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Here at Dirty Jobs, we get asked all the time.. "What are those black streaks on the roof, and can you clean them?". The great news is YES! The black streaks you see on your roof, and all around town are a form of Algae. They typically appear on the Northern exposure side of the roof, and if left untreated will eventually become a real problem. I learned as a young boy hunting around the house near 500 acres, that if your ever lost in the woods, just look for moss growing on the trees...that moss grows on the North side! Asphalt roofs across the United States are being infested by a dark green algae (commonly considered black mold). The technical term for the algae is Gloeocapsa Magma.
Gloeocapsa magma gained notoriety in the Southeastern United States in the 1990s, but it has since spread throughout most of the rest of the United States and Canada. This particular type of cyanobacteria is responsible for creating black stains and streaks on roofs. The bacteria accumulate over time as it feeds on moisture and calcium carbonate. This accumulation begins to show the black stains as the cyanobacteria develop their dark and hard UV-protective outer coating.
The main reasons for the rapid spread and noticeability of these cyanobacteria are thought to be:
Once the bacteria have become noticeable, the stains will continue to worsen year to year. As the bacterial colony grows, gravity pulls it downward, resulting in the smear-like stain down roofs. Most experts within the subject area conclude the bacteria to be harmful, if left untreated, as the growth holds moisture within shingles causing premature aging, rotting, and/or granule loss.
The buildup of Gloeocaspa magma on residential properties has led to earlier roof replacements, lowered property resale values, insurance companies canceling policies and increased utility costs as the black stained roofing draws in more heat.
We are so confident in our services, that we offer a full 5 year warranty on our Roof cleaning packages, but the majority of folks prefer to have their roof serviced every year to keep it looking Brand New!