Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my roof is dirty?
It is easy to see on most homes while the growth is in process; there are dark black streaks, particularly on the north facing roof, though once the algae has fully taken over it is sometimes hard to tell. (It's never too late to remove.) The best place to look to find out if your roof is dirty is below metal roof jacks flashing and sky lights. There you should find lighter colored streaks or patches...that is the original color and that is what your roof will look like after we have completed our service!
What are the black stains?
The black stains are caused by a cyanobacteria frequently referred to as algae (Gloeocapsa Magma) that feeds on organic material (Typically crushed lime stone) now used in composition roof shingles. Algae growth on roofs occurs to varying degrees in all regions of the country, especially those subjected to warm humid conditions.
The Monterey Bay area has a particular problem with dirty roofs due to the consistent marine layer that often covers the coast and certain inland areas. Nearly all types of roofing are susceptible to staining and discoloration. It is, of course, most visible on lighter colored roofs and less visible on darker shades of roofing.
Will pressure washing do damage to my roof?
Yes. Pressure washing will dislodge the granules from the surface of the shingles and can scar the shingles causing more problems then you started with. Shingle manufacturers make it very clear that no pressure should be used to clean roofs. Although leaving the roof apparently clean looking, pressure washing alone does not kill the algae and the problem quickly returns. Tile roofs are also susceptible to damage from pressure, particularly the glaze finish and color pigment.
When should we treat the problem?
As soon as you notice any signs of the shading or staining. The gloeocapsa magma bacteria is relatively easy to remove. Moss and lichen require much more time and effort. Even after the treatment, a small amount of dead moss will remain, left to decompose over time. The best time to treat a dirty roof is before signs of moss or lichen.
Why not buy one of the many products from the hardware store, It sounds so easy?
While their advertising is slick and their giddy actors happily say how wonderful the product is, reading the small print reveals:
- The product uses a strong chemical degreaser that breaks down petroleum based products...like roof shingles.
- The product takes multiple applications over many months even over a year, (many of our customers complain that the products still never worked...)
- After application of the product (which shows no visible effect) you are directed to “simply rinse with... a pressure washer...” Exactly what the manufacturer directs you not to do.
There are many more reasons we feel you should avoid these roof cleaning products. Suffice it to say, we feel their sole interest in your roof is a monetary one.
Will cleaning my roof really save me money?
Yes. Cleaning your roof can save you money in more ways than one...
- First, the algae and fungus that grows can cause premature roof granule loss, and shorten roof shingle life. So you save money because your roof lasts longer
- Second, when the algae turns your roof black, it becomes less reflective, and it retains heat; If you use an air conditioner it has to work harder to overcome the increased heat load, costing money in electric bills.
- Third, the aesthetics of cleaning your roof when it comes to selling your home can not only save you money but can make you money too.
Do I need to do anything before you come?
It would be appreciated if you could do a few things the night before we come out to do the roof cleaning service:
- Move all lawn equipment, furniture and/or toys inside or away from the building.
- Keep all animals inside or out away from the home.
- Put any special plants out away from house (if possible.)
- Park vehicles on street or in garage.
Pretty much just clear everything out away from around the house. We will be rinsing areas around the building during the treatment.
How noisy is it?
We almost exclusively use equipment no louder than a whisper. Occasionally we use a compressor for large commercial projects.
Do you have references?
Yes. We have many happy customers who would love to share their roof cleaning experience with you, please feel free to request a list by e-mail.
Are you insured?
Yes, we are properly insured and would be happy to send you a copy of our insurance upon request. All employees are covered by workers compensation insurance. We are registered with the DIR for governmental work and prevailing wage jobs.