Mold and Mildew Removal
Finding mold and mildew on your roof or under the shingles can be quite distressing. Mold can cause serious health problems. It can eat away at shingles, ruining the look of your roof. Typically, a moldy roof typically consists of algae, moss, and mold. The best way to respond to this is to get a thorough mold inspection in the attic to determine fully the condition of your roof.
What is Roof Algae?
The black mold-like stains and streaks that appear on roofs, particularly light-colored shingles, are usually just blue-green algae (Gloeocapsa magma). This is commonly found in climates with warm, humid summers. Algae can gradually eat away at roof shingles, resulting in rot and an unsightly appearance.
How to Stop It
You could replace all the roofing with new shingles dark enough to disguise the staining from the mold and mildew. You could also replace the shingles with shingles laced with copper granules, which are lethal to algae. These options work better if you need a new roof.
Removing fungus, moss, mildew, and associated stains from a roof is no easy feat. That is why many homeowners rely on experienced roofing contractors to complete the job.
However, if you are up to the task, there is a less expensive way than throwing out the entire roof. This is done by spray washing the roof with a 50 percent mix of water and bleach to get rid of the algae. Keep reading for more on how.
Protecting Your Home & Yard
Mold and mildew can often be removed from roof shingles using a basic bleach solution. Unfortunately, bleach can be toxic to the grass and plant life that surrounds your property. As the bleach solution is likely to run off of the roof and onto the property below, it is important to take the proper precautions to protect your home and yard from the effects of bleach. Ideally, you should cover plants, furniture, and other items in your yard with tarps or plastic sheeting. Placing tarps across the grass will also help prevent the bleach from soaking into the soil. If this is not an option, simply spray water onto the grass and plants to help minimize the impact of the bleach.
You will also want to perform a few maintenance tasks to discourage further mold, moss, and algae growth. Start by trimming back tree branches to allow direct sunlight onto your roof. This creates a less inviting environment for mold. Also take the time to regularly remove debris that accumulates on your roof, such as leaves and twigs which can absorb and hold on to moisture. Gutters should be cleaned on a routine basis to allow for proper water drainage. You may also want to consider adding copper or zinc strips to your roof to prevent moss and algae growth.
How to Remove Mold From Roof Shingles: Step-By-Step
Make a Bleach Solution
Make sure you are wearing protective rubber gloves and a breathing mask. Then, carefully pour ¼-part chlorine bleach into a clean bucket with ¾-part water. Next, put a tablespoon of trisodium phosphate into the bleach solution. Pour the bleach solution into a pump sprayer. Generous spray the moldy roof shingles with the solution.
Rinse The Bleach Solution
After spraying the shingles with the bleach solution, allow the bleach to sit for approximately 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the severity of the mold growth. Using a garden hose at low pressure, rinse the roof shingles thoroughly to remove the bleach solution. When rinsing, start at the top affected shingle and work downwards. While wearing gloves, run your fingers across the shingles. If you still feel slime on the shingles, apply the bleach solution a second time and let it sit for an extra 10 minutes. You can then rinse the roof again.
It is important to take certain precautions to prevent further damage to your roof and home. First, never use a pressure washer to rinse the bleach solution from the shingles. The force of a pressure wash can cause the granules on the shingles to fall off. This leaves your roof unprotected and more susceptible to mold growth. You should also never complete roofing tasks on your own. Climbing onto your roof poses serious dangers and should therefore be completed by a professional.
Prevention For Next Time
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.
The strips also work on roofs suffering from moss buildup. Just scrub it off first with a brush, then bleach as above.
Benefits of Hiring a Roofing Contractor To Remove The Mold
Can Detect Other Problems
Mold is typically the result of algae growth. Mold spores can easily become airborne, jumping from roof to roof. That is why you may see a mold problem in a certain neighborhood. Certain conditions are more favorable for molds, such as roofs with poor ventilation, leaks, or wood rot. Often, the presence of mold is a sign that other roofing problems exist. While you may not visibly see roof damage, that does not mean that damage does not exist. When you call in an experienced roofing contractor, underlying roof problems may be found. Making these repairs can reduce the likelihood of mold growth in the future.
They Have Experience
Roofing contractors have hands-on experience with mold growth and they know how to deal with it in a way that is safe and will not result in the spread of fungi spores. They can also remove mold without causing damage to your existing shingles, home, or yard. Professional roof contractors already have the right tools and supplies needed to kill stubborn mold. Often, the products used by professionals are of a higher quality and better concentration than anything you could find at your local home improvement store.
It’s Good For Your Health
In addition, hiring a roofing contractor can also be good for your health. Not only can you avoid breathing in harmful mold spores which can lead to respiratory distress, climbing onto your roof can pose significant dangers. Professional roofers use harnesses and other safety gear to ensure their safety while working. All reputable roofing contractors are trained, certified, and insured which can provide you with peace of mind. Depending on the extent of the problem, your roofing contractor may also provide you with a warranty. If there are any issues with your roof in the time frame, the company will resolve them without additional charges.
Got mold, mildew, or algae? Give us a call at 636-699-0449 so we can help you out.