Here is a photo of a roof that we cleaned recently in Tampa Florida. This house also underwent a complete house soft wash, and gutter cleaning.
Several hours later and this home has the look of a new roof. You can’t beat the no pressure stain removal procedures used by Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa. Roof stain removal is alive and well in Tampa Florida. Please call us for a free no obligation demonstration and quote. We will come to your home and show you how we are able to clean your roof with our no pressure techniques. For more information and to see more roof stain removal pictures from jobs we have done in the Tampa area, please visit our video .
On light colored shingle roofs here in Tampa with black stains, like this one, we always use TSP (trisodiumphosphate) in our roof cleaning mix. Thought the TSP is a bit of a PITA to use, it makes a big difference in the looks of the final product.
This set of roof cleaning pictures posted above were taken right after we completed this job. The roof did not have the benefit of a few good rains, to look it’s best.
We drove by this roof a few weeks after we did it, and the homeowner still allowed our sign to be in his yard!
We got 3 other black stained roofs in his block, all because of the great job we did on this job in Tampa.
Here is A Big Tile Roof that we cleaned today 7-21-2014. We started this tile roof cleaning at 9 am, and just finished an hour ago. It is now 4.51 pm, and here comes the well known Tampa summertime afternoon rain!
This was a large 5500 sq ft home, with a lot of tile roof surface on it. We were barely able to get this large roof all nice and clean, before the rains came.
This whole community in Seffner Florida got letters from their homeowners association, and this makes the 15th roof we have cleaned in this subdivision. All these roofs are all tile, and every home in here is 4500 sq ft and up.
This customer chose us because he has seen our work, and wanted his large tile roof properly cleaned. Our guys had a beautiful view of Lake Thonotosassa from the top of this tile roof. It is one of the larger freshwater lakes in the Tampa Florida area.
If you have a shingle, tile, or metal roof that needs to be cleaned in the Tampa Florida area, call us at 813-655-8777 for a free consultation and estimate.
Here in the Tampa Florida area, I would say about 60 percent of the really nice places to live are deed restricted. Some areas have very vigilant homeowners associations, that will send out roof cleaning letters for one little black streak on the roof, and some of these HOA’s will wait years to send letters. I have been asked by several Tampa Homeowners Associations, when is the right time to send roof cleaning letters.
The best time, is when 1/2 or more of the roofs are covered in this Black Roof Algae.
It is never good to do a partial roof cleaning, but we do give our customers a break when only 1/4 to 1/2 of the roof needs cleaned. But, we do it the correct way, and clean the dirty part of the roof, then apply the treatment chemical to the “clean” part.
The worst thing these Tampa Homeowners Association can do to their residents, is to wait until every roof is absolutely filthy before asking the residents to clean them. This forces us roof cleaners to use tons of chemical solution to get them clean, and increases the chances of having an effect on the landscaping. Having Gutters down here in Tampa is not the normal thing it is up north. 1/2 or more of our business is cleaning tile roofs on 5000 plus sq ft homes with little to no gutters on them, and tons of delicate expensive landscaping!
When the Homeowners Associations allow these roofs to become filthy before letters are sent out, we often are forced to use 2 to 3 or more coats of the cleaning chemical.
This is a cement tile roof we cleaned in the Cory Lake Isles community in New Tampa. You can see it was filthy, and had no gutters. There was landscaping all over the place, and it took 3 coats of the roof cleaning chemical to get it this clean.
Here in the Tampa Florida area, most nice subdivisions are deed restricted, and require you to maintain your homes paint, yard, and the roof as well.
If you move into one of Tampa’s Deed Restricted communities, you sign your life away, and agree to give them great power over you. If you receive and defy 3 roof cleaning letters, they will start a legal process against you. Some customers think they are “cool” by refusing to clean their roofs, but us roof cleaners all know that the black stains on their dirty roofs can and will spread to the neighbors clean roofs!
It is unfair and inconsiderate to your neighbors to allow your roof to remain filthy, while they are trying to keep their place clean.
I have little sympathy for people who chose to compromise their friends and neighbors, by refusing to clean their roofs.
We are almost always super busy, so it is not the extra roof cleaning work we need.
But when people move into a super nice deed restricted community here in Tampa, and know the rules and promise to abide by them, but then don’t, IMHO this is like sending a sick child to school to infect the other Kids.
All it takes is one filthy roof, to spread it’s filth to the other roofs in the area by airborne spores, and other means of transmission.
We cleaned this flat tile roof recently, and we are very happy with the results of this job in Tampa Palms. Few roofs look better, when they are clean, then a white tile roof, and few look worse, when they are dirty!
This roof cleaning job came to us from a well known Tampa Painting Company. This customer wanted to get his roof cleaned first, before he has his home painted. These folks were very very nice people, and are from one of Tampa’s original founding families!
Despite our “protests” they insisted we eat the deviled crabs they make from scratch, and also served us some awesome home made Lemonaid that was good and cold. It was 95 degrees outside in Tampa today, and probably 110 degrees, up on this roof we cleaned!
Safe and Effective Chemical Roof Cleaning Many Tampa Florida area residents that have come from the Northeast are surprised by the idea of roof cleaning – and even more surprised by the fact that many deed restricted communities here in the Tampa area require it. Whether you have a Barrel Tile, Concrete Tile, Asphalt Shingle, Wood Shake, or Metal Roof – The reasons for non pressure chemical roof cleaning include aesthetics, property values, energy efficiency, and increased longevity of the roof. Whatever the main reason, if you are going to have it done, it is in your best interest to know what choices you have available to you. A quality roof should last upwards of 30 years in Tampa if cared for and maintained properly. Unfortunately, many of the roofs here in Florida are subjected to unnecessary stress while cleaning that greatly reduce the life expectancy of the roof. With repeated roof cleaning comes certain pitfalls that every homeowner and property manager should be aware of in order to avoid damage to property, unnecessary repair costs, and the premature replacement of the roof. WHY HAS YOUR ROOF TURNED BLACK? The black streaking typically found on homes is not really caused by mildew or fungus; it’s roof algae. 3M scientists have identified the most common form as Gloeocapsa Magma. Algae spores are carried by the wind, which is why so many houses in the same neighborhood can end up with this problem. During the last 20 years, this particular algae strain has become hardier and so has been able to migrate to less humid environments than it has in the past. And in areas where it traditionally has been found, the staining is showing up earlier, is more severe and settles on a greater number of roofs. HOW CAN IT BE CLEANED? Typical roof cleaning methods in Tampa involve either pressure cleaning or harsh chemicals treatments such as S Hydroxide (lye). These crude methods will clean your roof with adverse impact – and the effects are very temporary and will have to be repeated every 6-18 months in order to maintain the appearance of the roof. THESE METHODS ARE NOT A LONG-TERM SOLUTION. While these methods are effective, repeated use will lead to premature aging and replacement of the roof. The natural erosion that occurs over time from the basic forces of heat, cold, wind, and rain alone are enough to weaken mortar joints of most roofs in Tampa to the point where annual inspections and minor roof repairs are necessary to prevent significant repair costs. But when the roof is repeatedly subjected to high pressures or harsh chemicals like Lye, the aging of the roof structure is significantly accelerated. At this point, the concrete roof tiles are more likely to shift, slip, or break and asphalt shingles are more likely to become brittle and crack. When this happens, there is a greater likelihood of tearing the roof membrane simply by walking on the roof. Pressure cleaning will greatly increase the chances of this happening. Once gaps are created and subsequent pressure cleaning or harsh chemical cleaning is administered to a roof, these gaps provide water and/or the caustic solutions a path to the roof membrane, and increase the chance of costly roof leaks! WHAT IS THE BEST TREATMENT OPTION ? Pressure Washing is much too destructive to the roof surface for this to be a viable option. For initial cleaning, an RCIA Approved Chemical Roof Cleaning Solution can be used, followed by an application of our Apple Sauce time released algaecide protection. Of course, proper care is always taken to protect the landscaping and surrounding property. The most effective long-term strategies will include periodic roof inspections, and regular applications of algaecide protection. A proper program of preventative maintenance will eliminate the need for future cleaning and the potential for damage that comes along with it. Most algaecide protection programs will last for approximately 6-12 months before the algae starts to take hold again and then cleaning or reapplication is necessary. High quality treatments like Apple Sauce™ will provide AT LEAST 2 years (24 months) of protection. Obviously, the longer the time frame of effectiveness, the better your chances are of minimizing any unnecessary damage to the roof – just due the the decrease in walking on your roof! Treatment programs should be done yearly here in Tampa, and in conjunction with your neighbors whenever possible, applied every 12-24 months in conjunction with a roof inspection, and depending on roof type, and environmental conditions.Sometimes, these chemical roof treatments can be applied without a need for the Applicator to walk on your tile roof. POTENTIAL COST SAVINGS Homeowners’ Associations in the area, can take advantage of group buying discounts offered by Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa, that can lower the actual costs by as much as 30-40%. This translates into significant savings for the residents of the Association. For example, if an Association of 300 residents in Tampa can save $100 each, the residents have effectively saved $30,000, which can be put to other uses throughout the community. When combined with the aesthetics of a coordinated maintenance program and the reduction of the wear & tear on the roofs, this is the most logical choice for most Homeowner Associations in Tampa. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
Ask about our “Total Roof Care Program“ to learn more about how you can keep your roof looking great, without spending much money! Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa is committed to providing the very best in customer service and property maintenance in the safest and most cost-effective manner for our clients. All of our work is guaranteed and we are licensed and insured for your protection! Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation quote! Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa is an authorized Applicator of Apple Sauce, the safest chemical roof treatment available !
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Here is A barrel tile roof cleaning job near Tampa Florida that we did last week. This luxury custom built home is 14,000 sq feet, including the 5 car garage, and the owner of this beautiful property is a repeat customer. This one had those wide barrel tiles that are quite common on luxury homes here in Tampa. This tile roof also had a lot of Copper designer accents on it, so we had to clean slowly, and be sure not to get any of the barrel tile roof cleaning solution on the Copper Accents
or it could have stripped the Patina. Our customer is a car collector, and had several old and rare muscle cars in the garage. He had a Hemi Cuda as well as a 1976 Trans Am 455 4 speed car that was black and gold, with the big Firebird Emblem on the hood. He is also a Tampa Bay Buccaneer Fan, so we talked plenty of football and hot rods, once we got done cleaning his roof. He told me that several Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s live close to him, in his exclusive subdivision. It feels good when one of our past roof cleaning customers hires us again. We have been doing what we do here in the Tampa area nearly 22 years, and nearly 1/2 of our current business is from customers we have serviced in the past. Though we apply a special roof treatment chemical so our roofs stay clean longer, it is important to kill the Black Algae that is growing on your roof will eventually grow back. The heat and high humidity here in the Tampa Florida area will make certain of that. Our customers home was also right on a freshwater lake, and anytime you have a home on a body of Freshwater, the ambient humidity in the area is also higher, causing accelerated regrowth of this Black Algae Our goal is to prevent the regrowth of this plant, for as long as our current technology permits. Call us at 813-655-8777 for a free estimate and consultation on all your barrel tile roof cleaning needs.We will answer any and all questions you might have about what is the best way to clean your roof, as well as provide an immediate estimate on what it will cost.
July 5, 2017Many homeowners here in Tampa Florida are good about cleaning gutters, or washing off dirty spots on the house, but what about the roof? Most roofs need to be cleaned every few years and rarely are! If you live in a climate with a high volume of rain, humidity, and wind, it can be hard to maintain a clean roof. Being in a city with a high level of pollution or simply living near a highway can also affect how dirty your roof gets. By maintaining a roof cleaning schedule with the help of experts from roofing in South East Idaho, you can save years that bacteria and algae would have otherwise taken from your roof. The type of roof you have here in the Tampa Florida area also affects how often your roof may need to be cleaned. A product that is unlike the rest in terms of cleaning, are composite roof tiles. Specifically, Brava’s Roof Tiles [http://www.bravarooftile.com] are highly weatherproof and made from recycled plastic. This means they absorb almost no water and the changes of algae, mold, or water damage with these roof tiles are next to nothing. On the other hand, Clay Tiles are a difficult roof material to keep clean. They cannot easily be power washed due to their fragile nature. A powerful stream of water will shatter the tiles almost immediately. However, if you like the look of Clay Tiles, Brava offers composite Spanish barrel tiles with the same look, but far more durable. The composite products also rarely need to be cleaned. Wood shake roofing can be difficult to keep clean as well. It is not as simple as power washing the tiles and can take certain treatments to keep the wooden roof from rotting. Asphalt Shingles are easier than the other materials here in Tampa to keep clean, but after years their appearance can still be difficult to maintain. Click on this site if you’re interested to see these roof maintenance tips that’ll help with keeping your roof in top shape for longer
3 Signs That You Need a Roof Cleaning Here are a few tips on what to look out for on your roof so you now it is definitely time to get it cleaned! Remember though, even if these signs aren’t visible to you, if your roof has not been cleaned in several years it is probably time and once your roof is cleaned and you think you roof needs some repair you can find the best Roofing repair Company in Tampa Florida with a Google Search to fix the damages in you roof.
Algae: This is most commonly seen in the form of black streaks on your roof here in Tampa Florida
. This is triggered by rain and your roof staying damp. At this point, there is still time for the roof to be cleaned and the shingles to stay intact.
Moss: This is likely if your roof sits in a shaded area. This maintains dampness in your roof tiles and can cause more serious damage if left untreated.
Lichen: This is a fungus that protects algae. This is a sure sign your roof needs to be cleaned, and possible even replaced. Lichen has roots that dig into roofing and break down asphalt. If shingles are left untreated, your shingles will likely start to erode.
A home’s roof here in the Tampa Florida area takes a lot of abuse to keep homeowners safe and comfortable. In summer, the roofing materials experience constant exposure to the sun, wind, hail, and rain. But in addition to the hot and humid weather in Tampa, roofing materials also come under attack from dirt, leaves, and other materials. Luckily, having the roof cleaned by Apple Roof Cleaning Tampacan help to neutralize these attacks, as well as give the home increased curb appeal to impress buyers.
1. Roof cleaning can prevent staining and help the roof retain its original color and attractiveness Many types of trees and bushes that are commonly planted around residential homes have the potential to cause streaks and stains on roof surfaces from the pigments and dyes in leaves, pollen, and blossoms. In addition to plant matter, smoke, salt spray, vehicle exhaust fumes, and many other substances found in the air can build up on roof surfaces and make them look drab and old. Periodic cleaning of the roof surfaces can remove stains, streaks, and built up substances from roofing materials and help to keep them looking fresh and bright.
2. Roof cleaning can help maintain the roof’s integrity and lengthen its lifespan Another excellent reason to have a residential roof cleaned regularly is to remove materials that can settle or grow on the surface. Falling leaves, pollen, acorns, twigs, moss, and lichens, settle or grow into thick layers on the roof surface. When these become waterlogged from rain, they can begin to degrade the surface. If the accumulation becomes heavy enough, damage to the roof’s structural support can begin to occur. Since this type of damage can be very expensive to repair, homeowners will find it much more cost-efficient to eliminate this risk by remembering to have their roofs cleaned on a regular schedule.
3. Roof cleaning can make a home more energy efficient Many roofing materials are designed to boost the energy efficiency of the home by reflecting the heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it and overheating the attic space. When a roof becomes dull and dirty, it loses its ability to reflect hot sunshine. In addition to increasing cooling costs, this can also cause the home’s cooling system to work harder, decreasing the lifespan of the unit. To help keep cooling systems working as efficiently as possible and enjoy the lowest cooling bills, homeowners in Tampa will want to add periodic roof cleaning to their home maintenance plan.
4. Roof cleaning can help keep the home insurance company happy Roof replacement and repair are frequent claims that homeowners in Tampa make on their home insurance policies. Since insurers strive to reduce the numbers of these claims in order to limit their liability and allow them to offer homeowners better rates on their insurance policies, insurance brokers want to prevent these claims, when possible. Roofs that are dirty or covered with leaves and other materials are known to increase potential issues, such as leaks and roof failures. Because of this, some insurers regularly do drive-by inspections of roofing and alert homeowners when their roofs need cleaned. Failing to take these alerts seriously can result in rising premiums for policies or even cancellation. Regular, periodic cleaning is the proactive way for homeowners to make sure their insurance companies are happy and their rates are more likely to remain affordable. Call us at 813-655-8777 to have your roof cleaned safely, w/o using any pressure.
The discoloration you see on this Tampa Florida area roof, in the before we cleaned it picture, is caused by Algae growth. This algae growth could have been prevented, and the cleaning of this barrel tile roof would not have been needed !
Just as you spray the yard to control weeds, we can spray your roof once a year to prevent algae growth, and keep it clean.
Save Money – Call (813) 655-8777 BEFORE your roof gets dirty !
If you live in a deed restricted community, a dirty roof will bring a nasty letter from your Tampa Homeowners Association. If they see a dirty roof, it can bring about a full blown inspection of your property ! Do you really want the Homeowners Association snooping around your home ? God only know what other violations they will find ! This is how HOA’S “Punish ” you for breaking the rules.
Save Money, and take away their power over you. It cost far less to keep your roof from getting dirty in the first place. Call us BEFORE the black algae takes over your roof.
Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa offers an inexpensive (compared to full roof cleaning) once a year Algaecide application. This will keep the Black Algae off of your roof indefinitely, and save you money . Plus you get the respect of your neighbors and the Homeowners Association, for keeping your place up. As well as longer roof life, and lower air conditioning bills. Remember, this is a plant on your roof that can and will spread to the neighbors property, as well as your driveway, house, and pool deck!
You wouldn’t let weeds grow uncontrolled in your yard, so why let Black Algae growth run rampant on your roof ? It looks terrible, causes premature granule loss, makes the A/C work harder, and can spread via airborne spores to the neighbors clean roof !
Plus it can bring that dreaded clean your roof or else letter and a full blown home inspection from the Homeowners Association, as well as dirty looks from neighbors for being the eyesore of the neighborhood.
Call us at 813-655-8777 for your free estimate by phone. All we need to know is the size of your home, and what roof type it is, shingle, tile, or metal.
Our Tampa Roof Cleaning Company was established in 1996 due to demand for quality residential and commercial non pressure roof cleaning in Tampa for a fair price. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with high quality roof cleaning results, and personal service. Our Roof Cleaning Company is conveniently located in the heart of Hillsborough County, FL. Providing good roof cleaning service means taking the time to listen. We will work with you to make sure you receive the proper non pressure roof cleaning services you need. We are client-oriented, and maintain the highest standards of customer service and professionalism. Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa is a Business with an A+ Rating at the Florida Better Business Bureau.
We hope you’ll find the information you need on this site about Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Florida and the products and services we provide. We look forward to cleaning your roof. Our Goals
All roof cleaning being advertised here in the Tampa Florida area is NOT the same. These poor folks up in North Tampa got a lower priced quote to have their shingle roof cleaned then the one we gave them. Yes, they saved 50.00 compared to our price for professional roof cleaning, and now they have an asphalt shingle roof that is ruined forever. To make matters worse for them, their Tampa area homeowners association is now demanding a total roof replacement. These people received a get your roof cleaned or else letter from their HOA. I remember this person very well from when she called us. Like many people who get a roof cleaning letter from their homeowners association, she was quite angry. In fact, she even accused her HOA of “picking on her”. I assured her that several people in her North Tampa subdivision also received letters, and since we had plenty of other roofs to clean in her area, we could save her some money. When I gave her the estimate to clean her roof, she reacted in horror, and told me “our price was too high”. I explained to her that we are the 2002 Brandon Chamber Of Commerce Business Of The Year Winner, and did not win this award by ripping people off, or ruining our customers shingle and tile roofs. She said she wanted to “shop around”, and I did tell her to be very very careful. She called us back, and ask me to come out and see the damage the uninsured and unlicensed Tampa Roof Cleaning Company she hired did to her asphalt shingle roof. The picture tells the story. She also asked me why I did not put more sales pressure on her, to buy the roof cleaning service from us. I told her “There are 2 things I have learned in life, number 1, there is a God, and number 2, it is not me” I can’t make anyone do anything, and I despise high pressure salespeople.
Below is another roof that was ruined in Tampa Palms. This time, it was a tile roof.
Here is a great roof mold article by a retired university profesor who lives in a deed restricted Florida Community.
I do not agree with some of it, but there is some great information on what is growing on peoples roofs here in the Tampa Florida area.
He talks about Zinc Strips preventing the re growth of Algae on roofs, but they don’t work very well here in the Tampa Florida area, unless they are installed every 3 to 4 feet on the roof, and then they become pretty unsightly. I also don’t agree with his statements about using bleach based chemicals to clean a roof with.
Apple Roof Cleaning has cleaned over 25,000 shingle and tile roofs in the 20+ years we have been in business. Yes, we have damaged some plants, despite our best efforts to protect them, but never have we damaged any roof by our cleaning process.
Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa is a Master Certified Roof Cleaning Instructor at the Roof Cleaning Institute Of America
We have to keep up on all the latest in roof restoration thought.
Still think roof cleaning in tampa is just a cosmetic issue ?
You might want to read this article, and re think your position on roof cleaning ?
Dr. Morgenroth is a Keys Gate resident who is a semi-retired, adjunct professor of neurology at UM. He was a principal administrator in the Environment Health and Safety Division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for 20 years; prior to that I was a Group Leader in the Toxicology Division at the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Previously, he was on the faculty of several medical schools in neurology, pharmacology and psychiatry.
Having your roof cleaned actually makes sense. I know most of us were slightly put out by receiving a roof cleaning notice from the Keys Gate Management Association. Although it read a little like an ultimatum and you probably wondered who the inspector of your roof was and what their qualifications were, it turns out that roof cleaning is not a bad idea at all. Check out the pressure washer review here using which you can clean your roof and various other places around the house by your own.
It isn’t just aesthetics. While people like to say that dirty roofs lower a property’s value and may make it hard to sell, and according to professionals the “dirt” on a roof actually shortens its life span and can even present a health hazard. Furthermore, the “dark stains” on a roof act as a sponge to absorb the sun’s heat, which causes a rise in the temperature inside a home or building, creating higher air conditioning bills, that’s why we usually recommend getting a Spanish Tile Roofing on your home since it’s easier to clean.
The dirt isn’t just dust – It’s alive. Some of the black or very dark roof stains are caused by a resilient type of algae, Gloeocapsa magma (a type of blue-green algae commonly found in climates with warm, humid summers). The algae grow in standing water, as well as in our lakes and ponds. The algal spores are carried to our roofs from the water sources by the wind and birds, and then from roof to roof where it grows and feeds on the limestone filler in asphalt shingles and the real dirt on tile roofs maybe in some cases the tiles themselves. Worse still, as the algae grow, they retain water and foster the growth of other roof inhabitants.
The black stains are also very likely to harbor a number of molds or fungi. Unlike algae the fungi on our roofs lacks chlorophyll. They are unable to manufacture food from raw materials. So, it must get nutrition from some form of organic matter. To thrive, these heterotrophs, who used to be called saprophytes, also require a warm, humid environment.
Fungi normally begin their life cycle as an airborne spore that settles on roofs, especially the asphalt-shingle ones. The spores on the northern exposure of the roof stand a better chance of survival because that portion of the roof is the last part to dry after a rain or morning dew. This raises the humidity on the surface of the shingle, thus creating a perfect feeding and breeding ground.
The tar used in roofing is fossilized, dead organic matter — and an important food source for fungi. Asphalt, at the granule base, is normally consumed first. Once these granules dislodge, accelerated deterioration will occur. Ceramic granules represent the outer hard shell that protects against hail and other falling debris. Ceramic granules protect against damaging UV radiation and insulate the roof against extreme heat. So you can understand that their dislodgement by the growing fungal colonies can be detrimental to our roofs’ longevity. Surprisingly, the blue-green algae are also food for the fungi.
While not all mold (fungi) and algae pose a health danger, some are harmful, especially for us older folks, younger children and people who suffer from asthma and respiratory problems. Their spores, which are on your roof, can get inside your home because they end up on the driveway and walkways from rain, and are easily tracked inside. They can even be drawn into our air conditioning systems and eventually populate our ducts.
Different mold species can have varying health effects, but it is important to remember that any excessive mold growth needs to be taken care of, regardless of the species. Any excessive mold growth can lead to increased allergies, toxicity, and house/building structural problems.
For those interested, this box describes some of the most common fungi likely to be found on our roofs and their possible health effects. While “sick building syndrome” has been talked about frequently in the media, it isn’t always reported that this syndrome is often caused by faulty or leaking roof assemblies that result in fungal infestations. It isn’t, as reported, always due to chemicals in carpeting.
Most of us have immune systems that are fully capable of resisting the effects of fungi described below. As a result it would be highly unlikely for any of us to suffer any of the ill effects described. But if fungal colonies are allowed to persist and multiply then the high concentrations of the molds and their volatile organic chemical metabolites might be sufficient to increase the risks from our exposure to them.
Stachybotrys chartarum (atra) molds can thrive on water damaged, cellulose-rich material in buildings such as sheet rock, paper, ceiling tiles, insulation backing, wallpaper, etc. In the majority of cases where Stachybotrys is found indoors, water damage has gone unnoticed or ignored since it requires extended periods of time with increased levels of moisture for growth to occur. Stachybotrys is usually black and slimy in appearance. Events of water intrusion that are not addressed quickly tends to support the growth of more xerophilic fungi such as Pencillium and Aspergillus.
Stachybotrys is another fungi that has the ability to produce mycotoxins, ones that are toxic and can be immunosuppressive. Exposure to these mycotoxins can result through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal exposure. Symptoms of exposure include dermatitis, cough, rhinitis, nose bleeds, cold and flu-like symptoms, headache, general malaise, and fever.
The Cladosporium genera of mold are pigmented dark green to black in the front, and black on the reverse with a velvety to powdery texture. One of the most commonly isolated from indoor and outdoor air, Cladosporium spp. are found on decaying plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint, textiles, and the surface of fiberglass duct liner in the interior of supply ducts.
There are over 30 species in the Cladosporium genus. The most common are C. elatum, C. herbarum, C. sphaerospermum, and C. cladosporioides. These fungi are the causative agents of skin lesions, keratitis, nail fungus, sinusitis, asthma, and pulmonary infections. Acute symptoms of exposure to Cladosporium are edema and bronchiospasm, and chronic exposure may lead to pulmonary emphysema.
Aspergillus is the most common genus of fungi in our environment (it especially likes to grow on corn plants) with more than 160 different species of mold. Sixteen of these species have been documented as causing human disease. Aspergillosis is now the 2nd most common fungal infection requiring hospitalization in the United States.
Aspergillus fumigatus. The most encountered species causing infection. It is seen abundantly in decomposing organic material, such as self-heating compost piles, since it readily grows at temperatures up to 55 C. People who handle contaminated material often develop hypersensitivity to the spores of Aspergillus and may suffer severe allergic reactions upon exposure.
Aspergillus flavus. The 2nd most encountered fungi in cases of Aspergillus infection. It is also known to produce the mycotoxin aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known to man. In the 1960s, 100,000 turkey poults in Great Britain died from ingesting contaminated feed. Most countries have established levels for aflatoxin in food. However, the risks associated with airborne exposure are not adequately studied and no exposure standards exist.
Aspergillus niger. The 3rd most common Aspergillus fungi associated with disease and the most common of any Aspergillus species in nature due to its ability to grow on a wide variety of substrates. This species may cause a “fungal ball”, which is a condition where the fungus actively proliferates in the human lung, forming a ball. It does so without invading the lung tissue.
Fusarium spp.,common soil fungus and inhabitant on a wide array of plants, this fungi is often found in humidifiers and has been isolated from water-damaged carpets and a variety of other building materials. Human exposure may occur through ingestion of contaminated grains and possibly through the inhalation of spores. Fusarium spp. is frequently involved with eye, skin, and nail infections.
Several species can produce the trichothecene toxins which target the circulatory, alimentary, skin, and nervous systems. Vomitoxin is one such tricothecene mycotoxin that has been associated with outbreaks of acute gastrointestinal illness in humans. Zearalenone is another mycotoxin produced by Fusarium. It is similar in structure to the female sex hormone estrogen and targets the reproductive organs.
Penicillium fungi are commonly found in soil, food, cellulose, grains, paint, carpet, wallpaper, interior fiberglass duct insulation, and decaying vegetation. Penicillium may cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, asthma, and allergic alveolitis in susceptible individuals.
The genus Penicillium has several species. The most common ones include Penicillium chrysogenum, Penicillium citrinum, Penicillium janthinellum, Penicillium marneffei, and Penicillium purpurogenum.
These fungi have been isolated from patients with keratitis, ear infections, pneumonia, endocarditis, peritonitis, and urinary tract infections. Penicillium infections are most commonly exhibited in immunosuppressed individuals.
In conclusion, during the digestion of substrates, fungi secrete enzymes into nutrients in order to break down complex compounds into simpler compounds that can be taken up by the fungi and used as nutrition. These digested nutrients produce secondary metabolic byproducts called mycotoxins that are released to give the fungi a competitive edge over other microorganisms and fungi. Unfortunately, mycotoxins can also be toxic to humans causing a variety of responses including cold/flu-like symptoms, sore throats, headaches, nose bleeds, fatigue, diarrhea, dermatitis, and immune suppression. Some mycotoxins may also be carcinogenic and teratogenic. Molds that have been known to potentially produce these toxins are Acremonium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys.
Even though these molds may potentially produce mycotoxins, they will not do so unless specific environmental conditions exist. Currently, it is unknown exactly what conditions promote the growth of mycotoxin production and more scientific research needs to be conducted on this topic for it to be fully understood.