Washing Your Roof Will Improve Its Lifespan

Wood Roofs

Details Soft Wash offers high quality exterior home and residential Wood roof washing, including mold, algae, and moss removal. Most homeowners who have a wood roof don’t realize until too late that they should have been taking better care of the wood roof over their head. Unlike asphalt, asbestos, or slate roofs, pressure washing wood roofs can add many years of life to the wood roof.

Cleaning and preserving a wood roof via washing can dramatically change it’s visual appearance. However, proper care must be used regarding water pressure and detergent selection so not to damage the wood roof. Too much water pressure may loosen shingles and drive contaminants deeper into the wood; not enough pressure may not effectively remove the damaging contaminants. The presence of a bleaching agent in the detergent when washing natural wood roofs will change the color of the wood instead of cleaning it. In the same way you should not bleach an article of dark clothing because it will change it’s color, we would not bleach a wood roof, destroying its’ golden brown natural color.

Keeping your wood roof looking like new requires washing every few years. Within a couple of years the wood roof will start turning gray again and go through its’ natural aging process. “Peace of mind” will come from knowing that your newly pressure washed roof will enjoy protection against further rain and sun damage that will last many years.

Asphalt Roofs

Details Soft Wash offers high quality soft wash services for home exteriors and asphalt roofs, including mold, algae, and moss removal. Asphalt Shingle roofs suffering from unsightly roof Algae, Mold and Lichen may fail prematurely by not allowing the shingles to reflect heat properly. Manufacturers such as Owens Corning and GAF (as well as the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association) recommend a low soft cleaning using specific detergents followed by a thorough low soft rinse. At Details Soft Wash we use the cleaners and methods for a safe and damage free roof cleaning. A roof cleaning will allow you to get the full life out of your shingles, saving you thousands of dollars.

Having your roof cleaned actually makes sense.  It isn’t just aesthetics. While people like to say that dirty roofs lower a property’s value and may make it hard to sell, the “dirt” on a roof actually shortens its life span and can even present a health hazard. Furthermore, the “dark stains” on a roof act as a sponge to absorb the sun’s heat, which causes a rise in the temperature inside a home or building, creating higher air conditioning bills.
The dirt isn’t just dust – It’s alive. Some of the black or very dark roof stains are caused by a resilient type of algae, Gloeocapsa Magma (a type of blue-green algae commonly found in climates with warm, humid summers).

The algae grow in standing water, as well as in our lakes and ponds. The algal spores are carried to our roofs from the water sources by the wind and birds, and then from roof to roof where it grows and feeds on the limestone filler in asphalt shingles, the real dirt on tile roofs, and maybe in some cases the tiles themselves. Worse still, as the algae grow, they retain water and foster the growth of other roof inhabitants.

The black stains are also very likely to harbor a number of molds or fungi. Unlike algae, the fungi on our roofs lacks chlorophyll. They are unable to manufacture food from raw materials. So, it must get nutrition from some form of organic matter. To thrive, these heterotrophs, who used to be called saprophytes, also require a warm, humid environment.

Fungi normally begin their life cycle as an airborne spore that settles on roofs, especially the asphalt-shingle ones. The spores on the northern exposure of the roof stand a better chance of survival because that portion of the roof is the last part to dry after a rain or morning dew. This raises the humidity on the surface of the shingle, thus creating a perfect feeding and breeding ground.

The tar used in roofing is fossilized, dead organic matter — and an important food source for fungi. Asphalt, at the granule base, is normally consumed first. Once these granules dislodge, accelerated deterioration will occur. Ceramic granules represent the outer hard shell that protects against hail and other falling debris. Ceramic granules protect against damaging UV radiation and insulate the roof against extreme heat. So you can understand that their dislodgment by the growing fungal colonies can be detrimental to our roofs’ longevity. Surprisingly, the blue-green algae are also food for the fungi.

While not all mold (fungi) and algae pose a health danger, some are harmful, especially for us older folks, younger children and people who suffer from asthma and respiratory problems. Their spores, which are on your roof, can get inside your home because they end up on the driveway and walkways from rain, and are easily tracked inside. They can even be drawn into our air conditioning systems and eventually populate our ducts.

Different mold species can have varying health effects, but it is important to remember that any excessive mold growth needs to be taken care of, regardless of the species. Any excessive mold growth can lead to increased allergies, toxicity, and house/building structural problems.