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San Antonio Roofing: Article About Cleaning Black Algae From A Roof

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Black, unsightly streaks on a roof create an eyesore and lower the curb appeal of the home. These streaks are caused by algae, which grows in humid environments and feeds on the limestone found in asphalt shingles. For homeowners wishing to eliminate these streaks and keep them from appearing again on their asphalt shingles, a trip to the roof with the appropriate cleaning materials will combat this unsightly mess. Those not comfortable with heights may wish to hire San Antonio roofing experts to complete the cleaning.

Several commercial roof cleaners are available at most hardware and home improvement stores. These cleaners contain chemicals designed to kill algae and clear up the stains on the roof. Homeowners can also utilize a mixture of oxygen bleach and water as a homemade cleaner for the roof. Chlorine bleach should be avoided, as it can drip down from the roof and damage the surrounding plant life. A lightweight pump sprayer to hold the cleaner is easy to use and to transport up a ladder. Use of a sturdy step ladder or an extension ladder with a stabilizer bar is advisable to get up to the roof, and it's a good idea to have a second person present for safety.

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Slip resistant shoes are important, as the spray can make the rungs of the ladder slippery and dangerous. Homeowners should wear protective gloves to keep their skin safe from the chemicals used. It is also a good idea to wear protective goggles to prevent any spray from entering the eyes. The affected areas of the roof should be sprayed liberally with the cleaning solution. After sitting for approximately fifteen minutes, the area should be rinsed with a hose. Reapplication of the cleaner may be necessary for any areas that do not come clean on the first pass. Power washing is inadvisable, as the intense pressure can cause a great deal of damage to the shingles.

Copper stripping installed near the apex of the roof can prevent future build up of algae. Copper acts as a natural biocide, and when rain hits the stripping, it carries small bits of the copper down the roof, preventing algae buildup. Strips of copper a few inches wide can be inserted below the shingles near the top of the roof and can be bent upward to catch the falling water. For homeowners who may be replacing their roof altogether, algae resistant shingles have been developed to combat that spread of unsightly algae stains. These shingles combined with copper stripping will help keep the roof clear of any black streaks caused by algae.

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