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Hello Darren.

Those look like older shingles but heavy duty, probably fiberglass reinforced?

I wouldn't have much to say about that moss and lichen, as it is common here. Sometimes people get moss removed and end up with damaged shingles from scrapers and power washers. Detergent or Sodium Bicarb (PSB ?) washing soda will kill that moss, but makes the roof slippery. A zinc strip sometimes works.

Are you getting negative feedback about your report?

Edited by John Kogel
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I'd observe that you should never wait for a roof to leak before replacing it and that it's always better to replace a roof before it becomes unreliable, not after. I'd then opine that these shingles are standing at the threshold of unreliability and I'd advise the buyer to replace the shingles this year. 

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Here in Michigan a large portion of your insurance premium is based on age of the roof (condition).  that roof would not be insured.  Of course there are exceptions.  I would have written it as " .....at life expectancy.  Cleaning, spray sealing, etc is not recommended.  Does not meet HUD/FHA Standards. Replace. 

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If reporting on these pics, I would say that the moss/algae growth will accelerate roof deterioration. But I determine wear on shrinkage of the shingle, curling, granule loss, etc., which seems minor in this case. This roof has a good life of another five years or so. Zinc strips really work and would likely kill all this moss stuff.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 1 month later...
On 5/31/2019 at 4:51 PM, Darren said:

Inspected a roof back in March; here are some photos.

What would you say about this roof?

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Biological growth is seldom considered functional damage by insurance companies, according to Farmers Ins. with whom I trained. Moss is easily removed with water and a scrub brush that won't remove granules unless it's an old roof that has lost a lot of volatile compounds. Lichen may very slowly feed on the filler used in asphalt, but will that not result in functional damage. Some dark areas are also visible in parts of the roof (notice the areas below the vent where zinc from the vent in runoff has reduced algae growth) and algae will not cause functional damage either. Unless it's very extreme, biological growth is a cosmetic issue as far as insurance companies go. 

If moss were to grow extremely thick it might shorten the lifespan of a roof, but I'm talking solid moss. Biological growth is an indication that the shingles have been remaining wet for extended periods of time. Typically only a problem in very wet environments with the roof in constant shade.

Edited by Mundo Inspector
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8 hours ago, Mundo Inspector said:

Biological growth is seldom considered functional damage by insurance companies, according to Farmers Ins. with whom I trained. Moss is easily removed with water and a scrub brush that won't remove granules unless it's an old roof that has lost a lot of volatile compounds. Lichen may very slowly feed on the filler used in asphalt, but will that not result in functional damage. Some dark areas are also visible in parts of the roof (notice the areas below the vent where zinc from the vent in runoff has reduced algae growth) and algae will not cause functional damage either. Unless it's very extreme, biological growth is a cosmetic issue as far as insurance companies go. 

If moss were to grow extremely thick it might shorten the lifespan of a roof, but I'm talking solid moss. Biological growth is an indication that the shingles have been remaining wet for extended periods of time. Typically only a problem in very wet environments with the roof in constant shade.

Hmmm, seems my experience and knowledge would be contrary to your opinion.  Moss covered roofs and those with extensive growth (of anything) are regarded as an issue as far as I am concerned.   I do not recommend "soft brush" cleaning. 

Is this a recommendation for Colorado roofs or everywhere? 

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On 4/12/2020 at 8:05 PM, Mundo Inspector said:

Biological growth is seldom considered functional damage by insurance companies, according to Farmers Ins. with whom I trained.

State Farm considers it a problem. They threatened to cancel my policy unless I cleaned up the modest mold growth on my shingles. 

 

On 4/12/2020 at 8:05 PM, Mundo Inspector said:

Moss is easily removed with water and a scrub brush that won't remove granules unless it's an old roof that has lost a lot of volatile compounds.

It's even more easily removed by sprinkling some moss-killing granules up there and letting the weather do the rest. 

On 4/12/2020 at 8:05 PM, Mundo Inspector said:

Biological growth is an indication that the shingles have been remaining wet for extended periods of time. Typically only a problem in very wet environments with the roof in constant shade.

Apparently, you've never been to Oregon. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All,

I think that the insurance agent is overstating the issue based on what the agent thinks he or she is seeing from the ground. I seriously doubt that an insurance agent put a ladder against that gutter and climbed up there to get a close look at the cover and the darker algae-covered areas appeared from the ground to be denuded of protective granules. Had the cover been properly cleaned prior to the agent's visit, the agent probably would have graded the roof acceptable. Just my opinion, based on what I'm seeing and knowing how lazy prone to overstatement some agents can be.

"Biological" growth? Why mince words - it's fungal growth.  Moss, lichen, algae, mold (mildew) are all fungal organisms and all have one similar trait that is harmful to asphalt roofs - they all secrete various degrees of oxalic acid in order to digest what they are trying to eat and they are particularly fond of lime - one of the minerals found in plenty of roof granules and in fillers used in some asphalt lamina formulations. The oxalic acid breaks down lime so it can be digested and for some reason it reacts with the asphalt/fiberglass lamina beneath the granules and over time causes shingles to harden and become brittle more rapidly. The lichen in particular, when it is removed, will leave dark spots where there are almost no granules left.

Keeping the roof free of fungal growth can slow the process; and careful cleaning of a roof suffering from widespread fungal growth can help to extend the life of the cover, but those areas that are already completely denuded of granules, such as those dark spots left where lichen had probably been growing, without granules to lessen their exposure to UV are going to degrade more quickly.

That cover has a service life expectancy of about twenty years. Look at the third photo and you can see that granule density is near 50% of what it originally was. Look at the first photo and you can see that the edges of the tabs at the keyways are beginning to lift. These are both signs that the cover is most-probably somewhere between fifteen and twenty years old. It's not at point of no return - the point at which the cover won't gain any benefit if cleaned - but, if it isn't properly cleaned soon by next fall that fungi growth is probably going to get it there.

That cover can be cleaned. Just understand that, like Jim said, it's not a good idea to push the envelope and wait for that cover to become unreliable - especially given the winters and snow you have in New Jersey. If the job is done properly, and the cover is carefully maintained after that, the homeowner might be able to squeeze another five or six years out of that cover, but by then those shingles will be so far gone that the granules will slough off so easily that walking on the cover will be like stepping onto ball bearings.

I used to recommend using a 20% solution of sodium hypo-chlorite (swimming pool chlorine) and water for removal of fungi growth, but that's a pretty unforgiving solution. If a homeowner isn't careful to wet down and cover up any shrubs and flower-beds close to the house, before using the solution - and doesn't rinse those areas down after the roof is done to further dilute any overspray that's soaked into the ground around the covered areas, you can end up with dead plants and grass. Today there are biodegradable solutions like Defy Roof Cleaning Concentrate or JoMax Roof Cleaning Solution. I like JoMax. It still uses a bit of regular household bleach mixed with the JoMax concentrate and water but it's far less corrosive than a 20% solution of swimming pool grade chlorine and JoMax has been around as a mildew-removing house wash for decades (They are owned by Rustoleum so you know they have to be big.).

Clean the gutters and clear the downspouts first, so that they'll drain properly and won't overflow during the cover cleaning process. Wet down any vegetation within ten feet of the house prior to beginning. You'll need to apply more water on the sunny side than the shaded side or things will dry out before you get started. Lightly cover more sensitive plants such as rose bushes or flower beds with plastic - just don't leave it on for too long or strong sunlight will damage them (In fact, it's best to do this on a cooler day when overcast skies are expected but rain isn't due inside your roof cleaning window.). Apply your pre-mixed solution to the cover where cleaning is needed - there's no point in cleaning where there isn't any fungal growth - allow it to work the recommended amount of time and then rinse off with a soft spray of water. A second application may be necessary if the first go-round doesn't loosen the grip of the material on the cover and allow it to be rinsed into the gutters. Once the cover is free of growth and has been very well rinsed, go down, rinse off the vegetation close to the house again, remove any plastic covering sensitive plants and rinse those areas again to ensure any overspray that's soaked into the ground is heavily diluted and the vegetation is cooled down. Look up, if your gutters weren't already clean before you started, and you were sloppy and got overspray on the gutters, they may be covered with vertical streaks that are going to require you to clean the exterior of the gutters, so it's best to have cleaned the exterior of the gutters before even beginning this task.

I'm betting that cleaning will dramatically improve the appearance of the cover from the ground. Then, if the agent is brought back and it's explained that the discoloration the agent perceived as granule loss was actually algae staining, the agent might revise his or her initial assessment. No guaranty - you're mileage may vary and all other disclaimers I can think of implied, etc..

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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