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Roof Report What is That Black Stuff on My Roof





What is that black stuff on my roof? Is this a question you commonly ask yourself or find yourself asking others? Tim McLoughlin, president of KTM Roofing, a leading Atlanta roofing company, can provide you the answer. As founder of KTM Roofing in 1984, Tim McLoughlin has been roofing Atlanta for more than 25 years and is a roofing expert—from roof cleaning to roof maintenance. In this article, Tim will share his knowledge about a common problem that affects many roofs in the metro Atlanta area – the black stuff on your roof.

Whether your roof is young or old, when you see black stuff on it, chances are you are looking at Gloeocapsa Magma, an algae that feeds on the crushed limestone used in the asphalt shingles of your roof. Gloeocapsa Magma is carried onto your roof by the wind where it then starts to grow and take hold. Rain spreads the algae down the roof causing the all too familiar black streaks. Like any plant, the rainwater aids in the algae’s growth.

Aside from the obvious effect black streaking can have on the beauty of a roof, algae can prevent your roof from performing one of its most important jobs—reflecting the radiant heat from the sun off the roof. When the roof is covered by algae, the heat is not reflected off the roof and is trapped into the attic. Given the heat of Atlanta summers, this can have a huge effect on cooling costs.

Why Should You Have Your Roof Cleaned?

If handled early on, professional roof cleaning can be the solution to the black stuff on your roof. However, if left too long, algae will cause your roof to rapidly deteriorate and fail long before it should.

The November 2009 issue of Roofing Contractor magazine included an insightful article about maintaining a roof in a proactive versus reactive way. The piece, Why Roof Maintenance Pays discusses how a reactive roof owner, an owner who waits to deal with their roof after problems have manifested their way into the house, can spend nearly double on their roof and shorten their roof’s life by almost half.

“According to data gathered in a 15-year alliance between Firestone Building Products and ProLogis, with a proactive maintenance schedule in place, the average life-cycle cost is 14 cents per square foot. The average reactive maintenance life-cycle costs are 25 cents per square foot. A roofing system with proactive maintenance can have an average roof life of 21 years compared to 13 years with a reactive maintenance program, depending on the roofing system and building type."

Cleaning Cannot Fix a Broken Roof: How to Determine if You Need a New Roof

In many cases, the black stuff may be more than algae. If your roof is more than 10 years old, a certified, professional Atlanta roofer, should be called upon to inspect your roof.

Indications that it may be time to replace your roof include:
• Shingle granules in your rain gutters
• Thin shingles
• Shingles falling off the roof
• Deteriorating or crumbling shingles
• Wavy or warping shingles
• Shingles curling up in the corners

An Atlanta roofing contractor, KTM Roofing has been raising roofing standards in Georgia since 1984. Incorporated in 1995, the Atlanta roofing company is dedicated to excellence in professional roofing. Specializing in roof replacements, KTM Roofing can work with a variety of roof materials including natural slate, synthetic slate, clay tile, concrete tile, cedar, pine, cypress, modified bitumen and asphalt. To receive a roof proposal from KTM Roofing, please visit www.ktmroofing.com or call 678-565-ROOF (7663).
About Author Tim McLoughlin :

Tim McLoughlin is founder and president of KTM Roofing, a leading Atlanta roofing company. Founded in Atlanta in 1984 by Kelly and Tim McLoughlin, KTM Roofing has been providing roofing services to the metro Atlanta area for more than 25 years and is one of Atlanta’s premier and most respected roofing.


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Article Added on Friday, August 19, 2011
LD
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