Algae Resistant Shingles: An effective way of moss and algae control.

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Many homeowners have had their roof fall victim to unsightly algae and moss . This is a common occurrence in areas that experience high levels of humidity. Aside from high humidity, algae can also be carried to your roof through airborne spores. Seattle is located in the national danger zone for roof moss and lichen. Fortunately, today’s homeowner has the option to choose algae resistant shingles, also known as AR shingles, to avoid this problem.


The History of Algae Resistant Shingles

Algae resistant shingles date back to the 1980’s when roofing materials were produced that contained alternative kinds of mineral granules, such as:

  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Galvanized Metal Powder

When AR shingles were first produced in the 1980’s, they were considered to be a premium option in roofing materials. By the 1990’s, algae resistance became a standard option and was available in most brands of shingles.

How Do Algae Resistant Shingles Work?

AR shingles work by using copper that is included in the roofing granules that make up the shingles. The copper is not noticeable to the eye; however, it will keep algae from being able to survive on the surface of your roof. The copper or zinc materials found in AR roofing materials also respond to rain which activate the algae fighting action. Moisture generally works to help promote the growth of algae, but with these special shingles, it helps to further protect the roof.

AR shingles tend to be more expensive initially, but when considering the cost of having to have the algae removed from your roof on a yearly basis, they are well worth the initial investment and will help to protect your roof for many years to come.

How Effective Are Algae Resistant Shingles?

Some brands of algae resistant shingles can help keep your roof free from unwanted moss and algae for up to 20 years. Products containing copper have been reported to be ten times more effective than zinc at keeping algae at bay. The copper is generally time released and will work to resist algae and moss build-up over a long period of time.

It is also important to note that adding some type of copper ridge or hip shingle containing copper will not work on an existing roof system that already has live algae or moss present. It will not kill the algae, but rather works to provide resistance to it before it starts.

No one wants to think of fungus taking over their roof, causing damage as well as ugly staining. In choosing algae resistant products when replacing a roof, you may be spending more money upfront, but for the protection and peace of mind that comes with it, it’s worth it.

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Moss on Roof

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What You Need to Know about Preventing Moss On Roof

Roofs that have a porous surface, such as wood and asphalt shingles, have a tendency to develop moss on roof. What can you do to prevent this happening to your roof? If you don’t want to replace the roof, you should clean the entire surface with gentle raking and then treat the roof with a chemical treatment  mixed correctly and done by a professional. This sort of care, performed regularly can work very well to remove moss on roof and prevent its return.

If your existing roof is of a material that can be painted, there are types of paint that have a metallic or mineral content that will help deal with the problem of moss on roof. Again, this is a solution that will have to be tended to regularly.

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Your roof has a tremendous amount of exposure and takes a beating from the elements day-in and day-out. Any maintenance measures or treatments used on your roof will need to be repeated at least annually and possibly two times a year, dependent on the shade and vegetation your home is surrounded by.

In the long run, the best thing to do to prevent moss on your roof is to start out with a roofing material that is moss resistant. Among moss resistant roofing materials are chemically treated shingles that are algae resistant and metal roofing, such as aluminum sheeting, galvanized steel and copper. In fact, metal roofing is so effective at preventing moss on roof, that the addition of metal strips to the peak of a non-metal roof will help kill off existing roof moss and prevent it from returning.

If you don’t like the idea of metal roofing, you can get specially treated roofing shingles of a variety of types that will help control moss problems. Shingles that are intended to deflect moss on roof are called AR Shingles. The acronym stands for “algae resistant”. This type of shingle material is treated with granules of copper or zinc to retard moss growth. When it comes time to replace your roof, be sure to look for materials with the AR designation to help keep the moss off your roof.