Is it deadly?

No, but If, someone said that you had Gloeocapsa Magma would you know what they are talking about?  When driving around your neighborhood you may see it on many homes as it is a part of living in Southwest Florida.  Give up?  Gloecapsa Magma is the black stains that you see on Florida asphalt shingled roofs.  The lifespan of a residential property roof can generally range from two to five decades.  Failure to properly maintain that roof by removing the algae, mold, and mildew can drastically reduce the longevity of a roof.  Mold, mildew and algae growth roofs are one of the most common problems when homeowners fail to take action and simply allow the growth to continue.  The common thing between mold, algae, and mildew is that all are the products of damp settings.  All types of growth are dangerous to the structural integrity of a roof because that breed moisture, which degrade the quality of the roof.  On houses that are highly vulnerable to algae, mold, and mildew the problem can spread indoors and can bring the spores into your home.

To get rid of the black stains you should engage a professional roof cleaner.  Make sure to hire one that is fully insured, bonded, workman comp or a state exemption certificate.  Interestingly, the National Roofing Association takes no position on if roof cleaning is even necessary, but, just try having that discussion with your Home Owner Association of Condominium Association because to them it is primarily about aesthetics and it just looks bad.  It also a great opportunity for a trained professional to assess and inspect your roof for loose shingles and other signs of damage. I think that most of us would agree that street lined with clean roof presents more curb appeal to potential home buyers than a row of black streaked roofs.

What to ask for and not to ask for.

Many roof cleaning services use power cleaning devices which can damage the shingles on your roof.  More and more roofing cleaning services are now using an eco-friendly process with a cleaning solution of a biodegradable solution that is sprayed on the roof and then rinsed with clean water.  Some companies apply the cleaning solution relying on the next big rainstorm to wash away the dead algae even more value to the eco-friendly equation.   

How often and How Much?

Generally, it’s a good idea to get your older roof cleaned by a professional once a year.  If you have a recently constructed home or newer home you can do it once every 1-2 years.  This is often enough to where if problems develop, they can be caught early on.  Cleaning the roof on a regular basis keeps the roof looking nice and clean and it discourages algae and moss growth on your roof.  You should expect to pay somewhere around $300 to $450 for a home of about 3,000 square feet or less, plus the additional water bill cost of another $15 to $30 in the month of the cleaning.  You are not using that much more water but you will get charged with the additional sewer rate because that rate is tied to your water usage.

A Simple Check for Gloeocapsa Magma

Not sure if you have Gloeocapsa Magma (algae)?  Here is a simple way to check for early signs of algae growth.  Wait until your roof is dry of the morning dew.  Walk the perimeter of your building observing the roof from the ground.  If you detect a “shading” area and a “lighter” colored area pattern you may have early algae growth.  Not worry, as you will definitely know if you have when you spot the dark black streaking on your roof.  Another way is to look at the tiles at the edge of your roof and look at the end of the tile facing the ground and you may observe what appears to be ridges of dirt and grime accumulating along the edges of the tiles.  The ridge is probably algae as these edges are the last to dry out during the day as the roof wicks the morning dew away.

Carefree Home Watch provides a visual observation from the ground on each and every visit to every client that we service.  Carefree is looking for signs of algae, mold, and mildew.  If we suspect that you have an issue we can assist you in locating a fully insured, and bonded roof cleaning company to remedy the problem.  Out best practice is early detection.  Carefree Home Watch, exceptional care when you’re not there. Call today at 239-234-1847 for a FREE in-home review and consultation, or, go to and get your free Ultimate Home Watch Interview Guide e-booklet published and distributed by the International Home Watch Alliance.  You can request an appointment at .