Things to Know Before Cleaning an Asphalt Shingle Roof

Asphalt shingle roof is made up of base mat, asphalt (waterproof layer), and for protection against UV rays, there is an added layer of ceramic.

Asphalt roofs are preferred by many homeowners because they are attractive and are very beneficial.  The designs of the asphalt roofs are versatile which makes it easier to customize them in different shapes or sizes according to your own preference. Asphalt shingles roofs have a versatile color palette which helps you in getting a unique customized roof of your own choice,

If you want to keep your asphalt shingle roof aesthetically pleasing, then cleaning it and maintaining it is necessary. Every unique piece requires extra care for a longer life span, once you stop caring about the stuff that protects you and keeps you out of harm’s way; it can get damaged and in the end, you will have to do more than just cleaning it. To avoid long-term damage, it is very important to take precautionary steps beforehand.


Cleaning an Asphalt Shingle Roof


What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Roof?

A clean roof enhances the beauty of your house. Stained roofs diminish the curb appeal of your house. Roof cleaning is not only important for beauty purposes, it is also important because it is a key structural liability of your house as well.

Roofs are exposed to the environment throughout the year to work properly and to deliver its use it requires effective cleaning. Dirt, debris, algae, moss, and leaves can find their way inside the roof tiles and can damage the entire system. The moisture from rain is absorbed by the moss and it becomes natural habitat for bacteria and moisture can even attract termites.

Specifically, algae are most harmful to your rooftop. Algae feed on limestone and asphalt and grow in dim light. Algae is like a pest. It can attach itself to wild animals and in this way, it can easily find its way on the rooftops of the entire neighborhood. Algae, besides being harmful to the roof, can also affect the temperature of your house. It turns into black stains and can easily absorb sunlight and can warm up the temperature of your house.

Moss, on the other hand, acts like a sponge, it absorbs water and moisture which can result in the lifting and curling of shingles. Mould is even worst than moss or algae because it can cause health issues.

All three; moss, algae, and mold can lead to rot, which will eventually result in water leakage, and you wouldn’t want that because it will put your personal property at risk. Rot is a natural habitat for pests and other wildlife. Rotten roofs are chewable, this attracts rodents and mice. Termites can also find their way in. Bess and birds look for an active habitat to build their nest in.

In short, if you do not want to spend a lot of money on the entire repair and replacement of your roof, then you should consider cleaning it thoroughly every year. Cleaning your roofs can save you money and time!


Cleaning an Asphalt Shingle Roof


How to clean the roof shingle

Now that you know that cleaning your roof is important, you need to understand that it is not an easy job to clean your roofs thoroughly, you need patience, certain supplies, and proper safety measures.

That being said. Let’s dive into it.

  • Gather tools and supplies

  1. Bucket
  2. Pressure washer (with different nozzles)
  3. Ladder
  4. Cleaning chemicals
  5. Gloves
  6. Safety goggles
  • Wear safety gears

You need to make sure that you wear safety gear before you start working with chemicals and pressure washers. The ladder must be secured by side hinges and your footing must not be compromised there must be a flat surface.

  • Make the cleaning solution/agent

Here you must mix both chlorine and water, before doing that make sure that you are wearing gloves.

  • Pressure washer

Secure the lowest pressure nozzle on the pressure washer. Put on syphon tube on the washer and start the washer

  • Spray

Spray the pressure washer up and down until the moss is removed. Let it absorb for at least 20 minutes and then spray it with clean water afterward.


Cleaning an Asphalt Shingle Roof


Why a Roof Soft Wash Cleaning is Best:

Asphalt shingles are very delicate which is why if a lot of pressure will be applied to them, they will break and fall apart. The maximum pressure that must be applied should not be more than 70psi. So, while you are planning to clean your roof yourself, you should be very careful in applying pressure and you must use mild chemicals to get rid of moss or algae.

Your main goal is cleaning the moss and algae not damaging your roof by applying too much pressure. Keeping the structural integrity of the roof is as important as cleaning it thoroughly.

The process of low pressing washing is most commonly known as soft washing. It is the best and safest way to get rid of debris without getting any structural damage.

Cleaning Roof Shingles with Bleach 

To remove algae and moss you definitely need some chemicals which can work their way in and get rid of the nasty plant completely. You have to take safety measures before cleaning your roofs with chemicals because anti-moss treatment can damage your garden or any other nearby plantation.

You need to inspect the gutters and see if they exit into any kind of plants. If they do not exist in any area with plantation you can start the next step.

The most common anti-algae chemical used is Sodium Hypochlorite (Fancy word for Bleach) (12.5), which is also known as pool shock. In case you were wondering, bleach doesn’t damage asphalt shingles, as long as you make sure to dilute it with water. I wouldn’t recommend going with a straight bleach solution, especially for asphalt shingles, because that might cause some damage.

Now we will discuss the concentration range of the mixture and we will also talk about which chemical mixture you need to get rid of the algae.

  • For hear algae, fire moss, and lynch: 75% Sodium Hypochlorite – 25% Water
  • For black streak and gloeocapsa magma: 50% Sodium Hypochlorite – 50% Water
  • For the lighter Gloeocapsa Magma stains: 25% Sodium Hypochlorite – 75% Water (this mixture is not good for fire moss or lynch)


Keeping your roof clean is going to extend the life of your roof because the algae eat on the asphalt and limestone, moss disrupts the water flow and causes curling and lifting of shingles, debris on the other hand can cause losing of the tiles. Roof cleaning can help you get rid of all the pests, and a detailed cleaning can last up to five years. Precaution steps and maintenance can save you money and time.


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