How to Clean your Roof Without Damaging the Shingles

Just like the windows of your home get dirty due to exposure and need to be cleaned every once in awhile, your home’s roof gets dirty and cluttered with debris over time and also needs to undergo a cleaning every few years or so. But cleaning your roof isn’t as straight forward as cleaning your windows, and even more importantly, you can actually do damage to the shingles of your roof if you use the wrong tools or clean the roof too aggressively. So to help you clean your roof the right way without damaging your shingles, in addition to calling your roofing contractor for any major concerns or questions, remember the following tips:

Remove debris: After inspecting the roof for safe access and acquiring a ladder, safety goggles to protect your eyes, gloves, and a bucket, you can cautiously begin to remove all debris including branches, leaves, and other foliage. Be sure to sweep or rake off all debris gently enough to not remove any of the granules on the shingles, as removing granules from shingles makes your roof vulnerable to damage shingles, and thus cracks and leaks into your home.

Clean algae and black stains: Asphalt shingles are susceptible to algae growth due to a lack of sunlight and frequent dampness, and they often have the appearance of what looks like a black mold. While it is possible to clean these stains off yourself using special cleaners or even just soap and water, it’s best to get in touch with your roofing contractor and manufacturer to make sure you aren’t jeopardizing any terms of the warranty when using certain cleaning agents to clean your roof. And never use a pressure washer to clean off your roof, no matter what type of roof your home has or what you are cleaning for!

Remove moss and prevent it from reoccurring: Since moss thrives in moist, shady environments, the best way to remove it and prevent it from reoccurring and potentially causing damage to the shingles, is by removing all growing moss, taking away shade (i.e., trim trees surrounding your roof), and creating an acidic environment on the roof using a simple compound with baking soda and water, salt and water, or soap and water. And just as with the cleaning agents you use to clean algae off the roof, be sure to use only non-abrasive compounds that will not damage the shingles.

Clean the gutters: The gutters perform a key function in your roofing system and they perform best when they are clean and free of debris as well. It’s a good time to clean the gutters at the same time you are removing debris from the roof since you basically have all the tools at the ready anyway. Be sure to check for cracks, leaks, and any other damage to the guttering system when thoroughly cleaning out your gutters this season, before the rainy weather begins.

Above everything else though, if you have any concerns or hesitations about performing the roof cleaning yourself, don’t be afraid to contact your trusted, local roofing contractor for assistance with this simple, but necessary task.

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