Asphalt shingle roofs are a popular choice for homeowners due to their affordability and durability. However, over time, they can become covered in dirt, debris, algae, and moss, which can not only be unsightly but can also damage the shingles. Cleaning your roof shingle is an essential part of maintaining its longevity and appearance. Here is a guide on how to clean asphalt shingles without causing any damage.
Why Clean Your Roof Shingle?
Your roof is the first line of defense against harsh weather conditions such as wind, rain, snow, and ice. If it is not maintained properly, it can lead to costly repairs, leaks, and even structural damage. Regular cleaning can prevent any damage to your roof and keep it looking new. That’s the reason why roof cleaning is necessary.
Materials You Will Need
- Garden hose
- Soft bristle brush
- Roof cleaner
- Safety gear (gloves, goggles, and slip-resistant shoes)
Avoid Using Chlorine Bleach
While chlorine bleach is an effective cleaning agent, it can damage your shingles. It can cause the granules on the shingles to come off, reducing their lifespan. Moreover, bleach can also discolor the shingles, leaving behind unsightly streaks. Therefore, it is best to avoid using bleach when cleaning your roof.
Use a Roof Cleaner
Using a roof cleaner is the best way to clean your roof without damaging the shingles. Roof cleaners are designed specifically for cleaning roofs and are safe to use on asphalt shingles. They are available in both spray-on and hose-on formulas. A roof cleaner will help remove any dirt, algae, and moss that has accumulated on the shingles.
After applying the roof cleaner, it is important to rinse your roof thoroughly. Use a garden hose to rinse off any dirt or debris that has been dislodged by the cleaner. Make sure to rinse the roof from the top down to prevent any water from getting under the shingles.
Avoid Using a Pressure Washer
Using a pressure washer to clean your roof shingle can be tempting, but it can also cause damage. The high-pressure water can dislodge the granules on the shingles, reducing their lifespan. Moreover, it can also force water under the shingles, causing leaks and other damage. Therefore, it is best to avoid using a pressure washer when cleaning your roof.
Use a Soft Bristle Brush
A soft bristle brush is an excellent tool for removing any remaining dirt, algae, or moss from your roof. Gently scrub the shingles with the brush, using a back-and-forth motion. Make sure not to apply too much pressure, as this can damage the shingles.
Beware of Black Streaks
If you notice black streaks on your roof, it could be a sign of algae growth. Algae can feed on the limestone filler in your shingles, causing them to deteriorate. To remove black streaks, use a roof cleaner specifically designed to kill algae.
Prevent Algae and Moss Growth
Preventing algae and moss growth is key to maintaining the longevity of your roof. Trim any overhanging branches or trees that may provide shade and allow moisture to accumulate on the roof. You can also install zinc or copper strips on the roof ridge to prevent algae and moss growth.
When to Hire a Professional Roof Cleaning Service
If your roof is heavily covered in dirt, debris, algae, or moss, or if it has not been cleaned in several years, it may be best to hire a professional roof cleaning service. They have the necessary tools and expertise to clean your roof thoroughly without causing any damage.
In conclusion, cleaning your asphalt shingle roof is an essential part of maintaining its longevity and appearance. With the right tools and techniques, you can clean your roof shingle without causing any damage. Avoid using bleach and pressure washers, and instead, use a roof cleaner and soft bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly and prevent algae and moss growth to keep your roof looking new.
Regular cleaning can also help you identify any issues with your roof shingle early on. If you notice any missing or damaged shingles or any signs of leaks, it is important to address them immediately to prevent further damage.
In addition to cleaning your roof shingle, you should also have it inspected by a professional at least once a year. They can identify any potential issues with your roof and recommend necessary repairs. By following these tips, you can clean your roof shingle without causing any damage and keep it looking new for years to come. Regular maintenance and cleaning can also help you avoid costly repairs and prolong the lifespan of your roof.