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Monday, October 11, 2010

Stains on Roofs in Dallas: Fungi and Slime Mold

Here in Dallas it is hot, humid, polluted, and pollinated. Unbearable at times but everyone in the world is determined to move here and I never left my Zip Code. Actually I did. I'm an easterner, from Mesquite. We move to Dallas in 1968 and I found myself in Irving going to the University of Dallas. I went to Roma, Italia, for one semester but outside that I've lived here since it was a prairie. I remember when Lewisville was a long way away.

This climate is really tough on roofs and roof color steadfastness. Ever noticed those dark streaks on the north side of composition or fiberglass roofs? That is airborne fungus and if it gets too bad it will eat your roof. Remember that composition roofs are primarily organic material, cracked from oil. Those long chain carbon molecules make for good fodder for everything from fungus to creepy slim molds. Have you ever seen the stuff? Nasty. Besides these monsters are decomposers. That sounds bad when it comes to your $10,000.00 roof.
Beneath the lead and metal pipes, chimney, and dormer louvers the staining is not present and the roof looks a lot newer. That's because their antimicrobial nature kills the rascals. That's why we take zinc lozenges: to kill the airborne fungi and other enemies of the corpus that lodge themselves in the soft pink tissues of your throat. Sometimes we Dallas roof folk eat roof flashings when we're felling puny. Perks you right up and gets rid of stains too.
Now days the manufacturers of roofing products put zinc and copper right into some of their products as a stain guard. Works too. Back about 1990 my GAF rep Mike Ratcliffe told me you could string a piano wire on either side of the ridge and the roof wouldn't stain.
When roofs leak the water sometimes travels under the shingles for a ways and causes the roofing and felt to become one, glued together by slime, a colony of amoebae like critters. Later, when there is a slow leak that doesn't show up in the home, there is a lot of structural damage.
"Why it never leaked before so how did I know it was destroying my structure?" By looking up at the sags in the plywood that the roofing and felt are nailed to might have given you a clue that your insurance company was going to cancel your policy right before your house burned down.
Older roofs that have been defaced by the critters that took down the aliens in "War of the Worlds" can be made sparkling again with a topical application of bleach and water. The beach does not necessarily bleach the roof clean but kills the pesky pests. Wash it down twice and wait a day or two and the roof looks marvelous darling.
Proper venting also cuts down on the molds growing in your attic cause your home to get old timer's smell. Heat humidity, and organic material in attics that don't have bottom to top vent cycling systems will allow muck to grow and sicken your kids and make your doctor and electric provider richer than they already are.
If you buy that turbine plug from Home Depot, the one you shouldn't ever use, and plug them to retain heat in the winter you need to be shot. Once the heat has escaped the confines of your insulation just give it up. Go on down the road. I said forget about it. This added chore just makes everything rot. If you did it in Houston the deck would be ravaged in two or three years.
If you can't wait the two days for the murdered fungi to drift away after the bleach has been applied then you can go to Harbor Freight Tools and buy a cheap water pressure cleaner and blast them off. Be careful because roofing is not designed to withstand 2000 PSI of water pressure. I meant it when I said buy a cheap machine. The big ones will blow a hole through your brick before you can say "oh sheeeeeeeeeeeet." Got down inside the ditch! Keith Lyles of Classic Superoofer taught me that when he managed my Fort Worth location from 1994 through 1998.
So that's the story on roof stains.
Dallas Roofing by Jon Wright
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 9 reviews

1 comment:

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