It’s not uncommon for dirt, debris and even algae and other plants to accumulate on your roof. While this can make your roof appear unsightly, there are ways (and more importantly, ways not to) clean your roof.
Now that the fall season is here, routine home maintenance (everything from cleaning gutters to raking leaves) will become commonplace, and some people may even decide that cleaning their roof is a good addition to their checklist. While it may seem like a good idea, there are many things homeowners should look out for when sprucing up their home’s exterior.
Avoid Power Washing
Power washing works great for vinyl siding, but it can absolutely wreak havoc on asphalt shingles. What may seem like a nice and easy way to clear away dirt and even take care of algae is actually a surefire way to tear the shingles clean off of your roof. At best, you will succeed in loosening them so that they will pull away during the winter or on the next windy day.
If you have asphalt shingles, avoid cleaning your roof with a power washer.
Dealing with Algae
If you have excessive algae growth on your roof, it’s always best to hire a professional to clean and remove it. If you are insistent on making it a DIY job, check with the manufacturer of your shingles (or the roofing company that installed them) to make sure the cleaner you are using will not damage your shingles. Many chemicals can damage your shingles and lead to expensive repairs.
Also remember that you should never use scraping or abrasive tools to remove dirt, debris, grime or algae. This will scratch your shingles and can even cause them to come loose.
Is There Really Any Good Way to Clean a Roof?
Thanks to rain and wind, your roof should do a fairly good job of cleaning itself. Other than that, many DIY roof cleaning methods can end up damaging your roof. If you are comfortable getting on your roof to do some cleaning, there are a few things you can do on your own:
- Remove large sticks and other debris by hand
- Use a leaf blower to remove leaves and small bit of dirt/debris
- Clean small stained areas with a mild detergent solution applied with a weed sprayer (the low pressure water won’t damage your home)
In the end, it’s always better to hire a professional company. Also keep in mind that no amount of cleaning can fix an old and worn roof.