The most common cause of roof stains is moss and algae. These organisms feed on the organic roof materials and when left untreated, they can cause damage. The fungus or mold spores from nearby trees or plants become embedded in the roofing material. All roofing is vulnerable to stains so it is important to remove them as soon as possible and prevent them from coming back.
How To Prevent And Remove Roofing Stains?
DIY Stain Removal Solutions
You can save money by removing the stains yourself. You need to take precautions as climbing up on the roof is dangerous. You want to wait for an overcast day with little to no wind for stain removal. This way, the spray you use will not be blown away and can soak into the roofing. The DIY stain removal process involves a non-corrosive and non-toxic roof cleaning chemical, a garden hose, a garden sprayer, and a full-body harness. If the stains on your roof are severe, there are special application and rinsing tools you can use. Before you start, you need to properly prepare the roof stain removal area. Start by cleaning the gutters and downspouts and make any repairs to flashings or other loose materials on the roof. By clearing these areas, the cleaning chemicals you are using can properly drain away. Be sure to remove all equipment from the sides of the building and cover any plants. When it is time to start cleaning, start from the bottom and slowly work your way to the top. Be sure that you spray the roof to the point of saturation and should any areas dry before you are done, re-spray them.
Professional Stain Removal Solutions
If you do not have the tools or desire to clean the stains yourself, you can hire professionals to remove the stains. There are several techniques that professional cleaners will use.
- Low-pressure cleaning: High-grade eco-friendly cleaning products are used in this gentle but effective form of stain removal.
- Chlorine bleach: A solution is made from mixing chlorine bleach with high concentrations of trisodium phosphate. This is a more affordable method.
- High-pressure power washing: This method is used by a few roof cleaning contractors but it is not always the most effective.It can leave behind root systems which means algae can return. If you choose this method, you will need to follow up with regular inspections to check for algae re-growth.
Preventing Roof Stains From Coming Back
Once your roof is clean, you can take steps to prevent algae or mold from returning. Install a strip of copper or zinc-coated sheet metal along the sides of the roof. They should be placed just below the ridge, with between 2” to 4” of metal is visible on the roof. Copper is the more toxic material to algae, but it is also more expensive. Galvanized sheet metal is an effective and more affordable option. Both materials are available in rolls and you can get them online or at a home improvement store. If you purchase narrow sheets, these can be applied directly to the roof, but for wider pieces, you need to loosen self-sealing tabs along with the shingles, slip the sheet under these, and then nail back into place.
It is essential to remove and prevent roof stains for the longevity of the roof. Hiring a professional contractor is ideal because they have the expertise and safety protocols in place for the job. You can save money by doing the cleaning yourself, but you must be careful when working on the roof. In the long run, working with a professional will save you money because the job will be done right, every time. So, call us today for an estimate so we can help you remove those stains, keep your roof in good shape, and protect your investment and your image.