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.

Pressure Washing Services Prices

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PRESSURE WASHING SERVICES PRICES

Pressure washing service is the process of using high volumes of water at 1200-4500 p.s.i to target deep down dirt and grime. The price of pressure washing services in Seattle, is usually determined by the material needing pressure washed, common materials requiring periodic power washing include:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Asphalt

The process is the first step in restoration of wood structures such as furniture, wood decks, concrete walkways and cedar roofs. Restoration of  these structures call for exact chemicals, certain degrees of pressure, the right fan tip and many more detailed items that complete the job list.

CHEMICALS USED IN PRESSURE WASHING

There are certain chemicals that most pressure washing companies use, below is a table with the chemical, its function and the material it’s commonly used on. The list is not a complete list but merely descriptive of what is standard in the power washing industry.

Chemical Function Material
Oxygen Bleach Draws dirt to it gently, used as a green material. wood
Citric Acid Brightens and restores natural hues. wood
Sodium Hypochlorite Removes top layers of grime, kills moss and lichen. asphalt , wood, concrete
Trisodium Phosphate AKA: TSP Removes paint stains and rust. asphalt,wood,concrete
Oxalic Acid Brightens remove rust stains. concrete structures

The prices for pressure washing services are determined by:

  • The square footage.
  • The material cleaned.
  • The amount of chemical used.
  • The hours to complete job.

The square footage and the hours are switched for the contractor to find a price for a certain job. Let’s take a look at some averages nationwide for power washing from costhelper,costowl, and powerwash.com:

Structure Cost Helper Costowl Powerwash.com
Deck Restorations Not listed $08-.40/SF washing only* 1.50-2.00/SF [square foot]
Gutter Cleaning 2500/SF $90-225 $150-300 $95/Average
Cedar Shakes Not listed Not listed $.60-90/SF
Concrete *with cold water 1200 SF/$100-400 Not listed .02/SF
Asphalt Roofing Not listed $.15-.30/SF Steep Pitch: $.20-35 Average Pitch:$.10-.35

Here are some links you might find helpful:

http://www.costowl.com/home-improvement/roof-cleaning-cost.html

http://home.costhelper.com/pressure-washing.html

http://www.powerwash.com/articles/power-washing-price-guide.html

http://www.costowl.com/home-improvement/gutter-cleaning-cost.html

We provide pressure washing services to the following areas: 

Bellevue, WA and surrounding

Everett, WA and surrounding

Issaquah, WA and surrounding

Kent, WA and surrounding

Kirkland, WA and surrounding

Renton, WA and surrounding

Seattle and all metropolitan areas.

Bleach for Killing Moss on a Roof

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WHY STORE BOUGHT BLEACH ISN’T STRONG ENOUGH TO KILL MOSS

There is a common misconception that bleach can kill moss. Homeowners go into their local supermarket and pick up a jug, pour it on their roofs and wonder why the moss hasn’t died. This information is faulty because, originally, store bought bleach only contained 6% of its weight as Sodium Hypochlorite [A.K.A Bleach].

6% bleachMIXTURES AREN’T ALWAYS SO CLEAR

There are many faulty ehow recipes on how to mix the bleach. By the time you’re done with even a conservative, 1 part bleach to 3 parts water your mixture isn’t strong enough to kill the moss you were after. Mixing household bleach which originally held 94% of its volume as water with even more water makes for a product that is not potent.

Bleach is about $6 a gallon at this time of writing. It takes about 40 gallons of liquid to properly cover an average homes roof.The roof cleaning costs quickly add up.

Let’s take a look at how easy this can be to screw up, and how difficult it can be for an average consumer to properly and correctly clean his roof:

Original Amount of 6% Bleach

Amount of Water

Strength after Dilution

Gallons of mix required for average 1200 Square foot home

Gallons Total:

1 gallon

33%

4%

40

Bleach: 30 g

   H2O: 10g

You now need a surfactant (something to stop the mix from rapidly flowing into your gutters), Dawn* soap or any surfactant able to mix without causing a reaction to bleach, work well. This is a surfactant that works well with bleach and doesn’t take away from its shelf life.

The mix above is a standard mix roof cleaners use to kill moss. Many times depending on the bleaches shelf life, the mixtures need to be adjusted. Bleach is a very volatile solution that loses its strength quickly and doesn’t handle well with a whole host of surfactants. Mixing the wrong surfactant can be wasteful and leave you with a mixture that doesn’t do what it was supposed to which is to:

  • Kill Moss.
  • Remove Stains.
  • Not Damage the roof it is applied to.

We’ve covered everything except how to get 40 gallons of liquid onto your roof ……. [Continued shortly in: pumps for roof cleaning]

Cost to Clean a Cedar Roof in Seattle

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Cedar Roof Cleaning Cost in Seattle

The cost for a cedar roof cleaning in Seattle for a :  3000 square foot , 2 story, medium roof pitch home, averages between 800-1300 dollars. There are many expenses to cleaning a cedar roof:

  •  Labor
  • Gas for Power washer: 75-85 dollars worth for a 3000 square foot home.
  • Insurance costs
  • Chemicals [oxygen bleach and a revitalizer]

The cost for a cedar roof cleaning quickly adds up for the company performing the task. Cedar roof cleanings require meticulous attention to detail. Every square inch is cleaned for the product to turn out right. The job is very labor intensive and requires a set of skilled eyes and hands.

Cedar roofs are like ice when there is moisture and moss growing on them. A good tool to have is a pair of Korkers©. These shoes with spikes are essential to a cedar roof cleaner in Seattle. The spikes allow the wearer to grab a footing while cleaning the shakes. They do not replace other safety measures such as:

  • Lanyard
  •  Chicken ladders
  • Harness
  •  Rope

There is a lot to pressure washing a cedar roof and the right equipment and experience are necessary when deciding to tackle on the task. Many roof cleaners in Seattle won’t even touch a cedar roof as the liability for something going wrong is too high. Slips-Falls and improper use of a power washer can have serious consequences for the roof cleaner and the roofing substrate.

If you are considering hiring someone to clean your cedar roof always make sure the company’s licensed, bonded and insured. Make sure to ask for references. Cedar roof cleaning is a task that requires many years to master and some of the best roof cleaners won’t try their hands at it.

We provide cedar roof cleaning and oiling to the following cities:

Alderwood- Ames Lake- Arlington -Auburn- Ballard- Bellevue-Belltown-Bothell-Bridle Trails-Brier-Burien-Covington Crossroads -Des Moines-Edgewood-Edmonds-Everett-Evergreen-Fall City-Federal Way-Ferndale-Granite Falls-Hunts Point-Issaquah-Issaquah Highlands-Juanita-Kenmore-Kent-Kingsgate-Kirkland-La Conner-Lake City-Lake Forest Park-Lake Goodwin-Lake Stevens-Lynnwood Madison Park-Magnolia-Maltby-Maple Valley-Marysville-Medina-Mercer Island-Mill Creek-Monroe-Mountlake Terrace-Mukilteo Newcastle-North Bend-Overlake-Parkland-Puyallup-Rainier Valley-Redmond-Renton-Rose Hill-Sammamish-Sand Point-SeaTac Seattle-Sedro-Woolley-Shoreline-Smokey Point-Snohomish-Snoqualmie-Spanaway-Stanwood-Tacoma-Totem Lake-Tukwila -University Place-White Center-Woodinville-Yarrow Point

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning Seattle

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Chemical Roof Cleaning

Soft-washing involves the use of chemicals to clean roofs. This method is employed to lessen the amount of damage caused by power-washing. Power-washing on average removes 3-4 layers of granules per cleaning . A roof is known by its years of life:

  •  A 20 year roof has 20 layers of granules.
  •  A 50 year roof has 50 layers of granules.

The soft-wash method when used properly is far more beneficial to roofing substrate then power-washing. No granule loss happens when chemicals are sprayed on your  roofing. Additional benefits include:

  • The elimination of all moss spores that cause moss to grow in the first place.
  • A much longer lasting finished product; on average the process lasts 2-3 years

ARMA [Asphalt Roof Manufacturers Association] recommends soft-wash cleaning for proper roof maintenance. ARMA is the association that governs the making of asphalt shingle roofing. They are the leaders in the industry in the production and proper cleaning methods of roofing materials.

The difference in the finished look of the product : power-washing versus chemical cleaning is nearly indistinguishable, when the proper chemicals are used. A soft wash roof cleaning company generally use a few standard chemical products:

  • TSP [trisodium phosphate]. Known for its ability to remove algae and rust stains
  • Sodium Hydrochloride 10% or higher: known for its ability to kill moss and clean shingle.
  • Borax Lo: A soap like product known to aggressively kill weeds, spores and moss residual.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol: used when aggressive moss has been growing for long periods of time.
  • Surfactant:  used to slow the mixtures path down to the gutter line.

When mixed properly these chemicals generate a long lasting safe products to roofing material. These chemicals are not readily available to the average consumer and the mixtures of this chemical call for exact amounts for a strong enough product. The procedure of soft wash roof cleaning in Seattle is best left to a professional roof cleaning company.

 

Cedar Roof Cleaning Seattle

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Cedar Roof Cleaning Seattle

Why cedar shakes turn grey

When wood is exposed to the effects of sunlight and moisture, its surface begins to change. This change is commonly called weathering. The initial change from reddish brown to silvery gray is the result of the ultraviolet rays from sun exposure.This usually happens within the first year of installation. Eventually the roof will take on a darker gray color. This indicates that your roof is being colonized by micro fungi. PWNG specializes in cedar shingle roof cleaning in Seattle

Should I oil my roof?

Originally your cedar shingle had only 3% of its weight as oil.[1] The effects of oiling a roof are temporary. UV rays break down the oils applied to cedar shakes in most instances within 3 years. Maintaining the oil on your roof should be a tri-yearly occurrence. The oils allow natural contraction and expansion that the cedar shake experiences, due to changes in weather such as:

  • Rain
  • Snow
  • UV exposure

These stresses to the wood cause micro-cracks. As an example, a butchers block , needs to be dried and should never be put away wet. When it is left out wet and the heat in the home is turned up or it is near a stove, it warps and cups like in the picture below. The warping is caused by:

  • Expansion
  • Contraction
  • Lack of Oil

Every butchers block made of wood, instructs the buyer on oiling with mineral oil.  The exact procedure should be applied to cedar shakes.

How to keep the appearance up

You can periodically clean your cedar roof in Seattle with a power washer. The top grey layer of exposed cedar is removed and you’re left with a fresh new layer. This should only be done for maintenance. On average ¼-3/16 inch of cedar is removed per cleaning. When deciding to apply stains and oils, keep in mind that, the sun will break down any coating or stain applied, eventually. In summary, cedars appearance if left outside in any sunlight: is grey. This is its natural color and there is no product on the market today, which can withstand 365 days of rain and sun a year.

Why you should very rarely power wash your roof

Losing 1/5 of your roofs life in one cleaning, should only be done in extreme circumstances .When excessive moss and fungi have been left untreated on your roofing, it is time to power wash. You should go in knowing that you are power washing to remove debris and moss that’s accumulated. Yes your roof will look great. This is only temporary though. There is no way short of trapping your entire roof off; to prevent the weathering caused by UV exposure. We are there to remove debris and moss and apply a moss control agent. This should be done at most once every 5-7 years.

Moss Control

Our process for cedar roof cleaning in Seattle is to use a safe organic compound known as Potassium Salts of Fatty Acids.[2]Mixed with some simple household detergent to make it stick, this chemical blend naturally kills all moss spores.

Periodic Maintenance

PWNG can’t stress enough that cedar shake roof restoration in Seattle is a maintenance issue .Applying our chemical blend once a year is fairly inexpensive, under $400 in most instances. The local average of replacing a shake roof is. between $350-550 a square [10×10 feet] .Budgeting this as a yearly maintenance cost is a lot less expensive then replacing your entire roof


[1] Oregon State University Extension Service (Publication EC1271)

[2] http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/psfagen.pdf

Roof Moss Removal Seattle

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Removing Moss from Roofs

The moss on your roof has been introduced to your substrate by airborne spores that periodically pollinate their surroundings. In high winds these spores travel. Regardless of where it came from we are going to be discussing how it spreads, what damages it causes to roofing materials and the proper way to remove it.

How Moss Grows

Moss spreads thru its spores, it has no vascular system. It is of the plant family Bryophytes. Bryophytes absorb water through their leaves. It receives nutrients by absorbing it through photosynthesis. Since it has no vascular system it must find a damp place to live. Roofing makes a very great abode, as it is one of the dampest places on a home. Seattle has an average of 150-days of rain a year, making Seattle one of the rainiest places in America. The combination of location and environment make roof moss in Seattle, a normal occurrence.

Damage to Roofing

Moss grows in mats 1-3 inches tall. These mats act as a dam and do not allow water to flow freely down your roofing into your gutters. Water begins to pool at portions of your roof affected with moss growth. The shingles underneath aren’t allowed to naturally repel water or breathe.  In a very short amount of time, when left untreated, moss will completely destroy a roof.

Methods of Removal

There are several methods of removal that are practiced by roof cleaning contractors in Seattle:

  • Power washing
  • Manual Scrubbing with a  stiff bristle brush
  • Chemical Treatment

Chemicals to Kill Moss

No method is complete without the use of a biocide after the cleaning has been done. The preferred chemicals to kill moss are:

  • Zinc Powder
  • Copper Powder
  • Sodium Hypochlorite

Roof cleaning contractors in Seattle know that cleaning a roof, without administering of moss inhibiting chemicals is likely to cause moss to return very rapidly. When applying chemicals the manufacturer’s directions for proper application should be observed. Improper application or insufficient use of chemicals when mixing will cause damage to the roofing material or dilution to potency not suitable for killing moss.

Conclusion

Moss is a very destructive force to roofing materials. Proper application of moss killing chemicals can only be administered by an experienced roof cleaner in Seattle. There are several methods of roof cleaning but all must end with the application of moss killing chemicals.

We provide roof moss removal services to the following cities in Washington State:

Alderwood- Ames Lake- Arlington -Auburn- Ballard- Bellevue-Belltown-Bothell-Bridle Trails-Brier-Burien-Covington Crossroads -Des Moines-Edgewood-Edmonds-Everett-Evergreen-Fall City-Federal Way-Ferndale-Granite Falls-Hunts Point-Issaquah-Issaquah Highlands-Juanita-Kenmore-Kent-Kingsgate-Kirkland-La Conner-Lake City-Lake Forest Park-Lake Goodwin-Lake Stevens-Lynnwood Madison Park-Magnolia-Maltby-Maple Valley-Marysville-Medina-Mercer Island-Mill Creek-Monroe-Mountlake Terrace-Mukilteo Newcastle-North Bend-Overlake-Parkland-Puyallup-Rainier Valley-Redmond-Renton-Rose Hill-Sammamish-Sand Point-SeaTac Seattle-Sedro-Woolley-Shoreline-Smokey Point-Snohomish-Snoqualmie-Spanaway-Stanwood-Tacoma-Totem Lake-Tukwila -University Place-White Center-Woodinville-Yarrow Point