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Are Roof Shingle Stains a Problem?

Ever see dark streaks on your roof? Your roof shingles could have stains on them and this requires your attention.
Depending on the cause of the stain, it can result in functional damage. However, sometimes the effect of these stains is cosmetic. Again, it depends on the cause of the stain. Furthermore, stains do not help the resale value of your home.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of roof shingle stains. Then, we’ll talk about where on a roof you can find these stains and how they look. Lastly, we’ll go over some action items to take when you have stains and how you can prevent your roof from staining again.

What Causes Roof Shingle Stains?

The effects that roof shingle stains can have on your roof and home depend on the causes. This will communicate the severity of the damage. These stains are caused by a variety of issues. These can include:

  • algae,
  • mould,
  • lichens,
  • natural debris,
  • poor craftsmanship,
  • extreme weather (hot to freezing), and
  • the direction your roof is facing.

Stains are common in areas that are more humid. Depending on the colour and the density of the stain, it can be a problem for homeowners. Stains generally hold moisture to the roof’s surface which can lead to decay over time.

Falling debris can cause roof damage and roof leaks. Black stains caused by algae don’t damage your shingles. However, it’s more a cosmetic issue as black stains aren’t aesthetically pleasing. Nor will they be so for prospective buyers of your home.

Where on a Roof are Shingle Stains found?

Generally, darker stains are found on roofs facing north. They can also be found on shaded roofs which are a type of algae that lives off various minerals in some roof shingles. This algae are harmless but aesthetically, they are unpleasing. It is easy to clean and remove with a bleach and water solution. Be sure not to power-wash the shingles as that will damage your roof.

The greatest damage to the roof is from moisture retention (found in the Southeast corner of the roof) or root damage caused by lichen (the combination of fungus and algae). Lichen is very tough to remove and tends to continually form. Be sure not to scrub or power wash your roof as that will damage your roof further.

Preventing Roof Shingle Stains

Here are some quick tips to maintain your roof and prevent any algae or moss growth:

  • Trim tree branches which allows sunlight to reach the roof and reduces any natural debris threats
  • Clear debris that has assembled on your roof regularly with a leaf blower
  • Air flow should be directed down the slope to avoid driving debris under the edges of shingles
  • Keep gutters clean which promote proper water drainage

Today, shingles are manufactured and treated with copper or zinc to prevent algae growth but over time will break down but they are still causing black streaks. This is wonderful for new homeowners or individuals that have recently changed their roof as this makes the up care of their home last longer.

Other Kinds of Roof Stains – And How To Treat Them

Rust stains are generally found near any metal and it is good precautions to check the surrounding areas and the chimney for any holes that could lead to bigger problems down the road. Rusting can cause leakage and if you rule that out, then it is a cosmetic defect on light coloured shingles.

Finally, you will find soot-stained roofs from burning your fireplace and the ashes flying around. Although they are not damaging in time they can lead to mold and mildew. It is simple to clean with household bleach and water.

Take Action Now!

When prospective buyers looking at your home see black streaks or shingle stains, they will be curious. Inaction could lead to devaluing of your home to buyers. Even worse, these stains can cause structural damage.

No matter the stain, it is important to clean it right away to prevent any damage over the long haul. Need help? We at Adanac are experts in roofing. If you live in Metro Vancouver, whether it’s Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley or anywhere else, call us.

About Adanac

Adanac has been in the roofing and gutter business for over 30 years – and we’ve been satisfying customers for over 30 years as well. We pride ourselves on quality of service, reliability, and performance and we’d be glad to serve you.

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