How Mold Affects Your Roof … and Vice Versa
First of all, cleaning your roof isn’t just about increasing curb appeal. It’s about preserving the structural integrity of your home, ensuring safety and, last but not least, preventing mold—a common but serious problem that compromises your roof’s health and longevity.
Why it’s important to get rid of roof mold
Besides the obvious reasons for getting rid of roof mold, (i.e. to improve aesthetics), there are several more urgent issues you’d want to address.
1. Mold is destructive. As long as it has a source of food and moisture, it will keep eating away at your roof and shingles, leading to major and costly damage.
Eventually, deterioration of your roof gives rise to even bigger problems because moisture can now sneak into your home through damaged roofing materials, holes and cracks.
Once the moisture intrusion occurs, you have to act fast to dry the area and fix the moisture problem, otherwise mold will start to grow in as little as 24 hours.
Remember, it’s a good idea to regularly check your attic or upper levels for moisture intrusion and water damage as this could be a good indicator of roof damage.
2. Given that some of the most common fungi found growing on roofs are Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium—all toxic species of mold—there is a strong possibility that occupants of a home could experience severe symptoms and health problems as a result of roof mold.
To protect your health and safety, make sure to prevent mold exposure by keeping every part of your home clean… even your roof.
3. Because mold forms dark spots on a roof’s surface, your roof actually ends up absorbing more heat from the sun. This increases indoor temperatures and gives rise to higher air conditioning bills. So, by getting rid of roof mold, you can reduce your energy bills and save money!
How to prevent roof mold
When it comes to caring for your roof, mold prevention is more important than you may think. That said, the best way to prevent mold is to limit the conditions that foster its growth: organic materials (think wood, drywall, wallpaper, shingles, etc.) and moisture.
1. Organic materials
Most shingles are made of tar, asphalt and other carbon-rich matter, all of which provide plenty of nutrients that fuel mold growth. What’s more, homeowners and contractors often make use of various roof adhesives to glue down shingles and other roofing materials. Unfortunately, these adhesives are also a great food source for mold.
While there’s little you can do about the presence of organic materials in your roofing (although metal shingles are always a possibility), there is something you can do about moisture…
Your roof is constantly exposed to moisture, whether in the form of rain, snow, ice, humidity, condensation or even morning dew. That said, you should pay special attention to the north-facing part of your roof as this is the last to dry, giving mold spores a better chance of survival.
You are also more likely to experience mold problems if you have a flat roof, blocked eavestroughs or a poor drainage system, all of which allow water to accumulate, stagnate and ultimately provide the perfect conditions for mold growth.
That’s why proper roof maintenance and moisture control are so important in minimizing your chances of roof mold problems.
This means getting professional roof repairs if you notice any missing shingles, holes, cracks or other forms of roof damage. It also means removing mold, mildew and other fungal growth promptly.
Also, if you have an old roof, you might want to consider getting it replaced. While it is a big investment, it is worthwhile in the long term, especially if you consider how much damage leaks, water damage and mold can do to your home.
Making sure that your roof is in good condition is extremely important as the health of your roof greatly determines the health and structural soundness of your entire home. If you have any doubts, get your roof inspected immediately. The longer you wait, the greater the risk.
Mold Busters is an Ottawa-based mold inspection and remediation company that has been helping home and business owners across Ontario and Quebec improve indoor air quality and achieve a healthy and mold-free indoor environment.