Organic Roof Cleaning
VS. Softwash/Gentlewash Method
First Of All, What Is That Growing On Your Roof?
In New Jersey We Have 3 Main Culprits;
Gloeocapsa- ( Black Streaks)
These stains are a form of bacteria that resemble but is NOT ALGAE Called
Gloeocapsa-magma. This particular type of cyanobacteria is responsible for creating black stains and streaks on roofs. The bacteria accumulate over time as it feeds on moisture and calcium carbonate located in the limestone granules in the asphalt shingles. This accumulation begins to show the black stains as the cyanobacteria develop their dark and hard UV-protective outer coating on the shingles. This decreases a roof's ability to reflect ultra-violet rays of light and shortens the life of the roof.
Lichen – Crustlike or Leaflike
A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The lichen has small roots that embed down underneath the granule surface to provide nourishment for the infestation. As the lichen blooms die, they pull away the granule surface which
exposes small areas of asphalt.
These are small flowerless plants that typically grow in dense green clumps or mats, often in damp or shady locations. The individual plants are usually composed of simple, one-cell thick leaves, attached to a stem that may be branched or unbranched and has only a limited role in conducting water and nutrients.
Moss readily grows on roof shingles, especially in the spaces between shingles where the spores collect. In wet climates, moss commonly grows into a mat that can be as much as a few inches thick. Moss growth is usually greatest on north-facing roofs, roof areas shaded by trees and other places that are not exposed to enough sun to dry out.Once established, it acts like a sponge, soaking up and storing rainwater. Some of that water then wicks up under the shingles through capillary action and soaks into and through the roof underlayment, which is typically 15- or 30-pound felt. Eventually, it saturates the roof sheathing below.The wetting of the wood roof sheathing can readily cause mold growth and serious decay. Then the roof loses its structural integrity and can become unsafe. Sometimes in more severe cases it can also cause the supporting structural roof framing members to decay. Often this moss-related damage occurs in attics that have plenty of ventilation.Rainwater leaking through the roof from moss can also result in serious, unhealthy mold growth on interior room surfaces as well as wall component decay that is extremely expensive to repair.
Watch out: do not use bleach or swimming pool algecides on surfaces that may be damaged by those chemicals. Bleach can cause a stone surface to turn yellow or may even cause further erosion; swimming pool algecides may be very corrosive and may also be environmental contaminants.
Watch out: do not use acid cleaning on surfaces that may be damaged nor where acid will be applied in quantity or concentrations as to contaminate the soils, kill plants, contaminate the environment; and of course do not use any cleaner without consulting the appropriate MSDS for that product.
Watch out: we do not recommend using power washers nor sand-blasters to clean buildings of algae or moss because of the damage caused to roof and wall surfaces.
Examples of other problems (besides those listed above) that may arise using a biocide include
* Increased water retention of the treated surface
* Chemical reactions with the treated surface
* Toxic effects on other wildlife that should not be harmed
So Here are some Bullet Points:
Eco-Friendly Organic Companies No Chemical VS. Soft Wash & Gentle Wash Method Using Chemicals. So how do I choose? What’s The Difference? It comes down to a choice, but here are the comparisons.
Eco – Inspects the Roof while walking it, checking for holes, loosened shingles, soft spots, skylight seals broken.
Softwash – normally work from the ground, or a ladder against the house with a spray jet system spraying chemicals on the roof to kill the bacteria.
Eco- No Respirators
Softwash- Respirators must be worn for the technician
Eco – Do not need to water or hose down shrubs to protect landscape or Home from chemical run off.
Softwash– Advised to wear chemical suits, Do wear respirators, and Do hose down shrubs, home and landscape so run off do not harm or burn landscape.
Eco – Does Not Leave Gloeocapsa-Magma, Lichen, or Moss on Roof its clean in one day No spores remain.
Softwash- Chemical kills Gloeocapsa, & Lichen, and Moss, on contact, however Moss Remains on Roof and is left for rain to take away.
Eco – Applies an Organic Stain Blocker That lasts approximately 2 years
Softwash– Just spray the product again should it return.
Eco-Can be used by lakes, bodies of water, and is safe for run off.
Softwash– run off of products used can be harmful to landscape, people, pets, and wildlife as well as our planet.
Eco – Power Washing the Shingles Does Not Happen
Softwash– There is no power washing or pressure washing with this style either.
There are many products designed with environmental safety as an important priority. These products do not use heavy metals,
harsh acids, lye or phosphates, yet they enable you to clean your roof very well. The non-corrosive quality of these products also helps to maintain roof integrity. Eco-friendly cleaners are also beneficial as they are unlikely to trigger allergic reactions. These do not contain Phosphates,
Chlorine ,Lye, or Sodium Hydroxides.
“Cheaper Doesn’t Always Mean A Great Deal. Sometimes You Get What You Pay For. I Knew The Minute The Crew Showed Up In A White Chemical Suits, And Respirator to Protect Their Lungs, I had made a horrible Mistake." - Kelly C.
There are many roof cleaning products on the market. Dirt, debris, soot, staining, pollution, algae, moss and mold frequently cause a roof to become dirty. A clean roof is important for the overall maintenance and appeal of your home. A Roof Is one Of the Most Single Largest expenses in your home. Regular roof maintenance goes a long way to preserve your roof and make it last. It is also a good safeguard against staining and possible roof rot due to negligence. It is important that you use the right products to clean your roof. Using wrong products can create problems including roof damage.