Asphalt shingle roofs are a popular choice for homeowners due to their durability, affordability, and ease of installation. However, like any other type of roofing material, asphalt shingle roofs require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure their longevity and performance. In this article, we will discuss the best way to clean asphalt shingles, the do’s and don’ts of cleaning, and the type of shingles that are suitable for cleaning.
Why do Asphalt Shingle Roofs Need Cleaning?
Compared to concrete tiles, asphalt shingle roofs are more susceptible to algae and moss growth, especially in areas with high humidity or moisture. Over time, the accumulation of dirt, debris, and organic matter can cause discoloration, staining, and even damage to the shingles, reducing their lifespan and aesthetic appeal. Cleaning your roof regularly can prevent these issues and extend the lifespan of your shingles. Cleaning the roof regularly helps remove these contaminants, preserving the roof’s appearance and extending its lifespan.
Rinse First: Preparing Your Asphalt Shingle Roof for Cleaning
Before you start cleaning your asphalt shingle roof, it’s essential to prepare the surface by removing any loose debris, leaves, or twigs. You can use a garden hose or a leaf blower to remove the debris gently. Once you’ve cleared the surface, rinse the roof with water to moisten the shingles and remove any loose dirt or dust. It’s essential to use a low-pressure setting to avoid damaging the shingles or dislodging the granules. It also helps to prevent any abrasive particles from scratching or damaging the shingles during the cleaning process. By rinsing your asphalt shingle roof first, you ensure a clean and smooth surface for a thorough and successful cleaning job.
Choose the Right Cleaner: Using Chlorine Bleach to Remove Algae and Moss
When it comes to cleaning asphalt shingle roofs, there are several types of cleaners available, including oxygen bleach, trisodium phosphate (TSP), and chlorine bleach. However, chlorine bleach is the most effective solution for removing algae and moss growth, which can cause unsightly stains and discoloration on the shingles. You can use a mixture of one part bleach and three parts water to create a cleaning solution.
Spray Carefully: Use a Sprayer to Apply the Cleaning Solution
After you’ve mixed the cleaning solution, it’s time to apply it to the roof. You can use a sprayer or a garden hose with a spray nozzle to distribute the solution evenly. It’s essential to apply the solution carefully, avoiding any direct contact with the shingles or nearby vegetation. You should also wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, to prevent any skin or eye irritation from the cleaning solution.
After you’ve applied the cleaning solution, wait for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off with a garden hose. It’s crucial to rinse the roof thoroughly, ensuring that no traces of the cleaning solution are left on the shingles. Leaving the cleaning solution on the shingles for too long can cause damage to the surface and reduce their lifespan.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Asphalt Shingle Roof
To ensure the best results and prevent any damage to your asphalt shingle roof, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Asphalt Shingle Roof
- Wear protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator, when handling cleaning solutions.
- Use a low-pressure setting when rinsing your roof to avoid damaging the shingles.
- Use a sprayer or a garden hose with a spray nozzle to apply the cleaning solution evenly.
- Rinse your roof thoroughly after applying the cleaning solution to remove any traces of the solution.
- Clean your roof on a cool, overcast day to avoid the cleaning solution from evaporating too quickly.
- Hire a professional if you’re not comfortable or experienced in cleaning your asphalt shingle roof.
- Don’t use a pressure washer to clean your asphalt shingle roof as it can damage the shingles or dislodge the granules.
- Don’t use abrasive materials, such as wire brushes or scrubbers, to clean your roof as they can scratch the shingles and cause more harm than good.
- Don’t mix bleach with other cleaning solutions as it can create toxic fumes.
- Don’t use bleach or any other harsh chemicals on newly installed asphalt shingle roofs as it can damage the surface and void the warranty.
Type of Shingles: Which Ones Are Suitable for Cleaning?
Not all asphalt shingle roofs are created equal, and some types of roof shingles may not be suitable for cleaning, depending on their age, condition, and warranty. For instance, older shingles with worn-out granules or damaged surfaces may not withstand the cleaning process and may need to be replaced. Additionally, some manufacturers may not recommend the use of bleach or other cleaning solutions on their shingles, so it’s essential to check the warranty and installation guidelines before cleaning your roof.
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Roof?
Neglecting regular roof cleaning can lead to several issues and potentially costly consequences. When you don’t clean your roof, debris such as leaves, branches, and moss can accumulate over time, clogging gutters and downspouts. This buildup can cause water to pool and seep under the shingles, leading to leaks, water damage, and even mold growth. Additionally, the accumulation of debris creates an ideal environment for pests like rodents and insects to thrive. Ultimately, neglecting roof cleaning can compromise the structural integrity of your roof and decrease its lifespan. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to ensure the longevity and functionality of your roof.
The Best Way to Clean Asphalt Shingles: Summing Up
Cleaning your asphalt shingle roof is an essential part of its maintenance, and it can help extend its lifespan and aesthetic appeal. To clean your roof effectively, you need to rinse the surface, choose the right cleaner, spray the solution carefully, rinse thoroughly, and follow the do’s and don’ts of cleaning. It’s also crucial to check the type of shingles you have and their suitability for cleaning before starting the process. If you’re not comfortable or experienced in cleaning your roof, it’s best to hire a professional to do the job for you.
In conclusion, maintaining your asphalt shingle roof doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and with the right tools, equipment, and knowledge, you can keep your roof clean and in excellent condition for years to come. Follow the tips and guidelines provided in this article, and you’ll have a beautiful, clean roof that adds value and protection to your home.