What Are Those Black Stains on My Roof?

One of our most frequently asked questions by homeowners is “What are those black streaks on my roof?”  The root cause for this occurrence is a blue-green algae or gloeocapsa magma, a form of cyanobacteria that typically thrives in warm and humid climates. While once prevalent in the southeasternmost portion of the United States, this bacterium has since spread throughout much of North America.

The composition of certain roof shingles and their propensity for trapping heat and moisture make them the ideal environment for gloeocapsa magma to live and reproduce. Over time, this cyanobacterium will accumulate and feed on the moisture and compact limestone particles found within the shingles of most roofs.

Additionally, overhanging tree branches that provide shade from direct sunlight and introduce debris on the roof of a home often allow for the retention of additional moisture and can further contribute to the bacteria’s food source. 

Where there is no shade, this form of algae is known to develop a dark pigmented sheath in order to help shield itself from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. This translates to the dark stains, streaks and overall discoloration seen on the roofs of those affected properties. 

The damage done by this form of algae can be substantial. When the bacteria become noticeable, it’s likely to have been slowly building for months and if left untreated the stains will only continue to worsen over time. The gloeocapsa magma can cause the premature aging of your roof and can lead to the rotting of your shingles resulting in shingle blow-off. These factors can then translate to costly roof repair and if left completely unchecked, potential roof replacement.   

Thankfully, for those homeowners that are proactive, the harm presented by gloeocapsa magma can be remedied and completely eradicated through proper maintenance and the utilization of advanced soft washing techniques. 

We employ the latest in soft washing technology to help guard against the damage that can result from untreated surfaces, including those roofs adversely affected by cyanobacteria, including gloeocapsa magma. 

Our soft wash solution is comprised of a non-toxic, biodegradable formula that offers a deep clean and eliminates blue-green algae at its source, preventing its return and effectively protecting your roof from the undesired damage it can cause. 

Where power washing only removes the discoloration associated with gloeocapsa magma, it’s important to note that it does not stop the algae from quickly growing back. Power washing also has the tendency to damage surfaces with its high-water pressure application, whereas soft washing simply does not. 

Trust in the best that the industry has to offer and schedule an appointment to speak with a member of our staff today.

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