Roof Staining and Cleaning Considerations

What is causing my roof stains?
Will it get worse or will it go away on its own?
How much does it cost to clean my roof or should I just replace my shingles?
How long does it take, and what can I expect?
Why will you not pressure wash my shingles?
Will you clean only the visual stains or only a partial part of my roof?
Will the stains eventually come back?
Can you make them stay away forever?
Will the cleaning chemicals cause damage to my shingles, landscaping, or house?
Are the roof stains only cosmetic or does it have any health related considerations?

What is causing my roof stains?

Glesocaspa Magma, or Algae (blue-green), moss, lichen, and mold or fungi is typically present on the roofs we clean in this area. The algae spores are carried to our roofs from water sources by the wind and birds. Its source of growth is the limestone fillers that are in your shingles combined with moisture from dew, rain, & high humidity. The black stains are likely to harbor a number of other types of mold and fungi. The spores are most commonly visible on the northern side or shaded areas, especially after a it rains, but are really present thought-out the entire roof, thus creating a perfect food source and breeding ground, Yes, you are feeding extra mouths unintentionally, and it is causing your roof to prematurely deteriorate.

Roof stains became visibly noticeable in our area about 2001-2002, due to the shingle manufacture's using a limestone filler in your shingle, which increased the weight of the shingle but created a perfect living environment for algae, mold, moss, and lichen to infest your roof and to give your roof a dark, or sometimes red haze on lighter shingles with a streaking, stained look that you now see on many roofs though out the tri-state area.

Will it get worse or will it go away on its own?

Yes, it will only get worse. No, it will not go away on its own. It will only go away when treated. The largest shingle manufacturers; Owens Corning, GAF, and their trade association recommend a cleaning process that we follow. It is a low pressure chemical treatment that will remove 90% at the completion and the other stains as natural hydration and the rain re-rinses the shingle over a 4-8 week period.

How much does it cost to clean my roof or should I just replace my shingles?

The cost depends upon many factors. The size, the pitch, and the stage of the infestation and how much landscaping surrounds the roof is factored in to the pricing. It is much easier for us to clean a roof and achieve desired results when the stains are first visible versus years of neglect. We believe that this treatment should be part of your normal home maintenance.

How long does it take, and what can I expect?

The actual treatment depends on the size and area of which we are treating. For an average size 2,400 square foot home, it typically will take 4-5 hours. You do not need to be present while the treatment is being provided however we are happy to go over the treatment with you in person before and after, if you desire.

The entire cleaning process is not over at the end of the service, it is just beginning. The "Shingle Safe" solution is moisture activated for approximately 4-8 weeks, every time it rains. It actually becomes cleaner naturally over time. Patience is the key ingredient to the roof cleaning process. 

If immediate results are desired because circumstances such as selling your home, or another event, we will rinse your roof off that mimics the natural hydration that rain provides. The consequence of us doing this will remove the cleaning solution prematurely that could affect the most complete treatment process available. In the event that we do not get the desired results, we will return within our warranty period at no charge and retreat the stubborn areas.

Why will you not pressure wash my shingles?

No shingle manufacturer recommends it. We will not clean a roof that has evidence of previous pressure washing. High pressure roof washing will cause serious damage to your shingles by dislodging the granules that protect your home from high UV rays. Shingle manufacturers recommend only a chemical application cleaning process. Shingles that have lost the granular effect will cause the UV rays to penetrate the attic and can also cause known as "super heating" of the attic area which can result in not only higher utility cost during the summer months, but accelerated deterioration of the shingle integrity leading up to a 40% decreased life span of your shingle life.

Will you clean only the visual stains or only a partial part of my roof?

We typically only offer partial cleanings to our larger commercial clients and even then, it is with hesitation. Our experience proves that partial cleanings are effective in the total removal of the cause of your stains. We must kill ALL spores that are present on the entire roof to offer our warranty. When we oblige to a partial cleaning, we have seen the return of the staining on the areas we did not treat within about a year. 

Will the stains eventually come back?

Yes, but when the important question and that depends on many factors. We have evidence of stains stay away as long as 5-6 years after a treatment and we have also seen them return as soon as 30-36 months. The best way of keeping them away is to have a regular maintenance program that is included in our 2- 5 year guarantee that treats the entire roof surface. There are several products available that we have tested and reviewed that claim to eliminate return infestation for an extended period. Most homeowners find these applications to be expensive and return to our normal cleaning process for their best return on their investment. We offer for less than .50 a day for 5 years a total elimination of your roof stains and streaks via our 5 year warranty maintenance program.

Will the cleaning chemicals cause damage to my shingles, landscaping, or house?

Roof stains became visibly noticeable in our area about 2003-2004, due to the shingle manufacturers using a limestone filler, which increased the weight of the shingle but created a perfect living environment for algae, mold, moss, and lichen.

No cost effectively, even the shingle manufacturers can’t, and their limited warranty will confirm that. There are several products available that we have tested and reviewed that claim to eliminate return infestation for an extended period. Most homeowners find these applications to be expensive and a return to our normal cleaning process is their “best return” on their investment. We offer for less than .60 a day for 5 years for total elimination of your roof stains and streaks via during our 2 year warranty maintenance program for an average 2,400 square foot house. Having your roof protected with our “Shingle Safe” cleaning solution will prevent them.

Tell me about your no-pressure cleaning process.

We use a combination of the right amount of chemicals and the right methods and techniques that are carefully applied to prevent any damage to your landscaping and home. It is an unfortunate proposition that the best and recommended process to remove the spores also could cause concern for landscaping. We minimize this exposure by pre-hydrating your landscaping prior, during, and after the service. We also protect your property by recapturing any cleaning solution via your gutter system whenever possible. This is the reason that we guarantee two technicians on every service, not only for our safety, but the protection of your property. It is an expense that we think is worth while investment for you and us.

Are the roof stains only cosmetic or does it have any health related considerations?

According to Dr. Victor Morganroth, the spores are alive and they are very resilient. While not all mold and algae pose a direct health danger some are harmful especially to older folks, younger children, and people that suffer from upper repository problems. The spores which are on your roof can get inside your home because they end up on your driveway, walkways from the rain and are easily tracked inside. They can even be drawn into our air conditioning systems and ducts.

Different mold species have different affects but it is important to remember that any excessive mold growth needs to be taken care of regardless of the species. Any excessive mold growth can lead to increased allergies, toxicity, in addition to house or building airborne problems.

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