Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What's That Growing On My Roof?

Not only does your roof provide protection for your home, but it also affects your curb appeal. Moss, algae, and lichen can all grow on your roof, especially in hot, humid climates like those we experience during summer at the Lake of the Ozarks. Your Lake of the Ozarks roofing company is here to explain the differences in these types of growths and how they can affect your roof.

Identifying the Growth on Your Roof


How do you know what exactly is growing on your roof? There are a few features you can look for to determine what type of growth you are dealing with:

Moss: Look for green, spongy clumps. 


One of the more common types of growth on roofs is moss. Moss can be detrimental to asphalt shingle performance. The issue with moss is that it's thicker, so it holds more water. We all know that excess moisture on your roof is not good. Moss build-up can create lateral water movement which can result in water damage to the roof deck or even leaks. In addition, moss also grips into the surface of the shingles, which can cause the edges of shingles to lift or curl. This increases the risk of your shingles blowing off during storms and other windy events.

Algae: Look for black or green streaks.


Algae is often mistaken as mold or mildew. Places on your roof where moisture tends to dwell, are the areas where algae can form. Humid climates present the perfect atmosphere for this type of growth. By the time algae is visible, it has likely been there for several months or longer. Black streaks and stains can cause your shingles to lose the ability to reflect the sun's energy and provide insulation. This can result in higher energy costs. If the algae situation is ignored, the shingles can deteriorate, resulting in the need for a full roof replacement at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Lichen - Look for blue-green, gray or orange flat spots about the size of a quarter.


Lichen can grow in almost every environment on earth. Unlike algae and moss, lichen do require sunlight in addition to nutrients. While they need small amounts of moisture, but can also tolerate periods of extreme dryness. While lichen doesn't trap as much water as moss, it can be acidic and has strands that can penetrate into your shingles. When removed, the lichen can actually bring some of the shingles protective coating and granules off with it.

Prevention of Growth on Your Roof 


There are a couple things you as a homeowner can do to help prevent the possibility of algae, moss or lichen growing on your roof.
  • Trim any overhanging branches to reduce the shade on your roof. Shade makes it harder for your roof to dry after it's rained, and a damp roof provides the perfect environment for these growths to develop. 
  • Install algae resistant shingles. If your home is older, chances are the shingles don't have any copper granules on them, which is used to prevent the growth of algae. If you don't want/need to replace your roof, consider installing a strip of copper or zinc coated sheet metal along each side of the roof, just below the ridge.
 
If you're concerned about growth on your roof, give Above & Beyond Roofing a call to schedule a free roof inspection at the Lake of the Ozarks. As professionals, we can determine what's growing on your roof, how it's affecting your roof and what steps need to be taken next. For all your Lake of the Ozarks roofing needs, call us at 573-302-0354.

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