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What Causes Dark Stains On Roof Shingles

Proximate Cause Roof Shingle Stains: Tree Debris

Removing Algae Stains From Roof Shingles

If you see a roof stain that develops only in limited areas of a single roof slope look for a relation between the stained area and a proximate cause such as a sooty chimney top or a tree that shades that section of the roof or drops organic debris onto it.

These include tree shade caused moss, tree-shade caused lichens growth on a roof, or dark stains on roof coverings caused by organic debris such as leaves and sticks that fall onto and collect on the roof surface .

See details at DEBRIS STAINING on ROOFS.

Our photo below shows brown stains below a metal roof chimney.

Probably more important than the stains is that this chimney has lost its cap, risking damage to the flue, possibly damage to heating equipment, risking heater malfunction that could be unsafe.

See details at SOOT STAINING and also see

Getting Rid Of And Preventing Roof Stains

Cleaning methods vary depending on the type of roof stain involved. Ugly black streaks caused by Gloeocapsa magma can be removed by spraying the roof with a 1:1 ratio of water and chlorine bleach. A garden hose is enough, but if you choose to use a pressure washer, make sure to use a low-to-medium nozzle and spray no closer than 10 inches from the roofs surface. Leave the solution for up to 20 minutes before rinsing. Alternatively, you can use commercial algae-fighting cleaners that you can purchase off-the-shelf or online. Make sure that you read the instructions on the label before using them.

When cleaning the roof, be sure to observe safety at all times. It is best to do the job on a cloudy day to prevent the cleaner from evaporating too quickly. Since youll be using harsh chemicals, see to it that your eyes and skin are well-protected. Cover bushes and other plants with plastic, toothe bleach solution will run down your roof. However, working on a roof can be dangerous, especially if it is wet. Rather than put yourself at risk, consider hiring a professional that offers roof cleaning services.

Investing in asphalt shingles that incorporate algae-resistant granules is one preventative measure to consider. If you are looking to replace your roof, taking advantage of this technology will help keep your roof beautiful and free of stains for years to come.

Preventing Black Streaks On Your Roof

Can you permanently get rid of algae? The short answer is âno.â Roof algae is similar to having a cold. Like many cold viruses, algae spores are airborne and unavoidable. You can treat the symptoms, but eventually you will have another algae problem, especially if those around you have it on their roofs as well.

But donât despair! Like washing your hands frequently and eating healthy to prevent catching a cold, cleaning and maintaining your roof can help prevent black streaks on your roof from returning. Here are some ways to keep roof algae at bay:

Maintain Your Roof

Trim tree branches to allow more sunlight to reach the roof and minimize the accumulation of debris. Debris that does begin to accumulate on the roof should be cleared regularly by hand as part of a regular maintenance program. This will provide an environment less inviting the growth of roof algae.

You should also keep gutters and downspouts clean and free of clogs to promote proper water drainage. Never allow gutters or downspouts from an upper roof to drain directly on a lower roof extend the downspout from the upper roof into the lower gutter.

Gutters draining onto a lower roof not only promote algae growth but can cause water to pool on your roof, which can damage shingles as well as the underlying wood structure.

Install a Copper or Zinc Strip Along the Side of the Roof

Get New Shingles

Also Check: Can You Replace Shingles On Your Roof

You Must Prevent Dark Stains On Your Roof Shingles

Knowing what causes dark stains on your roof shingles comes the big question: Can this be avoided? Fortunately the answer is yes. Avoiding the effects of algae is possible regardless of whether you live in an area where moisture abounds. You just need to pay attention to the different procedures you can perform:

  • Make sure your roof has plenty of exposure to sunlight. This is important to prevent algae from growing and developing easily.
  • Prevent tree debris from accumulating on your roof, which allows algae to build up on different areas of your roof.
  • Clean both your roof and gutters frequently. The cleanup is important so that you can pull up any algae and fungus before it can take root.

Usually with these simple steps you will be able to avoid losing your roof shingles ahead of schedule. However, it may also be too late and you may be forced to replace your roof. Either way, you need to enlist the help of a roofing maintenance and installation professional. This way you will be able to control the microscopic pests that can lodge here.

How To Get Rid Of Algae On The Roof

How to Remove Roof Shingle Stains

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.

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Roof Algae Growth On Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Algae love asphalt roof shingles, especially cyanobacteria or blue-green algae. These algae thrive on the limestone filler found in asphalt shingles, which is why algae stains are common on even new roofs.

There are two main ways to combat dark streaks caused by algae growth: eliminate roof algae by pressure washing the upper roof or using algae-resistant shingles that stop the growth in the first place.

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 roof’s 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.

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How Can Algae Affect Your Familys Health

Besides algae being slippery, it produces elevated toxins. These toxins take the form of airborne droplets that you can inhale and become sick from. Algae can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, eye irritation, sore throat or headaches. Symptoms generally begin hours to a couple of days after exposure.

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Gives You Peace Of Mind

Danger Roofing Signals – Dark Stains

A roof doesnt only provide you with comfortable living conditions, it can also save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Its no secret that harsh weather can have severe consequences and that a good shelter spells the difference between survival and death. The point? Knowing that your roof is in good working order gives you peace of mind. It helps you sleep better at night knowing that you and your family are well protected in the face of potential calamity.

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Causes Of Black Streaking On Roofs

Black streaking on roofs is a common problem. While the streaks do not cause a great deal of damage, they can cause the shingle to age prematurely. The streaks are caused by a type of algae known as Gloeocapsa magma. Over time this algae accumulates, developing a black outer coating which causes stains on roof shingles. The algae feed off of the limestone within the roof shingles. With each passing year the algae will grow and become more and more noticeable. As it grows, it will also trap moisture in the shingles, causing them to age sooner than they should.

Branches and dead leaves can build up on a roof and create the perfect environment for algae growth. Its important to regularly remove leaf and branch debris from your roof in order to prevent the algae from growing.

What Causes Roof Discoloration

When you live in Texas, it is not uncommon to see roof discoloration. There are many factors that contribute to staining roofs and while most stains are cosmetic, some can be more damaging than you may expect. Here is a quick guide to roof discoloration and the reasons they are changing their color.

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The Importance Of Regular Roof Maintenance

Theres a reason why the phrase putting a roof above your head is a popular expression when referring to basic shelter or a place to live. The roof, after all, is the most important part of the home. Without a roof, you and the interior of your home are exposed to the elements. A roof not only provides you with protection, but it also makes you comfortable in your day-to-day.

Since your roof is essential in your daily living, it stands to reason that you do everything necessary to keep it in good working order for as long as youre able. Hiring a roofing contractor to fix roofing problems as they arise helps, but you must do regular maintenance as well if you want your roof to last longer.

While maintaining and monitoring your roof sound like a lot of work, knowing the consequences of not doing both should be more than enough to spring you into action. Here are the reasons why regular roof maintenance can go a long way into maximizing your investment.

Are Black Streaks Harmful On A Roof

Roof Cleaning Connecticut Soft Wash Cleaning Professional

As mentioned above, most of the time there are black streaks on roofs because of Gloeocapsa magma growth. This type of algae likes shade and dampness, so their spores settle in on moist, shaded asphalt shingles fairly easily. They also thrive in humid environments and can be found around gutters and downspouts.

The problem is that algae retain moisture. This means they dont allow the shingles to dry out, which quickly causes deterioration in your shingles, and can eventually cause rot, which leaves the door wide open to mold and mildew growth.

While algae and black stains arent immediately a threat to your roof, they can cause huge problems down the road if left alone to thrive. Thats why you want to have the problem addressed as quickly as possible and keep your roof clean, all to help your roof stay strong and avoid any severe damages.

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Blog Why Is My Roof Appearing Discolored

Staining is a common problem on roofs that are not properly cleaned and maintained. If you notice staining on your roof, its important to have a professional roofing company take a look to identify the source, and formulate a plan to prevent further staining.

Distinguishing why roof stains occur and how to treat them is important for the value and safety of your home.

A clean home exterior, including roof and shingles, is a determining factor in curb appeal. Regular maintenance, like cleaning and sealing, is recommended to preserve the appearance and health of a roof. Staining is a common problem on roofs that are not properly cleaned and maintained. If you notice staining on your roof, its important to have a professional roofing company take a look to identify the source, and formulate a plan to prevent further staining.

Black or dark green streaking on shingles is most likely caused by algae that prefer warm, humid environments. This type of algae in particular thrives on the moisture and shade provided by certain roof pitches. These unsightly streaks are oftentimes located on north-facing roof slopes due to lack of direct sunlight. A chemical can be applied to rid shingles of stains, but its only a temporary solution and staining may reappear.

What Causes Roof Stains

If youre a homeowner, youve probably noticed those long black stains on your roof or a neighborhoods. This discoloration makes your roof shingles look wet in certain places. Untreated, these streaks can become long and unsightly, detracting from your curb appeal. But you dont have to leave these roof stains to grow and spread there is a way to clean your roof and prevent these stains in the future. Read below to learn all about black roof stains and the black algae that causes them.

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Prevent Black Streaks From Growing On Your Roof

You already know why black streaks are appearing on your roof. It makes you wonder: What could I have done to prevent them from growing and spreading? After all, prevention is better than cure, right?

But before we dig deeper into the answer, lets get one thing straight: you cant get rid of algae completely. Algae are like the common cold. They are always out there. But just like with the common cold, you can take precautions to prevent your roof from catching them. Its equivalent to washing your hands regularly or putting on a face mask in public places.

The Dangers Of Algae On Your Roof

Clean Black Streaks from Roof Shingles

Because the algae is feeding off of the shingles, it will eventually damage them. As the integrity of your roof shingles deteriorates, the protective layer that covers them starts to wear down. This dries out your shingles and can cause them to fall off your home. Algae also traps moisture on your roof which can promote the growth of lichen and moss. Because lichen and moss have roots, it can cause even more damage to the roof than the algae originally did.

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Contact Long Home Products For A New Roof

If your algae growth has gotten out of hand or if youre looking to upgrade your roof with something thats better at preventing algae, Long Home Products is ready to help.

DIY roofing repairs, maintenance, and replacements might save you in the short term, but if you truly want your roof to last for a decade or more then experienced attention is beneficial. Contact us today to get all your roofing questions answered and schedule your roof replacement.

What Are Algae Resistant 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

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How Do You Remove Black Stains From Shingles

A mixture of trisodium phosphate , bleach, and water will also remove stains. Oxygen bleach lightens stains as well and is less harmful to the environment, but it doesnt produce as immediate or dramatic an effect as chlorine bleach.

What are dark spots on my roof?

Although these dark spots and ugly black streaks on your roof may look like dirt, mildew, soot or mold, what they really are is algae. The most common type is known as gloeocapsa magmaalso known as blue green algae. Although algae can be found on all types of roofing, it tends to be most common on asphalt shingles.

Can you power wash roof shingles?

NEVER aim your pressure washer up the roof, as it can push water under the shingles. Spraying water under your shingles can both tear off the shingles and force water under them and into your home. Cover a few shingles at a time, and move the wand slightly closer to the surface as more power is needed.

How Do You Get Rid Of Black Streaks On Your Roof

Blistered Asphalt Roof Shingles, Shingle Rash Blisters as a Product ...

Roof algae can be easily removed by a simple roof cleaning.

The important thing to know is that while an occasional cleaning shouldnât harm your roof, doing it yourself may void any roof warranties or homeowner insurance policies you may have.

An internet search on how to clean black streaks on your roof will turn up several different homemade formulas as well as commercial brands for getting rid of roof algae.

Most formulas contain chlorine bleach and/or trisodium phosphate and water. While lye is more effective than bleach, it is corrosive and should only be applied using full protective gear.

âOxygenâ bleach, commonly known as the brand name Oxyclean, can be effective and is less environmentally damaging, but will not work as well as formulas with chlorine bleach or TSP.

Remember that even chemicals that are safe for humans can still kill or harm landscaping and vegetation!

Cleaning the Roof Yourself

If you decide to clean the roof yourself, never, ever use a power washer, even on its lowest setting. Not only is using a power washer pretty much guaranteed to void any roof warranties, it can damage shingles by causing the protective coatingâor even the shingles themselvesâto come off.

Cleaning your roof will require some preparation. Remove any lawn furniture and cover vegetation and landscaping. Overspray is inevitable, and even if the product you use isnât considered toxic, the runoff from your roof can cause plenty of mess on the ground as well.

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