I’m a father of seven and a grandfather of ten, so having babies around has been my life. As I’ve worked on these shake roofs in Portland for the last thirty-four years, I’ve found that the first growth that likes to establish itself on the roof is the black fungus. Just like a baby receiving blanket wraps around your hand when you get it out of the wash, the black fungus clings to the shake when it rains and retains that moisture for days, leading to all sorts of problems for your roof.
When you get a new roof it’s that beautiful, tawny-brown color of cedar. Then after a year, it’s gone to a light ash-grey or silver-grey color. After about two or three years, it starts getting little black circles and then all of those circles connect together and suddenly your roof is black.
The homeowner sometimes embraces this change as normal. But as soon as we go up there and apply our product we hear, “Wow! I’ve forgotten how beautiful a shake roof can be.” When your roof is covered in black fungus, you lose all the definition; you lose all the shadow lines and all of the character of your roof.
Another problem is simply the color of the roof. The black fungus is about a sixteenth of an inch of growth and it’s covering every square inch of the cedar. When the sun comes out, it superheats the shakes. We’ve done studies that show that black fungus, as compared to a clean, light ash-grey roof, holds eighteen degrees more heat. And every seventeen degrees of heat over eighty-eight degrees is two times the degradation on your roof. That’s a big deal.
The “baby receiving blanket” effect is what really causes the most damage. The black fungus holds the moisture for days on end. When the shakes are clean, the rain just wicks away and your roof is dry in an hour. But if you have a fungus-covered roof, and only a day in between rainstorms, your roof won’t dry in between. Retained moisture on wood pulls the natural binding resins out of the wood and this causes them to decay more quickly.
At Roof Life of Oregon, we know how to take care of your roof and make sure that black fungus is never a problem. The products we use allow the wood to be heat and light-reflective, which cuts down on the degradation process and allows your roof to stay cool. A good care maintenance plan from Rooflife will keep your roof for twice as long and it’ll look good in the process.