do the trick. The protective chemicals used by professional roof cleaners should protect your roof from any algae attacks for about 2 years.
Should I do the Cleaning Myself?
The short answer to that question is an emphatic “No”. The roof surface can become very slippery during cleaning and thus make it very dangerous for you to step on. Of course the problem is much worse if the angle of tilt of your roof is very high. Any momentary loss of grip and, before you know it, you are flying through the air. Look for a professional roof cleaning company in your area and let them clean your roof for you.
When to Replace your Roof
Although periodic cleaning of your roof helps to keep it in good shape, asphalt shingles have a sell-by-date. On average, they last about 20 years. This figure, however, is an average figure and how long your asphalt roofing shingles will actually last depends to a large extent on the average temperatures where you live and how well you take care of them. Thermal stress brought about by very rapid temperature changes is known to considerably reduce the lifespan of asphalt shingles. Get a good roof replacement company to replace your roof if it’s too old, leaking water or badly damaged.
AJ Wells Roofing Contractors is a respected roofing contractor company located in Jacksonville as well as in North Florida. We offer top-quality roofing shingles from reputable manufacturers. We are also experts at roof replacement and roof maintenance. At AJ Wells, quality is our mantra and we always stand behind any roof replacements we do and back it up with a 50-year leak-free guarantee. Some of our roofing shingles come with a 100% prorated warranty from their manufacturers. We have over 40 years combined roofing experience so call us today and get a free quote for your roof replacement job.