There are few things as unsightly as a home’s roof being overtaken by moss. It starts as a thin, green film setting in between the natural spaces and crevices of your home’s shingles. While this type of growth can happen anywhere, it is especially prominent in areas of heavy moisture and humidity, and on roofs that may be covered by a tree canopy or dense foliage.

Wood or shake shingles are especially susceptible to moss development. Wood’s porous nature is inviting to moisture-loving mosses and algae. Lack of sunlight and the cool, moist environment sets up the perfect ecosystem for moss to grow. If left unchecked, roof damage and deterioration can happen in rapid fashion.

Why Moss Ruins Roofs

As it grows and spreads, moss not only retains moisture, but it also causes shingles to lift and allow water to seep in encouraging wood rot and causing further deterioration of the shingles and decking. As the moss spreads, it forms a thick mat which serves as a sponge that soaks up and retains water.

Homeowners are typically shocked to find out just how fast this process of water retention and moss growth can destroy an otherwise sound roof. One day they might have a hint of green on their roof. A few months later and with the right conditions, their roof can quickly begin to look like something out of a medieval fairytale gone wrong.

The long-term ramifications of a moss-covered roof left untreated is an upcoming total roof replacement. Protecting your roof by removing and treating moss to prevent further growth is absolutely crucial to keeping the roof over your head structurally healthy and sound.

Treating Roof Moss Is Best Left To The Pros

If you’ve found yourself with a growing green problem on your home’s roof, there are some things that you can do to gain control before serious damage sets in. Yes, there are do-it-yourself products you can purchase to kill roof algae but, the best course of action is to always contact a professional roofing specialist to help with this mitigation process.

First, the chemicals used to kill plant growth are strong and potentially caustic. Ruined clothing, burned skin, stained siding and damage to landscape and plant life are just some of the hazards of trying to do this yourself. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be on top of a moist and potentially slippery roof wrangling water and chemicals.

The process your roofing specialist will follow depends on the severity of the growth and the type of plant life they are dealing with (moss, fungi, algae, etc.). Once that plant life is managed and no further growth can take place, it is important to completely clean and remove the dead or dying debris left behind.

Once that is done, a roofing pro can assess damage and make necessary repairs to any decking or shingles that may have been compromised by the moss growth and moisture. In some cases where moss has been spreading for a good while, an entire roof replacement is required.

With a moss-free roof, the next step is to make sure you eliminate the factors that led to its overgrowth in the first place. While you can’t always control things such as heat, humidity or even foliage and tree cover, there are ways to protect your roof and discourage growth of mosses, algae, and other potentially damaging plant life. Your trusted roofing professional can prescribe just the right remedy for any green-growing roof situation.

Roof Mosses vs. Roof Bacteria

In some areas of the country, there is a type of blue-green algae caused by cyanobacteria called Gloeocapsa magma that causes dark stains on shingles and roofs. While it doesn’t cause serious damage like its mossy counterparts, it does leave nasty stains that are unwelcome and unsightly. While this problem is treated differently, there are some excellent roofing treatments available to keep your home’s roof green-free.

Alte Exteriors is a Master Elite GAF residential roofing contractor with plenty of experience when it comes to moss and algae growth on roofs. For mosses, Alte professionals can eliminate the growth and treat your shingles and roof to make sure it doesn’t return again. If you are dealing with staining blue-green algae, Alte customers can now benefit from GAF’s Time-Release Algae-Fighting Technology and Stainguard Plus™. Watch a video about this process, or to find out more, contact the Alte Exteriors roofing pros.

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