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Roof algae discoloration is a worldwide problem that is common throughout most of the United States and is very prevalent in the southeastern and northwestern parts of the country. The discoloration on an asphalt shingles is caused by algae growth. The build-up of algae will expedite deterioration of the materials and can also raise energy costs. If it is white it will help reflect the sun's rays and keep the interior of the building cooler. When the color is darkened by algae,it will absorb the sun's rays which can heat the interior and raise energy costs as well as “cook “ the shingles harder and shorten the actual life span.
There are several ways to solve this problem. One is to hose it down with diluted bleach or chlorine. Bleach and chlorine are very effective but they also kill all the surrounding vegetation, cause a discomforting odor and may upset the neighbors! If you use this process be sure to wear eye protection and only on a non windy day. Another way is to install some algae-resistant shingles. Not all roofs that look bad are ready for replacement. If the shingles are flat (edges not curled up) and still are sealed down, algae growth is the only problem you have.
There are two good ways to solve the problem. Zinc strips installed along both sides of the ridge will eventually clean the algae. Another good way is to apply environmentally friendly chemical compounds for immediate results.
No matter which process you decide on, use caution while working on your roof and absolutely do not use a pressure washer as you will do more damage than good and may lead to a total replacement of your roofing system!! :(
As with any project, if you are not capable of executing the work that needs to be done please consult a local professional.
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