It’s the great protector of your home, the ‘roof over your head’, the thing that keeps you warm (or cool), comfortable and dry. But of all the things that you can say about your roof, that it’s home to a variety of plant life is not usually one of them.
But, like it or not, if it’s more than a few years old, something’s probably growing on your roof right now. Unfortunately, while ‘green’ roofs and roof gardens are popular ways to add greenery to your roof, and potentially reduce your heating and cooling costs, the plant growth we’re talking about will actually damage your roof and cost you money over time.
Here’s a list of three of the most common organisms who like to call your roof home – but who don’t show your roof any respect.
This is the one that might be growing on your roof right now, but you might not know it. And that’s not because it’s invisible. Instead, algae causes black streaks on your roof that look like dirt stains washing off the roof.
Airborne algae spores lock onto your roofing shingles and start to multiply. As they do, they eat the limestone that’s in your roofing shingles.
Lichen is the combination of a fungus and the algae that the fungus attaches itself too. Lichen attach themselves tenaciously to your shingles, which makes them difficult to remove. Given enough time, lichen will erode the top layer of roofing shingles and leave the shingle permanently damaged and in need of replacement.
Moss actually drills a root into your roofing shingles. Securely attached, the moss then begins to catch wind-borne and water-borne dirt to build itself its own little soil garden. As if that wasn’t bad enough, this impromptu roof garden not only fosters the growth of algae and lichen, but, when it gets large enough, it can also host bigger plants with real roots that can damage your shingles even more.
Algae resistant roofing shingles, which are infused with copper, will help stop things from taking root on your roof. But if your existing roof has anything growing on it now, you’ll need to get a professional roofing company to clean it away before it does any more damage. If you have unwanted growth on your roof, or you’re not sure, please give us a call here at Chouinard Bros., we can help.