Addressing Roof Stain: How to Sell Algae Fighting Technology to Homeowners

By Stefanie Zinchiak M. Ed 01-18-2022
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Many homeowners don't know that the unsightly black or brown stains they see on their roofs may be due to blue-green algae. They tend to think that it's simply dirt or how shingles age, and that there's little that can be done to prevent it. But when educated, our survey* found that many homeowners would invest in products that will help protect against unsightly blue-green algae stains,which will help you expand your offerings.

Interested in upselling your customers while providing them with a roof they'll genuinely love? Here are some talking points you can use to help your customers see the importance of algae fighting technology.

Addressing Algae Myths

The first step in educating your customers about algae is addressing commonly held myths about the cause of "roof stain." As a roofer, you know dark streaks aren't usually a result of dirt or mold, but the result of gloeocapsa magma, the most prevalent type of blue-green algae to impact roofs.

That said, your customers may not be as knowledgeable on this topic. When planning a roofing project, talk to your customers and dispel commonly-held misconceptions about blue-green algae. Below are some facts from the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association that you can use to help educate homeowners:

  • Blue-green algae grows on all roof types all over North America

  • Blue-green algae flourishes the most in warm, humid conditions (but can grow anywhere)

  • Spores travel by wind or animal, and commonly impact neighboring homes

  • Blue-green algae most often grows on the north and west sides of a roof

  • By the time blue-green algae is visible, it's usually been present several months

  • Once present on a roof, black streaks will continue to grow and spread, downgrading curb appeal and potentially impacting home value

It's important for customers to know that certain roofing products can reduce the risk of blue-green algae staining. As their contractor, you're instrumental in getting the right algae fighting products on their roof. Many customers aren't aware that the only other way to address blue-green algae stains is roof cleaning.

Roof cleaning probably sounds simple to most homeowners, but it's not the ideal solution to algae roof stains. Be sure to let customers know that removing algae stains through cleaning can be difficult and algae discoloration is likely to reoccur, according to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.

Always advise customers to follow the manufacturer's instructions for roof cleaning and make sure they know that pressure washing could damage the shingles. For safety reasons, roof cleanings are best done by professionals.

Offering Algae Protection

Now that you've taught your customers what blue-green algae is and that products with algae resistance technology exist, you can educate them about the products available to them.

You've likely used traditional algae-resistant shingles. These shingles use granules that contain a layer of algae-fighting copper that is released onto the roof when it's wet. As the roof ages, those granules release less copper, reducing the shingle's algae resistance.



Fortunately, technology is ever-advancing and new products offer more advanced copper delivery methods. For example, GAF's Time-Release Algae Fighting technology—available in a number of GAF shingles—uses specially engineered capsules infused with thousands of copper microsites that release copper efficiently over time for long-lasting algae-fighting power. It's algae resistance is so powerful it allows us to offer a 25-year StainGuard Plus™ Algae Protection Limited Warranty** against blue-green algae discoloration on many of our most popular products, including Timberline® UHD Lifetime High Definition® Shingles and Timberline® HDZ. Click here to learn more about the StainGuard Plus™ and the products it is available on.

Adding shingles with breakthrough algae resistance technology to your offerings can be a big win for you and your customers alike—broadening what you can sell, while also helping to protect your customers' roofs from blue-green algae discoloration for years to come.



*Based on 2021 survey commissioned by GAF of 500 homeowners in areas with moderate to high amounts of blue-green algae.

**25-year StainGuard Plus™ Algae Protection Limited Warranty against blue-green algae discoloration is available only on products sold in packages bearing the StainGuard Plus™ logo. See GAF Shingle & Accessory Limited Warranty for complete coverage, restrictions and qualifying products.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Annie Crawford is a freelance writer in Oakland, CA, covering travel, style, and home improvement. Find more of her work at annielcrawford.com.
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