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How To Clean Roof Shingles & 3 Expert Tips You Need To Know

Posted on : October 27, 2023

How To Clean Roof Shingles & 3 Expert Tips You Need To Know

Asphalt shingles are more than just a decorative element of your home, they are a strong shield against rain, wind, and snow. But as time goes on, they can get dirty and worn out, making your home look less appealing and leaving it less protected.

It's important to know how to clean roof shingles, which keeps them strong, and able to guard your home.

Whether it's dirt or stubborn moss and algae, this guide will provide you with the steps to get your roof clean and revitalized.

But wait, we're not just sharing the usual cleaning steps, we've got three additional tricks up our sleeve. These are secrets that roof cleaning pros love, and they'll help you tackle the toughest stains and grime.

So, it’s time to get ready, grab your cleaning gear, and show your roof some love. Follow this guide and your roof will be thanking you by guarding your home for years to come!

Signs Your Roof Needs To Be Cleaned

Keeping your roof clean and in good shape is the secret to making it last for decades. If you notice these signs, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get cleaning. 

  • Shingle Discoloration: If your roof is changing color, it might mean there’s mold or water damage. Both of these can cause big problems later on. To stop discoloration, clean your shingles regularly, especially after heavy rain or snow.
  • Moss or Algae Growth: Moss and algae can take away from the overall look of your home, and if left untreated they can also cause significant damage. Moss can lift shingles, allowing for water infiltration, and can loosen the protective granules on the shingles’ surface. 
Signs Your Roof Needs To Be Cleaned

Steps To Clean Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

Step 1: Gathering the Necessary Materials

Before you climb up that ladder to clean the roof, let's round up the essential items to safely and effectively clean your roof shingles.

  • Choosing a Cleaning Solution: Picking the right cleaning solution is key to removing stubborn stains without harming your asphalt shingles. Some homeowners like a simple bleach and water mix, but there are also specific asphalt shingle roof cleaning products available. When deciding on a cleaning solution, think about eco-friendly options that are gentle on your asphalt shingle roof and the planet.
  • Garden Hose: This can be a handy tool for cleaning roof shingles, but remember to use it on a low setting to avoid any damage.

Safety is a big deal when you're up on the roof. Make sure to wear non-slip shoes, use a sturdy ladder, and have a buddy with you to hold the ladder just in case.

Step 2: Preparing Your Roof for Cleaning

Now, take a good look at your asphalt shingles to spot any problems, making sure they're ready for a thorough cleaning. 

  • Identify Signs of Wear: Look for shingles that are curled, cracked, or missing. Spotting these early can save you from more expensive repairs later on.
  • Replace Damaged Shingles: If you find any broken shingles, replace them right away. They take away from your roof’s overall appearance, but more importantly, they can leave your home open to water damage and other problems.
  • Check for Loose Shingles: Sometimes shingles get loose because of bad weather or not being installed correctly. Fixing them quickly can stop more damage from happening later on.

Before you start with repairs, make sure you know what’s covered in your roof warranty. Some warranties might not cover the damage if you fix things yourself, so it’s smart to check first.

It’s also important to avoid water damage to your shingles. Water damage can lead to mold, which can harm your roof and your health. Make sure your roof is completely sealed, and keep your gutters clear to make sure water flows off easily.

Step 3: Applying the Cleaning Solution

Now that you've checked and prepped your roof, it's time to apply the cleaning solution. Be sure to wear protective gear like gloves and eye protection to stay safe.

Always start applying the cleaning solution from the bottom and make your way up to prevent the cleaner from getting under the shingles.

Step 4: Scrubbing Away Dirt and Debris

Once the cleaning solution has soaked in, gently scrub away the dirt and grime. A soft brush or a low pressure hose setting are your best friends here. Avoid using a pressure washer or a powerful hose setting, as these can lift or damage your shingles. 

Step 5: Removing Moss and Algae

Moss and algae can be a pain, but dealing with them is crucial for keeping your home looking great. If you're feeling up to it, a mix of water, vinegar, and mild detergent is a gentle way to kill off moss and algae growth.

But remember, if it seems too tough, professional cleaning services are a safe and efficient choice. They might cost more initially, but they will save you from bigger headaches down the road.

Step 6: Rinse and Repeat

Finally, it's time for a gentle spray to rinse away any remaining dirt. Think about applying a protective coating to your asphalt shingles or carrying out regular checks to keep the surface of your roof clean and extend its lifespan.

If it seems like too much, professional roof cleaning services are just a call away. But if you're the DIY type, remember to stay safe, take it slow, and give your roof the care it deserves!

Your roof is a big deal, and keeping it clean not only boosts the look of your home but also extends its lifespan. So, gather up your cleaning supplies, call a buddy for safety, and get ready to give your roof a fresh, clean start!

And don’t forget, safety first! Make sure you’re being cautious when you’re up on the roof to avoid any accidents. With the right care, you can make your roof last longer and keep your home looking great.

3 Expert Tips For Cleaning Your Roof

Here are three lesser known tips for cleaning your roof shingles effectively:

#1 Choose a Cool, Overcast Day for Cleaning

It's best to clean your roof shingles on a cool and overcast day. The lack of sunlight will prevent the cleaning solution from drying too quickly, allowing it to break down dirt and grime effectively. Also, less wind ensures that the sprayed solution stays on your roof rather than drifting away​​. Routine cleaning, especially during cooler parts of the day, like early morning or late evening, can help keep your roof in top shape for longer.

#2 Use the Right Tools

Opt for a soft bristle brush when cleaning your asphalt shingles. Hard brushes can damage the shingles and shorten the lifespan of your roof. Apply the cleaning mixture to your roof, scrub gently with the soft brush and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse the entire roof thoroughly​​.

#3 Opt for Eco-friendly Cleaning Solutions

Consider using eco-safe cleaning solutions to prevent algae growth. For instance, a chlorine based cleaner is effective at getting rid of algae and will show quick, visible results. Follow the product instructions and spray it onto your roof using a pump sprayer.

Some of the best roof cleaning products on the market this year are Simple Green Industrial Cleaner/Degreaser, Redihan's Roof Wash, and Roof Cleaner OX 4500.

These tips are not only effective but also easy to follow, ensuring that you can keep your roof shingles clean and in good condition.

Cleaning Your Roof

Final Thoughts

A clean roof is not just nice to look at, but it keeps your home safe from rain, snow, and the elements.

Taking care of your asphalt shingle roof is in your hands. Follow these steps to clean and maintain your roof, and it will stay sturdy for years to come.

Remember, keeping your roof clean and repairing any damage quickly will help ensure it continues to keep you safe. It's a job that pays off with a strong, lasting roof.

#1 Roofing Company In Pittsburgh, PA

If cleaning and checking for damage on your roof feels like too big of a job, don’t worry! Our team at McClellands Contracting and Roofing is here to help. We can inspect and fix your roof to ensure its longevity and keep your home looking great.

Talk to our team to see how we can help. Reach out at (412) 353-5660, and let us help keep your roof strong and clean for years to come!

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