Being from the west coast, we are blessed with beautiful snow capped mountains and lush green forests all around. On the other side of the spectrum, you can probably count the number of days it’s not raining with one hand in the winter season. We have been dubbed the “wet coast” and become accustomed to the weather.
However, our roofs take a beating through the seasons. They are relentlessly slammed with massive amounts of rain through the fall and winter. Once spring hits, they think the suffering is over. A sigh of relief is taken to celebrate victory but then summer approaches. The blazing heat tests the various shingles and preys on any exposed asphalt and aged cedar. Over the years, moss and algae begin to spawn and flourish on your roof. They move in and invite their friends to join the party.
Once these mossy patches grow to a certain size they have the potential to bond to the shingles and if they are removed, sections of granules may come along with them. The problem is the ceramic coated granules protect the asphalt layer from UV rays. Once the asphalt is exposed to the elements the lifespan of your roof is greatly decreased. If left be, moss retains moisture and accelerates the deterioration process on your shingles.
Most shingle manufacturers provide a 10-year warranty on algae resistance. The shingles are treated with algicide which helps fight off the growth of algae for about 10 years. Once the algicide has worn away, your roof is open season for a free-for-all of algae spores to collect. Once the algae has fought its way through the limestone it begins to dislodge granules and expose the asphalt.
Now you must be thinking, what can I do? Well, you can be a friendly Canadian and let the baby fungi grow up to be big and strong adult fungi or you can take action.
If you enjoy doing it yourself and are brave enough to set up a ladder and walk along your roof there are various roof cleaner products on the market that can be used to fight moss, algae and mildew. If you feel more comfortable on the ground, seek out a professional roofing contractor in your area to provide an assessment and maintenance plan for your roof.
These products can be applied to your roof every 1-3 years and fight off existing moss, mildew and algae while helping with future prevention. Some sprays can be attached directly to you garden hose and have a long range like Spray & Forget or you may need to purchase a light duty sprayer which will not affect the integrity of your roof. Make sure any products used are environmentally friendly, biodegradable and NOT filled with any toxic chemicals such as chlorine or bleach. These can damage your shingles, gutters and kill gardens. High-powered pressure washers have the capability to remove granules on asphalt shingles and the treatment on cedar shakes. They also have potential to penetrate behind or under metal flashing and vents so stay clear of using these to clean your roof.
Maintaining your roof isn’t just about bragging to the neighbors about how pristine your roof looks . Regular roof maintenance will add many years of life to your roof and save you thousands of dollars in the long run.