Archive for the ‘cedar roof’ Category

We like to say, “Buyer Beware,” but a lot of consumers just pick what is cheapest. This can royally screw the pooch, so to speak. Check the manufacturer bulletins before proceeding with any home improvement. When it comes to cleaning your house, deck or roof; not every surface can be cleaned the same way. Make sure you hire the most knowledgeable company. In this article, I examine two technical bulletins: Ashpalt Roofing Manufacturer Bulletin (ARMA) Trex Deck Cleaning Guide and the Dryvit Technical Bulletin.

Ashpalt Roofing Manufacturer Bulletin

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is a trade organization made up of roofers in North America. They spearhead the research and development within the asphalt roofing industry and as such, has created a cleaning bulletin for informational purposes. ARMA works with shingle manufacturers, lobbyists, the EPA local government to help the asphalt shingle industry grow and thrive.Formed in 1915, ARMA has been involved in the fire resistant shingle trend in the 1970s and the recyclable shingle movement of the 1990s.Today, asphalt shingles make up about 80% of American roofs.

One of ARMA’s publications it the “Algae Discoloration of Roofs,” where the explain what is growing on the shingles and recommend treatment procedures. Gloeocapsa Magma grows on many surfaces, asphalt shingles being an important one, causing dark discoloration and unsightly streaking. Some advancement in algae resistant shingles has been made, but just like gutter guards, each house is its own micro-environment. That means that the pitch, location and age of the roofing material all contribute to how bad the infestation will get. Algae resistant shingles are more expensive than regular shingles and come with a thick warranty detailing ways the manufacturer will not reimburse you if the Gloeocaps magma grows on the roof. ARMA recommends a cleaning method they call temporary and suggest buying algae resistant shingles.

Now, I would compare the cost difference between shingle types and get a quote from a reputable roof cleaner to see which path is right for the house. We live in nature and as such, cannot completely keep life from forming on dwellings. Between the wind and the rain, a shingle roof will only last about 25 years. ARMA is in the business of helping roof shingle manufacturers, not in keeping those shingles free and clear of algae. There must be a community or organization of roof cleaners that has cropped up to tackle this problem!

Dryvit Bulletin: Cleaning and Maintenance

A step down from the roof, after the gutters, are the house walls. Whether it is vinyl, wood, metal, brick, stucco or composite, the long term appearance is due to care and maintenance. Dryvit is a relatively new coating with an acrylic finish that does not require pressure washing. In fact, Dryvit specifically recommends that no pressure is used to clean the surface as high pressurized water can strip away the protective coating. Dryvit helps to insulate a building, which is good for the environment and your pocket.

Trex Deck

One of the most popular decking alternative, Trex Deck is a composite material that holds up better than wood. Like any porous material, it will trap moisture, dirt and grime. Unlike other manufacturers, Trex supplies a detailed cleaning guide based on the type of stain/dirt. They specifically do not recommend the use of a pressure washer or sandblasting as this will put lines in the material.

For More Information

Visit these links for more information about the manufacturers profiled in this article.
Roof Cleaning Technical Bulletins
List of Technical Bulletins from various manufacturers under research page.
Drvit Bulletin: Care and Maintenance
Direct link to the Drvit Technical Bulletin
Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer Association
ARMAs Website
Trex Deck
Trex Decking Website
Morgan Clickner

Office: 410-482-4367

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Commonly asked questions for cedar roofs include does my cedar roof need replaced if it is growing moss or lichen?  The answer is not usually.  If a cedar roof is curling or falling off than this is the time to repair or replace it.  One of the benefits of a wood roof are that individual shingles can be replaced.  They do not always match the existing shingle but over the period of one to two years the shingle colors will usually start to match due to oxidation from sunlight.  In most cases wood roofs that have started to turn black, grey or are visibly growing moss or lichen can be treated with a cleaning process that kills the growth on the roof and the roof can be restored to near its original luster.

In the case of roofs turning black with the growth of gloeocapsa magma bacteria, the roof can generally be cleaned with a no pressure treatment process that does not require rinsing.  In the case of wood roofs growing moss or lichen the same treatment can be used and must contain a bleaching agent along with a fungicide and algaecide treatment. Some contractors will want to use a pressure washer or use a brush to remove the moss and lichen.  This can be done, but must be done at precise pressures by an accredited contractor.  In a case were a wood sealant is to be used after cleaning low pressure washing is recommended to remove any loose debris prior to sealant application.  In the cases were no sealant is wanted then Accuwash recommends that the infested panels or entire roof be treated with the above mentioned solutions and left for the rain to remove the dead treated substances on the roof.  Accuwash has found this to be the safest for the longevity of the roof.  For those seeking instant results moss and lichen can be removed or loosened with a pressure washer or brush.  Pressure washing to rinse a roof will generally add a very large amount to the cost of the service and poses a much larger threat to damaging the roof to treatment alone.  When left for the rain to remove the treated substances it will generally take two to three months for the moss and lichen to be completely removed from the roof surface.  This gentle, natural roof cleaning provides the safest method for removing the debris from the roof.  In most situations were a roof is growing moss or lichen the roof itself can still be salvaged as long as the shingles have not begun to split and deteriorate, usually recognizable by shingles falling off the roof from cracking, splitting and warping.



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