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The Benefits of Algae Resistant Shingles

May 19, 2017

Photo via iStock.com.

Depending upon where you live, and how much sun and shade your home gets, you may discover the tell-tale streaking of blue/green algae on your roof. Showing up as black streaks that extend from the top of your roof down, algae can really stain and discolor your home. Because your roof is such a large part of your home’s curb appeal, the stains that algae leave behind can be a big problem. While algae doesn’t harm your roof structurally the way that moss can, those discolored streaks can lower your home’s value and just make your property look run down. And while there are a number of ways you can remove algae stains once it begins to grow, preventing its growth in the first place is your best defense.

Why Algae Stains Your Roof

Algae is one of the most common causes of discoloration on a number of different roofing surfaces from asphalt shingles to concrete. Although it looks black on your roof, and you may assume that the streaks are actually mold or mildew, the stains are caused by a blue/green strain of algae that simply appears as a black mark.

Algae can occur on any roof, but is most commonly found on roofs that get a lot of shade during the day, or that just don’t see a lot of sun. The algae itself can become airborne, floating through the air until it reaches your roof. And if your roof isn’t too hot and doesn’t see too much sun, the algae may take hold and begin to grow there, resulting in those tell-tale black streaks that can be so annoying.

Removing Algae

Algae can be removed from your roof. This should be done gently to prevent deterioration of your roofing shingles, as things like pressure washers can both bruise the mat and knock off the protective layer of granules. The best way to remove algae stains is to lower or raise the PH of your roof to kill off the algae. A mixture of water with either bleach or vinegar (do not mix the two) and sprayed over your roof will kill the algae. Remove the stains by gently scrubbing your shingles.

Keep in mind, however, that removing the algae does nothing to prevent it from coming back. To do that, you need more protection than a temporary altering of the PH level.

Normal Prevention Techniques

If you have copper or zinc flashing on the top of your roof, you may notice that no algae grows below this. Both copper and zinc naturally kill the algae that lands below them, preventing their stains. And while you can add flashing to your existing roof, this isn’t always the best option; both metals can be expensive and they often look out of place if merely tacked down in strips along the ridge of your roofline. Worst of all, if installed improperly, they can lead to leaks and water infiltration in your roof, which in turn may lead to the need for a roof replacement.

A Better Prevention Technique

What if instead of scrubbing your roof to remove the algae, or attempting to nail down flashing to prevent its growth, you installed algae resistant shingles instead? Algae resistant shingles that have been treated with Scotchgard prevent algae staining from occurring on your roof. Best of all, these shingles also help maintain the original look and style of your roof; no need to add flashing that may lift at the corners or that may discolor and clash with the rest of your roof over time.

Algae resistant shingles keep your roof looking great for up to 20 years with no additional maintenance or scrubbing on your part. The same Scotchgard you’ve used and trusted to protect your furniture from stains is used to treat the exterior of the shingles, so the algae can’t even get a toe-hold to begin its growth.

Best of all, you can get this protection from unsightly algae stains in a quality, laminated shingle that withstands extreme weather as well.

And if you’re looking for a laminated architectural shingle with algae resistance, you have even more options, including two layers of algae protection – Scotchgard and Algae Resistance, so you don’t have to worry about any stains appearing on your roof any time soon.

Keep Algae at Bay

Algae can be a serious problem for some homes. And while the claims of shingle eating and lifting once attributed to algae have been found to be unsubstantiated, it remains a fact that a roof stained with algae can lower your curb appeal and the value of your home. Don’t spend any more time scrubbing your roof and risking the loss of protective granules on your shingles, or attempting to nail flashing to your roof; instead, opt for algae resistant shingles to get the best possible protection for your home.

Read more about residential roofing.

 


Topics: Exteriors, Going Green, Healthy Homes, Maintenance & Repair, Remodeling, Roofing


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