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You probably came here to find out what those black streaks are on your roof- fortunately, the most common cause of black spots on the roof is due to algae growth. Algae is a relatively harmless occurrence that forms in areas with high levels of heat and humidity- and living in the Charleston, SC area means that you will likely experience this growth in your lifetime.

What are they?

Commonly occurring as a discoloration on the roof or dark streaks, roof algae is formed from the entrapment of heat and moisture. It thrives in humid environments and likes to feed on the limestone filler in most shingles. Once it starts, it grows rapidly and can cause roof stains and degrade the integrity of the roof.

Algae thrives in shady, damp areas and needs nutrients to grow. By eating at the limestone filler in the shingles, it is provided the nutrients it needs to rapidly spread and take over the roof. Although minimal amounts of algae can be harmless, if left untreated, it turn very destructive to your roof.


Prevention is key in dealing with roof algae- once it takes over the roof, it is much more difficult to keep away. In order to prevent growth, it is crucial that you keep up with roof maintenance and cleaning. Here’s what you can do to keep the algae away.

 Trim Nearby Trees.

This prevents the accumulation of debris, which can trap moisture and accelerate algae growth. It also allows for more direct sunlight, which is a less desirable environment for it to grow in.

Keep Gutters Clean.
Ensuring proper water drainage is critical to preventing the growth and spread of algae. Keep your gutters clear of any debris and clogs. If you are unsure how to do this, click here to read our other blog on at-home roof maintenance.


In addition to causing permanent staining on the roof, algae has the potential to damage the foundation of your roof. When water gets trapped by the algae, it can lead to wood rot and mold. Once the algae has begun to damage the structure of the home, it is more difficult and more expensive to repair.

Prevention is key in keeping algae away from your roof- there is no way to guarantee that it will not start growing, but through regular cleaning and maintenance, you can prevent it from becoming a disaster. If it is too late to prevent the problem, we recommend getting the professionals to inspect your roof to ensure there is not any underlying damage.

Are you concerned that algae growth or mold has damaged the foundation of your roof?

We are more than happy to check it out for you- contact us to scheduled today!