Did you know that algae, lichen and moss are most commonly found on North and West facing roof structures? These areas receive less sunlight and, after a heavy rain, don’t dry as quickly as the other sides of a roof structure. This creates a prime breeding ground for algae, lichen and moss growth.
Algae are airborne bacteria that can reduce the left expectancy of your roof by 50% if left untreated. These organisms hold moisture which can cause roof failure, even in relatively newer shingles. Most homeowners are unaware that algae damage to a roof structure is not covered by most manufacturer warranties. We’ve even seen 15 year old roofs that are so severely damaged by algae that a complete replacement is necessary.
Here are answers to commonly asked questions about how Safe Roof Cleaning, LLC can restore the life back into your home by removing algae, moss and lichens from destroying your roof. If you have a question that you don’t see answered here, please call or email us.
Q: What are those black streaks on my roof?
A: Those black streaks are algae called Gloeocapsa magma. This algae is nitrogen fixed and needs no nutrition to grow. The black streaks are the signs of the algae reproducing and leaving millions of dead cells to build up and cause the streaks.
Q: Do algae, moss and lichen damage my roof?
A: Algae is the number one reason for premature failure of roofs. Roofs could lose up to 50% of service life from infestation from microorganisms. These particular algae have a filament root system that decompose the roofing materials. Moss and Lichen will create divots with their root systems and remove the protective layer of granules on the shingle. Check our web site photos for examples of shingle damage caused by algae.
Q: Can a roof cleaning save me on energy cost?
A: Yes. Everyone knows darker surfaces absorb more heat than lighter ones. When your shingles absorb more heat in the summer time your air conditioning has to work much harder to maintain the same temperature. Some houses in Florida were so bad; after they got a roof cleaning they would save 40% on their electrical bill. Houses with roof algae in CT will have noticeable savings in the summer months.
Q: How do you clean a roof?
A: We start by applying a special blend of 100% biodegradable solution to the roof killing the organisms surface layer and eliminating the root system. We then let the weather and rain take the surface layer off naturally. We also offer a preventative solution, which when added to our cleaning mix will prevent re-growth with a 5-year warranty.
Q: What is the chemical that you use?
A: We use a combination of several products which is strong enough to kill the algae and their root system. Are products are safe for all environments and 100% biodegradable. If you’d like MSDS sheets just ask one of our office staff.
Q: Do you use a power washer on the roof?
A: We recommend never using high pressure on any roofing materials. It can cause damage to your shingles by uplifting and eroding the granules. We do offer power washing decks and patios which should only be used to remove large amounts of algae, paint or stain.
Q: Will this process hurt my plants?
A: The products have to be strong enough to kill the root systems of any moss or lichen on your roof. So yes if we deliberately sprayed your plants they would have some burn marks on the leaves. But we have designed a safe way by rinsing down plants and tarping some of the delicate ones to make sure there is no damage.
Q: Is there anything that I have to prep for before you come to clean my roof?
A: Yes. Please make sure all the windows and doors are shut, all pets are inside, your vehicles are parked in the garage or away from the house, and that there are no other contractors working outside of the house. Also please insure that your water spigots are turned on and working properly.
Q: What other services do you provide?
A: We clean any exterior surfaces of your home, except for windows. We will of course rinse down the windows with water, but we don’t clean them specifically. We can clean the whole house, gutters inside and out, walkways, patios, all types of decking materials, fences, sheds, and even tennis courts.
Q: Do you clean cedar roofs and cedar siding?
A: Yes we do clean cedar roofs and siding. Our process is a little different than basic asphalt and most of the time results are impressive.
Q: Do you use my water?
A: Yes, we do bring around 300 gallons of water to each job site but we will still need to use your water for some of our services. If you have a shallow well or water problems we can bring our own water and fix that into the price. The estimator will determine how much extra it will cost.
Q: Do I have to be home for the estimate or the job?
A: We would prefer to meet with you for the estimate so if you have any questions we can answer them then. If you can’t we can easily email the proposal or leave it in your mailbox at your residence. When our technicians come to do the work you do not have to be home.
Q: What happens if it is raining the day the work is scheduled?
A: The owner of Safe Roof Cleaning will generally make a call the day of if the weather is going to not allow us to clean your roof. We are able to clean your roof in a light rain.
Q: What is the Roof Preservative?
A: It is an expensive product which is specially formulated to deter algae, moss and lichen from re-growth and coming back sooner on roofs. Roof Preservative application generally doubles the life expectancy of the roof cleaning and comes with a 5 year warranty. This product is safe and is starting to be used by paint manufactures to prevent algae growing on painted surfaces.
Q: How long will the roof cleaning last?
A: There are a lot of variables when it comes to cleaning and preventing algae growth. Sun light, the pitch of your roof, color and manufacture of your shingles, how close your neighbors are and if their roofs are affected. Just a standard cleaning should keep your roof clean for about 2 to 3 years. We now also offer a 5 year clean roof warranty with the application of the roof preventive product.
Q: How long does the cleaning process take?
A: It all depends on the size of your house and the amount of algae growing on it. If you would like to know our estimator can give you a time frame of how long it will take.
Q: Do you have insurance coverage?
A: Yes, we are fully licensed, insured and have proper workman’s compensation insurance on all our employees. We will provide you a proof of our insurance when we come out to give you an estimate.
Q: Will this type of cleaning be safe around my fish pond?
A: We take special care to insure the safety to all fish life. All our employees are properly trained to deal with a large variety of landscaping situations.