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Austin Roofing: Article About Roof Cleaning

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Cleaning a roof can restore its appearance as well as the overall appeal of a home. Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive home improvements. Almost one out of every three roofs are replaced early because the homeowners don't realize that roofs can be cleaned, or they wait until algae, moss, mildew or lichen damages the roof beyond repair. Homeowners can help their roofs last longer and prevent damage and premature replacement with only a small investment with help from a knowledgeable Austin roofing professional.

Algae, mold and mildew cause black streaks on roofs that can make great houses look neglected and unsightly. They thrive in warm, humid climates, and they normally start to grow on north facing parts of roofs where they can find the most shade and moisture. As it rains, algae and mold are washed down sloped roofs, forming dirty looking streaks that can keep the roof from reflecting heat from the sun and cause shingles to deteriorate. Once the algae, mildew or mold appears on a roof, it will continue to grow and spread until it is cleaned.

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Mold can even spread to the interior of a home, causing health problems like allergies, and mold is typically hard to get rid of.

During most roof cleaning, an expert will use a pressure washer to remove dirt and debris, and then treat the roof with a chemical to kill mold or algae. After that, the chemicals are washed away. Since pressure washing could damage the roof, homeowners can also choose a "no pressure" method with stronger chemicals such as bleach or lye. However, roofers who over spray these chemicals could damage plants or even bleach shingles. People can also use an environmentally friendly cleaning product like hydrogen peroxide. A pressure washer on a lower setting resembles a hard rainfall, and it won't harm roofs. Homeowners can also wait for rain to wash away dead algae.

Homeowners can use bleach to get rid of moss and lichens as well. They can also use products made especially for those problems. Lichens are grey, white or green, and they can live almost anywhere. They grow slowly, but they will eventually create unsightly spots on a roof. Moss tends to grow in humid, shady environments. People with green roofs often plant moss on their roofs intentionally, but without the proper roof decking, it can cause problems like extra weight and rotting of some types of shingles. The roots can also damage shingles.

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