Growth on Your Roof is More than a Cosmetic Problem

It’s the color of spring, the color of environmental awareness, and the color of money, but no matter how much you like green, you don’t want to see it on your roof. If you’ve got a little green haze appearing up top, some timely maintenance can keep this problem from growing. If your roof is starting to look like the verdant hills of Ireland, you’ve got a big problem. 

Moss, algae, fungus, and lichens can all take hold on your roof shingles, causing aesthetic and structural problems. Here in coastal Florida, our humidity and frequent storms can really cause a lot of growth, but the experts at Coastal Roofing Pros are here to help. Read on for the 411 on why you always want to keep the green stuff off your roof! 

Moss Overgrowth on Roof
Hopefully your roof doesn’t look anything like this! Even if you’ve just got a little bit of green, your roof needs attention.

What Is This Green Stuff On My Roof?

  • Moss – Mosses are small flowerless plants that thrive in shady, damp environments. They lack roots, and reproduce by means of spores. 
  • Algae – You might not realize that the commonly heard term “Algae” is actually the plural form of “Alga”. An alga is a simple, nonflowering, plant that is typically found in aquatic settings. Like moss, algae lacks roots and vascular tissue..
  • Fungus – A fungus is any one of over 140,000 species that includes microorganisms such as molds and yeasts as well as larger organisms like mushrooms. 
  • Lichens – A lichen is a composite organism that comes into being when algae lives among fungi species. The combined lichen organism is different from the individual component organisms, and can come in many colors and forms.  

Algae, fungus, and lichens can be green, but they can also manifest in different colors, including shades of black and brown The most common organism that turns your roof green is moss.

Moss is the most common cause of green growth on your roof, and it can damage your shingles.
Green moss on the roof closeup

Is it All Bad for My Roof?

It’s never a good idea to let organisms of any form grow on your shingles. Unless you love a mottled, streaky look, any type of growth can adversely affect the appearance of your home. And any organism growing on your roof can hold in some level of excess moisture, which is never a good thing. If you’re looking for the real bad guy when it comes to a green roof, however, the worst villain is moss. 

 But it Looks So Pretty in the Forest

If you’ve ever been on a hike and stumbled upon a lush patch of emerald carpet, you know that moss can be a stunning example of nature’s artistic hand at work. But let it loose on your roof, and you’re in for nothing but trouble. Moss thrives in damp, shady areas, and when it grows, it holds increasing amounts of moisture against your roof. This leads to a premature breakdown of your shingles, and can allow the moss to infiltrate the structure of the shingle itself. If left unchecked, moss can completely colonize your roof. 

A buildup of moss, leaves, and yard debris has colonized this roof.
This roof needs to be replaced immediately. Moss, debris, and other plant life have taken over & compromised the structure.

How Can I Prevent a Mossy Roof Disaster?

The most important way to prevent moss buildup on your roof is to trim overhanging trees. Although our Florida climate provides lots of moisture in the form of rain and humidity, it also gives us plenty of sunshine. Although constant sun exposure can also prematurely age your roof, it’s always a good idea to make sure each section gets at least some bright sunlight. Trimming branches and removing any organic debris such as leaves and branches from your roof will help eliminate moss-friendly conditions. Installing metal flashing also helps prevent moss buildup, as the mineralized runoff from the metal surface inhibits moss growth. 

Call the Pros for Advice

If you’ve got a moss problem on your roof, call Chicago Roofing Expert for help. We can help you assess the situation and determine your best course of action. We may be able to clean the roof with a gentle process that kills the moss without damaging the roof structure, or we may recommend more serious repairs or replacement. No matter what, you can always count on us for an honest assessment and a fair estimate. Give us a call today for a free inspection and expert opinion!