Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home.
The average asphalt shingle roof should last between 25 and 30 years if it’s kept in good shape. With proper roof cleaning and maintenance, you can increase the lifespan, but not many homeowners know how to take care of their roofs.
In this post, we’re going to tell you how to clean your roof the right way. The roof is your first line of defense against everything from wind and rain to falling trees and ice. If you want to avoid costly repairs or total roof replacement, keep reading, and you’ll see that caring for a roof can go a long way.
Why Roof Cleaning Is So Important
Regular roof cleaning has numerous benefits. The main one is that a clean roof is one that lasts longer, keeping your home safe and saving you from spending thousands on repairs and replacement.
Beyond that, however, a clean roof helps to cool your home. When mold and algae are left to grow and spread, they absorb the heat, making it difficult to keep it cool in the summer months. Your HVAC unit will have to work harder to maintain the temperature, and your bills will go up considerably.
If fungi grow on your roof, it can also attract pests and rodents. Once they’re on your roof, they’ll enter your home and cause even more havoc. The same goes with mold; as it spreads, the structural integrity of your roof will be compromised, not to mention the fact that you’ll have mold and water leaking inside the home.
A small amount of maintenance can go a long way in preventing these problems.
How to Clean Your Roof
Having a professional inspect and clean your roof on a regular basis is the best way to go. That said, these DIY roof cleaning tips should keep it well-maintained in between professional servicing.
Before you get started, it’s important to remember that roof maintenance is a dangerous job. You should only do it yourself if you’re comfortable going up and down ladders and standing on your roof.
Wait for a cloudy day that isn’t too hot or cold so you can take your time without getting heat stroke. Wear slip-resistant shoes, safety goggles, and thick gloves, as you may be faced with blowing debris, and you’ll have to use chemicals to give your roof a proper clean.
Lastly, make sure to let your spouse or a neighbor know that you’re going on your roof in case something happens. Be careful going up and down the ladder, and consider securing yourself to the chimney with a safety harness.
Once you’re up on your roof, inspect it for debris. If you’ve got a leaf blower handy, use it to blow all of the sticks and leaves onto the ground where you can dispose of them.
Not only is this a crucial step before you start applying a cleaning solution, but it ensures that you won’t slip on anything while you’re actually doing the cleaning. Make sure to cover your shrubs and garden beds with plastic so that they aren’t damaged by falling debris.
Getting the Right Cleaning Solution
To clean algae and moss off of your asphalt shingles, you need something stronger than soap and water. There are various chemical solutions on the market, one of the most popular being sodium hypochlorite, which can easily get rid of the stains left by algae.
You never want to use harsh chemicals on your asphalt tiles, as it could further deteriorate them. Again, if you’re not comfortable applying the solution yourself, it’s better to hire an experienced roofing company to deal with it.
Applying the Cleaner
Mix your solution with water and either apply it with a low-pressure garden sprayer or carefully dump it straight out of your bucket. Liberally cover all of the problem areas with the solution and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
Never use a high-pressure sprayer on your roof, as the force of the water can damage your tiles.
Rinse and Scrub
Next, put some water in a bucket (or your sprayer) and wash all of the solution off. This should get a good amount of dirt off of the roof, but moss and algae can be quite stubborn, so you’ll need to take a bristled brush or sponge and scrub it until it’s all the way off.
Don’t scrub too hard. As with the pressure washer, applying too much force will damage the shingles. Gently scrub until you’ve removed the algae and the black streaks it leaves behind.
If you’re having trouble getting it off, re-apply the cleaning solution and try it again. The more ingrained the algae are, the more likely it is that you’ll need professional cleaning instead.
How to Keep Your Roof Clean
Once you’ve cleaned your roof, there are a few more steps you can take to protect it in the long run. It’s always a good idea to trim any overhanging branches so they don’t continue falling and creating the conditions for algae to grow.
The more sunlight that your roof is exposed to, the dryer it is, and the less likely it is that algae and moss will grow. You can also spray your roof with an anti-moss biocide to kill the spores and prevent the moss from growing back in a few weeks’ time.
As long as you perform roof cleaning regularly, you shouldn’t experience many issues with moss, algae, or other debris.
The Perks of Professional Cleaning
Now that you know how to clean your roof, you can ensure it stays in good shape and lives a full life. As a homeowner, caring for a roof is crucial, but it’s also important to get a professional cleaning done from time to time as well.
A professional roofing company has the experience and knowledge to inspect and maintain your roof so that it never fails. This will keep your roof in great shape for longer and help you avoid costly repairs down the line.
At Freeman Exteriors, we’re the number one roofing contractor in Champaign and Lafayette. To learn more about our roofing services or to get a free estimate for your roof cleaning, contact us today.