A novice’s guide to algae, moss, and lichens.

We always advise people to regularly pay attention to the state of their roofs. We also know that people have to understand what they’re looking for.

You might notice some discoloration on your roof or a little bit of moss and wonder if those are really issues that you should consider calling someone like us to fix. In this article we want to explain what precisely is growing on your roof, how you’d be able to identify it, and why we recommend dealing with this issue now before you require a more costly repair in the future.

The Common Culprit: Gloeocapsa Magma Algae

We especially want to highlight a common problem homeowners see growing on their roofs: Gloeocapsa magma.

Gloeocapsa magma is the formal name of dark green algae, and it’s the most common type of algae that can grow on asphalt roofs. It causes black, mold-like stains. It can be spread by animals or the wind, and it holds moisture as it decomposes, allowing for further growth that could damage your roof’s integrity.

We know you’re probably not reading this while you’re standing on your roof, so here’s what it would look like:

The good news is, Gloeocapsa magma can be easily removed through a cleaning service like the one we provide. You can get this issue cleaned up, and this solution will be far cheaper than having to repair the damage that this unchecked algae did to your roof.

Lichens and Moss

Gloeocapsa magma isn’t the only thing that can grow on your roof.

Commonly found on trees, lichens can also form a crusty-type substance on your roof. You’ll recognize it by its light-grey or mustard color. Lichens can absorb moisture, but it’s also acidic and can penetrate the structure of your roof.

Moss is another potential threat. A darker shade of green, moss grows in damp areas, is thicker than lichens, and also absorbs moisture. Unfortunately, moss can also plant roots on your roof and grow on top of your home.

We keep listing moisture as a potential problem, so let’s explain why it can pose problems. For one thing, water always finds holes. If your roof has any, then that water will find its way into your house. For another, change in temperatures can also make moisture dangerous to your roof. In the winter, moisture on your roof will freeze, and the ice will damage the integrity of your shingles. The result: water leaks, hotter attics, and more expensive electric bills (not to mention the costs of repairs).

If you spot the growth of one of these things on your roof, then don’t freak out. You most likely don’t need a new roof. We do recommend a professional cleaning, though, to remove the problem before it causes bigger headaches for you.

Want to Learn More?

If we’ve described something that sounds like what’s on your roof, then don’t fret: we can help you get rid of it! Schedule a time to talk with us and we’ll walk you through what we can do to clean your roof and keep your house safe. Call now at 910-273-4416 or sign up online.