Why is it Staining?
Up until the late 1980s the
roofs never stained the way they do now. They would get slightly dirty looking but nothing like today.
Well, we have the EPA to thank for it. In about 1987 - 1988, there was a big stink about putting old shingles in landfills.
The industry had to come up with a way to appease the EPA. They did it by reducing the amount of asphalt in the shingle and
this reduced the toxicity of the shingle and Mother Nature did the rest. This was the same time that the EPA attacked the
paint industry and why a paint job now lasts 4 years, where as 30 years ago it was good for 12 - 16 years.
Why is it on only 1 side of my house?
If you are
sportsman, or spend much time in the woods, you will be aware that to find your way look for the moss on the North side of the trees.
The same applies to your roof. If you take a Gable Roof ( 2 sides ) and position it in an open field, turn it such that it faces East &
West and the roof is anything but a white or light gray it will rarely stain. If you take the same house and turn it such that it faces
North & South, it will stain on the North side only. In today's market, where 90% of the homes are Hip Roofs( 4 sides ), the staining will
occur on the North or North East faces. White & light gray roof have a tendency to stain all over. I have not come up with the answer
for this. I just know that after being on 1000’s of roofs this is the way it is.
What are the Stains?
The black stains are Air Born Mildew. It is in the air, there is nothing you or I can do about it. It is the black
specks on your paint, on your patio furniture, on your concrete. Your roof is constantly receiving the spores landing
on it and there is nothing to wash them off, rain doesn’t work, it feeds it. If you install a new roof, at about 5 years
you will notice black spots beginning, normally down about 4 ft. from the ridge. They will be about the size of a
In the 6th year, these spots will grow to about the size of a Quarter
. In the 7th year they will start to get a
running down the roof. The 8th year is when it Fills
in and we start getting calls as to what is it.
The mildew is a growing organism, it does not really hurt the roof until it gets real black, at this time the
mildew becomes heavy enough that in begins to encapsulate the aggrate on the roof and cause them to release.
The AGGREGATE on the roof is the life of the roof,
it has two purposes. #1 To color the roof to what ever you desire. #2 The AGGREGATE reflects the sun ultraviolet
light. If you remove the aggregate the shingles will be burnt by the ultraviolet light and the roof will
Trees do not cause the black stains but will speed it up. Pines primary headache is the pine straw build up.
If you have a large amount of pine close to the house they can cause the roof to turn a yellow or green, this is
primarily from the pollen build up. Pine straw will cause more problems than the pollen because it will form
dams in the valleys and along the eves. The dams cause the water to back up under the shingles and can lead to roof
damage. Oaks are another story. Everything which grows on the trunk of an oak will grow on the roof. This is all
of the lichens and mosses which grow through out the tree and their spores are constantly raining down upon the roof.
The moss and lichens, I call it heavy growth. It has a root system and will actually grow down into the roof and
is far more damaging than the mildew.
Homes which are out in the open will have less problems, where as a home down in heavy woods with water
nearby are going to see a much higher growth rate everywhere on the home.
What can be done about it?
Call New Technology Cleaning at (770)922-2884 and get your roof cleaned the right way!
The staining problem did not really start to show up until around 1993. I became involved in 94’ when a good
customer had a home which they wanted to sell and the front side of the roof was stained. They always said
I did the impossible and did I have any ideas. The roof contractors said there was nothing that could be done
but with better than 30 years experience in designing and building things I started playing with some ideas.
I knew the shingle was an asphalt based product and I did not want to use anything which would dry the asphalt
out killing the shingle. It was not hard to figure that pressure would not work. But HEAT
will not hurt them,
as on a summer day they will easily be 150 degrees plus. Which told me that LOW PRESSURE, MILD DETERGENT & HOT
would be the answer. I played with a few more ideas, did a couple of roofs. They turned out perfect and
I knew I was onto something. Years ago the typical roof was a 4x12 or 6x12 pitch but the present trend was
12x12 pitch. Roofers use toe boards and roof jacks and they are sitting down. I couldn’t use either, but
I did have I background in rock climbing and rappelling so the use ropes was the answer, add a couple special
climbing devices and it made it to where I could work hands free with no possibility of falling.
DANGER !!!! DANGER !!! BLEACH !!!! DANGER !!!! DANGER !!!
If you have ever gotten bleach on your hands, you will notice that it may feel warm, your finger will feel
very slick, and even if you rinse them immediately, a half hour later your finger prints will stand out and
the cuticle will be dry and sore. This is due to the bleach burning the oil out of your skin.
Bleach on a roof is death!!!!! Just pause a moment and think about it. The oil in the asphalt is
critical to the shingle holding the aggregate. Lose the aggregate, replace the roof. I have had to tell
100’s of home owners that they need to replace their roof because it was bleached 2 or so years previously.
And, to tell a homeowner to take a pump-up sprayer up onto a roof, if the pitch is over a 6x12, is totally irresponsible.
Plus it doesn’t work.