If you have ever looked up at your roof and seen dark streaks, you may be looking at large amounts of algae growth, a warning sign that it is time for a professional roof cleaning. Known as gloeocapsa magma (also called blue-green algae or black algae), this type of algae growth can damage shingles and harm the integrity of your roof.
What Causes Algae Growth
Algae grows from spores. These spores travel through the air, probably from a distant neighbor’s roof, and eventually land on your shingles. The algae uses the limestone found in asphalt shingles as a food source and eventually starts to grow. Areas with high tree density or high humidity can speed up the growth process. By the time you see the streaks running down your roof, the algae has probably been growing for a few months.
The Dangers of Algae On Your Roof
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.
Getting Rid of Black Streaks On Your Shingles
Fortunately getting rid of the black streaks on your roof is as simple as having the gloeocapsa magma algae removed by a professional. While you may want to hop on the roof and try to scrub it yourself, this could not only go against homeowner insurance policies, it could lead to unintended damage.
Professional roof cleaning services use specialized biodegradable compounds that will destroy the algae without harming your roof. This keeps your roof free from algae without damaging your shingles any further.