Some of the most common unwanted growths that you see on Florida roofs are moss and algae due to high humidity and frequent rains. Roof moss and algae thrive in moisture-rich environments and it can be very difficult to get rid of without professional assistance.
At a base level, having these growths on your roof can make your home look neglected. This can in turn lower its value and reduce its curb appeal. You will first start to notice moss and algae as dark streaks on your roof. Though it may seem like there is not much, keep in mind that these organisms can spread very rapidly.
Why Do You Need to Eliminate Roof Moss and Algae?
Damage To Your Roof
One of the top reasons why you should eliminate the roof moss and algae from your roof as quickly as possible is because it can cause some very serious damage to your roofing materials. Moss and algae will slowly work to break down the fibers in your shingles. This not only damages the shingles themselves, but forces the materials apart, making room for leaks to occur. Whenever this happen, you run the risk of damaging the entire structural integrity of your roof. For this reason, many homes must be prematurely replaced due to the moss and algae that was left unchecked.
Though fungus, mildew and algae are less damaging to your roof than moss, they can greatly reduce the efficiency of your home whenever they are not kept in check. This is because fungus will interfere with your roof’s natural ability to reflect light and heat. Whenever this happens, your home will stay hotter in the summer, resulting in higher air conditioning bills.
Poor Curb Appeal
In addition to the destruction and efficiency issues posed by moss and algae on your roof, take into consideration your home’s overall curb appeal. Whether you are planning to stay in your home for many years, or sell in the near future, the roof is the most visible portion of your home. Whenever your roof looks bad, your entire home looks bad. This is especially problematic for anyone looking to sell a home. Whenever potential home buyers see the fungus-covered roof, it sets a bad first impression. This can discourage buyers from even considering your home.
How to remove moss and algae from your roof
This moss has got to go, but it’s not as simple as spraying weed-killer. You need something that will attack the moss without pumping out toxic planting-killing chemicals down your drains or onto your trees, gardens, or lawns. You need zinc.
Zinc–in the form of a liquid, powder, or strip–erodes every time it rains, bringing the zinc directly into the moss or algae and killing it. Normal doses will not affect most other plants, and will never corrode any of the metal fittings or other materials on or in your roof. Zinc also is long lasting: the power, liquid, and strips last a year or more per application with some special treatments lasting years. Zinc in any of these forms can be handled safely without additional protection or gear.
Dry and Liquid Applications
Most of these zinc powders and granules can be applied dry or wet. Dry application requires you to get up on the roof. But it is easy to track where you’ve put the powder down. Many of these powders come with an optional sprayer nozzle to hook directly onto the hose. Most can be mixed and applied through traditional sprayer feeds from your local hardware store. Before you buy, make sure you know how much square footage you’re going to spray and check the bottles for the amount they will cover.
Zinc Strips and Galvanized Flashing
Zinc strips are an alternative to spraying the roof. Apply these strips just below the peak of the roof and hold in place with roofing nails or staples. These have about the same lifespan as liquids and powders, and usually cheaper in price. An alternative during roof installation or remodeling is the use of galvanized flashings, which boast a very long lifespan. While installation is more difficult, it follows the same procedures. Install below the roofcap and around exposed features like chimneys and skylights.
Whether you have extensive moss and algae growth on your roof, or are just seeing the very beginnings of it, talk with someone as soon as possible about the best way to remove and control these costly infestations. Many homeowners put off taking care of this type of project because they are worried about how much it will cost. Although there is definitely a cost associated with the cleaning and managing of roof moss and algae, the cost that you will face if it runs rampant is much higher. Do yourself a favor by acting quickly at the first sign of a problem.
These treatments and installations can be dangerous to do yourself, especially with larger homes. While not dangerous in large doses, plants should be covered before initial zinc spraying. If you have questions or are looking for someone to help with an ongoing or potential moss problem, our experts at All Weather Tite can help.