What is it #3, stump the home inspectors

Real Estate Agent with Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -

What is it #3, stump the home inspectors

See photo below, hint, it's on a roof.  What is it and how do you deal with it?

P.S. it's only on the NORTH side.

Comments (27)

Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes
Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes - Conway, SC
Broker in Charge/Owner

Lichen,  I think they make a special soap that you spray on, not with a pressure washer.  I have seen homes that are under or near pines and old oaks that have the soap sprayed on and it look like a new roof after the process.

Oct 26, 2012 10:13 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

It's algae!  What do I win??  :)                                                                                                                                 

Oct 26, 2012 10:16 PM
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Ha!  Now that I have all of the answers I can safely state 'algae!"  I have never had the happy occasion to see it... so I guess I have that joy to come..

Oct 26, 2012 10:27 PM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

It looks like paint on a shingle, but if it's on the north it is mildew. Pick up the house and turn it to the east or west. Correct solution: mix a ratio of chlorine and water mixture 6-7 to 1, let sit, and spray off with garden sprayer.

Oct 26, 2012 10:31 PM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

There is always something to find during a home inspection like the photo above. Best to take care of it and move on

Oct 26, 2012 10:47 PM
Ron Dobrosielski
Keller Williams Realty - Beverly, MA

I think it's algae.  I see a lot of homes with that issue.  Is there a problem with it and should we be concerned about it?

Oct 26, 2012 11:09 PM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA


Love AR , we have experts on everything! 

Oct 26, 2012 11:13 PM
NoCo Home Team
C3 Real Estate Solutions - Fort Collins, CO
Sell Smart, Buy Wise & Live Well in Nrthn Colorado

As cold as our weather has been the last 48 hours, all I see is ICE. We definitely don't see algae here in Northern Colorado much so I'll chalk that up to one of the few things that aren't on our list of 1,000.


Oct 27, 2012 01:34 AM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I'm going to go with lichen.  It can also be found on trees and rocks.  I'm hoping that is not how it got there.

Oct 27, 2012 01:39 AM
Wika Hutchinson
Eugene, OR
Be very careful with pressure washing. I had a client whose neighbor helped with pressure washing it and it led to a much bigger problem: water penetration and water stain in multiple areas.
Oct 27, 2012 02:29 AM
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Living in the Pacific Northwest, where we have all kinds of algae, moss and lichens, I am going to agree with Jay (#6) and Gary (#16).   I believe Jay's remedy will do best.  Not sure if copper or galvanized strip (zinc) would do best to prevent re-occurance.

Oct 27, 2012 03:42 AM
John J. Woods
Big Dog Press, LLC - Winder, GA
Going where no man has gone before - wouldn't you?


   Although moss is said to grow on the north side of a tree, what you show in your pictures, as Jay said, appears to be lichens.  However, those commentors who said "algae" are partially correct in that algae is a component of lichens.  Mosses are plants and it's definitely not mildew/mold.  See the pictures near the end of this Wikipedia page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen  See the similarities to your picture?

   eHow has an article on How To Kill Roof Lichens at:  http://www.ehow.com/how_8128582_kill-roof-lichens.html

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Oct 27, 2012 03:45 AM
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Lichen would be correct, and pressure washing is the LAST thing you would do to a composite shingled roof! You will blow all the protective granules off of the shingles and reduce the life of the shingles. 

You're gonna have to try harder than that to stump us :-)

Oct 27, 2012 03:47 AM
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com... - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Wow!  Thanks a lot folks.  This turned out to be a fun post.  Great information here.  You folks are the best.

Fred;  I'll try harder next time.

John;  Thanks so much for this information.

Gary Frimann;  You are correct, it's under two big trees.

Dee;  I'll take the Lichen over the ice.

Professor Jay; You are the best.  Thanks.

Steve, Wika, Fernando. Ron, Harry, Winston, Gay, Richard and the Christiansen team, thanks so much for the comments.  You folks made my day.  I hope someone is helped with this information.

Oct 27, 2012 04:02 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Kenneth, it looked like Pigeon droppings at first. Then again I don't think they care which side of the roof they do their business.

Oct 27, 2012 07:45 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
I'm thinking that it is not barnacles, but that would have been my guess.
Oct 27, 2012 08:01 AM
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279
Lichens. They are actually a very important part of the ecosystem. I uses to be a Biology teacher and these look very much like them.
Oct 27, 2012 08:20 AM
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279
Ha ha , that would be " used" to.
Oct 27, 2012 08:22 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Kenneth, I'm not an inspector, but I've been on a bunch of roofs. I'm gonna say it's fungus or mold. I get it on the north side of my roof, and it's blocked my the second story. Lots of shade.

Oct 27, 2012 09:41 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Kenneth - Isn't it moss that grows on the north side of the tree.

Oct 27, 2012 03:34 PM

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