The next time you pull into your home’s driveway, take a careful look up at your roof. Do you notice any unsightly black streaks marring the beauty of your shingles? These unattractive marks can make your home look unattractive, leaving you with a lackluster exterior instead of the beautiful, statement-making home that impresses visitors and makes you proud.
The cause of those black marks is called black algae—and it’s a common problem for homeowners in the greater Detroit area who have asphalt roof shingles. Our roofing team at John McCarter has seen it often. Fortunately, there’s a solution that will help you prevent algae growth long-term and keep your home looking lovely and inviting for years to come.
Here’s what you need to know to safeguard your investment in your home and ensure your roof adds to your home’s curb appeal and value instead of succumbing to mold and mildew.
Why Does Black Algae Grow on My Roof?
Algae is all around us in nature. In the warm, humid summers typical of Detroit and Ann Arbor, it can be easy for algae to grow on certain types of roofing. Many homeowners have asphalt roof shingles, which are unfortunately an ideal place for black algae to live and spread. And if your roof has shaded sections due to trees or location on the street, algae is more likely to grow in those areas.
How Do I Know If I Have a Black Algae Problem?
You’ll notice black stains and streaks on your asphalt roof shingles. You may also notice your roof looks discolored or uneven in shading, especially on the areas of your roof that are most often hidden from sunlight.
How Concerned Should I Be about Algae on My Roof?
While black algae doesn’t eat away at your roof and weaken its performance, the algae is definitely unsightly. And unfortunately, it’s stubborn too. Black algae won’t easily come clean because roofs, in general, are tough to clean. Keep in mind:
- Power washing is a no-no: You don’t want to pressure wash your roof, because this method of cleaning is too harsh and can damage shingles, making your problem much worse.
- Proper treatment requires care: To rid shingles of algae, a mixture of half water and half bleach is needed. But handling bleach can be unhealthy unless you take proper precautions, such as wearing protective gloves, eyewear, and a mask.
- Climbing on the roof can be dangerous: The only way to apply the bleach-water mixture is to be on the roof. Many homeowners don’t have the proper equipment or training to do so. It’s often best to turn to a roofing contractor for help. (As a local Ann Arbor and Detroit Roofer, John McCarter Construction can take on roof maintenance so you stay safe and enjoy your home.)
How Can I Prevent Black Algae from Growing?
There are two helpful tools for preventing black algae from forming on your roof:
1. Trim back trees regularly.
By eliminating shady areas on your roof, you are removing one of the causes of algae growth. This is likely to lessen algae growth, though it can’t prevent it completely.
2. Replace your roof with shingles made to resist black algae.
Having roofing shingles professionally installed that resist algae growth is the best way to prevent this issue in the long run.
GAF’s Timberline Shingles: Algae-Resistant Roofing for Michigan Homeowners
As a roofing contractor with years of experience replacing roofs for Ann Arbor and Detroit area homes, we recommend the use of Timberline® UHD shingles made by GAF. These fantastic asphalt shingles are resistant to streaking by embedding copper granules in each shingle to prevent the growth or mold and algae.
Be Proud of Your Roof All Over Again
Your home is a major investment, and you want it to look beautiful as well as retain its value. So whether you’re dealing with unsightly black algae or other roofing and home issues, John McCarter Construction can help.
When you need a roofing contractor for your Ann Arbor or Detroit area home, we can assist you. Contact us to get a free quote, so you can get your roof back in shape and enjoy your lifestyle in a low-maintenance, attractive home.