Unwanted Guests on Your Roof: The Menace of Mould, Algae, and Lichen in New Zealand Homes9 Nov 2023

New Zealand's lush and temperate climate provides the perfect breeding ground for a variety of microorganisms that can take root on your roof and exterior walls. While mould, algae, and lichen may not seem like a significant threat, these unsightly invaders can have detrimental effects on your home's structural integrity and potentially pose health risks to homeowners. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of mould, algae, and lichen that can grow on your house, as well as the potential medical harm they could be causing in New Zealand homes.

Mould: The Silent Intruder

Mould is a common issue in New Zealand homes, especially in regions with high humidity and rainfall. Some of the most prevalent mould species include Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. Mould thrives on moisture and can appear as black, green, or white patches on your roof, siding, and other exterior surfaces.

Health Concerns:
Mould can release spores into the air, which, when inhaled, may cause respiratory problems, allergies, and exacerbate existing conditions like asthma. It's crucial to address mould growth promptly to prevent health issues.

Algae: The Green Menace

Algae, particularly blue-green algae and moss, are often seen on roofs, driveways, and sidewalks. In New Zealand, they commonly take root due to the country's high rainfall and mild temperatures.

Health Concerns:
While algae don't pose direct health risks to homeowners, their presence can make surfaces slippery and contribute to accidents, especially on pathways or stairs. They can also create unsightly stains and damage the structural integrity of your roof over time.

Lichen: A Living Fossil

Lichen is a unique organism that is often seen on roofs, especially in rural and wooded areas. Lichen is a combination of fungi and algae, creating a symbiotic relationship. Some common types in New Zealand include foliose lichen and crustose lichen.

Health Concerns:
Lichen itself doesn't typically pose health risks to homeowners. However, if left untreated, it can cause damage to the roofing material, potentially leading to leaks and more significant structural issues.

Prevention and Maintenance

To protect your home and your health from these unwelcome guests, consider the following prevention and maintenance tips:

Regular Roof Inspections: Periodic inspections of your roof and exterior walls can help you identify early signs of mould, algae, or lichen growth.
Keep Surfaces Dry: Ensure proper drainage to prevent water accumulation on your roof and siding.
Regular Cleaning: Cleaning your roof and exterior surfaces can remove mould, algae, and lichen before they become a major problem.
Prune Nearby Trees: Trimming overhanging trees can help reduce shade and moisture, which promotes the growth of these microorganisms.
Roof Coatings: Applying roof coatings designed to deter mould and algae growth can be an effective preventive measure, Your local Wash Rite franchise is your local application expert.

The battle against mould, algae, and lichen on your home's exterior is an ongoing one in New Zealand's humid climate. While these invaders may not always pose immediate health risks to homeowners, they can certainly lead to structural damage if left unchecked. Regular inspections, maintenance, and prevention are key to ensuring your home remains a safe and welcoming place for you and your family. So, don't let these silent intruders take over your home; take action to protect your investment and well-being.