Archive for the ‘roof cleaning maryland’ Category

In an effort to address everyone’s need to get more for less, we have implemented a group booking program.  Say you want to have your roof cleaned or some pressure washing done to prepare for a party. Cost is always and issue, so why not schedule your cleaning appointment with a few other neighbors? We are able to offer a discount as our overhead is less when the drive time between jobs is less than 5 minutes! Also, this type of schedule is better for the environment as well –  lower carbon emissions for these days. Today, we are cleaning three roofs on the same road in nearby Centreville, MD. This type of discount also applies for all our service areas: Anne Arundel, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne, Talbot Counties and surrounding towns. Call today for more information: 410-482-4367.

Morgan C. Booz

AccuWash, LLC



Roof Cleaning Maryland

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This roof in Waldorf, MD had a bad infection of gloeocapsa magma and lichen spotting on the front half of the roof. The back half was pretty clear of any visible black streaking, but we treated the entire roof since this organism spreads aerially. With the strong rain storm we are having today in Maryland, this roof and all the others we did last week will be rinsed clean – looking fresh, clean and new!

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Dirty Roof – What is that Stuff?

Gloeocapsa magama is growing on your roof – just because you can’t see it yet, doesn’t mean it isn’t there! Asphalt, tile or metal roofs are not immune to this invasive pest that appears to be dark stains creeping up a roof. Gloeocapsa magma is a species of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are an ancient line of photosynthesizing bacteria, which photolyze water generating oxygen gas. Ancient cyanobacteria were ancestral to the chloroplasts of all plants on earth. We live in nature and nature keeps trying to take back over – look up sometime and you will see the visual evidence. This bacteria grows like an algae on your roof, it feeds off of moisture and some calcium from those asphalt shingles. Then, moss and lichen feed off the algae, creating a nice little forest bed on your roof. Well, it isn’t that nice, not really.


Gloeocapsa Magma

The above picture shows an asphalt roof with an infestation of gloeocapsa magma. Comparatively, the picture here shows the same shingle type before infestation. Notice the difference? Those little rocks or granules help keep your roof in tip-top shape. A roof without any granules doesn’t keep the rain out and a new roof can cost thousands of dollars. So, the obvious next step would be to pressure wash that pesky algae off your roof, right? Very Bad Idea, Folks. While a pressure washer his good for striping wood for restoration, the last thing you want is to apply that technique to your shingles. The goal, here, is to kill the infestation and to leave as many granules as possible on the roof.

The first step is to do your research: Read your roof warranty – you do not want to choose a method that will void that warranty. If you have a warranty that includes treatment for this, great! It can be difficult to obtain a check, but it won’t hurt to call and find out. The ones I’ve read from ARMA and GAF both say the same thing – no pressure roof treatment. At this point, many consumers may start to get bids. I would do some more research first, just so you get exactly what is best for your roof. Visit the Roof Cleaning Institute of America, they have written the first 50 point standard on roof cleaning. There is a public forum where anyone can read up on techniques and then look at the work of local contractors.

It’s not just about price shopping, it is about getting what you pay for. A low-baller may not even have liability insurance, let alone some sort of guarantee. These are general called Chlorine Cowboys, because they spray Sodium Hypochlorite on everything, even those surfaces that will be ruined (i.e. Plants). At the same time, you don’t want to be price gouged, but know that quality and safety cost a little bit more. Check a few references as any decent roof cleaner will have a stack of satisfied customers and get a certificate of insurance that will give you extra protection.

The widely accepted treatment contains:
1. Sodium Hypochlorite – gives that visual result of making those black streaks disappear
2. Algaecide – does the hard work of killing off the algae, moss and lichen
3. Hydrogen Dioxide – water is used to dilute the solution
4. Surfactant – helps the solution “stick” to the roof so it won’t just rinse off
5. Other Ingredients – each company will have its own proprietary recipe

The first item scares a few of you, I understand. Sodium Hypochlorite (SH) or commonly called, bleach, envisions “bleached” items. Believe it or not, but SH is used in water treatment and can be used safely. SH, not the household variety, breaks down rather quickly when exposed into a salt compound. An experienced roof cleaner will be able to explain all the safety methods needed to apply SH and how it will not discolor your roof.


Environmental Impact

Flora and Fauna

If this roof treatment kills organic matter, what will it do to my yard?

This is a valid concern and one that can only be prevented by qualified roof cleaners. No pressure roof cleaning means that the chemical solution is applied in a very controlled manner. That being said, a few precautions are necessary to protect your plants. If you have gutters, the downspouts should be covered with bags so the draining solution is collected. If a mist of the solution kills the algae on the roof, imagine what a pool of the solution will do to the environment? Additionally, soaking the surrounding ground with water will create a barrier between the plants and the spray. Sometimes, a tarp is necessary for more delicate plants.

Sodium hypochlorite is a gas and a liquid, which means that safe application is tantamount to the bottom line. When you get your roof cleaned, keep all animals and people inside and make sure all the doors and windows are securely shut. After a few hours, the SH will break down into a salt compound that will not be harmful. The aroma will be of a pool in high summer, but that too will dissipate. If there is a spill accident, a pool of this solution can kill a patch of plants. If flooded with water right away, the plant/s may survive even though it may look dead. A misting that does not get immediately rinsed will produce dead spots on leaves/petals. This will not kill the plant, only discolor it for a time. Typical shrubs, trees and ground cover are hardy enough that only a spill will harm them.

Why not take a few pictures of your lawn, plants and roof the day before your roof is treated? That way, you will have proof of the state of your plants right beforehand.


The Roof Cleaning Industry

As of this article publication date, the roof cleaning industry is largely un-regulated. There is one budding group, The Roof Cleaning Institute of America (RCIA), that has put together a 50 point standard and is working on a certification process. This group is made up of roof cleaners who recognize the necessity to legitimize their industry. Their goal is to create a nation wide network of highly skilled, professional roof cleaning companies that all consumers will recognize. Right now, this is completely volunteer organization with a Board of Directors. For more information from the source of the industry, click on the RCIA Picture.

Good Luck and Let the Pros do the Roof Cleaning!


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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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