In hot and humid climate conditions – especially in some of the sub-tropical areas in our region – algae, lichen, moss, or mold may begin to grow on your roof. While these forms of plant life don’t necessarily indicate that a new roof is required, commercial property owners should understand the need to clean the roof. These tiny plants can cause degradation over time and premature roof damage.
If you are inspecting your roof and see any of these indications of plant growth, it may be time to call for roof maintenance.
Algae: If streaks of black are appearing on your commercial roof, it’s most likely algae. Algae won’t cause any damage to the integrity of the roof but may accelerate the erosion of roof material – and if it can be seen from the ground, it does ruin the aesthetics. Algae should be cleaned off the roof as soon as it is noticed to prevent its evolution into lichen, which is much more challenging to deal with.
Lichen: Lichen appears in small, flat light green or blue-green patches. Lichen begins as algae that will adhere tightly and firmly to shingles. Not only can lichen ruin the top layer of your roofing materials, but it remains damp at all times – which also damages the roofing materials underneath.
Moss: Moss propagates in damp, shady areas and grows thick due to a well-established root system that attaches to the roofing material. As the moss grows, so do the roots. This thick moss layer also builds up with dirt and dust and can cause the roof to retain moisture. The roots from the moss can also push under roofing materials and dislodge them, causing breaches and damage. Moss should be removed when it first appears.
Mold May Cause Even More Damage
If your commercial property has experienced roof leaks that were undetected for a long period of time, you should check the roofing system for any mold growth. However, mold is slow-growing – so if you have a newly discovered leak, there may not be much cause for concern. Fans and dehumidifiers will typically dry out the area within 48 hours. Any insulation that may have been exposed to moisture will need replacement, however.
Most areas of the roofing systems that have gotten wet as a result of a roof leak will dry without any extra measures needed. Still, a professional roofer will be happy to inspect the roof and make sure that there is no mold that requires remediation. Mold can cause illness to sensitive people, especially if spores are spread through the building via air conditioning vents.
Proper Installation, Coating, and Maintenance are Critical to Protect Your Roof
The most expedient way to prevent premature roof replacement is to have the roof professionally installed by a qualified contractor – and to have a robust maintenance plan from the beginning.
This is especially important if you are responsible for a commercial roof that protects a building full of people – whether it be an office complex or a condominium.
If you are a property owner or manager, the roof may not always be top of mind – but understanding the importance of repairs, maintenance, and coating options can help you to successfully protect the building from heat, weather, and debris.
Unicoat Industrial Roofing is a professional roofing contractor specializing in extending the life of your commercial roof with advanced and innovative roof coatings. Property owners may be surprised to learn just how easy it is to proactively increase their roof’s lifespan while protecting all the people, equipment, and investment that resides below. Call today for an initial inspection and to learn more about your reroofing options.