Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeExclusiveWhat Are The Dark Streaks On My Roof Shingles

What Are The Dark Streaks On My Roof Shingles

What Are Algae Resistant Shingles

Clean Black Streaks from Roof Shingles

Asphalt shingles with algae-resistant mineral granulesremain the most effective solution available for reducing cyanobacteriaGloeocapsa magma algae growth described above. These products incorporatemetals, such as copper-lined mineral granules, to reduce algae growth.

Experts realized that metals, such as copper, havealgae-inhibiting properties after noticing that algae staining was reduced ordid not exist beneath metal vents or flashing on a roof.

Owens Corning offers a complete line of algae-resistant asphalt shingles* that feature StreakGuard® Protection, an algae-inhibiting technology to help reduce algae growth.

These products do not address green algae or moss sometimes found on roofs with northern exposure,overhangs or high moisture areas.

*Only available in certain regions. Browse Owens Corning Roofing shingles available in your area

Disclaimer ofLiability

Why Roofing Shingles Get Algae

Algae spores are airborne, which means they can be carried by the wind, animals, and even on your clothing. Airborne algae spores easily spread to rooftops that are close to each other oftentimes, more than one house in a neighborhood will have similar-looking black streaks or stains on its rooftop.

Bacterial growths need to feed on something to survive, and gloeocapsa magmas preferred meal is limestone, a form of calcium carbonate. Limestone is usually used in a crushed form for the fillers between roof shingles. Since asphalt roofs are popular for their cost-effectiveness, it makes sense that many homeowners roofs are subject to these sorts of unappealing features.

What Causes Algae Growth

Algae grows from spores. These spores travel through the air, probably from a distant neighbors roof, and eventually land on your shingles. The algae uses the limestone found in asphalt shingles as a food source and eventually starts to grow. Areas with high tree density or high humidity can speed up the growth process. By the time you see the streaks running down your roof, the algae has probably been growing for a few months.

Also Check: How Much Do Concrete Roof Tiles Cost

Increases Your Roofs Shelf

Regular roof maintenance can extend your roofs shelf-life in more ways than one. It doesnt just get rid of roof issues quickly as they occur, it also prevents them from happening in the first place. More importantly, it minimizes the risk of major damages. Remember, damages have a cumulative effect. They can lead to other, possibly more serious issues if you let them be.

How To Get Rid Of Algae On The Roof

Roof Cleaning Removes Black Streaks

You could replace all the roofing with new shingles dark enough to disguise the staining, or with shingles laced with copper granules, which are lethal to algae. But that would only make sense if the shingles were worn out.

The less expensive solution is to spray wash the roof with a 50 percent mix of water and bleach to get rid of the algae. Just be sure to wet your foundation plantings first, and rinse everything in clean water when youre done. Plants dont like bleach, and wetting them with plain water first protects them.

You May Like: Are Solar Roof Tiles Worth It

Recommended Reading: How Long Does A Roof Last In Ct

How Are Black Streaks On My Roof Removed

If you have black stains on your roof that need to be removed, the best course of action would be to have a professional come in and handle the job for you. The main reason for this is that getting on your roof to clean or repair shingles is dangerous.

There is a serious fall risk, especially if you dont have the right safety equipment or experience. In addition, if you dont have the appropriate skills or knowledge, you could end up damaging your roof more than helping it when you clean, leading to more severe repair costs.

Keep in mind that an asphalt shingle roof should not be power washed since this can easily damage your shingles. Instead, remove algae stains with a thorough, gentle cleaning. However, even if the cleaning job is done perfectly, the stains will likely return and repeated use of harsh cleaning chemicals can shorten the lifespan of your asphalt shingle roof.

A more permanent prevention technique will need to be applied to prevent the stains from returning.

Typically, in cleaning black streaks from an asphalt shingle roof, a mixture of water, bleach, and trisodium phosphate is needed. Keep in mind that you may need to protect your plants under your roof since this mixture can damage them.

Using oxygen bleach instead of chlorine bleach is better for the environment, though perhaps less powerful against the algae streaks.

The Best Way To Remove Algae And Dark Streaks From Your Roof

Removing roof algae is actually not too difficult. With powerful solutions like Wet and Forget, you can remove algae from your roof without any scrubbing! All you need to do is attach the bottle to your garden hose and apply it to your roof. After a few days you should start to see a difference. If not, just apply another coat and you should be good to go.

Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Shingles For A Roof

The Contractors For Your Sugar Land Home

Simply ignoring what causes black streaks on roof shingles and how to prevent them leads to weakened asphalt and a vulnerable roof structure. Also, cleaning the roof once doesnt keep it safe from future spores.

Schedule regular algae cleanings with the exceptional Sugar Land Roofing, LLC, in Sugar Land, Missouri City, and surrounding areas. Call for more on angled and flat roofing pros and cons, including the best environment for algae growth and how to eradicate the issue today!

How To Properly Remove Black Streaks From Your Roof

Cleaning black algae streaks from roof AMAZING RESULTS!!

The correct method of attacking gloeocapsa magna is with low pressure or non-pressure washing using a special solution that includes sodium hydrochlorite and copper sulfate. The solution almost immediately kills the bacteria and washes away the stains. As an added bonus, it is also effective for addressing other roof top issues including moss and lichen.

Any debris that remains behind is washed away with the next rain. Any moss and lichen left behind dries up and flakes off within a few weeks of treatment. A few more weeks and some subsequent rains will leave your roof looking like the bacteria, moss, and lichen were never there.

Don’t Miss: How Much Money Can A Roofer Make

What Are The Black Streaks On My Rooftop

Algae formations on rooftops create black streaks, especially on shingles. The rooftop fungus, Gloecapsa Magma, is usually blue-green but darkens according to the environment. If you receive plenty of sunlight, especially from the south, the algae grow a protective black outer layer that keeps out the suns rays.

Unfortunately, algae are unnoticeable as they form. They become apparent when they darken, within a few weeks to a few months. Whats more, while they dont pose an immediate threat to your home, these unsightly splotches continue to spread over your roofs surface unless you take action by calling well-trained roofing contractors in Missouri City, TX.

How Do I Get Rid Of The Black Streaks

You can clean algae off your roof with a solution of trisodium phosphate , bleach and water or using a commercial product. Before you get started to check with your roofing manufacturer to make sure it does not void your warranty.

Check the weather forecast and choose an overcast and calm day. If the sun is shining it will dry the solution that is applied to the shingles. If it is windy the wind will carry the solution where you dont want it.

Youre going to need some safety equipment. Safety glasses, protective coating, rubber gloves, and slip resistant shoes are needed. You might also want to use a harness in case a fall happens.

Remove anything that could potentially get sprayed by the solution such lawn furniture on your deck or patio. There is a chance the solution used may kill landscaping, so be careful and thoroughly check out the product you use.

Put the cleaning solution in a pump style garden sprayer. Start at the top of your roof and use long strokes to apply the solution to a small area, about 4 feet square. Allow the solution to soak into the algae about 20 minutes. Do not walk on the sprayed area as the cleaning solution and algae can become very slippery!

Also Check: How To Clean Black Off Roof Shingles

What Causes The Black Streaks

Algae growth originates from moisture and nutrients, which causes black streaks on roof shingles. Asphalt shingles consist of crushed limestone that provides calcium carbonate for the algae. When rain hits the limestone, the mix creates a healthy habitat for algae reproduction.

Algae also love high humidity, so long as it isnt in direct sunlight. Down south, we suffer excessive rooftop discoloration compared to states further up north, especially on shaded rooftops on our 90-degree summer days. The shade from larger structures or trees prevents fast evaporation in damp areas and promotes constant dripping onto your rooftop.

However, your rooftop doesnt have to be the origin point of algae. The porous fungus releases spores that attach to clothes, animals, and people, transferring to other rooftops. They travel between houses via the wind, settling onto a new roof to reproduce.

Leave It To The Professionals

Pin by Nancy K on roof in 2020

As mentioned above, taking a DIY approach to algae removal can be risky and lead to further expenses. Instead, a better idea is to hire a professional roof cleaning company to clean off the black streaks for you. This route is beneficial because you can rest easy know the job will be completed by individuals with years of experience.

Not only can you ensure that the black streaks or stains are removed safely and efficiently, your shingles wont be subjected to more damage, and the risk for any possible accidents lowers tremendously. Roofing experts have sprayers that gently mist the necessary cleaning solution on your roof, allowing the work to be completed more quickly and thoroughly than if you were to try and tackle the problem with spray bottles. Plus, if you hire a local roofing company to take care of the streaks they can take a look and ensure your roof is still in good shape, and let you know about any potential issues you may want to take care of before they become bigger problems.

Recommended Reading: How Much Should My Roof Cost

What Can A Homeowner Do

The first line of defense against these dark stains is prevention. Homeowners can invest in algae-resistant roofing shingles. These may appear to be regular tiles but have small amounts of copper mixed in to the coating. Copper is naturally toxic to Gloeocapsa Magma and will deter the algal growths that cause dark streaks.

Its also important to have the roof properly installed by an experienced professional such as Greenawalt Roofing Company to ensure the longevity of your shingles and create a good seal against moisture.

If you already have stains on your roof, there are a number of products on the market that can remove them. For mild staining, a simple oxygen bleach solution can do the trick. This is also relatively gentle on the asphalt shingles and not very harmful to the environment. For severe staining, you may need harsher chemicals or pressure washing. These are effective on extensive or dramatically dark stains, but may decrease the life of your roofing shingles.

Is this a good project for a handyman or DIY homeowner? Probably not. The treatments that are least likely to damage the roof are also least likely to have any effect. It may be best to call a professional who will get the job done right the first time around.

Are These Dark Streaks Harmful Or Just An Eyesore

The algal stains caused by Gloeocapsa Magma are, in and of themselves, not harmful. However, the consistently humid conditions that allow the algae to thrive may eventually become a problem. What if your asphalt roofing tiles are improperly installed or very old and overdue for replacement? Moisture may creep into the gaps and cracks around them, potentially damage your roofs structure, and even create a breeding ground for mold in your house itself.

Even if the staining doesnt hint at a deeper problem, the roofs appearance may affect how well homeowners enjoy their property. A streaked roof creates an eyesore that clashes with otherwise neat and well-kept home exteriors and landscaping. It could also put off buyers when the property is put up for sale by implying the owner isnt passionate about maintaining their home.

You May Like: How To Do A Roof Take Off

Read Also: What Tools Does A Roofer Need

How Do You Get Rid Of The Dark Streaks

Now that you know what causes black streaks on roof shingles, youll want to clean the dark streaks yourself. However, even the occasional cleaning without professional assistance may harm your asphalt. Some Texan residents use a pressure washer, which damages and dislodges shingles, or toxic cleaners without protective gear.

Sugar Land Roofing, LLC, delivers quality care during the cleaning process. We use abrasive cleaning solutions like chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach, or trisodium phosphate, depending on your preference. We then gently wash away the cleanser to promote roof material longevity.

Why Are There Dark Streaks On Your Roof

What your roofer doesn’t want you to know… How to clean shingles!

Drew Paetow & dash October 2021

5 Minute Read

If you live in the midwest youve probably noticed dark streaks on your or your neighbors roof. But what are the dark streaks on your roof and what causes them?

These dark streaks are typically visible on the north or east side of the roof. Contrary to what you might think, its not mold or dirt- rather staining from airborne algae. Often times people refer to this as fungus or mold, but this algae is a very common eyesore on roofs all throughout the US and especially the greater Columbus area.

Lets break down what to do if you find these dark streaks on your roof and how to prevent them in the future.

Don’t Miss: When Is The Best Time To Replace A Roof

Erase Black Streaks With Wet & Forget

Wet & Forget Outdoor breaks you out of the cleaning cycle. Wet & Forget Outdoor eliminates black algae on your roof with no scrubbing, rinsing or pressure washing needed.

Just spray and leave! Wet & Forget Outdoor works with the wind and rain over time to completely wipe out black algae and keep it away for a year or more in most cases.

Wet & Forgets gentle, non-caustic formula is safe for all types of shingles, and it wont corrode your downspouts or harm your lawn with runoff.

Because it works with the rain, Wet & Forget Hose Ends cleaning power reaches the nooks and crannies of textured surfaces such as asphalt shingles much better than your scrub brush can for a more thorough clean, without the extra wear and tear that all that scrubbing puts on your shingles.

How To Prevent Black Streaks On Roof

If youve already removed the algae from your roof once and you want to make sure you dont get it again, or if youre building a new house and you want to make sure that your roof doesnt get those black streaks from algae, there are 2 things you can do to prevent the algae from forming:

#1 Look for algae-resistant roof shingles which have either copper or zinc added to prevent the algae from forming.

Heres how AR roof shingles work:

If exposed to sunlight, the ultraviolet rays will readily break down asphalt shingles. Thats why the shingles you see are covered with the small colored ceramic granules. These create a powerful sunscreen and offer you different colors to match your exterior decorating scheme. Many shingle manufacturers make shingles that have special colored granules that contain copper. These help to prevent the ugly black roof-algae stains you might see on your existing roof or that of a neighbor.

#2 Add zinc strips or copper strips underneath your roof shingles.

Heres how to add mold-preventative strips under roof shingles:

To keep the algae from coming back, insert 6-inch-wide strips of zinc or copper under the row of shingling closest to the roof peak, leaving an inch or two of the lower edge exposed to the weather. That way whenever it rains, some of the metal molecules will wash down the roof and kill any algae trying to regain a foothold on your shingles.

Don’t Miss: What Does A Tin Roof Cost

How To Get Rid Of Black Streaks On Your Roof

Roof algae can be removed by a simple roof cleaning. However, to get this home improvement task done right, it pays to partner with a professional. You dont want to climb around on a slippery roof or void the shingle manufacturers warranty by cleaning your roof yourself. Moreover, some chemicals and solutions you may be able to wrangle up yourself will be environmentally damaging.

Our team uses biodegradable, non-corrosive algae treatment products that work to restore your roof with ease. Plus, with us, you wont have to worry about damaging your roof, home structure, or surrounding landscape. Take a look at how our professional roof cleaning services can work wonders for your property!

What Are These Black Streaks


Believe it or not, these streaks are from a growth thats scientifically named gloeocapsa magma. Because the original growth is green, many people refer to it as a type of algae. However, its actually a species of bacteria.

Homeowners often dont notice this growth until the black streaks have started to appear on the roof. By this time, the growth has developed a durable, UV-resistant coating .

Also Check: How To Install Standing Seam Metal Roof

Can You Remove Dark Streaks Or Algae Discoloration From An Asphalt Roof

Algae discoloration can be difficult to remove, but may belightened by spraying a diluted solution of chlorine bleach and water on theroof.

Disclaimer: When deciding to clean your roof we recommend you consult a licensed/certified roofing professional. If you decide to clean your roof yourself, please keep in mind that the roof will be slippery when wet and caution should be taken when performing this task. Wear appropriate fall protection when on the roof and proper PPE, such as slip-resistant shoes/boots and eye protection while cleaning the roof.


Most Popular