Algae-resistant And Algae-retardant Roofing Shingles

Last Updated on: 5th March 2023, 04:12 pm

Algae develops on roofs everywhere where there is substantial humidity in the air. As for Europe and United States it concerns majority of the territory, therefore your roof is never 100% algae-safe here and it is advised to use algae-resistant roofing shingles.

Algae and roofing shingles

Algae itself is not that dangerous, but it causes darkening of the roofing material. As it usually does not attack the whole roof, it causes awfully looking unattractive spotty roofs.

But are we able to fight the algae? The roofing manufacturers (or their R&D labs) know that copper or zinc ions kill the algae and prevent it from growing, therefore couple of years ago the chase begun, to develop such material that would be able to release slowly copper or zinc ions to help reduce the discoloration of shingles covered by algae.

What are algae-resistant roofing shingles made of?

As the result, the roofing shingles manufacturers started to produce so called algae-retardant roofing materials that contain zinc or copper granules releasing the metal ions to the shingles surface and stopping the roof darkening.

Quite problematic about this method is the capability of the algae-resistant roofing materials to release the copper or zinc ions slowly enough to achieve the long-term effectiveness (do that over the whole life-span of the shingles).

To slow down the chemical processes, ceramic-coated copper or zinc-fortified granules are used that are plainly distributed across the whole surface of the shingle.

Algae resistant roof shingles

Such treated roofing shingles are more expensive but from the long-term point of view they can save your money you would spend on regular chemical removal of algae and cleaning of the roof.

How do algae-resistant roofing materials work?

The copper or zinc ions released by the roofing material prevent the growth of algae on the surface of the shingles. The metal ions work to inhibit the algae’s ability to adhere to the surface of the shingles and grow.

Are algae-resistant roofing materials more expensive than regular roofing materials?

Yes, algae-resistant roofing shingles are generally more expensive than regular roofing materials due to the added technology and materials required to make them algae-resistant. However, in the long term, they can save homeowners money by reducing the need for regular cleaning and maintenance.

Can algae-resistant roofing shingles be used in all climates?

Algae-resistant roofing materials are suitable for use in most climates where humidity and moisture are present. However, they may not be effective in extreme climates with harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, and high winds.

Do algae-retardant roofing materials come in a variety of colors and styles?

Yes, algae-retardant roofing materials come in a variety of colors and styles to suit different architectural designs and personal preferences.

How long do algae-retardant shingles last?

The lifespan of algae-retardant shingles varies depending on the type of material, the climate, and the level of maintenance. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can last for up to 30 years or more.

Are algae-resistant roofing materials environmentally friendly?

Algae-resistant roofing materials are generally considered environmentally friendly as they reduce the need for chemical treatments and frequent cleaning, which can have harmful effects on the environment.

Can algae-resistant roofing materials be installed on any type of roof?

Yes, the algae-resistant roofing materials can be installed on most types of roofs.

Will algae-resistant roofing materials completely prevent the growth of algae on my roof?

While algae-resistant roofing materials are designed to inhibit the growth of algae on your roof, they may not completely prevent it from developing. Factors such as climate, weather, and location can also affect the growth of algae on your roof.

How often do I need to clean my algae-resistant roof?

The frequency of cleaning an algae-resistant roof depends on the climate, the level of humidity, and the amount of debris that accumulates on the roof. While algae-resistant roofing materials can reduce the need for cleaning, it is still recommended to clean your roof periodically to maintain its appearance and performance.

What are the benefits of using algae-resistant roofing shingles?

Using algae-resistant shingles can provide several benefits, including:

  • Aesthetic appeal: Algae growth on the roof can cause unsightly stains and discoloration. Algae-resistant roofing materials can prevent this and maintain the visual appeal of the roof.
  • Increased lifespan: Algae growth can accelerate the aging process of roofing materials, causing them to deteriorate faster. Using algae-resistant materials can help increase the lifespan of the roof.
  • Cost-effective: While algae-resistant roofing shingles may have a higher upfront cost, they can save money in the long run by reducing the need for costly cleaning and maintenance.
  • Eco-friendly: Some algae-resistant roofing shingles use environmentally friendly materials and technologies to prevent algae growth, making them a greener option.

How much do algae-resistant roofing materials cost?

The cost of algae-resistant roofing materials can vary depending on the quality and type of material. Generally, algae-resistant roofing materials may be slightly more expensive than standard roofing materials, but they can save money in the long run by reducing the need for cleaning and maintenance.

BrandShingle TypePrice Range (per bundle)
GAFTimberline Ultra HD®$30-$40
Owens CorningDuration® Premium Cool$35-$45
CertainTeedLandmark® Premium$35-$45
TamkoHeritage® Woodgate$30-$40
AtlasPinnacle® Pristine$35-$45
Prices valid as of 08/2022

Please note that prices can vary depending on your location, the roofing contractor you choose, and other factors such as the size of your roof and the complexity of the installation. It is always best to get a quote from a trusted roofing professional to determine the exact cost of your project.


While algae growth on roofs is primarily an aesthetic issue, it can also have some negative effects on the longevity of the roofing material. Algae can trap moisture on the surface of the roof, leading to deterioration of the shingles or tiles over time. Additionally, the dark stains caused by algae can absorb more heat from the sun, potentially leading to higher energy costs for cooling the interior of the building.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of a roof can help prevent algae growth and prolong the lifespan of the roofing material. In addition to using algae-resistant shingles, homeowners can take steps such as trimming overhanging tree branches to reduce shade and moisture on the roof, and cleaning gutters to ensure proper drainage of water. It’s also important to hire a professional roofing contractor to perform any necessary repairs or maintenance on the roof, as walking on a roof can be dangerous and cause further damage if not done properly.