Serving the Greater NW Chicago, IL & Lake Geneva, WI areas
"We just love what we do!"
Q: Why should I be concerned and what should I do about it?
A: BLACK STREAKS ARE WARNING SIGNS! In the past they were misdiagnosed as a cosmetic issue caused by jet fuel, tree sap, airplane waste, tree pollen and dirt. Property owners ignored their roofs allowing them to deteriorate until the only option was an expensive replacement. The truth is that unattractive roof stains make your home or business look unhealthy and neglected, seriously compromising its curb appeal. More importantly, algae infestation is the enemy of roof shingles because it acts as host to lichens that have anchors that attach it to the shingles causing irreversible damage.
Q: Why is it on my roof and not the property next door?
A: The answer has to do with several variables, but the age of the roof and type of material are the likeliest suspects. Shingle manufacturers added limestone to composite (asphalt) roofing material as a filler to replace weight lost by reductions in the amount of costly petroleum-based product. This change had unforeseen consequences, as the addition of limestone created a constant food source for Gloeocapsa Magma. To compound the problem, algae acts as host to other more harmful roof parasites (all of which thrive on algae), accelerating the decomposition of your roof. They include harmful fungus, bacteria, mold, lichens, and moss. Tree shade, dormers, gutter debris, water on the property (including sprinkler systems), all contribute to ideal growing conditions. In addition, it is most prevalent on the north and east sides, so you may need to inspect your neighbor's roof from another vantage point.
Q: Is there anything other than cleaning that effectively prevents this type of infestation?
A: Shingle manufacturers are aware of the problem and have recently changed the way they make asphalt shingles to include metal compounds meant to offset the risk of algae infestation which have performed with mixed results. For existing roofs with limestone fillers, zinc roofing strips have been suggested as an effective deterrent with inconsistent results. Years of on-site experience shows that most of these "solutions" are effective for limited periods of time. Observe the photo of the roof above and note that it is a 50-Year Premium AR (algae resistant) shingled roof installed less than ten years ago.
For cedar shingles, this beautiful resilient material functions at it's best when clean and dry. Allowing lichen and moss growth only expedites the decomposition of the shingles due to moisture retention. There are no other alternatives to preventing infestation.
Q: Because my roof has algae and lichen on it, does this mean my roof is ready to be replaced?
A: It is important to remember that every roof has a lifespan and WILL eventually need to be replaced (some earlier than they should). The life of a roof varies depending on whether it has received proper maintenance, suffered excess exposure to extreme weather conditions, has proper ventilation, insulation, has a manufacturer material defect or has experienced flora infestation. If algae, lichens, and moss are eliminated, the roof should be expected to provide years of trouble-free service, but only if regularly maintained.
By postponing action the roof's lifespan can be cut by up to 50%
Q: Do roof stains contain health related considerations?
A: Algae is a spore and is not only harmful to your property, but it can be harmful to children, the elderly, and those with allergy sensitivities and upper respiratory problems. According to top researchers excessive mold growth can lead to increased risk for allergies and indoor air quality issues. The prevalence of Gloeocapsa Magma is increasing across the U.S. as a consequence of changing weather patterns.
A: We use a low-pressure solution process for all types of siding, dryvit, cedar, and other delicate surfaces. Because our customized proprietary solutions perform the primary function of killing what we are removing, we can craft the solution to meet the type and condition of the feature we are treating. That's the beauty of our house washing process. We apply the solution with low-pressure thereby eliminating many of the risks associated with pressure-washing. Soft surface material like siding should always be treated gently with as little agitation as possible. We only use a combination of pressure and solutions when appropriate, typically on hard resilient surfaces like stone, brick and concrete to produce the best possible results.
Q: Why do I need to pay someone to clean my roof when I could do it myself?
A: As with all choices in life, there is a “risk-reward" that should be taken into account when considering the “Do-It-Yourself” method. We recommend you stay off of your roof and do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk for injury or death. Roofing is listed as one of the ten most dangerous jobs. Add water, solutions, hoses and ladders and you have a better understanding of why you really should let a professional take care of this maintenance issue. We have an enormous amount of service and maintenance expertise in commercial and residential properties, use commercial-grade product, are fully insured and our staff has over 40 years combined experience.
Roof age: 10 + yrs - "Lifetime"50-Year Algae Resistant - (AR) Premium Architectural Shingles - Costly and ineffective against algae/lichen infestation.