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How To Remove Roof Stains

Maine’s No Pressure Solution For Cleaning Roofsfor A Fast Free On

How to Remove Roof Stains

A roof cleaning by Maine Power Wash Pros is the perfect solution for black streaks, moss, lichen and algae for a fraction of the cost of roof replacement. We clean over 500 roofs per year, and are equipped with the tools and expertise to do the job right.

Our no pressure application provides a safe and affordable way to leave your roof looking like new.

Free consultations Fully insured

Black Algae?Does your roof look like this? Black streaks will come off your roof right away!

Look at these results!Maine Power Wash Pros can revitalize and beautify your property in no time!

Our customers say The guys from Maine Power Wash Pros were great for washing down our roof. I was surprised that it only took them about 10-15 mins tops to complete the entire job. M. Leidenfrost, Kennebunkport, ME

Great peoplearrived on timedefinitely watch for the detail workexcellent job donespotless. Thank you! Adam S., Bailey Island, ME

I couldnt be happier with the job the gentlemen did this morning. They were kind, friendly and worked rather quickly. I would recommend your company. Emily K., Waldoboro, ME

For a fast, free, on-site roof cleaning estimate, call 320-1801 or simply fill out the contact form above.

Cleaning An Asphalt Shingle Roof

  • Protect All Vegetation Pre Soak and Direct Flow Of Gutters Before we get started cleaning our roof we want to make sure that all vegetation is completely pre-soaked, with water. This process will insure all cells of the plant are saturated, and when the cells are saturated, the plant will not absorb our chemical through the leaf layer. You still will need to post rinse though, for extra plant protection and insurance.
  • Mix Your Roof Cleaning Chemicals in your garden sprayer. Refer to the mix ratios above. Start with a 50/50 mix for most asphalt shingle roofs, this will insure your chemical is hot enough to actually get a result you would be happy with.
  • Start High On The Roof Work your way from top to bottom applying and even coat of roof cleaning chemical. Some like to toss a 1/4 cup of gain green dish liquid in their mix to allow a slower run of chemicals down the roof. This helps our active ingredient stay wet longer so it has time to work on the algae we are trying to kill.
  • Less Chemical Is More Less in more in the sense that you shouldnt have chemicals running like a river down your roof. If you are using a garden sprayer, you are not likely to get this type of volume out of your sprayer so you probably dont need to worry about this portion.
  • Are Roof Stains A Problem

    Everyone can agree on one thing: roof stains take away from your homes aesthetic value. But will roof stains cause you problems purely on a purely functional and practical basis?

    Well, not AT FIRST.

    The thing with those unsightly black streaks is that they make the roof a breeding ground for lichen or moss. If allowed to thrive, these critters can cause the asphalt shingles on your roof to rot or decay faster. As the algae feed on the limestone, they wear away at the light-reflecting granules on the asphalt. Once those granules have been whittled away, you might as well bid your roof adieu.

    In other words, allowing roof stains to thrive on your roof is one good way to shorten its lifespan.

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    Technical Reviewers & References

    What Causes Roof Stains

    This Is How You Can Clean Roof Stains

    Roof stains can vary, but most of the time they are seen as dark black streaks running down the north side of a rooftop. These can take a beautiful black, asphalt-shingled roof and make it look dingy, old, and in need of replacement.

    The real culprit, though, is blue-green algae that grows on asphalt shingles, leaving its mark in the form of an unsightly stain on rooftops. This is a major problem, especially, in areas that are humid. The algae travel through spores in the air and often affects several houses in a subdivision at a time.

    It feeds on the limestone that exists in black asphalt shingles, and is usually apparent most noticeably on the north side of a roofthis is because the north side of a roof usually receives the least amount of sunlight, and also remains damp the longest because it takes longer to dry out from rain or other moisture.

    Because algae not only threatens the aesthetics of your home, but also the structural integrity, its important to utilize roof stain removal techniques to get rid of the stains.

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    Tsp Bleach Water Mixture

    The TSP Bleach Water mixture is the most recommended cleaning solution for removing black algae from asphalt shingles, and for many good reasons. Its not only effective at removing black stains, but its also safe for the environment.

    The basic formula for creating the TSP Bleach Water mixture is as follows:

    • 1 quart bleach
    • 1 gallon water
    • ¼ cup TSP

    How To Remove And Prevent Black Algae Stains On Asphalt Shingles

    You have probably noticed that asphalt shingle roofs often have unsightly dark streaks, especially if you live in a humid part of the country. People usually think these streaks are caused by things like defective shingles, mold or mildew, or dirt, but in reality, it is caused by Gloeocapsa Magma, which is a blue-green algae that is spread by airborne spores.

    This algae does not necessarily harm your roof, although it does affect the appearance of your roof and thus, diminishes your homes value.

    You wont likely see theses stains just below the metal flashing on your vents or chimney because galvanized sheet metal has a copper and zinc coating that is toxic to algae. When it rains, the algae is washed away by a trace amount of these metals, which inhibits the growth of algae.

    Read Also: How Much Is A Shingle Roof Per Square Foot

    Why Algae Grows On Roofs

    The black streaks, a form of algae known as gloeocapsa magma or roof mold, only appear in the most humid areas of the country. Therefore, its normal for the streaks to appear on the roofs north side. This side of the roof receives the least amount of sun and stays damp the longest.

    The bacteria accumulated over time feed on limestone filler and moisture. The algae spores grow and darken, creating the dark streaks visible on roofs. These airborne spores can be carried from roof to roof and infest an entire neighborhood if left untreated.

    Not only do the elements and creatures carry the bacteria particles from place to place, the particles foster the growth of other roof inhabitants. The black stains harbor a number of molds or fungi which require warm, humid environments. The fungi lack chlorophyll, giving the them the name of heterotrophs. They feed on organic matter since they cannot manufacture food from raw materials.

    On the northern side of an asphalt roof gathers the most moisture, which raises the humidity and provides an abundance of organic nutrients for the fungi to feed off of. Another factor in supplying food sources to the fungi is the tar used in roofing. The substance is ultimately fossilized, dead organic matter.

    However, the granule base of asphalt is consumed first along with the tar. The dislodged bases accelerate deterioration of the roof because it cannot prevent the effects of excessive heat or extreme weather.

    Why Is There Algae On My Roof

    How to remove those ugly black stains on a roof with Roof Sparkle

    There are various causes for algae to begin growing on your roof. It often favors warmer and more humid climates, so if you live somewhere that fits that description, youre more likely to deal with roof mold. While roof algae can happen just about anywhere in the U.S., most cases are seen in the warmer, Southeast regions: Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, and Arkansas.

    Roofing materials can also play a significant role in the cause of roof algae production. While algae and mildew tend to be attracted to homes in the warmer climates, algae prefers a house whose roof is shaded and sometimes exposed to cooler and wetter weather. Although attracted to opposite environments, both moss and mold are pests that youll want to get rid of as soon as possible when it comes to your home. If your climate can get reasonably wet, we recommend that you especially check the north side of your roof. Usually, the Northside receives less sun, and algae is more likely to be there.

    Algae is an unfortunate issue to have for your homes roof. It can cause roofing to be replaced sooner, draw rodents, damage your attic, and potentially travel to the rest of your home. Algae is a problem you will want to take care of ASAP before it leads to other issues.

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    Prevent Algae Growth On Existing Roofs

    Homeowners do not necessarily need to get a new roof from College Station roofing contractors in order to prevent algae build-up. By placing strips under the top row of shingles and leaving a small portion exposed to the environment, ensures algae prevention.

    The same free radicals that inhibit algae growth during chemical reactions are washed down the surface of the roof with normal rain. This provides the roof with an algae killing coating. Other invasive species like moss are also affected by alloys like copper.

    Schulte Roofing is a College Station roofing contractor with over 100 years of combined experience. If you have an algae growth problem or just need more help, visit Schulte Roofing today at their home office.

    White Stains On Asphalt Shingle Roofs

    Below we report on steps to diagnose the source of white stains deposited on an asphalt shingle roof, followed by methods used to remove the white material – probably calcium & magnesium salts deposited from a draining or leaky swamp cooler.

    Spilling A/C condensate onto a rubber roof near a drain is not likely to be a roof stain issue but the same spillage on an asphalt shingle or roll roofing surface may lead to algae stains.


    Watch out: the apparent “white stains” around the chimney shown at above right are not a roof stain at all.

    Rather you are seeing an area of “not stain” where runoff metal salts from the aluminum chimney flashing retarded the growth of a roof algae or fungus.

    Muriatic acid is commonly sold in building supply stores as a masonry cleaner it’s much stronger than vinegar. HCL or hydrochloric acid might also be used.

    Reader follow-up:

    Great will do. I am determined to get a solution that works. How long do you suggest I let the muriatic acid sit on the shingle.

    And what do you think about what I said regarding the granules appearing to be dyed and completely whitened by the calcium staining.

    I guess what I am asking is this: do you think if they have been completely bleached by the hard water that they can still be cleaned by a muriatic based pretreatment.

    And by the way, when you say experiment, should I just go ahead and try the muriatic acid without a dilution? Will it burn a hole through my plastic spray bottle?

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    Difference Between Moss And Algae

    Though they might be grouped as the same thing because they grow in the same area of your home, moss and algae are actually quite different and distinct.

    Moss always appears more green and fluffy-looking than algae, though it might appear browner during dryer seasons. Moss will also grow up off the roof, while algae will grow flush to the shingles and fixtures, staying flat and unobtrusive. Algae will appear in many different colors such as gray, blue, green, or brown.

    A small amount of moss is relatively harmless, but left unattended, it can grow and eventually damage your asphalt shingles. Moss should be removed. Algae actually fosters the growth of mold, which can lead to very serious issues. Algae, too, should be removed quickly and efficiently.

    How To Prevent Roof Algae Stains

    Roof Stains and How to Remove Them

    It is better to prevent algae than to remove it. There is no way to stop spores from landing on your roof, but you can control them before they grow into algae. The goal is to make your roof an inhospitable environment for the spores to thrive.

    There are a few things you can do to prevent algae stains from appearing on your roof in the first place. One of the best ways is to keep the roof clean and free of debris. Be sure to rinse the roof off with a hose to remove dirt.

    You can also prevent algae from growing on your roof by ensuring your gutters are clear to let water drain properly. You should also check the roof for leaks.

    If the shingles need replacing, you can buy some made with copper or zinc flakes. These metals kill algae. If you don’t want to spend money on a new roof, you can place a copper strip under the row of shingles at the top. Rainwater will disperse the metal molecules and prevent algae growth.

    You can also treat your roof with a sealant or algae inhibitor. These products help to prevent the growth of algae and other unwanted organisms. Increase the amount of sun hitting the roof by trimming trees and bushes close to the house. This sunlight will help dry out the roof and stop algae from growing.Keep your attic ventilated to reduce moisture levels. These are simple ways to make your rood less hospitable to algae.

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    What Are The Dark Streaks On My Roof

    You may have noticed dark streaks across your roof. Given that moss grows upright on surfaces, and algae stays low and flush to the surfaces it grows on, its likely any dark streaks you see are algae.

    Algae staining on roofs all start out being spread by wind, birds, and varmints, affecting homes across much of the United States.

    This algae normally begins its lifecycle as airborne spores that will settle on your roof, especially those roofs that have asphalt shingles. The northern exposure of roofs has the most chance for algae to survive/thrive because that part of the roof is exposed to the least UV and dries last after morning dew and rain.

    As the algae grows and spreads, it begins to look like large black streaks on your shingles.

    Do You Have Stains On Your Roof If So Here Is How To Get Rid Of Them

    The common cause for roof staining is from organisms like moss, lichens, and algae. These organisms are known to feed off the organic roof material in shingles. The longer it is left untreated, the worse the damage to roofs. This is why removing stains should be a priority for homeowners. Roof stain is essentially fungus and mildew spores that are embedded in the shingles from nearby shrubbery, trees, and plants. All roofing is vulnerable to stain damage and that is why it is important to know how to remove roof stains and maintain them.

    Read Also: How Many Screws Per Sheet Of Metal Roofing

    Additional Tips And Ideas:

    • If the paint is still wet, simply wash it away with detergent and water.
    • If the paint is not removable, consider painting the tiny splotches with a matching color to help them blend in.
    • Shingles can easily be replaced if necessary, and the fix will be more permanent than painting.
    • Though its desirable to fix the spill immediately, the paint will eventually wear off when exposed to normal weathering.

    Top Reasons To Get Your Roof Cleaned

    How to safely remove black stains from your roof!

    Improve Curb Appeal! Everyone wants their home or business to look its best. Having your roof cleaned is a small cost for a huge difference!

    By removing black stains and providing a more reflective roof surface, roof temperatures may decrease, keeping energy bills down, and more money in your pocket.

    Increase roof life!Get the most out of your shingles by having your roof treated with our 100% biodegradable soft-wash formula. Prevent leaks and cracks from prematurely developing due to algae, moss, and lichens.

    Clean it! Dont Replace it!You can save thousands of dollars by softwashing your roof. Dont replace it, just clean it!

    Health benefits!

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    When Is The Best Time To Clean My Roof

    Another tip for washing your roof free of algae is to double-check the day you plan to execute. Verify the weather prediction and pick a moderate or overcast day with minimal wind. The less wind, the better to not accidentally spray the cleaners onto the rest of your house or a neighbors yard. A cool and overcast day is best for the algae to soak up the cleansers best and properly cleaned off for the roof.

    Be sure that any loose shingles or broken gutters have been cleaned. We dont want anything to go wrong when it comes time to clean your roof. Although we recommend using a safe and non-corrosive cleaner, there will undoubtedly be run-off from the roof washing. Youll want to move any lawn furniture or cover anything that cannot be moved and might get in the way of the run-off. Since mold and algae will be coming off the roof, youll want to be sure it doesnt land on any patio furniture or an outdoor kitchen area. The run off will also make your lawn wet and damp and it may take some time for it to dry out.


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