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Explaining Roof Streaks

What Causes Roof Streaks, or Gloeocapsa Magma? Ask Apex Mobile Pressure Washing

Roof streaks, also known as gloeocapsa magma, can be a problem for residential and commercial properties. Have you noticed black streaks on your roof’s asphalt shingles? You’ve probably concluded that it’s just a build-up of dirt and grime. However, streaks like these are likely gloeocapsa magma, a type of algae. At Apex Mobile Pressure Washing, we can eliminate this growth before it overheats your roof from UV ray exposure.


What Exactly is Gloeocapsa Magma? It’s an Airborne Algae that Causes Roof Streaks

Gloeocapsa magma is a blue-green algae that is spread by airborne spores. It usually starts growing in small spots on asphalt shingles and eventually becomes visible streaks. Because gloeocapsa magma spores are airborne, they’re carried across rooftops, which are statistically made more so of asphalt shingles. Most of the time, property owners don’t even notice the algae build-up for at least two months.


How Does Gloeocapsa Magma Cause Damage? Overheating Due to UV Rays

Gloeocapsa magma appears as black streaks because it forms a darkly colored outer coating, created to shield itself from UV rays. UV rays can penetrate the asphalt shingles’ chemical compounds and alter them, eventually causing the shingles to break down. As the UV rays break down the shingles, the oily substance covering them evaporates, leaving the shingles unprotected.

Once the algae’s coating appears, it’s more difficult to remove the substance from your asphalt shingles’ surfaces. As the algae spreads, gloeocapsa magma eats away at the limestone filler in your asphalt shingles, reducing your roof’s ability to reflect sunlight. Without that ability, your roof will overheat. As that roof gets warmer from overheating, so will your home or business.



Apex Mobile Pressure Washing can remove gloeocapsa magma and other unwanted growth. Call us at (207) 692-7597 and follow us on Facebook for updates. We’d be glad to explain more about roof streaks.