Every season the question about zinc strips resurfaces. As spring warms things up, homeowners look up at the moss and mold on their roof and start wondering how to get back to clean shingles. A common consideration are the zinc roof strips found in the big box home improvement stores.
What are Zinc Strips for roofs?
Zinc Strips are exactly what they say, a roll of Zinc (a heavy metal) which is typically 3″ wide and sold in rolls. The idea behind zinc strips comes from the ability of these strips to slowly leach the zinc down the roof. Zinc, being a heavy metal is highly toxic to plants, as the metal leaches away, it kills the mold and Gloeocapsa magma roof algae that are responsible for the black streaks (roof stains).
The principle behind zinc roof strips can be seen on a stained roof just below the metal roof vents, where typically the roof algae is not present, in a 24 inch high pyramid pattern, with the tip of the pyramid being the vent.
Sounds great! Why wouldn’t I use zinc strips?
Although the principle of zinc strips makes sense, the practical application of zinc roofing strips has several pitfalls.
Zinc Strips are Nailed into the roof
Yes, you read correctly. NAILED into the roof shingles. So to prevent future roof stains, climb on your roof, bend up an entire row of shingles high enough to be able to swing a hammer to put the nail into the zinc strip to keep it in place.
Before attempting this, make sure you have additional shingles handy, because over bending the asphalt shingle can lead to breakage!
Multiple Rows of Zinc Strips
Because Zinc Strips only leach about 24-36 inches below the strip, you will need multiple rows of zinc strips as you go down the roof. Unfortunately, while ridge line strips might be able to be hidden, the lower rows of zinc strips will be very visible and detract from the over all roof appearance.
Expensive Preventive Solution
Zinc Strips are a preventive measure. If you already have roof stains, then Zinc Strips roof solution is not a reasonable approach. You will need to first have your roof cleaned using roof cleaning products, then install the zinc strips for future stain prevention.
Zinc Strips vs Roof Cleaning
In the end analysis, the cost, and installation risks of zinc strips tend to prevent their wide spread adoption. Because roof cleaning is required before installation of zinc strips, most homeowners will stop after using a roof cleaner, and then will use a roof stain prevention solution like Roof Armor to prevent future roof stains.
Roof Cleaning Chemicals – Why not Zinc Strips?
In short, Zinc Strips are made of a toxic heavy metal and science is learning more about the dangers of this poisonous chemical.
Even though zinc is a organic, natural element, Zinc ions released by zinc strips is a highly toxic chemical to plants and fish.
Ingestion of Zinc has been documented by the American Veterinary Association to kill dogs and pet birds.
Roof Shingle Armor Shield and Stain Blocker takes care, unlike zinc strips, not use any form of the dangerous chemical : zinc
More Roof Cleaner information