Lichen on Roof
A lichen is a composite organism consisting of a fungus (the mycobiont) and a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont or phycobiont) growing together in a symbiotic relationship. The photobiont is usually a green alga (commonly The morphology, physiology and biochemistry of lichens are very different from those of the isolated fungus and alga in culture. Lichens occur in some of the most extreme environments on Earth—arctic tundra, hot deserts, rocky coasts, and toxic slag heaps. However, they are also abundant as on leaves and branches in rain forests and woodlots, on bare rock, including walls and gravestones, and on exposed soil surfaces. The roofs of many buildings have lichens growing on them. Lichens are widespread and may be long-lived.
It has been estimated that 6 % of Earth’s land surface is covered by lichen.
Lichen is growing on just about every roof here in the West Michigan area, some of it is not at the point where it can be seen from the ground yet. I have found that the highest peaks seem to develop lichens first before the rest of the roof.
Lichens have a root system that if left unchecked will burrow into the shingles and cause granule loss resulting in premature shingle failure. If your roof is 5 years old or older it is a good idea to have the shingles checked to see if there is any lichen growth, or for that matter any type of foreign material growing on the roof.
Because lichens have a root system attaching them to the shingles it is advised that you do not scrape them off or use any type of pressure/power washer to remove them. The addition of zinc strips have been said to keep the growth of foreign material off of roofs, but it has been my observations that these strips in time will not do any good at keeping the roof clear.
An Authorized SoftWash System company is the best bet for the treatment of lichen on the roof; these companies have received extensive training in the right chemicals to use and the proper way to apply them. When you have your roof has lichens on it the treatment will kill the lichens, thus allowing the roots to release from the shingles and then they will be rinsed off the roof during rainfall.
While this process is not immediate, it is the proper way to safely remove lichens from a shingled roof. There are companies that will tell you that they use light pressure to remove the growth on a roof, DO NOT allow any type of pressure/power washing, no matter how light they say the pressure is, to be performed on the roofing material, it can avoid any shingle warranty you may have.
Roof Cleaner of Grand Rapids is a locally owned roofing contractor company that provides SoftWash cleaning for roofing material using eco-friendly products. Our SoftWash System has cleaned 75,000 plus roofs all across the country and is now being used in other countries as well.
When you need to have roof stains/black streaks, moss, mold or lichen removed from your roof in Michigan; call the only company that has achieved SoftWash Pro-Staff status –
Roof Cleaner. 616-240-3465
We provide roof & exterior surface cleaning to the following areas in Michigan:
Ada, Alto, Allendale, Belding, Benton Harbor, Belmont, Byron Center, Caledonia, Cadillaic, Cascade, Cedar Springs, Clarksville, Coopersville, East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Grandville, Greenville, Holland, Hudsonville, Ionia, Jenison, Kalamazoo, Lowell, Ludington, Muskegon, Middleville, Rockford, Saranac, Sparta, Saugatuck, Traverse City, Walker, Zeeland