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Is Your Roof Covered in Algae? Here's What You Need to Know

December 21, 20223 min read

The word algae doesn’t sound particularly dangerous, but if it has started to grow on your roof, it could be doing serious damage without you even knowing it! Once algae starts to grow, you need to get it cleaned off as soon as possible. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about algae growth on your roof and how to stop it before the situation gets worse!

What Is Algae?

Algae is a type of plant-like organism that can be found in almost all environments around the world. It grows in moist, damp places and can range from small, single-celled organisms to large, multicellular ones. Algae often appear as green, slimy patches on the surfaces of objects. 

On roofs, algae can be an eyesore as well as an indication of potential water damage. It is most commonly found on shingle and asphalt roofs, but can also be seen on clay tile and metal roofs. 

How Does Algae Grow On Roofs?

Warmer temperatures cause an increase in moisture, making roofs a perfect environment for algae growth. It’s attracted to the dark shade of roofing material, as well as the moisture from rain, dew, and humidity. Algae spores travel in the air, so it’s easy for them to find their way onto your roof. 

Once they’ve found a home on your roof, they will continue to feed off of the organic material  like dust, leaves, or dead insects that may collect on the roof. As they do this, they produce a slimy substance that acts as a protective barrier against moisture and sunlight. This slimy substance is what makes your roof look dark and streaky. 

What Are The Consequences Of An Algae-Covered Roof?

Algae growth is usually harmless and not a major concern. However, if left unchecked, it can lead to damage to your roof and home. 

First and foremost, algae can cause damage to the materials of your roof. If left untreated, the algae can cause shingles to become brittle and discolored, leading to premature wear and tear. Not only can this cause unsightly appearances on your roof, but it can also reduce the life expectancy of your roof as well. 

Algae on your roof can also reduce the effectiveness of the material’s insulation. As the algae grows, it will reduce the reflectivity of your roof, meaning that the heat from the sun won’t be reflected away from your home, making it hotter and less energy efficient. 

Finally, if left unchecked, the algae on your roof can lead to a buildup of moss and lichens which can further reduce the performance of your roof. This moss and lichen can block rainwater from being able to flow off of your roof, leading to a buildup of water that could potentially cause leaks. 

Fortunately, these issues are relatively easy to address with proper maintenance and cleaning.

is your roof covered in algae?

How Can You Prevent Algae Growth On Your Roof?

The best way to prevent algae growth on your roof is to limit the amount of moisture that gets onto your roof. Regularly clean your gutters and downspouts to keep them free of debris and allow for proper drainage. You can also apply a zinc-based algaecide to your roof to help reduce the chances of algae growth. Finally, make sure you inspect your roof regularly for signs of algae growth and take care of any problem areas before they become too large.

​​When it comes to removing algae from your roof, the key is to take action quickly. Algae can spread rapidly and cause damage to your roof if left unchecked. Removing algae from your roof is an important part of maintaining your home and protecting its value. By taking the necessary steps to remove and prevent algae growth, you’ll ensure that your roof remains in good condition for years to come. 

If you are in need of an experienced roofing contractor in the Virginia Beach area to help guide you through removing or preventing algae growth on your roof, look no further than Reitzel Roofing & Exteriors! Please give us a call at (757) 513-7053. We are always happy to help.

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3324 Virginia Beach Blvd

Ste 108

Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Our Services


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