How To Get Rid Of Roof Mold And Algae And Prevent Them From Returning

It's normal for roofs to get dirty. After all, they're subjected to numerous environmental elements such as wind, rain, and snow. However, certain types of dirt can be harmful to both your roof and your family's health. In particular, mold and algae can damage roof tiles, present a health hazard, and lower your home's market value. Here's how to get rid of these unwanted inhabitants and keep them away for good:

Causes and Consequences

Mold and algae is typically a problem for people who live in warm, humid areas. The spores for these organisms are carried through the moist air to rooftops where they settle in and begin growing. The growths usually present as dark stains or streaks and will generally grow on the north side of the roof away from the sun.

Because these organisms cannot manufacture their own food, they will feast on any organic matter in the vicinity such as roofing tar. They tend to retain moisture, which can attract other organisms such as moss. Over time mold and algae can damage roof tiles as well as affect your family's health because rain, wind, and other environmental elements can cause the spores to blow or be tracked into your home.

Step by Step Instructions

Removing these organisms from your roof is fairly easy. You can hire a roofing contractor to clean your roof for you, which is the easiest way to deal with the problem that will save you some time and effort. However, if you're more concerned about saving money, follow these instructions for cleaning your roof:

  1. Before beginning, wet any flowers, bushes, or grass located around the perimeter of your home. The chemicals used to clean mold and algae can harm plants. Wetting them first helps provide some protection.
  2. Don a face-mask and gloves to protect yourself from spores that may escape into the atmosphere.
  3. If the mold or algae has grown to where it can be seen by the naked eye (as opposed to just being stains or streaks), remove the growth using a hard, short-bristled brush. Do not use a power washer as the force of the water can damage the roofing tiles.
  4. Once you have cleaned the obvious growth, mix together a solution of 50 percent bleach and 50 percent water. You want enough to cover the entire area affected by the mold and algae. Alternatively, you can use a specialty cleaner available at your local home improvement store. These products may not be as harsh as bleach and be gentler on surrounding plants.
  5. Use a chemical sprayer for yards and gardens to evenly distribute the solution over the affected area. Let it sit for at least 5 to 10 minutes. It's best to do this on a cool day so the solution doesn't dry out before it has a chance to work.
  6. Scrub the area again using the brush, then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Allow the roof to dry completely before checking to see if any mold or algae remains. Areas that still have mold or algae will typically appear slimy or you'll pick up residue on your gloves when you wipe them over the shingles. Repeat the process until the roof is completely clear.

Prevention Methods

Copper and zinc metals are toxic to mold and algae, so installing thin strips to the top row of shingles on your roof will keep these organisms at bay. Each time it rains, the ions in the metal will mix with the water and essentially sterilize your roof, which will kill any mold or algae trying to take root.

If it's time to replace some or all of your existing tiles, invest in shingles that contain copper granules. These tiles will naturally inhibit any mold or algae growth.

For help with cleaning your roof or more ideas on for keeping it healthy and looking great, contact roofing contractors in your area.