Green And Mean: A Dirty Roof Is More Serious Than You Think

Does your roof have plants growing on it or big green streaks of moss? You may not think you have any cause for concern if it isn't leaking, but you couldn't be more wrong. Dirty roofs can not only damage your home and put your health at risk, but they can also cost you a significant amount of money.

Common Risks Of A Dirty Roof

Bacteria that stains and discolors your roof can sure make it look ugly, but that's hardly the worst of it. Organisms that make their homes on dirty roofs can also have far more sinister effects on your home.

When lichen, moss, or algae grow on your roof, it's a good indication that something more dangerous may also be growing there: mold. These plants and bacteria can also help create a prime environment for mold by increasing the dampness and heat of your roof. They can also damage your roof with their roofs and the moisture they create, allowing mold to permeate your entire home. Once in your home, mold can make you sick and may even kill people with compromised immune systems.

Roofs that have been damaged by plants and mold may also develop leaks, which can cause the wood, ceilings, and walls of your home to rot and degrade over time. Worst of all, this damage may not be covered by your homeowner's insurance if the insurance company can prove you failed to keep your roof clean.

Unexpected Side Effects Of Roof Plants And Stains

Damage and discoloration aren't the only results of an unwashed roof. Certain organizations, like your neighborhood's Homeowners Association, may not take too kindly to a discolored roof on your home. If your roof fails an HOA inspection, you could face fines and lose your voting rights in the group.

As mentioned earlier, insurance companies are no big fans of dirty roofs. If they inspect your home and find your roof unkempt, they may mandate that you have your roof cleaned. Most insurance companies hold homeowners responsible for maintenance of their property, and not having your roof professionally cleaned can be seen as failing to properly maintain it. If you aren't careful, you could lose your policy altogether.

You'll also be losing money due to your dirty roof in more direct ways as well. For example, organic growth on your roof's shingles can cause them to retain heat more and take more energy to cool, resulting in higher power bills during the hot months of the year. Roof damage and discoloration can also lower your home's resale value by thousands of dollars, so it's important to have any growth taken care of before you have your home inspected for resale.

Services That Keep Roofs Clean

At the heart of any thorough roof cleaning service is power washing. Unlike regular cleaning with a garden hose, power washing uses a tough jet of water to dislodge dirt, grime, and organic material from your roofing. When getting rid of big roof growths like lichen and moss, power washing can speed up the job immensely.

Once the majority of the dirt and big plants is removed, you'll need to have your roof shampooed. Roof "shampoo" is essentially a powerful antibacterial soap that will kill mold and algae bacteria. Strong shampoo solutions will also remove stains from your roof and get it back to looking normal.

After your roof is nice and clean, you should inquire to the cleaning company about getting a protective coating for your roof. Depending on your roof material, you may be able to get added protection from future dirt and bacteria by using one of these protective coats. 

You may think your dirty roof is benign, but that's only until it winds up costing you money. Before anything bad happens, you should contact your local roof cleaning company or a place like Roof Renewal Systems, LLC to get rid of the plants and bacteria that are making a home on your shingles. You might just be able to avoid sickness, fines, and damage if you do.