Do I Need a New Roof if I Have Discolored Shingles?

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Do I Need A New Roof If I Have Discolored Shingles

Your Best Local Roofing Company Offers Insight

Your roof is quite literally your shelter from the storm. But unfortunately, all things do not necessarily improve with age and time, like a fine wine. Some things lose their luster and appeal as the years go by. That’s why you may eventually notice discoloration or black streaks on your shingles.

At Executive Roof Services, it’s a problem that we see often. We have four decades of experience helping homeowners restore, repair, and replace their roofs. We know when a roof can be fixed and when it’s time for an upgrade. Here are the most common reasons your roof shingles have become discolored and what you can do about it.

Algae

In some instances, discolored shingles are a superficial issue that will not require replacement of a roof. One of the most common causes of roof shingle discoloration is the presence of algae on the roof. If you notice black streaks on your roof, algae is most likely the culprit.

Why does algae form? Well, many shingles contain a powdered limestone filler that acts as a food source for algae, causing it to survive relatively easily on the top of your roof. The good news is that algae likely won’t cause much damage to your shingles and there are solutions to both treat and prevent the problem.

If you want your roof looking like new again, we recommend you contact us for professional roof cleaning services. While you can certainly clean your roof yourself, we don’t recommend it. Climbing on top of a roof can be dangerous and you also run the risk of potentially causing damage to your roof by walking across it.

Furthermore, if a roof is improperly cleaned, some manufacturers will void the warranty. The risk of doing damage to your roof isn’t really worth the payoff of saving a few extra dollars. Therefore, it’s a job that’s best left to the professionals.

Our maintenance and roof cleaning services will not only improve the appearance of your roof but will also extend its lifespan. In addition to restoring your roof’s aesthetic appeal, we can also recommend preventative measures to deal with your algae problem.

You may have noticed, for instance, that there aren’t any black streaks or discolored shingles near the metal part of your chimney. That’s because copper and zinc are toxic to algae. We can help you prevent those black streaks from forming altogether by installing copper strips on the top of your roof. When it rains, the copper will wash down the roof, which will keep the algae from growing.

Rust

While the metal on chimneys can be a great way to prevent algae from forming on your roof, it can also cause problems of its own. If you notice red stains on your roof shingles, it’s more than likely rust. As with algae, rust should be chemically treated and removed by a skilled roofing contractor.

Moss

If part of your roof is shaded, then you may notice green streaks start to develop. Moss forms in areas that are moist and do not get a lot of direct sunlight. A tree that hangs over your roof may shed leaves and other debris that begin to accumulate, providing moss the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Moss has the potential to cause extensive damage to your roof and should be treated immediately. Moss can lead to raised shingles, which allows water to seep underneath. As a result, your roof may begin to leak. Shingles that are raised or cracked are also more likely to be blown off in high winds, causing even more problems.

As with algae, installing copper strips on your roof is one way to prevent moss from growing. Trimming back trees is also a good preventative measure. In addition to tree maintenance, you should also have your roof professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Keeping the roof free of debris is one way to ensure moss does not have an environment where it can flourish.

Age

Old Roof ReplacementAnother cause of discolored shingles could be simple wear and tear. As shingles become older, their granules wear off. This will cause shingles to appear lighter in color. In this case, discoloration may be a sign that it’s time to replace your roof.

The lifespan of your roof often depends on the type of material used. For example, you can expect asphalt shingle roofs to last about 20 years, while fiber cement shingles will last about 25 years. Of course, certain factors such as weather and climate can affect the lifespan of a roof as well. A professional will be able to assess the condition and integrity of your roof and provide an expert opinion as to whether a new roof will be needed.

We realize this is a lot of information. But often times, the color of the stains on your roof will tell you what type of issue you have. If you’re still uncertain of the cause of your discolored shingles or have questions about the best way to treat the problem, give us a call.

While there are certainly do-it-yourself solutions to virtually every problem, it’s best to hire professionals for a high-risk job like climbing on top of your roof. After all, if the integrity of the roof has been compromised in some way, you don’t want to do further damage by trampling all over.

The best way to prevent damage to your roof in the first place is by having regular inspections done. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that these inspections be performed twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall. So contact us for your roof maintenance needs. We offer professional services at reasonable prices — ones that won’t make you go through the roof.

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