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Roof stains are primarily caused by algae, moss, or lichen colonies. Roofing shingles are entirely made up of organic mineral-based granules and usually serves as a food source for these organisms.
Most of them will be more prominent on heavily shaded areas, portions that receive less sunlight, and places that have sustained high levels of humidity.
These living organisms are the most common catalyst for the unsightly stains on your shingles. Most roofs are not susceptible to algae growth and must be maintained regularty to prevent further deterioration of shingle granules.
Roofs with algae stain can harbor a number of molds, and they absorb heat rather than reflect it. This increases the heat in the attic which in turn increases your home cooling costs.
Moss can be as damaging as algae when it comes to wood rot and shingles erosion. Due to its shallow root system and growth in between shingles, it keeps the roofing materials damp and will most likely shorten its life span due to prolonged moisture. These roofing materials may consist of all types such as wood, metal, asphalt, clay, or even concrete tiles.
Clustered under Ascomycetes class, lichens have symbiotic relationship with algae. It’s an organism that could potentially worsen the condition of your roof. The mere existence of lichen colonies could make the shingle granules disappear and eventually ruin its quality by manifesting dark spots and pock marks where they grow.