Roof Problems Caused by Moss and Algae

Moss can be a significant benefactor to the environment. Moss helps prevent erosion, holds moisture for plants, provides nutrients to beneficial bacteria and organisms, etc; however, when talking about moss growing on the roof of a building or home, those benefits become considerable long-term problems. 

moss on shingles

Moss Roots Under Shingles

Roots are what cause most, if not all, of the problems related to moss growing on your roof. Once moss starts growing, the roots make their way beneath the shingles. This can cause the shingles to curl up and get separated from the surface of the roof. Not only is the shingle now curled up leaving the surface of the roof exposed, but the roots help contain any moisture under the surface of the shingle. Having that constant supply of moisture in direct contact to the surface of the roof can promote erosion to the shingles, leaks, and wood absorbing moisture promoting mold.

moss growing in cracks

Relationship Between Shingles, Moss, and Algae

The conditions that moss requires to begin growing are similar to that of algae. Not getting enough direct sunlight can provide the cool damp environment that promotes growth. Once the root system is developed, the addition of that moisture helps feed bacteria. As a result, algae feeds on those various kinds of bacteria. Once algae begins to grow it can become unsightly causing dark patches and streaks on the roof. Many of the visual signs of algae are and can be mistaken for mold. Speaking of which, if algae were to go unchecked, it could lead to mold. It only takes one spore to latch onto the surface and begin growing. Along with the possibility of mold, wood rot can be another consequence of letting algae run rampant on your roof. Mold and wood rot can go hand in hand with also letting moss continue to grow and spread on your roof. 

Making sure your roof can get some direct sunlight is the best thing to help keep moss and algae at bay: however, algae can still latch on and grow among your roof’s shingles on its own. Paying attention to the signs and getting your roof professionally inspected every 3 to 5 years is the best way to make sure your roof stays in pristine condition.

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