Lichen, moss and algae on a roof

Moss or lichens can grow on any roof surface but it will be more severe on shaded sections and those that are exposed to intermittent damp, cool weather circumstances. The existence or absence of sunlight on a roof surface is an important factor in the determination of the amount of moss lichen growth; more sun means less moss or lichens. When shade and moisture combine, there is a bigger likelihood of moss or lichen growth.
Believe it or not, lichens and moss are more than a mere cosmetic issue on many kinds of roofing such as asphalt shingles, roll roofing, wood shingles and wood shake roofing. The lichen and moss growth speed up the wear process in cooler climates as well by increasing the frost damage to the mineral granule coating on shingles. Sometimes the moss and lichen growth is so think on the roof that it makes it hard to see what original roofing material was used.

Lichens or moss that grows on a roof surface will shorten the lifespan of your roof as the lichens or moss cause moisture to hold onto the roof. The growth will occur in roofing materials such as asphalt shingles or wood shingles. These types of roofing materials, when moisture is trapped by any means such as with leaves and debris, will wear quicker.

Lichens will grow on a roof surface; however they do not have as thick of a body as a moss does and also, it will hold less water and is less of a threat than moss.

One would think that algae (green or black) is as much of a problem for a roof as the lichens or moss. Algae is merely a cosmetic problem; however it can become a roof problem if is cleaned off as the aggressive cleaning methods for algae has a tendency to damage the roof surface.
Removing moss or lichens can be fatal to your roof. It is better if the cleaning is left to a professional roofer that knows how to do so safely without damaging your roof. For example, if the roof shingles are brittle or cracking and look weak, aggressive cleaning of the lichens or moss could cause serious damage to the roof during the removal. Sure, the roof may look cleaner but its lifespan could be severely by the aggressive cleaning.

It is possible to prevent moss, lichen and algae growth on roofs. Some shingles contain chemicals that will help to slow down the moss growth on the roof surface. Moss, lichens and algae are absent from a roof surface where galvanized metal, copper or even aluminum flashing are installed. If moss, lichens or algae appear on shingled roofs that have these metals, just using a mineral salt wash will help to retard the growth on the shingles. Using shingles that are chemically treated to resist moss, lichen and algae growth will help prolong the life of your roof. Talk with your Austin roofer when it is time to replace the roof as he can best advise you on the options that will best work for your roof.

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