Here are some condo’s south of Tampa that needed to have their shingle roofs cleaned. The Cypress Creek Association hired us to clean these shingle roofs in Ruskin, Florida.
These condo’s are actually in Sun City Center, in a Golf Community. If you have a commercial roof cleaning project you need a quote on, give us a call at 813-655-8777 for an immediate estimate by telephone. We clean all roof surfaces, shingle, tile, and metal roofs, and we carry this roof cleaning certification.
The roof is the basis, the most important part of a house. It is vital as it offers protection as well as insulation, so a proper quality shingle or tile roof is essential. The roof is also arguably the most vulnerable part of your Florida home because it is exposed to the elements, more than any other part. If it is not cared for properly, it can cost you time, money and many headaches. If properly maintained and cared for, a roof in Tampa can last for decades with only minor repairs and costs. However, every roof has its service life and its quality and durability are bound to deteriorate over time, especially if exposed to heat and extreme weather conditions. Here are some of the signs that can warn you it is time for a roof replacement.
When to replace your roof – warning signs
First of all, it is important to take proper care of your roof in order for it to last as long as it can. Regular maintenance will prevent greater damage and frequent repairs, allowing your roof to live out its designated service life. After some time, on the other hand, the quality of the roof will inevitably decrease and after a few decades the roof will have to be replaced.
Age. There are roofs, probably some of the more modern and sustainable ones that can last for a very long time, but usually, the age limit for a roof here in Tampa is around 30 years. It could last a little longer, but you should be prepared to replace it in the following years, depending on the roof’s condition.
Shingles curling. The shingles on your roof can start curling in two different ways: cupping and clawing. Cupping is when the shingles’ edges start turning upwards, and clawing is when the middle of the shingles starts coming upwards. Both are signs of a worn out roof due to age, weather or some other uncontrollable conditions. Curling could potentially cause some problems, such as leaking, so it is best to start thinking about replacing the roof. It is not an immediate problem, which means that, depending on the extent of curling, the roof can last for up to five more years.
Missing or cracked shingles. Shingles can be damaged or fall off due to some extreme weather conditions or due to age. If the cracks or the missing shingles are only found in one place, then there is not much to worry about, and replacing a few shingles is not a complicated task. But if the cracks are not concentrated, then it is probably time for a replacement. The roof will probably last for a few more years in that condition.
Granules coming off. If you are starting to find some granules in your gutter and noticing them coming off the shingles’ surface, it is a sign of a worn-out roof and of a decreased quality. Its service life is slowly coming to an end, so it might be time to replace the roof. Of course, as with the previous warning signs, this is also not an urgent problem and you still have a few years before the replacement becomes inevitable.
Rotting. If the mat at the core of the shingle is made from organic compounds then it can collect moisture and cause the shingle to rot. It can be easily noticed on the roof – it is presented in the form of black spots and it causes the granules to fall off. Replacing the mat with non-organic compounds will prevent the rot from spreading. If it continues to spread and appears in more places, then it is time for a new roof.
How to replace your roof
Replacing a roof is a complex and a demanding task, and it should be done by professionals. Replacing a roof includes getting rid of the old one, securing the workplace properly, making all the necessary preparations and inspections, and eventually installing a new roof. You should research roofing contractors, check their client feedback, ask for some estimates and decide what the best option for you is.
However, if your roof demands only partial replacement or repair, that is something you could do yourself with proper skill, tools, material and guidance. If you have some broken, damaged, or missing tiles (either slates or shingles) here is how you can replace them.
To remove a broken tile and replace it you can use a slate ripper, if it is a slate, or a simple hacksaw blade for any other type. With these tools first cut the broken tile, and then you can lift a little the tiles above the broken one to pull the rest of it out. Some tiles are attached to the roof and to one another through furring strips and other can be attached by inter-locking joints. So you will also need to detach the broken tiles from the furring strips or undo the inter-locking joints. Then simply place a new tile attaching it to the furring strip, making sure it fits well, that it is firm and stable, and that it is well adjusted with the other tiles.
100% Safe, No Pressure Shingle Roof Cleaning in Tampa
Aside from aesthetics, shingle roof cleaning is necessary here in Tampa, to assure that you get the proper life from your roof, keep your A/C expenses lower, and for health reasons.
The culprit causing your roof to discolor here in Tampa and look so bad is algae, and it WILL shorten the life of your shingle roof, it WILL make your roof darker and thus hotter from the sun’s rays. This will make your home hotter, as well as speed the deterioration of your shingles.
We do not use any type of pressure washer on your roof. We do not use damaging shingle roof cleaning products that require pressurized water to complete the cleaning, such as sodium hydroxide.
We take every precaution necessary to protect your plants and the exterior of your home. Unlike most of our “competitors”, we employ the use of a dedicated ground person to keep the house and foliage well rinsed before, during, and after the shingle roof is treated with our Apple Sauce. This will assure that your plants will not die, your house will not be damaged, and no one will be injured during the cleaning process. Do you really want some inexperienced part time pressure washing contractor falling off your roof while you’re at work, and then blaming you for his lack of experience and safety?
We have seen it many times, an inexperienced part time pressure washer on a customer’s shingle roof in Tampa, blasting away at full pressure, using little or no cleaning chemicals or algaecides, and causing damage to a roof that likely won’t be noticed for years. Don’t be a victim of inexperience. With Apple Roof Cleaning Of Tampa, you can “Experience the Difference, Because the Difference is Experience!”
WHY YOUR ROOF SHINGLES AND TILES ARE TURNING BLACK– Remember the first time you looked up at your roof, and noticed those black stains appearing on your shingles or tiles ? Do you remember how you felt when you saw it slowly spreading across the roof ? Your home was fairly new and your roof barely a few years old. How could this be happening, and what was causing it? Well, you weren’t alone in your frustration. It appears that this is quite a common occurrence in Tampa Florida. Even on a roof with fungus resistant shingles, the fungus protection applied by the manufacturers of the shingles can begin to fail as soon as 2-3 years in Tampa, after installation. As the protection fails, staining can appear within six months. In Tampa Florida’s hot & humid climate, it seems that inevitably a fungus actually begins to grow on your roof shingles and tiles, leaving behind these unsightly black stains that continue to spread across your shingle or tile roof if left untreated. These fungi live abundantly in the soil here in Tampa. Like all fungi, they multiply by microscopic spores which float through the air and after landing on a hospitable surface, germinate. Fungi feed on organic matter such as wood, paper and asphalt, just to mention a few, and in the process, decompose and eventually destroy the material on which they grow.
HOW THIS FUNGUS COULD BE COSTING YOU MONEY.– Besides making your home look old and unsightly, researchers looking into this problem have discovered that this fungus could actually be costing you quite a bit of money. If your roof has fungus growth, temperatures under your roof become higher, increasing your monthly air conditioning costs and possibly even shortening the lifespan of your air conditioning unit. Some of these studies have revealed reduction of under-roof temperatures in Tampa by anywhere from 10 – 20 degrees once the fungus has been eliminated. Some homeowners here in the Tampa area have seen utility savings of up to $20-$25 per month. In fact, there is a noticeable difference in your tampa electric bill if the change in you attic temperature reduces the temperature in your living space by just 3-4 degrees.
SHORTENED TILE AND SHINGLE ROOF LIFE AND INCREASED ALLERGIES.– Compounding the problem, the same studies seem to indicate that the lifespan of your roof is shortened by the increased granule loss from thermal expansions and contractions commonly experienced with this problem. This expansion and contraction can cause a weakening around the fastenings of the shingles on your roof. Also, unhealthy fungus spores and mold could conceivably be tracked into your home. For those Tampa Homeowners suffering from allergies, this breeding ground on your roof could really cause some suffering.SO, HOW DO YOU GET RID OF THIS FUNGUS? As with most of these types of problems in Tampa, everyone you speak with seems to have a different opinion. Some owners believe that cleaning the roof with a high pressure water hose is the best treatment. While it is our understanding that this might temporarily eliminate most of the fungus, enough of the fungus is left behind, actually embedded in the ceramic granules on the shingles, to quickly cause future problems. In addition, high pressure water treatments do seem to damage your shingles over time, causing granule loss and shortening the life of your shingles. Keep in mind, the granules on your shingles are the sources of not only the color of our roof, but also your heat-reflective protection. Granule loss should be avoided. Other owners we spoke with seem to swear by brushing chlorine. They simply apply chlorine to the roof and with a broom, scrub the roof and then simply rinse with an ordinary garden hose. Studies indicate, however, that the use of brushing on your roof can trigger unwanted side effects to your roof, causing shingle deterioration and brittleness, as well as causing damage to the shrubs and sod around your home.THE BEST WAY TO TREAT ROOF FUNGUS. So far, the best way to treat this fungus problem is by using the services of professional companies like Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa, equipped with the right products to eliminate the fungus, applied by trained technicians experienced with these products. Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa will send trained, experienced technicians to your home to apply special, environmentally safe formulas that will not only clean the fungus from your roof once and for all, but also apply a second clear coating that remains on your roof suspended in a bonding agent that prevents future fungus growth. They rinse the treatment with sprayers stronger that a garden hose, but considerably less intense than a high pressure water hose. After your roof has been treated and the fungus totally eliminated, Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa recommends a “lighter” treatment approximately every year. Our company offers an unconditional guarantee that this program, called Guardian Roof Maintenancewill keep your roof fungus and stain free. The cost of the treatments depends on the size of your roof
Of the people in Tampa we spoke with, most seem to be extremely satisfied with the results, the fungus has never returned and a number of Tampa owners have, in fact, been experiencing lower utility bills each month of a least $15-$25.That ugly Black Fungus on your roof is stealing your money!
Higher Under-Roof Temperatures increase air conditioning costs.
Heavier Air Conditioner use shortens your air conditioner’s life.
Unsightly Appearance decreases property values in your neighborhood.
Shortened Roof Life because of increased granule loss from thermal expansions/contractions.
Unhealthy Fungus Spores and Mold can be tracked into your home; especially unhealthy for those suffering from allergies!
You’ll have a Beautiful Roof Again!
No Damage Chlorine Brushing !
Not High Pressure Washing – does not wash the granules from your roof.
Reduced Under Roof Temperatures reduction as much as 10 degrees.
Less Air Conditioner Run Times – savings as high as $35 per month possible in Tampa.
Safer and Cleaner Living Areas – no unhealthy fungus spores and mold tracked into your home.Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Guarantee: For as long as you continue on our Guardian Roof Maintenance Program, you have an unconditional and transferable guarantee that your shingle or tile roof will remain free of fungus growth and stains and retain its like-new appearance for the life of the roof.
Apple Roof Cleaning of Tampa Florida (813)655-8777 has led the industry in protecting “Asphalt and Fiberglass Shingles” since 1991. It is recognized as the safest, most respected service because it contains no Lye, and totally eliminates the need to ever have your roof pressure cleaned. Roofs that are protected by us stay clean and beautiful all the time, and are proven to last much longer!
Apple Roof Cleaning Of Tampa’s Guardian Roof Maintenance Program provides an excellent, low cost treatment that kills fungus spores at the microscopic stage and helps extend the life of your roof by bonding the surface! Our “Apple Sauce” is applied yearly, and like a professional lawn care or pest control service, it becomes an integral part of the maintenance of your home. Hundreds of homeowners in Tampa Florida are having their roofs treated and protected successfully with extraordinary results.
Apple Roof Cleaning Of Tampa (813)655-8777, and our exclusive to us no pressure soft wash roof cleaning process, fully comply with the asphalt shingle and tile roof manufactures guidelines. (A.R.M.A.) We guarantee in writing that our roof cleaner will NOT harm your roof. Our soft wash cleaning solution is made up of algaecides, mildewcides, soaps and water. Our soft wash , no pressure, chemical roof cleaning system is the safest and longest lasting for all asphalt shingle, tile and metal roofs in Tampa. The exclusive soft wash system we use and develpoed actually kills and removes the algae, mold and mildew that are discoloring your tile, metal, or shingle roof.Then the exclusive growth retardant roof treatment chemical that only we offer, ensures that your soft wash roof cleaning will stay beautiful for much longer, then roofs cleaned any other way.
You can spend more money, but you can not buy better looking, or longer lasting, shingle, metal, or tile roof cleaning in Tampa, then what we have to offer you!
We are not house painters, window cleaners, or yard guys, masquerading a roof cleaners, we are Apple Roof Cleaning Of Tampa (813)655-8777
We did not win this award below for nothing!
Apple Roof Cleaning Of Tampa (813)655-8777 takes great care and all precautions when dealing with your landscaping, home and ourselves. We never work alone; We only work in 2-3 person teams.
First person is the “dedicated ground man.” Their job is to continuously water the ground, plants, and home during the entire time.
Third person (if needed) is assisting the rinsing of chemicals and grounds on larger jobs.
No Pressure Soft Wash Roof Cleaning w/protective treatment coating:
On arrival we do a full walk of the roof and inspect the it for any damage, including excessive loss of granules, tree damage, cracked or missing shingles, cracked pipe jacks, etc. And before any soft wash chemicals are applied we completely water the ground, plants and home.
Then we apply an even coat of our soft wash roof cleaner solution. Wait 10-15 minutes to allow the roof cleaner to go to work and break up the algae rooted in the shingles surface. (This is the most important part of the soft wash roof stain removal.) If needed, we will apply a second and even a 3rd coat of our roof cleaner to guarantee your shingles are completely free of the algae so you know you have a clean roof.
After the roof cleaner has done its job, we completely rinse everything with a garden hose (no pressure) to remove the algae without doing any damage. Apple Roof Cleaning Of Tampa (813)655-8777 never ever uses high pressure, or stiff bristle brushes, as this can damage things further.
A: This unsightly shingle or tile roof discoloration is due in part to a pandemic like spread of the airborne spores and later adult cyanobacteria called Gloeocapsa Magma algae. This particularly hardy strain of roof algae cyanobacteria are particularly attracted to limestone which acts like a fertilizer, allowing this once dormant blue green algae to react like a living roof plaque. This is due in part to a reduction in petroleum additives in the asphalt and fiberglass roofing shingle manufacturing process and the increase of “OTHER” inert, crushed and powdered filler material, used to help control the ever spiraling fuel, energy and oil costs.
Due to rising oil prices as a cost saving measure, powdered, limestone and other filler products were added starting 25-30 years ago (about the same time as the OPEC oil embargo) and since that time, the addition of these petroleum “fillers” have been commonplace according to research we have located on the internet.
These inert “additives” have, in recent years, been acting like a “snack food” or corner “Quickie Mart” for many of these roof eating miniature plants, especially Gloeocapsa Magma.
This unknowing addition of what amounts to “Algae Fertilizer” by roofing material into the manufacturing process has since, in part, produced a ever increasing worldwide roof algae pandemeic
Especifically damaging once the algae root system begins to methodically work it way into the sun drenched roofs in the hot, humid densely populated areas, enhancing the degradation of roofing materials located in the southern regions of the U.S.
If you are a property owner and are reading this, chances are, this ALGAE is up on your roof, as well as on shingle or tile roofs all over your neighborhood.
This very fast moving Gloeocapsa Alage , move thru airborne spores, ROOF hopping, if you will, like the common cold, from roof, to shingle or tile roof, its shortening the longevity of countless roofing, while creating a neighborhood wide eyesore throughout many owns, and cities nationwide.
Many roofs are being replaced today in Tampa due to a lack of proper cleaning and roof maintenance.
Premature shingle or tile roof replacement can be avoided with proper maintenence.
According to research, staining and discoloration account for over 60 percent of re-roofing occurring across the country, much of which is unessaary.
Just like washing and maintaining your car, spraying and clearing off your patio, porch or deck of annual debris, or soft washing the vinyl siding on your home, your roof should be cleaned, maintained and treated periodically to repel algae and other ” shingle or tile roof destroyers” .
Naturally, you would not go very long without brushing your teeth, showering or washing your clothes, and along that same line of common sense thinking, it just makes sense that in order for your roof to perform as it should, and to provide you safe shelter for all your belongings and personal possessions, it too should be cleansed and cleared of leaves, pine needles, debris and roof algae, etc
Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa 813-655 -8777 uses non pressure and ultra-low pressure pumps and rinsing equipment combined with specialized cleaning agents to eliminate algae and mildew stains and streaks, along with environmental pollutants and dirt from asphalt shingle and clay and concrete tile roofs—all without the risk of damage associated with using high-pressure methods.
Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa 813-655 -8777 offers a 1 year written unconditional guarantee providing residential and commercial property owners with the piece of mind of knowing that, once their roof is cleaned properly the first time, our maintenance residual treatment program insures an “always clean roof”.
“How your home looks from the curb says a lot about who lives there. As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
New Paint or Siding give you some visual curb appeal, and, a freshly mowed, landscaped yard deinitely helps yet both of these home improvement projects combined, pale in comparison to, a freshly cleaned, well maintained, new looking roof.
DID YOU KNOW ?
Since most roofs capture 30 to 60 percent of the visual appearance of most homes, NOTHING stands out quite the same way a new looking roof does.
In fact, now that I have mentioned it, look around your specific neighborhood and visually note how a dirty, filthy looking roof detracts from the appeal of even the most well manicured of homes.
Well, now that you are more aware of the algae, mold and mildew you are in a informed position to do something proactive about it.
Years ago nobody had an answer for what it was occurring up on the roofs, the staining and discoloring to most proprty owners and cleaning contractors. And back then we had no information, no real solution to the problem.
It’s important to understand that an algae, a bacteria, a plant is quietly feeding on the oils that preserve your roof from the suns damaging rays and setting up a permenent residence on your roof due to the limestone in your roof shingles. This “uninvited guest” or pest if you will, is silently ‘snacking” on your roof, also dislodging the ceramic granules that are helping to provide your roof with much needed important UV protection and color.
It like miniature warfare, but thankfully Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa 813-655 -8777 is winning the battle. We know much more than we did years ago and instead of harsh pressure washing there is now, a soft wash, safe, non pressure solution to properly cleaning and maintaining roof surfaces and we offer this to our customers.
Now that you know more, I am sure you will soon be calling us to schedule your reasonably priced roof cleaning very soon.
By allowing Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa 813-655 -8777 the privilege to safely clean your roof using certified non pressure roof cleaning techniques, and proper roof treatment equipment you will add instant curb appeal to your first impression / appearance areas.
Not only will our safe, effective non pressure roof cleaning service transform the aesthetics of your home or business’s asphalt or fiberglass shingle roof, this enhancement will continue to allow your shingle or tile roof the ability to continue to look and perform its very best for its useful lifespan which is Apple Roof Cleaning of Tampa’s 813-655 -8777 top priority.
Don’t just take our word for it, look around and see, while your driving to and from work, while walking your dog, while outdoors traveling to and from your local friends and relatives and I am sure you will agree.
Don’t settle for Pressure Washing your roof, just because it seems “powerful.”
Historically, brute force rarely gets the job done as well as a thought-out and planned course of action, and we prove this every time we finish cleaning a tile or asphalt shingle roof with our exclusive soft wash method.
Roof Cleaning Improves Property Value of Tampa Florida area Homes
As a home owner here in the Tampa area, you spend countless hours caring for your property. From repainting walls to replacing flooring, mowing the grass and updating the landscaping, pride in property appearance often goes hand in hand with pride in ownership, and includes caring for and updating the interior and exterior of your home.
Yet there is one area of the home that owners so often overlook, yet it has a substantial impact on the overall aesthetics of your property and its actual value in the Tampa area real estate market.
Your Shingle Or Barrel Tile Roof.
Even the most basic shingles have an impact on the value and curb appeal of your home. When clean and in good repair, the roof creates a stopping point for the eye, framing the home below and the grounds surrounding it. Yet an unsightly, dirty, algae or mold covered roof does the exact opposite, making even brand new siding, stunningly painted shutters, and well-thought-out flower beds look old, dingy and out of place.
Non Pressure Roof Cleaning dramatically improves the overall look of your home. And anything that improves the look of your home ups its property value.
Dirty roofs detract buyers. A dirty roof in Tampa automatically appears to be in disrepair, even if the shingles, tile or asphalt membrane below are actually in good condition. In real estate, appearances are everything, and if something looks like it’s broken, the property value reflects that, even if there’s no real damage present.
Regularly cleaned roofs last longer. A new roof is expensive; there’s simply no way around it. Yet people lose years off of the lifespan of their roof simply because they fail to have it cleaned. The algae and mold that grow on roofs, causing those dirty-looking green and brown streaks, actually eat away at your roofing material. So your 30 year roof could really turn into a 20 year roof. In short, a well-maintained roof lasts longer, and properties with long-lasting, expensive features are worth more, whether it’s your roof or the durable tile you choose for your foyer.
Dirty roofs in Tampa stick out like a sore thumb. A lot of what goes into determining property value is the value of the properties surrounding it; if you’re on par with comparable homes, your property value is relatively “true.” Yet if there is something about your home that’s “less than” your neighbors’, your property value drops. Whether or not you’re planning to sell your home in the future, if you live in a deed restricted area with well-maintained roofs, yet algae and mold cover yours, it is automatically worth less than the comparable properties surrounding it. Add in branches, twigs and other debris clogging your gutters and covering recess in the roof, and the in-shambles look quickly drops your property value by thousands of dollars.
Pride in one’s property is a personal thing; some homeowners couldn’t care less, and it shows. Yet taking pride in the appearance of your Tampa area home isn’t just a social undertaking; it just makes good financial sense.
Housework is a necessary chore essential in every area of your home. While cleaning the
bathroom, vacuuming and dishes are regular tasks, chores don’t stop in the interior. From
exterior window washing to pressure washing siding, sweeping walkways to maintaining flower
beds, taking care of the exterior of your Tampa Florida area home is essential to both its structure as well as its
curb appeal. Yet perhaps the most overlooked area is your asphalt shingle, or tile roof.
While you certainly do not need to hike yourself up a ladder and scrub down your shingles or tiles with
a toothbrush once a week, annual non pressure, also called Soft Wash roof cleaning. is vital to maintaining your home. Not only
does it drastically improve the overall aesthetic of your property, it also ensures that your roof,
and the home it protects, is efficient, safe and healthy.
So what are the benefits of non pressure shingle roof cleaning and tile roof cleaning?
Home Value: In the Tampa, Florida real estate market, the looks of a property goes a long way towards its
value, curb appeal and ultimate resale capabilities. Most potential buyers understand that a
well-maintained tile or asphalt shingle roof is a must-have when choosing a new property, and a dirty roof instantly
instills fear of the need for future replacement, deterring a buyer from a home that may
otherwise suite his or her needs and tastes perfectly. A roof that is covered in black streaks,
roof algae, landscaping debris and other unsightly dirt dissuades potential buyers and
drastically reduces the curb appeal of your home. When you take the time to care for the
interior, why mask that with a stained, unkempt, tile or shingle roof?
Home Efficiency: While most Tampa Florida area homeowners instantly think of insulation, windows and energy-
efficient cooling systems as the be-all, end-all of ensuring home efficiency, the roof plays a
major role as well. Black algae, a common growth here in Tampa on tile and asphalt shingle roofs, have dramatic heat retention properties,
causing the roof to absorb heat from the sun and thus prompting the temperatures of your
home to skyrocket. As the heat rises, it slowly heats up your insulation and ductwork, forcing
your cooling system to work that much harder to keep your home at a reasonable temperature.
The result? Increased electricity bills and a reduction in your air conditioner’s lifespan, and all because of a dirty tile or shingle roof.
Roof Life: As the roof algae are absorbing and retaining the heat from the Florida sunlight, they’re also creating a moist, damp
environment underneath. When coupled with moss, black streaks and lichens, the dirty layer
begins to eat away at your shingles. In addition to the moisture, the heat trapped between the
dirt and the roof also causes decay. Together, these two aspects can take years off of the life of
your shingles, ensuring that you have to replace your roof significantly sooner than planned.
Health: When moisture and heat come together on your roof, they create a safe haven for mold, a
substance known for causing allergic reactions and other symptoms, especially in children, the
elderly and pets. And as luck would have it, the alkaline materials used to make most modern shingles
actually act as a food for mold. So while you may think that those black streaks on your roof are
simply unsightly, they’re actually introducing toxins into your home all while eating away at
your home’s roof.
Regular roof cleanings, especially non-pressure Soft Wash roof cleanings, kill roof algae and mold,
improving the looks, resale value, lifespan and health of your home. Call us today at 813-655-8777 to learn
Here is a really good roof cleaning article that was partially written by our good friend Marcus Raif of Katy Memorial Roof Cleaning in Texas. Marcus is a fellow member of the Roof Cleaning Institute Of America, and is also an RCIA Certified Roof Cleaner.
Think You Need a New Roof? A Cleaning Instead Might Do
Patti Hollingshead thought she needed a new roof.
The Pittsburgh resident’s roof was covered with moss and black streaks.
“It looked terrible,” Hollingshead said. “It looked like it was in poor condition. We had a roofer look at it but got an astronomical estimate. It was tens of thousands of dollars for a new roof.”
The roofing company told Hollingshead that they’d be happy to replace her roof, but that she really didn’t need it. What she needed was for it to be cleaned.
Over the past two decades, more homeowners across the U.S. have experienced the very same issues with their roofs as Hollingshead. Gloeocapsa magma, a type of bacteria that presents as the black streaks, is the culprit.
“About 15 years ago, in the manufacturing process, (fiberglass) roof manufacturers added limestone in the asphalt shingle mix,” explained Brad Iannacchione of Soapy Roof in New Kensington, Pa. “That’s what (the bacteria) enjoys eating.”
Though there’s no demonstrated proof that the bacterium is harmful to roofs, industry experts say it can lead to premature rotting of the shingles if left untreated. Plus, the appearance of those streaks can lower a home’s value if you’re trying to sell it. In an effort to curtail unnecessary roof replacement, some insurance companies are even making it a requirement homeowners have their roofs cleaned, or risk losing their policy. A professional roof cleaning will usually rid those black streaks for five years or longer.
“The biggest reason is aesthetics, as far as making sure your house looks nice again and clean,” Raif said. “(Plus), the black on the roof raises the attic temperatures within the house. It can reduce your electric bills by reducing the heating of your attic by getting rid of the black streaks.”
Both Iannacchione and Marcus Raif of Katy Memorial Services in Katy, Texas, recommend a non-pressurized cleaning as the most effective method for removing the black streaks.
“You’ll blow the granules off an asphalt roof” with pressure washing, Raif said.
“The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association recommends you don’t use any pressure whatsoever on the roof.”
The “soft-wash” method using a chlorine-based chemical wash is the best way homeowners should go for a roof cleaning, both experts say.
“We don’t use any more pressure than a garden hose to spray our cleaning solution” on the roof, Iannacchione said. “By the time we leave, the roof is 99 percent clean. The other 1 percent will be gone after the first rain. A lot of times, homeowners themselves will get up there with the pressure washer, and frankly, it works. It will take care of those black streaks. Unfortunately, those folks just ruined their roofs, in my opinion, because there are a lot of different granules and little stones on the shingles. I’ve talked to a lot of different roofing manufacturers, and it will actually void the warranty that homeowner has for the roof.”
Before hiring a company to clean, ask about the method the technicians will use. Raif said he’s certified by the Roof Cleaning Institute of America. Check that the company carries liability and workers’ compensation insurance, so you’re protected in the event they cause unforeseen damage or someone gets injured on the job. A roof cleaning for homes can range in price from about $250 to $1,000 or more, depending on the size of the home, pitch of the roof and how dirty it is.
If you do decide to have your roof cleaned, be sure the company protects grass, shrubs and flowers from runoff. Both Raif and Iannacchione said their companies always send two technicians to the job; one who applies the cleaner and one who stands on the ground, constantly saturating the grass and plants with water from a hose.
Hollingshead said she noticed an immediate difference after having her roof cleaned and is glad she didn’t pay to replace it.
“They did an absolutely excellent job,” Hollingshead said. “He came out and did the roof in about five hours. It’s absolutely immaculate. It looks like a new roof. The roof was in good condition, but it didn’t show it. But now that it’s cleaned, it really looks like a brand new roof. It saved us tens of thousands of dollars.”