Are black streaks on a roof harmful? Many homeowners find themselves asking that question at one time or another! After all, black streaks are not uncommon, especially in certain parts of the U.S. In turn, you might wonder if they need cleaning or repairs, or if you can ignore them.
Certain algae are the most common reason for black streaks on a roof. These algae, the most common being blue green algae, can risk roof damage if left untreated. These streaks often start out as spots and get larger and more prominent over time. These black stains can degrade your roofing materials and get in between shingles, causing water issues.
If you’re asking, are black streaks on a roof harmful, keep reading! Some added information about these algae and other causes can help you decide how to address this issue. Also, never hesitate to contact a roof washing contractor near you. Their expertise ensures a roof that’s clean and pristine and protected from damaging elements.
Black streaks on a roof are often caused by a type of algae called Gloeocapsa magma. While you might not think that algae are dangerous for a roof, quite the opposite is true! Ignoring algae growth risks damage and other costly issues, including:
Of course, black streaks can be everyday dirt and grime. You might notice these more commonly if you live near a busy airport or roadway. Airborne soot and dirt settle onto nearby roofs, risking dark streaks and stains.
Now that you know what generally causes black streaks on a roof, you might wonder why algae grows on some roofs. Algae growth on a roof is primarily caused by environmental conditions that create a favorable environment for it to thrive. This growth is more common in areas with humid and warm climates such as Florida and California.
Note some key factors that contribute to algae growth on roofs:
Roof discoloration, such as stains, streaks, or patches of a different color, can be an indication of underlying issues that might need attention. The severity of the discoloration and its cause determines how to approach that discoloration. Check out some common reasons for roof discoloration:
It's important to address roof discoloration promptly, especially if it's accompanied by other signs of roof damage. Regular roof inspections are essential to identify and address issues before they become major problems. If you're unsure about the cause of roof discoloration, consult with a professional roofing contractor.
It’s best to call a power washing contractor to remove black streaks off your roof. However, in between professional visits, you can use some DIY cleaning methods. Chlorine bleach is excellent for killing mold, mildew, and algae. It also helps dissolve dirt and grime that creates unsightly streaks.
Start with plain water and rinse the roof thoroughly. This helps to wet down the materials and remove surface dirt and debris. Next, use a solution of one part bleach to 3 parts water and apply with a garden hose sprayer.
Using a long-handled scrub brush with soft bristles and telescoping handle, brush the roof as needed. Avoid oversaturating the roof to prevent damage to the shingles. Also, don’t scrub too hard as this can also risk damage. Work in small sections so you can clean them thoroughly without needing to scrub.
After scrubbing, rinse the cleaned area thoroughly with clean water from the garden hose. Ensure that the cleaning solution is completely washed away. For stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the process or use a specialized roof cleaner. However, do not use abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that damage roofing materials. Rinse thoroughly, to remove all the cleaning solution.
Black streaks on roof shingles can be a common issue, particularly in regions with high humidity and consistent rainfall. In the southeastern United States, especially in states like Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, these unsightly marks are more prevalent due to the warm and damp climate that provides an ideal environment for algae growth.
Homeowners often combat this problem by installing zinc strips along the peaks of their roofs. These copper or zinc strips release trace amounts of metal over time when rainwater runs over them, creating an environment inhospitable for algae and preventing the formation of black streaks. Regular roof maintenance becomes crucial in these regions to ensure the longevity and aesthetic appeal of homes, as these streaks not only mar the appearance but can also lead to premature deterioration of roof shingles.A Word From Our Expert Crew
Clearwater Pressure Washing & Roof Cleaning is happy to answer the question, are black streaks on a roof harmful? Hopefully we’ve answered that question for you! Also, if you’re in the area, call our Clearwater roof washing contractors when needed. We’ll schedule a FREE inspection and price quote. Above all, we guarantee quality work with every project we take on. To find out more or for your no-cost quote, reach out to our team today.