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Algae vs. Mold: What’s the Difference?

While most are quick to assume the black streaks on their roof, siding, deck or patio is dirt or even mold… oftentimes it’s the less threatening wannabe; algae! That’s the good news! The bad news is that mold and mildew are still very prevalent and can wreak expensive havoc on your home. Don’t worry though, all different types of growth on your home are treatable! We’re here to discuss algae vs. mold… what’s the difference?

Well for one, mold is much more dangerous and difficult to remove – mostly because it is often caused by deeper issues in your home. Algae is simply a plant enjoying a life full of sunshine and moisture on your roof. Luckily, algae is much more common than mold. What do they have in common? They are both living organisms that can be treated similarly using a safe soft wash process that kills off all growth in just a day’s work.

More on algae: Algae is a naturally occurring (pesky) moss-like plant that spreads by air-borne spores. In especially humid climates, algae is a very common problem and asphalt roof shingles seem to get it the worst. Algae itself will not eat away at or damage your roof, or cause your family harm… it just looks bad! Having a fresh, clean roof immensely boosts curb appeal. This can be especially important if/when you decide to sell your home. Most buyers see quite a few different homes, and the one with the sparkling roof and siding will stand out for sure.

More on mold: Mold is not nearly as common as algae. BUT, the most severe toxic mold can cause health problems in the home from asthma to irritated eyes and throat to head-aches and lung issues, so it’s important to identify exactly what the streaks on your roof are. Mold typically forms in damp, warm and poorly ventilated attics and basements and can spread to your roof, siding and deck. If the inside of your home is unscathed, you’re likely just dealing with algae. It’s a good idea to inspect your crawl spaces, attics and basements a few times a year to be sure mold isn’t silently forming under your nose.

So what can be done to remove and prevent these problems? The easiest way to deal with mold and algae is to prevent it. Regular house and roof washes will keep your home sparkling and safe. That is the only “cure.” Some things are best left to professionals – but if you do decide to go the DIY route, check out some of our pressure washing tips and DIY dangers before tackling this difficult and expensive project yourself. The most common mistake do-it-yourself pressure washers will run into is applying too much pressure. It is easy to underestimate the power of a jet of water, but in addition to damaging your home, you could hurt yourself. On the flip side, too little pressure just makes everything wet, doing little to remove stains.

Don’t waste your day guessing on a big job like this. Bayside Clean's technicians are fully trained and equipped with the appropriate machines required for every job and every stain. In this instance, Window Genie uses a soft wash system that will completely kill off the growth. You’ll notice an immediate difference as our solution begins to break down and kill the plant life… and while every case is a bit different, you’ll see complete eradication after 2 or 3 good rains. Hiring a professional for your roof washing service ensures a safe, thorough clean every time. If you do try it yourself, never step foot on the roof without a partner, proper safety equipment & the skills needed to get the job done quickly and effectively. In addition, electrical hazards are often underestimated by DIY house & roof washers – be mindful & safe out there!

Whether it’s algae vs. mold, or you vs. a long to do list… we’ve got someone who can help. For all those home maintenance tasks you can’t or won’t do yourself, find a Neighborly professional who can!

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1 Comment

Sep 26, 2021

Ryan called the day before coming to soft wash the vinyl siding on the house. Good thing, I was expecting him the following week. He arrived just after 8:30, I was expecting him around 9:00. I showed him where the hose and water shut off were and he got to work. I was expecting when he was finished the vinyl would look better. I was not prepared for it to look like it had just been newly installed on the house. It sparkled! Very impressed with Ryan's work ethic, speed and effort. Recommend??? ABSOLUTELY. Very satisfied customer, Phil Dwyer

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