Growth is a fact of life, and it comes in all kinds of varieties. Growth in your bank account? Fantastic. Growth in your garden? Love it. Growth on your roof? Not so much.
Unfortunately, it’s entirely natural for shingles to start sprouting some floral friends after a few years. The most common offender is algae, a family of aquatic plants that feed off the limestone in your shingles. Some homeowners will start to see the signs of algae growth after just a couple years. Over time, algae will deteriorate your shingles and even affect your home’s energy efficiency.
Good ventilation can do wonders to prevent algae growth, but it won’t be enough for everyone. For those who need extra help, algae resistant shingles are here to save the day. This post will tell you everything you need to know about algae resistant shingles and help you decide if they’re right for your home.
How Do They Work?
Algae-resistant shingles make use of a surprising allergy all algae have. (You might call it an “algaergy”. On second thought, don’t call it that. It’s a terrible word and we never should have invented it.) Copper binds to the cells of the algae and prevents the production of chlorophyll in the plant. Some of you may remember from 9th grade science class that chlorophyll is the compound that turns leaves green. Every plant, from trees to grass, is chock-full of chlorophyll.
It’s more than just a pigment, however. Chlorophyll is also a vitally important component in photosynthesis. Without sufficient chlorophyll, the algae on your roof will struggle to convert sunlight into chemical energy. Over time, the growth on your roof will starve and die, unable to make use of its primary food source— sunlight.
Copper powders can be used to treat roofs with existing algae problems. However, algae resistant shingles will stop the problem before it arises. The shingles themselves have copper embedded in their surface, making them toxic to any would-be growth. When it rains, trace amounts of copper will disperse across the roof, making it even less hospitable to algae spores. This will leave you with a beautiful, algae-free roof even in humid climates!
PROs of Algae-Resistant Shingles:
There are lots of great reasons to get algae resistant shingles for your home. Some are obvious, while others might surprise you.
Roof replacements are a great time to enhance your home’s style, and algae resistant shingles are a beautiful way to do it. Like many asphalt shingles, they come in a variety of colors and styles. And, of course, they’ll keep your roof from being covered with unwanted green clumps. That’s an aesthetic benefit in itself!
Because copper shingles are so effective, you can often get a long-lasting and extensive warranty that protects your house against stains. GAF is the largest roofing material manufacturer in the US, and also happens to be the brand we use here at Charm City Roofing. GAF offers a 25-year stain protection warranty for many of its algae resistant shingles. That’s longer than the lifespan of some roofs!
Algae resistant shingles are every bit as durable as standard asphalt roofing. This means they’ll protect your home for decades to come. At Charm City Roofing, our work is backed by some of the best warranties available in the country.
Algae resistant shingles typically require less maintenance than their counterparts, since they’re designed to repel algae. This means less time spent on the roof scrubbing and checking for damage. Of course, you should still be getting a roof inspection every year!
Home Value Bonus:
Algae resistance is a great way to add some extra value to your property. If you decide to part with your beloved home, you may find your shingles to be a great selling point!
CONs of Algae-Resistant Shingles:
Algae resistant shingles are a great choice for many homeowners. However, before you commit, it’s important to understand the potential drawbacks of installing them on your home.
Algae resistant shingles will come with a larger price tag. While they’ll still be cheaper than specialty materials like metal or slate, you should expect to pay more for algae protection than you would for standard asphalt. For the homeowner on a very strict budget, algae resistant shingles may not be the best choice.
Algae resistant shingles require a little extra know-how to install, as well as a few specialized materials. This may be difficult to find in your area, depending on the experience of your local roofing businesses. Luckily, our friends in the Baltimore area don’t have to worry about this— Charm City Roofing is proud to offer many algae resistant options for our customers.
Impact resistant shingles are a different classification of shingle that are hugely helpful to homeowners living in stormy areas of the country. Algae resistant shingles will typically have comparable impact resistance to their standard asphalt counterparts. It is possible to get impact resistant shingles with algae protection, but they come at a premium.
The Bottom Line:
Algae resistant shingles are a fantastic option for homeowners who want a beautiful, low maintenance roofing option. While the extra cost may be a concern for some, the easy upkeep and aesthetic benefits are usually more than enough to justify the money. This isn’t even considering the money saved on cleaning, repairs, and energy efficiency. If you’ve struggled with keeping algae off your roof in the past, algae resistant shingles are a great solution!