Is moss bad for my roof?
This is a question we get all the time. A lot of people are unaware that roof moss is more than just an eyesore for your property. In fact moss is actually a living bacteria commonly referred to in the science world as “Gleocapsa Magna“.
Rising humidity and temperatures combined with more and more bacteria spores promotes their spread with these favorable conditions. Fiberglass shingles today are made a bit different then the paper, asphalt, ceramic shingles of the 1980s. Starting in the 90’s shingles began being made with limestone as a filler in the asphalt. These shingles hold moisture and organic “bacteria food” material longer (especially on the North-side of the roof in the Midwest of the USA). The bacteria are airborne. Moss if left to feed and grow can cause substantial destruction to roofs causing shingle decay and loss of reflective power. Over time, the Gloeocapsa magma breaks down the shingles by feeding off of the limestone granules embedded in the shingles. This decreases a roof’s ability to reflect ultra-violet rays of light and shortens the life of the roof by up to half.
How do you get rid of it?
Improperly cleaning a roof can irreversibly damage the shingles and void the roof manufacturer’s warranty. You should never let anyone pressure wash a roof or use a wire brush to remove the moss. Both these methods will remove years of life from the roof by removing much of the shingle grit.
Here are some photos of roofs that some cleaning contractors used a wire brush(left side) or a pressure washer (right side) to remove the moss. As you can see a lot of the shingle grit has been brushed off.
Next Level Window Cleaning uses only professional detergents and non-pressure techniques recommended by roof manufacturers to safely and gently kill the growth on your roof preventing further damage. Rather than BLAST or SCRAPE off the moss we treat it with our solution to kill it 100% right down to the root. Using a pressure washer or a wire brush will only remove the surface moss but does not penetrate down to the root like the liquid solution. This is also why we recommend treating the ENTIRE ROOF – even the parts without visible moss. Spores from the moss, lichen, and algae can begin to form under the shingles and these spores can easily become airborne and re-spread after cleaning which can cause the moss to return quicker. By treating the entire roof we are able to warranty our service for 2 years from the time of cleaning.
What to Expect?
It would be really great if we could just squirt a little detergent on your roof and years of growth would simply evaporate. Unfortunately thats simply not how it works. We offer a long term solution to a long term problem. So here’s what you should expect:
Once we treat your roof, all growth will be dead, causing no further damage to the shingles. However, the growth will take some time to weather down safely from your roof. Black streaks turn light brown or disappear when treated, and typically rinse down within a few rains. Moss turns white or light brown. However, because moss has roots, it takes longer to rinse from the roof. Lichen turns white or tan when treated. Lechen have even heartier roots and take the longest of all to disappear, sometimes several months or longer.
Why Not Simply Rinse the Growth From the Roof When We Clean It?
There Are Several Reasons:
1.) Because some growth has roots in the shingles, granules would be removed along with the growth, much like pulling weeds in a garden.
2.) We prefer to allow the detergent to neutralize on the roof to minimize the risk of damage. This typically happens in 12-24 hours.
3.) Rinsing the roof at the time of service requires more pressure and waterflow and increases the risk of dislodging shingle granules and damaging the roof. As well the product is not allowed the normal 12-24 hours of dwell time to reach down and penetrate to the roots.
Your Roof May Not Need To Be Replaced
Why spend 10 times as much to replace a roof that still has years of life left when you could just have it safely restored back to its original beauty and effectiveness? If your roof has black stains, dirt, leaves, lichen, or moss, Next Level has the solution for you!
When’s the best time to treat the moss?
The best time to treat moss, algae, or lichen is as soon as possible. As soon as you can see it on the roof the damage has already begun. Unfortunately even with our softwashing solutions there’s no way to 100% avoid the damage that moss can bring to your roof. The picture below shows some lichen that was softwashed off of an asphalt roof. As you can see there are still some after effects from the root system. In bad cases like this the roots have already been able to grow for so long that they actually create mini “craters” in the shingles from eating away the granules. Contact a professional from Next Level Window Cleaning today and we are happy to set up a roof cleaning appointment for you as soon as possible.