Roof stain or lichens or moss caused by trees (C) Daniel Friedman Guide to Identifying Debris as a Cause of Black Stains Roof Surfaces

  • DEBRIS STAINS on ROOFS - CONTENTS: Guide to black, brown, green, and other stains on building roof surfaces. Diagnostic Guide to Types of Stains and Staining Materials Found on Roof Surfaces. Causes, cure, and prevention of black stains on roof shingles
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to identify roof debris as a cause of roof stains or damage & what to do about debris on building roofs: leaves, sticks, other
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How & when to clean off or remove roof debris:

This article explains debris on building roofs as a source of dark stains on the roof surface and possible reduced roof life or actual roof damage.

This article series tells readers how to identify & explain the most-common causes of black, brown, red, gray, green, or white stains appearing on roof shingles and on other building surfaces. Roof shingle stains are often caused by black algae, bleed-through or extractive bleeding of asphalt, dirt, soot, or organic debris.

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ROOF DEBRIS STAINING - Black & Brown Debris Stains on Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Roof stain or lichens or moss caused by trees (C) Daniel FriedmanDebris staining on roofs produces fairly uniform black or brown staining in areas where due to low-slope or presence of overhanging trees, leaves, or organic debris collects on the roof slope.

Decaying debris may encourage fungal or algal growth (cited above).

Lichens or even thick moss may also grow on such roof areas.

Debris, lichens, or moss on a roof will shorten its life by holding water on the roof surface, preventing drying, and (in cold climates) adding wear and tear on the roof surface by freeze-thaw cycling.

In contrast, debris from an upper roof gutter that spills onto lower roof slopes may result in tan, white, or other stains depending on the metal of the gutter and the length of time that leaves and debris rest in it.

[Click to enlarge any image]

The decision to permit the upper roof gutter to spill down the lower slope (photo above/left) also risks creating an early wear-area and thus leaks on the lower slope roof.

Remedies for black or brown or gray debris staining on asphalt shingles: As cited above, cleaning off debris (gentle sweeping or washing, watch out for damaging the roof during cleaning), or cutting unnecessary overhanging tree branches may help.

See PROXIMATE CAUSE roof shingle stains for details about these growths on buildings.

See STAIN DIAGNOSIS on ROOFS for the causes and types of stains that occur on building roofs.

There are other sources of roof staining, from cosmetic to harmful to the roof and as we discuss at WHITE ROOF COLOR BENEFITS (live link just below) stains also affect the roof's solar or heat reflectance.


Continue reading at BLACK or GREEN ALGAE STAINS on ROOFS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see BLACK ROOF STAIN CAUSES for a complete catalog of roof stain sources & causes


Or see these

Roof Stain Diagnosis, Repair, Prevention Articles

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