“Out of sight, out of mind” is a term many homeowners adhere to when it comes to maintenance of exterior surfaces, especially the roof.

Whether it’s algae buildup on photovoltaic panels causing electric bills to spike or the presence of dark stains, regular and scheduled maintenance should be front of mind for every homeowner in Hawaii.


The humid and tropical climate is the perfect environment for organic growth to flourish. Moss and algae buildup are common here, especially in the mauka neighborhoods where rain is a daily occurrence.

Besides being unsightly and slippery, organic growth, such as moss, is highly destructive over time, and airborne mold spores can even lead to respiratory problems. All exterior surfaces like roofs, sidings, driveways and PV panels are susceptible to pesky organic growth and should be maintained regularly to avoid long-term problems.

A professional cleaning will not only spruce up an outdoor space, but also greatly extend the useful life of exterior surfaces.


The most common and destructive type of organic growth in Hawaii is an algae-like cyanobacteria called Gloeocapsa magma. Found mostly on roof surfaces, Gloeocapsa magma is highly destructive to shingle-style roofs as it feasts on the limestone filler and granules embedded in asphalt shingles. Over time, the roof’s ability to reflect ultraviolet rays is vastly diminished, causing shingles to dry out, curl and eventually crack.

Gloeocapsa magma is common on all roof types but tends to be most visible on asphalt shingles, cap sheets, thermoplastic polyolefin and Gaco silicone and elastomeric roof coatings. As the bacteria colonies grow, they form dark discolorations that can also impede heat absorption throughout the house. As ceiling fans and air conditioning units work overtime to compensate for the heat buildup, the biggest impact of all is on energy bills.

The safest and most effective way to eliminate this destructive growth is a process called soft washing. Soft washing is a gentle and highly effective cleaning technique that uses low water pressure and a biodegradable cleaning solution to eliminate organic growth down to the root, ensuring a longer-lasting clean.


One of Hawaii’s leaders in soft washing and exterior maintenance is locally owned and operated Pacific Spray Wash. The company specializes in maintaining the functionality and aesthetics of residential and commercial spaces here in Hawaii.

To learn more about soft washing, call Pacific Spray Wash at 808-763-9298 or go online to pacificspraywash.com for a free, no-hassle consultation on how you can revitalize your outdoor space today.