How Lichens Affect Your Roofing And Gutter Systems

Mar 10, 2022Blog, Roof Problems

Green roofing is all the craze for modern homes and those with a flair for unique architecture. Green roofs are living roofing systems that feature different types of plant life, adding a natural flair to homes.

However, if you have moss, algae, and lichen growing on your roof, please note that these are not green roofing features. These plant organisms can cause significant damage to your roofing and gutter systems and should be removed immediately. Today, we’ll be taking a look at how lichens can affect the roof and gutters of your home and why you should get rid of them when first spotted.

Growing lichens on residential roofing

What are lichens?

Lichens are an organism that evolves from the interaction between algae and fungi. These plant organisms can grow on just about any surface, and not even the most aggressive hail, snow, or rain can wash them away. They are invasive organism that typically damages any surface on which they grow. Lichens are found in just about every type of environment, so no matter where you live, the chance of lichens growing on your roof is the same everywhere.

How Lichen Affects Your Roof And Gutter Systems

Ruins Your Curb Appeal

Lichen growths on your rooftop and along your gutters can create quite an unsightly image. They’ll make your gutters and roofline look like it is poorly maintained and deteriorated. If you plan on selling your home, significant lichen growth on your rooftop can affect your home’s selling price.

Harm Your Roofing Materials and Gutters

Lichens can eat away at your roofing materials and effectively remove their top layer. This will dramatically reduce your roofing shingle’s ability to protect your home from the onslaught of the elements. Lichens will also significantly reduce the color of your roof, creating uneven patches across the roofing system. Lichens can reduce your gutter’s capability of effectively draining water. Lichen can narrow your home’s gutter pipes, which can lead to clogging over time.

Loosen Shingles And Gutters

If lichen is able to grow beneath your roofing shingles, it may loosen the shingles over time and eventually cause it to detach completely. If the lichen growth on your roof is quite significant, you may lose quite a bit of roofing shingles, which will expose the roof deck of your home to the elements. Lichen growing in between your gutters can also cause gaps in the system, leading to leakages.

Difficult to Navigate Across Your Roof

Trying to navigate across your roof if you have significant lichen growth can be pretty tricky. This is because lichen can hold any water and moisture that lands on your rooftop and therefore creates a rather slippery surface.


If your gutter system has been jeopardized by excessive lichen growth, give Gutter Maids a call today so that we can help you restore your gutters to their full functionality.