How Mold Can Affect Your Roof: A Guide for Homeowners

A home's roof with residential roofing

For homeowners who live in a dry area like El Paso, roof mold may not seem like a huge concern. After all, mold typically occurs in humid and moist environments. 

But just because El Paso is mostly dry doesn’t mean we’re immune to mold, mildew, or algae build-up. There are a few instances where mold could happen in our desert environment. If you’re not careful, it can have an impact on both your roof and the inside of your home.

So, what should you keep a lookout for, and how can it happen even in our dry climate? Smith & Ramirez Roofing is here to help.

But First, What Exactly Is Mold?

Mold is most commonly seen growing in fridges atop some old leftovers or long-since unused produce. When it comes to mold on a roof, it’s pretty much the same thing. It can appear as a fuzzy or slimy film-like substance with typically a black, brown, or greenish color. 

Watch Out for Black Mold!

If you see black mold, then the problem should get taken care of as soon as possible. Black mold is the most dangerous type of mold. It can live on wood, paper, and drywall, making it a widespread hazard for homeowners. 

You’ll be able to notice black mold by the strong, musty smell it produces. But be careful as it can lead to serious respiratory illness due to its toxicity.

Again, if you’ve noticed black mold, contact Smith & Ramirez Roofing as quickly as possible so we can take care of the issue. 

How Does Mold Grow In Our Climate? 

Mold typically needs the right environment to begin its growth process. In our dry climate, a roof with little to no direct sunlight, or collects debris, or does not have poor drainage will increase the chances of mold growth. More often here, a roof leak or debris gathered in a tight post makes the perfect spot for mold to start. 

Although the humidity levels remain on the low side here, any undetected water leaks from rainfall can build spores. If water seeps into a damaged roof and through the insulation, it can build in the attic and other hidden places. The combination of our heat and the moisture of rainfall can cause mold to build quickly. In fact, mold can fruition as soon as 24 to 48 hours after the leak occurs. 

Dangers Of Mold

Aside from the health hazards mentioned earlier, there are other major side effects of mold. The bacteria mold creates can deteriorate shingles, which can shorten the life span of your roof’s pebble-like surface. It can even begin to eat away at the roof itself, resulting in weak points that can create more mold formations and lead to major safety hazards. This can also lead to water damage and pest infestations in your home. 

Mold can also cause insulation problems. Typically, homes have major insulation points along the exterior, near the roof. Mold can break down the insulation and allow more heat or cool air to enter the home. Fixing the insulation can be costly. If left unattended, the damaged insulation can result in drastically high energy bills.

Proper Roof Maintenance And Material 

You can keep track of your roof’s condition by simply doing a few check-ups. Start by observing any missing, broken, or cracked shingles or any other missing materials from your roof. If possible, and if you have flat areas on your roof, look for any puddles that sit after a rainfall. Also, keep in mind air conditioning condensation lines that have clogged, creating puddles and leaks. 

You can also keep an eye out for key signs that may indicate water damage that can lead to mold, such as:

  • Watermarks
  • Discoloration or dark spots
  • Chimney mold 
  • Rotting wood 
  • Peeling paint or plaster
  • Discolored rafters 
  • Crumbing drywall 
  • Musty attic 

If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs, then call a professional roofing contractor for maintenance as soon as possible. Smith & Ramirez Roofing will perform proper maintenance, meaning any damaged shingles or flashings can be repaired early on. We’ll also point out and resolve any incorrect roofing practices that were there beforehand.

As a homeowner, you can do your part by trimming any trees that are within close proximity to your roof and keeping your gutters clean. This will help water and moisture drain properly and avoid any build-up. Small maintenance like this can go a long way and prevent a plethora of issues. 

The Smith & Ramirez Roofing Way

If you have any questions or have seen any signs of roof damage, give us a call. We help with roof repairs and roof leaks for both residential and commercial clients. We know how our El Paso climate works, and when our wind kicks up, it can thrash your roof. When it rains, leaks and puddles can occur on a damaged or unmaintained roof. Give us a call so we can help before the damage becomes serious and dangerous. 

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