Cleaning Your Home’s Roof – 5 Do’s and Don’ts

Cleaning Your Home’s Roof - 5 Do’s and Don’ts

Ever notice dark, discolored areas on the shady spots of your roof? Upon first glance, some homeowners might get the impression that mold has taken hold over the surface of their roof’s shingles. In reality, the black areas or streaks on your roof are colonies of algae. Conversely, if you notice green patches scattered about your roof, you’re dealing with moss.

Moss can present serious problems for asphalt shingles, which eventually curl up and blow away when burdened by too much of the pesky green stuff.  And when your roof’s shingles aren’t working correctly, it’s only a matter of time before you’re dealing with leaks. While algae don’t harm your roof, it does affect your home’s curb appeal.

What’s the best way to deal with these nuisances, you ask? The obvious answer is to clean your roof, but even cleaning can present its own set of problems. So, how do you know what you should and shouldn’t do when cleaning your roof? Keep reading to find out.

Don’t: Use a high-powered pressure washer to clean your roof. In fact, it’s probably best to avoid pressure washers altogether. Why? Pressure washers have a horrible reputation for damaging roofs and loosening shingles. If you damage your roof, you’re looking at costly repairs that could have been prevented.

Do: Use a sprayer attachment and your garden hose. For best results, mix laundry-strength bleach and water together to create a DIY cleaning agent. Spray your asphalt shingles and allow the mixture to sit for up to 20 minutes. Be sure to rinse your roof with clean water, so the solution doesn’t sit for too long. This cleaning technique is safer and more cost-effective than the power washer option.

Don’t: Ignore safety precautions.

Do: Clean your roof after you are sure that you can walk safely on its surface. Always wear shoes with slip-resistant bottoms and use eye protection. If your roof has a severe slope or multiple stories, you might want to consider hiring a professional. Spending a little money upfront to hire a pro could save you a trip to the hospital and thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Don’t: Clean your roof on a hot, sunny day in the summer. The bleach solution you made will evaporate too quickly and won’t have as much potency.

Do: Try to pick an overcast or cloudy day to clean your roof. Double-check that there isn’t a high chance for precipitation or strong winds. This way, your cleaning solution won’t evaporate as quickly, and you can get the job done in a couple of hours.

Don’t: Get impatient. The cleaning solution you use will take some time to work. Don’t assume it will remove your moss or algae immediately, and don’t apply the solution again if it doesn’t work immediately.

Do: Have patience. Even if the algae on your roof doesn’t wash away after you rinse the cleaning mixture off, it usually washes away after a rainstorm or two. For algae, wait until growths are loosened by the mixture and use a leaf blower or other tool to remove it.

Don’t: Wait a long time to clean your roof. Waiting for months or years between cleanings will just make your job harder.

Do: Perform preventative maintenance like cleaning your gutters, clearing debris off of your roof, etc. This will help keep your roof dry and free of pesky limbs and branches that might hinder your cleaning regimen. Your best bet is to be proactive rather than reactive. If you keep your roof in good shape for most of the year, your moss and algae growth won’t be as bad.

With proper safety precautions, cleaning solutions, and preventative maintenance, cleaning your roof will be easier and less time-consuming. Waiting too long can result in roofing damage. If your roof is leaking or shows signs of wear and tear, don’t try to fix it solo; save yourself a headache and contact Storm Guard Roofing and Construction of Madison WI. We’ll give you an honest rundown of the fixes you need, with pricing that you can afford.