How is Lichen Created?

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How is Lichen Created?

Lichens are unique organisms that consist of a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae or cyanobacteria. The growth of lichens is influenced by several factors:

Environmental Conditions

Lichens can be found in a wide range of habitats, from Arctic tundra to tropical rainforests. However, they are particularly common in environments where other plants struggle to survive, such as rocky surfaces, tree trunks, and barren soils, which is probably why they grow particularly well on rooftops. Lichens are known for their ability to tolerate extreme conditions, including low nutrient availability, high or low temperatures, and desiccation.

Symbiotic Relationship

Lichens are formed when a fungus and an algal or cyanobacterial partner come together in a mutualistic relationship. The fungus provides a protected environment and absorbs water and nutrients from the surroundings. The algal or cyanobacterial partner, in turn, performs photosynthesis and produces organic compounds that nourish both partners. This partnership enables lichens to colonise and grow in nutrient-poor environments.


Lichens can reproduce through various methods, including vegetative growth and fragmentation. In vegetative growth, the lichen spreads as the fungal and algal or cyanobacterial components divide and grow. Fragmentation occurs when parts of the lichen break off and are carried off by the wind to establish new colonies in suitable locations.

Slow Growth Rate

Lichens are generally slow-growing organisms. Their growth rate can vary significantly depending on environmental conditions, species, and age. Lichens can take years or even decades to reach a noticeable size. Their slow growth contributes to their longevity and ability to withstand harsh conditions over long periods. If you have small patches of lichen growing, treat it now and don’t wait for it to spread. You will save money on the treatment and the reparation of any damaged roof that has deteriorated under the growth.

Overall, lichens are highly adaptable organisms that have evolved to occupy niches where other plants struggle. Their unique symbiotic relationship, tolerance to extreme conditions, and slow growth rate enable them to persist and thrive in diverse habitats.

Below are bird’s-eye views and close-ups of two properties we have treated:

Lichen treatment in Blackmans Bay
Lichen treatment in Blackmans Bay
Lichen treatment in Huonville
Lichen treatment in Huonville

Gutter-Vac Northern and Southern Tasmania can help you with treating and controlling lichen. It is not a quick fix but in the long term, you can gain control over the growth and take your roof back.

Call us on 1300 654 253 or send a quote request by clicking the link.

The Dangers of Lichen Growth and how to Avoid Them.

Lichen growth on a roof is a common problem that can lead to a number of issues if not taken care of. Lichen can cause a variety of issues ranging from decreased roof life to more serious problems such as roof leaks. It is essential that homeowners take proper steps to minimize the risk of lichen growth and take action to remove it if it occurs.

The Risk Factors for Lichen Growth.

Lichen growth on roofs is usually caused by a combination of factors. These include: 

• Moisture: Lichen thrives in moist environments. Roofs are particularly vulnerable to moisture, especially in climates with frequent rain and high humidity.

• Sunlight: Lichen prefers areas that receive direct sunlight. The top of a roof is ideal for lichen growth since it is usually exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

• Pollution: Pollutants in the air can accumulate on roofs and create an ideal environment for lichen growth.

• Organic Matter: Organic debris such as leaves, twigs, and other debris can provide a nutrient source for lichen growth.

The Dangers of Lichen Growth.

Lichen growth on a roof can cause a variety of issues. These include: 

• Reduced Roof Life: Lichen can cause damage to roof shingles over time, leading to a decrease in the overall life of the roof.

• Roof Leaks: Lichen can cause water to seep through the roof, leading to roof leaks and water damage.

• Algae Growth: Lichen can provide a source of nutrients for algae growth, which can further damage the roof. 

Removing Lichen from your Roof.

Removing lichen from a roof can be a tricky process. In order to do it safely and effectively, it is important to use the right tools and techniques. Here are some tips for removing lichen from your roof:

• Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the lichen away.

• Wear protective clothing and take other safety precautions while working on the roof.

• Use a garden sprayer to apply a diluted solution of water and an anti-lichen agent to the affected areas.

• Rinse the area with clean water to remove any remaining debris.

• Apply a sealant to the area to prevent further lichen growth.

Hiring a professional to remove lichen from your roof is the best way to ensure that the job is done correctly and safely. Professionals have the necessary experience and expertise to properly identify and remove lichen from your roof. They also have the right tools and equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently. By hiring a professional, you can rest assured that the job is done right and that your roof is protected from further damage. Get a quote from Gutter-Vac for lichen removal today.

Gutter Clean and Roof Clean in Devonport

“Great work by Chris! The roof looks like new. We look forward to seeing you at our next Service. Chris and Therese run a great business👍”

Cathran, Devonport Tasmania

This property has a flat roof and had lichen all over it. We treated it with Wet & Forget and waited for the lichen to die off.

After 12 months we returned to sweep the dead lichen off but were left with a dirty roof. So we pressure cleaned the roof to bring it up like new.

Roof Pressure Cleaning and Lichen Treatment - Gutter-Vac Tasmania

As you can see in the following photo, there are stains where the lichen used to be. We can treat the lichen and then wash the roof but there will always be a slight discolouration where the lichen used to grow.

Roof Pressure Cleaning and Lichen Treatment - Gutter-Vac Tasmania

We also completed a gutter clean at this property.

Gutter Cleaning Service - Gutter-V ac Tasmania

We have recommended a biennial gutter clean for this property and will continue to send a reminder every two years. No need for the property owner to try and remember.

Let our maintenance program work for you. If you have a property that you want regular gutter cleaning carried out, then contact Gutter-Vac Tasmania and we can help you.

Happy Gutter Cleaning and Lichen Treatment Customer at Lauderdale

” Engaged and professional at all times. When dates had to be changed due to weather issues Therese was prompt with communication and clear about what could and couldn’t be achieved at the time. Chris knew his stuff backwards and left me feeling very confident about his knowledge, abilities and workmanship. As we needed return visits when the weather was more friendly to applying a lichen treatment. I had no qualms about Chris just turning up again and getting on with it – highly recommended.”

Ian, Lauderdale Tasmnia

As we work from the roof if possible, we have to sometimes reschedule the work due to rainy or windy weather. We always contact the client if there is any change to the arranged time.

We are booking work as far as three weeks sometimes and cannot predict the weather. Lichen treatments are scheduled but we keep a close eye on what the weather is doing a few days before the booking.

We require a window of no rain after the application of the treatment. Typically this is six hours of no rain and it should not be a too sunny or hot day.

After the application is completed, we sit back and wait for the weather elements to activate and reactivate the treatment over a 6-12 month period. Over this time the lichen dies and the dirt and grime are washed away.

It you would like any more information on this subject, you can contact Chris or Therese either by email or phoning 1300 654 253.