How to Clean an Asphalt Shingle Roof

how to clean an asphalt shingle roof

The beauty of an asphalt shingle roof is seeing its design, shape, and form clean and free from debris, algae, or moss growth. Algae causes roof discoloration making it dull and unattractive with spots and patches. It’s why you should schedule roof cleaning periodically.

Cleaning roof shingles properly will enhance your roof maintenance and quality service for an extended period. Here’s how to clean a shingle roof.

Signs That Your Roof Needs Cleaning

Regular roof maintenance is essential for maintaining its color and beauty. Some people choose to invite shingle roof cleaners for this task. However, roof cleaning is an overall straightforward process you work on during regular maintenance. 

Cleaning roof shingles periodically with sodium hypochlorite solution in different concentrations will help remove the moss or streaks on the roof. It clears off the algae and debris caught up on the roof. But how do you know you are due for a roof cleaning? Check out these signs:

  • Black streaks on the roof
  • Presence of moss 
  • Clogged gutters
  • Shifting roof shingles
  • A buildup of dirt or debris on the roof

Once you notice any of these signs, plan for a roof cleaning session. Get the necessary equipment and gear to clear the dirt, grime, or debris on the roof. 

How to Clean a Shingle Roof

To learn how to clean a shingle roof, you must first understand the type of chemicals you need. Different concentration ratios will clear out different levels of algae infestations. However, you can only purchase the 6.5% sodium hypochlorite. 

Professionals can get up to a 75:25 ratio of sodium hypochlorite to water. Bleach with higher ratios removes hearty algae or lichen, while lighter algae could use the 25% sodium hypochlorite mixture. These steps will help you clean your asphalt shingle roof. 

1. Protect the Vegetation

Check out the immediate vegetation and plants in and around the gutters. The chemicals used to clean the shingles could affect their growth and usage. Therefore, you must ensure that you protect these plants to avoid having them absorb unwanted chemicals. 

To protect the vegetation, soak the plants in a lot of water to get them saturated. But, in turn, it makes them saturated, and they can’t absorb the chemicals when chemicals trickle down from the roof.

Keep checking on the plants as you clean the roof for any signs of mist or chemicals on the leaf surface. Clean and rinse the leaf thoroughly to rid it of the chemicals.

2. Prepare Your Chemicals and Detergents

You can use the typical garden hose and sprayer to clean your roof. You don’t need any fancy equipment to complete the task. Instead, choose a suitable shingle roof cleaner according to the algae infestation on your roof.

Consult with professionals to understand which concentrate you need and how to mix it to get the best results. 

Next, mix the chemicals in your garden sprayer. Ensure you get the ratios correct per the instructions. The most common ratio for asphalt shingles is the 50/50 mixture that’ll deal with the patches or streaks but still be gentle with the color and appearance. Mix the chemicals properly with water to wash the roof uniformly. 

3. Consider Using Protective Gear and Equipment

Use protective gear and clothing to protect yourself from the chemical effects of roof cleaning. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants to cover your body from getting into contact with the chemicals. Additionally, get slip-resistant boots or shoes to prevent you from falling when on the roof. The boots also cover you from having the hot chemicals splash on your body. 

Get safety goggles to protect your eyes when spraying the chemicals. Lastly, use a rope to tie yourself to the chimney or any other item to secure yourself from falling. Mind where you step and move as you climb the ladder. Securing the ladder firmly will also ensure your protection when cleaning roof shingles.

4. Start High on the Roof When Cleaning

Once you have everything set, start the roof cleaning process. It’s advisable to clean off the debris or dirt on the roof before you spray. It enhances the impact when spraying. You wouldn’t want to spray the leaves or other debris and leave out the main algae problem. 

The best method for cleaning roof shingles is to start at the top of the roof. This allows the chemical to run down the roof for a more significant roof cleaning effect. Ensure you spray an even layer on the roof for even distribution. Some people prefer adding the grain green dish liquid to slow the liquid as it trickles down the roof, enhancing its impact. 

If the algae doesn’t disappear or turn white after applying the shingle roof cleaner, you’ll need to reapply another coating to eliminate the algae. If the respray doesn’t work, consider using a more concentrated chemical composition for cleaning roof shingles and eliminating the algae. 

5. Monitor the Progress and Results as Required

After cleaning the roof shingles, let the chemicals do their work. Monitor the results for the following weeks to confirm the impact of the chemicals. Plan another roof cleaning for better results if there’s still more algae or moss on the roof after the application. Consider changing the chemical used for better results. 

You can repeat the roof cleaning process as often as possible until you achieve your desired results. Ensure you rinse and soak the plants before and after application to maintain the landscape’s longevity and appearance. 

Tips for Cleaning an Asphalt Shingle Roof

Consider using top-notch equipment or methods to get sure results when cleaning roof shingles on an asphalt roof. Consider these tips when cleaning your asphalt shingle roof:

  • Take out the dirt and debris before spraying the chemicals
  • Use safety and protective gear 
  • Use the right chemicals
  • Plan for roof cleaning on cloudy days to give the chemicals more time to work on the roof.
  • Ensure you apply an even coating using a sprayer for better results

Choose Perfect Exteriors to Clean Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

choose perfect exteriors to clean your asphalt shingle roof

Having a clean and appealing roof often adds to the beauty and value of a home. You’ve got to be keen on these roof cleaning techniques. Use suitable materials and equipment and follow the mentioned steps in roof cleaning for excellent results. You can always contact a reliable company for further advice on cleaning roof shingles and how to maintain your roof. Reach out to Perfect Exteriors today to speak with our team.