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Roofers Explain What You Need to Know About Algae, Moss, and Lichen


August 22, 2018

Under ideal conditions, your roof should look pristine even years after the initial installation. After all, you went to the trouble to carefully select the perfect shingle color to accompany your siding. However, water damage takes many forms and can spring up even during dry Denver summers. Though moss, algae, and lichen are far more common in more humid areas, they can and will form on Denver roofs. Before you accept your shingles going green, it’s important that you understand how moss, lichen, and algae impact your roof and your home. Your trusted Denver roof repair team explains.


What Causes Plants to Grow On Shingles

Algae and moss thrive in moist and cool environments and their spores travel on the air, making it easy for these plants to take up residence on your shingles. Once there, the spores take root on the surface of the shingles and slowly grow into the visible plant life you see. As the late summer and early autumn rains start to increase, the moisture and relative humidity around your roof increases as well. This makes it easy for the plants to thrive.

What They Do to Your Roof

On the surface, the plants seem harmless enough. However, they can cause significant structural damage, leaving the shingles compromised and your home more vulnerable to water damage and leaks. Algae and lichens attach firmly to the outside of the shingle and, over time, can ruin the protective granules and even remove the color from the shingle itself.

Moss, on the other hand, presents even more of a problem. As the moss grows, it gradually collects soil deposits during high wind conditions. These deposits sit between the shingle and the moss, forming a damp and moist layer on top of your roof.  When left to grow, the moss and soil traps moisture against the roof, often leading to roof rot, mold, and increased humidity inside your attic. This can result in significant roof repairs and, in some cases, mold remediation inside the house.

How to Fix the Damage

The easiest way to deal with moss, algae, and lichen is to hire an experienced roof repair team to remove the plants before they become a major problem. They’ll be able to clean the surface of the shingles without doing any additional damage to the roof itself. Beware of companies that offer to pressure wash the plant life away as this process often does more harm than good. Ultimately, pressure washing breaks down the protective layers of the shingles and introduces water into the underlayment of the roof, making any water damage caused by moss and algae far worse.

Worried about discoloration on your shingles? Schedule a free consultation and estimate with Big Creek Roofing & Construction. Our experienced team will be able to identify any potential hazards on your roof long before they pose a serious threat to your home. Remember, the sooner you take care of a problem, the better off your roof will be. Contact us today and let us help you keep your roof in good shape.