If  you live in St. Augustine, you’re no  stranger to algae, lichen, and moss. The heat and humidity in Florida lead to ideal conditions for these green and furry invaders. If you’ve spent much time in Florida, then you’ve no doubt come across plenty of algae, lichen, and moss. But coming across it is one thing — understanding what it is and what you should do about it is another.

In today’s blog, J. Adams Roofing will take a close look at these too-familiar invaders. We will look at what they are, what kind of an effect they can have on our homes, and what we can, and should, do about them. We are the residential roofing company you can trust, and we want to share our roofing knowledge with you. So, let’s start taking a look at some algae, lichen, and moss.

What Is Algae?

Most people have heard of algae before, but not many folks can confidently tell you the difference between algae or any other kind of greenish growth, be it mold or moss. All of these things are different, however. You might recognize algae as strange, dark stains appearing on your roof. The most common algae to have growing on your roof is a type of blue-green algae known as gloeocapsa magma

This type of algae is definitely common. The good news is that this type of algae does not pose much of a threat to the actual integrity of your roofing. The bad news is that it can still be quite the eyesore, which can have a negative effect on the value of your home. So, while it won’t directly damage your home, it can certainly damage your pocketbook.

Algae thrives in humid areas, which is why it’s no surprise that it’s so common in St. Augustine. Algae is a type of nonflowering, aquatic plant that sends its spores through the air. This tendency to be airborne is what makes algae so common on rooftops. You can help prevent the growth of algae by ensuring that your roof is getting a lot of exposure to sunlight. More sunlight means less moisture. 

You can also prevent the growth of algae by installing certain types of shingles on your roof. There are, for instance, anti-algae shingles that have certain kinds of metals embedded in them. You can then contact your trusted residential roofing company in St. Augustine to assist in ridding your roof of algae. It’s best not to try to solve the problem on your own — especially if you decide to powerwash the algae — as this can cause unexpected damage to your roof and siding.

What About Lichen & Moss?

Algae is nonflowering, aquatic plant. So, what are lichen and moss? These are commonly lumped together because they have similar effects on your roofing. Nevertheless, lichen and moss are different types of plants.

Lichen, for instance, is actually a composite plant, which means often has algae within it. When algae and other organisms like cyanobacteria and fungi spores combine, you get lichen. Moss, on the other hand, is a broad category of flowerless plants that grows in clumps. Furry patches on the sides of trees and rocks are typically a type of moss. Perhaps you’ve seen these furry clumps on your roof!

So, what do you do with lichen and moss when it’s growing on your roof or siding? Well, first off, don’t panic! After not panicking, though, you will want to take steps to remedy the issue, since, unlike algae, lichen and moss will both lead to damage of your shingles. 

Taking Care Of Moss

Moss can be tricky. It’s typically less of a problem than lichen, but it can still offer up its own share of issues. Unsurprisingly, patches of moss can hold a good deal of moisture, which is exactly why they will eventually lead to erosion and damage to your shingles. On top of that, their tendency to clump up means that they can clog your gutters when dislodged. And we all know how damaging clogged gutters can be for your home!

One trick for getting rid of moss is to use a tool like a flexible leaf rake to gently dislodge and remove the moss clumps (just be sure they don’t get stuck in your gutters!). You can always contact your local residential roofing company as well.

Taking Care Of Lichen

Lichen can be a bit fussier than moss. The biggest reason for this is due to the fact that lichen can be extremely resilient. Not only does lichen, like moss, hold a good deal of moisture that will lead to roofing erosion, but it also has a tendency to grow into a wide range of areas. This very much includes underneath your shingles. Growth underneath the shingles can cause them to shift, crack, break, and dislodge. It also makes it trickier to get rid of.

Both lichen and moss can be effectively taken care of through the use of certain chemical solutions. This might be the best route to take — though there are certain risks to keep in mind. Not only is it harsh on the environment, but it can cause damage to your skin and eyes. Anytime you work with chemicals, be sure to follow all directions and wear appropriate protective gear.

Preventing Algae, Lichen, & Moss

It can be difficult to prevent the growth of these green invaders in the hot and humid environment of St. Augustine. Nonetheless, the best defense is a good offense. You can take steps to get ahead of these problems. Installing metal flashings or ridges can go a long way in preventing their growth. Talk to your trusted residential roofing company in St. Augustine to see what you can do to prevent the growth of algae, lichen, and moss, as well as to install the best roof for you.

J. Adams Roofing strives for excellence at every turn. Reach out to us today for the high-quality residential roofing company you deserve.