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Roof Leaks

Algae, lichen and moss can cause roof leaks

There are a lot of ways for roof leaks to occur on Melbourne homes, but one way that might surprise you is letting algae, lichen and moss grow on your roof. While some homeowners see it as a charming addition to their roofs, over time these organisms can do a lot of damage and lead to very costly repairs.

What are algae, lichen and moss?

Before we take a look at how algae, lichen and moss can lead to a leaky Melbourne roof, let’s take a brief look at what they are.

While all of these organisms perhaps look similar to our untrained eyes, they are in fact different. For example, lichens are fungi and algae that live in association. Moss is considered a complex plant, with structures that resemble stems and leaves. While algae is also considered a plant, but it’s a simple organism and is typically found in aquatic systems.

While there are key differences between algae, lichen and moss, when it comes to roof and roof leaks in Melbourne, the differences don’t really matter. All can damage your roof if left unchecked and lead to damage.

What are algae, lichen and moss?

How do these organisms damage roofs and cause roof leaks?

As we highlighted in the introduction, some homeowners see algae, lichen and moss as a welcome addition to their roofs. A good example would be cottages in and around The Dandenong Ranges. However, most homeowners do see it as a bit of an eyesore that detracts from the street appeal of the home.

However you see it, don’t be fooled. Letting these small organisms grow on a Melbourne roof can lead to roof leaks and even major damage.

For example

  • These organisms are very good at retaining water and moisture, which can increase rot, bacteria and mould growth.
  • Moss can grow under your roof tiles (e.g. concrete tiles, terracotta tiles and slate) and cause them to shift, warp and crack. 
  • Even a strong and durable metal roof isn’t immune to issues. Water retention will eventually cause corrosion in a metal roof. Moss, algae and lichen can also discolour and stain your metal roof, making it less than appealing when they are removed.
  • One of the key things your roof does is to remove rain efficiently and quickly from your roof to your gutters, to the downpipes and eventually to stormwater. Anything on your roof – including moss, algae and lichen – can disrupt this journey and increase the chances of a roof leak and water entering your home.
  • Letting these organisms grow on your roof will reduce its lifespan significantly. When you consider the cost to replace a roof, this can be a significant and unnecessary expense.

Roof cleaning is the key

There are things you can do to reduce moss, algae and lichen growth on your roof. For example, trim trees that shade your roof, clean your gutters regularly, and keep your roof clear of leaves, twigs and seed pods. However, it can be difficult to keep these organisms off your roof completely.

That’s why a regular cleaning of your Melbourne roof is a good idea. This will remove all moss, algae and lichen from your roof, as well as any other debris. Ultimately, it will extend the lifespan of your precious roof and increase the street appeal of your home.

Oates Roofing Maintenance can professionally and thoroughly clean your roof. Simply call us on 0435 695 466, or request a quote for roof cleaning on our website

More than one way for roof leaks

As we mentioned in the introduction, there are many ways for roof leaks to occur on your Melbourne home. These include:

  • Concrete, terracotta or slate tiles that have shifted, cracked or been damaged due to hail, heavy rain, wind or simply wear and tear.
  • Roofs with low pitches can leak where metal roof sheeting or other roofing materials overlap.
  • Flashings and other seals haven’t been installed and or have been installed incorrectly.
  • Similarly, skylights that haven’t been installed correctly.
  • Broken cement bedding on ridge caps in tiled roofs.
  • Corrosion, particularly in gutters, downpipes, flashings and cappings.
  • Blocked and overflowing gutters, generally caused by a lack of cleaning.

While there are many ways for roof leaks to occur, thankfully, there is one team who can fix everything. 

At Oates, we can fix all roof leaks no matter how they occur. Plus, fixing roof leaks is only one of our services. We also restore roofs, repair roofs, gutters and downpipes, and maintain roofs. We can also completely reroof your home when your existing roof reaches the end of its life. 

That’s why we’ve become known as the one stop roofing service providers. 

Call us today on 0435 695 466 and experience our reliable, trustworthy roof services.

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