Keeping the Rain Where It Belongs: An Homage to Roofs

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What to Do When You Suspect Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Has Mold

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You may worry when you see black streaks on your asphalt shingle roofing. The first thing that may come to mind is toxic mold. It's not good for mold to grow on your roof, so call a roofer to get an idea of your options. Here are some suggestions for dealing with a moldy asphalt shingle roof.

Determine If the Growth Is Mold or Algae

You may need a roofer to identify what's growing on your roof. Algae is common on asphalt shingle roofs, and it can be green or black. Algae looks ugly, but it may not be a danger to your roof or your health.

Another thing you want to rule out is moss. Moss is more serious than algae because moss holds moisture against the roof and its roots can cause shingle damage. You might want algae removed to improve the appearance of your home, but you'll want moss removed to prevent destruction to your roof.

Mold has a distinct appearance and odor that your roofer can identify. Mold often grows when water damage is present, so if a roofer finds mold, your roof might need repairs.

Check Your Attic and Home for Damage

When you find out your shingles have mold growing under them, check your attic to see if the mold has spread indoors. There could be mold in the attic, on your insulation, or growing behind walls in your living space. Then, check for water damage. Keep in mind water damage from a roof leak might be hidden behind a wall, so you might need professional help to determine how the roof leak has affected your house.

Have Mold Removed

When the roofer finds mold, they'll probably check the shingles to see if they can be saved. They may also check the deck under the shingles. If the deck has been wet for a long time, it may be rotted. The easiest way to remove the mold is probably to remove the roofing materials that are covered in it. Once all the shingles and deck are gone in the damaged area, new materials can be put back in their place.

Mold will probably be confined to an area around the roof leak since mold needs dampness to thrive. However, if the water damage is widespread, you may need to talk to your roofer about whether it's best to put on a whole new roof or just make repairs to one side.

Removing the mold is important so your family isn't exposed to the irritating spores, but it's also important to repair a water-damaged roof so the roof doesn't collapse or allow the damage to spread.