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The Facts About Roof Algae

Drive down just about any street in Morristown, or any town in North Jersey, and you can’t miss a home that has dark stains streaking down the roof. They look as if they were shot with a black paint ball. The lighter the roof, the more they stand out. It’s often mistaken as soot, dirt, moss or tree droppings. No, it’s not the effects of acid rain, or because you have too many trees. It’s Gloeocapsa Magma, aka, Roof Algae, an airborne mold spore that literally hops from roof to roof.

What Can I Do To Get Rid of Roof Algae?

There are numerous DIY concoctions, the two most common are bleach mixed with water, and a Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) solution, but these are only a temporary fix.  While they will get rid of the algae on your 7 year old GAF Timberline Roof, it’s sure to return in a little as 3 years.  Roof Shampooing, as some clever marketers have dubbed it, has turned into a cottage industry temporally removing stains, but potentially leeching questionable chemicals into your soil.

Will Algae Damage My Roof?

While roof algae is relatively benign, over decades some evidence suggests it erodes the granules on the shingles, but by the time  this happens, you’re almost ready for a new roof.  Power washing is an absolutely no-no, in that it will remove granules on a typical laminated asphalt shingle.

All of the  major roofing manufacturer’s , GAF, Owen’s Corning, Tamko, to name a few, use copper as an additive to their shingle to prevent or lessen the effects of roof algae, and other biologics.  The challenge is the amount of copper used only seems to keep algae at bay for 4 to 6 years tops.

The real question is what good is a 25, 30 or even a 50 year warranty if your roof looks like crap within the first 10?

Atlas Roofing Corporation has partnered with 3M, innovators of the Scotchgard™ Protector system, to once and for all end unsightly roofs.  Atlas uses a technology developed by 3M’s Industrial Minerals Division, wherein copper is encased in a mineral, then applied at a rate up to 10 times that of other roofing manufacturers. The result is a roof that looks as clean and streak free after 20 years as the day it was installed. Atlas is the only residential shingle with a solution to keep your roof streak free from algae for as long as you are in your home.

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