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Algae Discoloration of Roofs and Roof Cleaning!

For many years, roof discoloration caused by algae has been observed throughout the United States and Canada. The discoloration usually has a brown to black appearance, and may be mistaken for fungus growth, soot, dirt, moss, or tree droppings.

Gloeocapsa magma is probably the most prevalent of several algae species that contribute to discoloration. All species are transported through the air, and tend to collect and grow upon roofing structures. Natural pigments produced by these algae may cause a white or light colored roof to gradually turn dark brown or black. Discoloration may appear as uniform discolorations or streaks. The algae discolorations should not be confused with moss or tree droppings, which typically produce only localized discolorations.

This type of roof discoloration has been most widespread in the Gulf States and along the Northwest and Eastern Seaboards. It is not, however, confined exclusively to these regions. Algae growth occurs to varying degrees in all regions of the country, especially those subjected to warm, humid conditions. It should be noted that almost all types of roofing systems are susceptible to algae discoloration. It is, of course, most readily visible upon light colored roofs, while it is not so visible upon darker shades of roofing.

Algae discolorations are difficult to remove from roofing surfaces, but may be lightened by applying a solution of liquid household chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and water. Directions for mixing solutions of these ingredients may vary among shingle manufacturers and depend on the amount of discoloration. A typical solution should be one part chlorine bleach and one part water. Other cleaning chemicals or methods should not be used without approval of the shingle manufacturer.

First, gently disperse this solution on the roofing surface. Use normal precautions for handling bleach including eye protection and rubber gloves. Be sure to apply it carefully to avoid damage to other parts of the building and the surrounding landscape. Avoid scrubbing the surface, as this friction may loosen and remove granules. If possible, always work from a ladder and/or walkboards to avoid direct contact with the roof surface. Observe all possible safety precautions when working on or near the roof. The solution should be left on the roof for at least 15 minutes but for no more than 20 minutes. Finally, rinse the solution from the roof by gently spraying the surface with water. Be warned that this solution application and rinse process will make the roof surface slippery and potentially hazardous to walk on during treatment.

The effectiveness of a roof cleaning technique is only temporary, and discoloration will likely reoccur (likely after 2-5 years).

Caution!

High pressure washing systems are likely to damage asphalt roofing and should not be used on asphalt roofing for removing algae or for any other purpose.

Credit: ARMA asphaltroofing.org

Roof Cleaning
Pressure Washing
Orlando, FL

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  • review rating 5  Workers arrived on time and were efficient and professional. They did a great job -- roof looks brand new.

    thumb Diana Charter

    review rating 5  3LM did an excellent job cleaning my barrel tile roof. They were easy to book online, they arrived on time, were very professional and thorough, and charged a fair price. Would definitely use again.

    thumb Neil Galone

    review rating 5  This company was easy to schedule, provided a fast quote and were very prompt on the clean day. The men did a very good job and were very diligent on protecting my landscape. When they were finished the roof looked amazing. I would absolutely recommend this company for anyone that would need their services.

    thumb Stephen Harris
  • review rating 5  This company was easy to schedule, provided a fast quote and were very prompt on the clean day. The men did a very good job and were very diligent on protecting my landscape. When they were finished the roof looked amazing. I would absolutely recommend this company for anyone that would need their services.

    thumb Stephen Harris

    review rating 5  The company met all promises and expectations. The technician was friendly and courteous and very hard working, and our metal roof is now sparkling clean. We appreciate the warranty they offer, and felt the work was fairly priced.

    thumb Ellen Huber

    review rating 5  This company is amazing. Great communication, great staff, great service. They cleaned my huge circular driveway, pool patio and roof on my home and garage. Everything came out so clean it was like brand new again. The best part of this is their guarantee and whatever they use to clean and prevent build up. It has been over 4 months and my driveway and roof still look like they cleaned it yesterday. The staff was friendly and prompt and showed up on time and made every effort to do a fantastic job. Thanks guys!

    thumb Michael Tarallo
  • review rating 5  3LM did a great job, pressure washing pool deck and area. It looks so much better and now can use the area more. They were quick to respond and were on-time. Will be using again for sure. Thank you!

    thumb Jason Zeidan

    review rating 5  What an awesome job 3LM did pressure washing my home, driveway, sidewalk and patios. Communication with Pete and his team was fantastic! I’m very pleased.

    thumb Joni Eden

    review rating 5  Did a great job cleaning the roof. Looks brand new. Took care to prevent damage to plants. Great value for work performed. I would recommend!

    thumb Michael DeGrood
  • review rating 5  3LM Roof Cleaning does an outstanding job!!!! They cleaned our house, pool/patio, screens and driveway. Everything looks fresh and clean. I've had companies in the past that leave behind residue etc. this company does a very thorough job!!!!! Spotless!!

    thumb Colleen Barber

    review rating 5  3LM did an excellent job for us. We had the following services: roof cleaning, driveway and sidewalk cleaning, exterior house cleaning, and window cleaning. They did not falter on any of these services. I only wish I took before pictures so I could share the visual results.

    thumb Lisa Parker

    review rating 5  3LM Roof Cleaning did a fantastic job on our roof, driveway and pergola. The price was reasonable as well. I would definitely use them again!

    thumb Connie Gahnz
  • review rating 5  I have been using 3LM for about 4 years now and have been most impressed by their professionalism. The management and employees are top-notch. I would not even get a second quote because their prices are very reasonable for the quality work they deliver.

    thumb Robert Fenster

    review rating 5  The guys were very nice and professional and they did an excellent job

    thumb Ben Shames

    review rating 5  3LM made this such an easy process. I got my quote online instantly, let them know when which service I needed and then scheduled it. Our roof and house look fantastic. I would suggest them to anyone who needs their roof cleaned.

    thumb Karen Griffin
  • review rating 5  Great service, very professional and competitive prices. I would definitely use this company again !!!

    thumb PrairieLakeVillage NeighborhoodWatch

    review rating 5  Great job. Very responsive to calls. Easy to schedule. Excellent price.

    thumb Catherine Hwang

    review rating 5  Very professional make sure everything is right to the customer standard used them on my roof and screen enclosure Great job .Best in town.

    thumb John Ammaturo
  • review rating 5  This company clean my roof and fence the same day I call for service, very professional people from the person that answer the phone and the people that came out to do the job, also they came to my home at the time they told me . I’m very please with the company and staff. I will highly recommend this company.

    thumb felix rentas

    review rating 5  3LM did a wonderful job cleaning the roof of our house. The two-man crew came on time, told us how the work would progress, they finished in good time, and we were pleased with the result. The most impressive thing about the operation was the modern high-tech truck they used which appeared to be purpose-built for roof cleaning. Overall, a very impressive operation, and we would heartily recommend the company.

    thumb Dan Nelson

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