Three Ways To Keep Algae From Growing On Your Roof

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The last thing you want for your beautiful new roof is for it to develop unsightly black streaks. Though sometimes homeowners mistake these streaks for dye being washed out of the shingles, they are actually caused by algae. Algae loves moist, warm places — and in the right conditions, your roof could easily become a moist, warm place for it to grow. Here are a few things you can do to prevent algae from growing on your roof.

Keep The Attic Well Insulated

One of the secrets to preventing algae growth is keeping your roof cool, and to achieve that, you need to keep your attic well insulated to prevent heat from your home from escaping through the roof. In most areas, two layers of fiberglass insulation are sufficient. If you only have one layer, add a second layer perpendicular to the first layer. Another option is to have spray foam insulation added to your attic. This substance needs to be applied by a certified contractor, but it provides superior insulation to fiberglass and does not hold onto moisture — which will be an asset down the road when your roof ages and begins developing small leaks.

Trim Any Trees Overhanging the Roof

If you have trees overhanging your roof, algae growth is so much more likely. The trees provide shade, which the algae loves. They also drop organic debris, like leaves, onto the roof, and this organic matter gives the algae somewhere to "root" into and feed on. Have any overhanging trees trimmed back as far as you can. If possible, you may even want to have overhanging trees fully removed from your yard. In the long run, this can be less expensive than paying to have them trimmed back every year.

Have Your Roof Sprayed With Copper

Copper is the primary ingredient in a lot of fungicides, and algae also find it unappealing. If you have a roofing company come spray your roof with a copper-based algae preventative once or twice a year, you'll reduce the chances of algae growth considerably. Another option is to have copper strips attached along the peak of your roof. This way, whenever it rains, the rainwater will carry some copper ions with it down the roof. 

If you follow the tips above, you should have fewer issues with black algae streaks appearing on your new shingles. If you do notice algae growth, contact a roofing company like Conrad's Roofing and have them come clean your shingles.