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How To Clean Metal and Asphalt Roof Shingles Without Damage: A Step-By-Step Guide

Roof cleaning

Are you a homeowner looking for ways to keep your roof in top shape? Cleaning your shingles is an important part of maintaining the integrity of your home, but it can also come with its challenges. You don't want to damage the shingles while you're cleaning them but luckily, there are some simple precautions that can help protect them while cleaning them up like new! In this blog post, our exterior cleaning experts will take a look at how to clean roof shingles without damaging them so you can enjoy and be proud of a well-maintained home! So let’s get the takeaway answer before we discover more about how to clean roof shingles without damage.

High-pressure water or scrubbers can damage shingles, so it's best to use a gentle approach and professional-grade cleaning solutions or hire a professional. Metal roof shingles can be cleaned with a soft-bristled brush or low-pressure power washer and a mix of sodium hypochlorite and water. Asphalt roof shingles can be cleaned with a soft wash using shingle-cleaning chemicals, low pressure, and a mix of bleach and water.

Okay, so with the short answer nailed, let’s begin first with finding out why keeping your roof shingles in good shape is important.

Why is it important to clean roof shingles?

We know you take pride in your home, but have you thought about the importance of cleaning your roof shingles? It's not just a matter of aesthetic appeal, but also your overall home maintenance. When shingles become covered in debris, moss, or algae, they can weaken and deteriorate, leading to potential leaks and even costly repairs down the line. By simply taking the time to clean your roof shingles, you can prolong the lifespan of your roof, save yourself some money in the long run, and keep your home looking sharp. Plus, who doesn't love the sight of a freshly cleaned roof shining in the sun? So, let’s find out more about how to give those shingles some much-needed TLC.

As specialists in exterior cleaning, we have come across a few common problems that you might find when tackling this job.

Read on to find out more

What problems might I expect to find?

If you're a homeowner looking to tackle a cleaning project on your own, cleaning roof shingles may be on your to-do list. But what types of cleaning problems should you expect? Well, firstly, there's the issue of algae and moss buildup. These unsightly growths not only detract from the appearance of your roof, but they can also cause damage over time. Then, stains from dirt, leaves, and other debris may accumulate on your shingles. Depending on the severity of the problem, these stains may be difficult to remove. Finally, if you're not careful, you could damage your shingles, causing them to become loose or dislodge altogether. But with the right tools and techniques, cleaning your roof shingles can be a successful and rewarding project. So let’s find out what causes those ugly stains on your roof shingles.

What causes stains on roof shingles?

Did you know that black streaks and stains on your roof shingles can be caused by a variety of growths, like gloeocapsa magma, fire moss, mildew, lichen, or mold? These blue-black or green-black stains are not only unsightly, but they can also cause serious damage to your roof.

Asphalt roof

If you have an asphalt roof, you too will need to watch out for gloeocapsa magma and fire moss. Gloeocapsa magma thrives in warm, humid environments with less sunlight, and can turn your roof completely black if left untreated. Fire moss, though less common, can still cause serious damage if it covers your roof shingles completely and allows water to seep inside your house.

Metal roofs

There are four other organic growths to look out for. Lichen, a combination of algae and fungus, is a stubborn growth that binds tightly to metal roof shingles and can cause rust and damage. Moss also binds tightly to the surface due to its strong root structure and can team up with lichen to create a powerful supergrowth that is difficult to remove. Both mold and mildew thrive in wet, rainy areas and can be slippery and smelly. Mildew also has a wide range of colors, from pink to dark black. Keep your roof looking and functioning its best by keeping an eye out for these common growths and treating them promptly. So let's get into it and discover exactly how to clean your roof shingles without causing any damage.

How to clean roof shingles without damaging them

If you're a homeowner, you know the importance of keeping your roof shingles clean. However, it's crucial to handle this task with care to avoid damaging them in the process.

Don’t use high pressure

One of the most common mistakes people make while cleaning shingles is using high-pressure water or scrubbers. This can cause the shingles to loosen or break, leading to further damage down the line. While cleaning, you could inadvertently crack or break the shingles, causing leaks and other problems Be sure to avoid using high pressure if using a pressure washer, as the force of the water could loosen the shingles or knock them off altogether. It's best to use a gentle approach and professional-grade cleaning solutions, or better yet, hire a professional to take care of it for you. Ok so let’s find out a little more about the two types of roof shingles you might have in your home.

“Be sure to avoid using high pressure if using a pressure washer, as the force of the water could loosen the shingles or knock them off altogether.”

Metal Roof Shingles

Metal roof shingles have become more popular among homeowners due to their durability and longevity. They are an excellent investment for those looking for a long-lasting roofing solution. However, just like any part of your home, they require maintenance to keep them looking their best. When it comes to cleaning metal roof shingles, the best method is to use a soft-bristled brush or a low-pressure power washer. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the finish of your shingles. It's also important to clean them regularly to prevent debris and dirt buildup that can lead to corrosion. Ok so what actually causes stains and streaks on metal and asphalt shingles?

How to Clean Metal Roof Shingles Without Damage: Step-by-Step

Looking for an effective way to clean your metal shingle roof? Look no further than sodium hypochlorite! This powerful ingredient can be mixed with water in different ratios to create the perfect shingle-cleaning solution. For a gentle clean, try a mix of 5% sodium hypochlorite and 95% water. If that doesn't do the trick, step it up with a mix of 10% sodium hypochlorite and 90% water. A mix of 20-50% sodium hypochlorite and 80-50% water is used by professionals, but it does have the potential to damage and rust your metal roof, so if you think your roof might need this treatment, then it’s best to get in the pros!

Here's a simple step-by-step guide to getting your metal shingles looking like new in no time:

  1. Protect your garden by covering plants or watering them frequently during the cleaning process.
  2. Mix up your cleaning solution in a blender or mixer, then transfer it to a pump sprayer for easy application.
  3. Wet the entire metal shingle roof with water to prep it for cleaning.
  4. Apply a small amount of your cleaner to the shingles and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away dirt and grime.
  5. Repeat until all shingles are looking sparkly clean.
  6. Give everything a final rinse with water, making sure to wash away any residue from surrounding areas.

Asphalt Roof Shingles

If you're a homeowner, you've probably encountered asphalt roof shingles at some point. These shingles have become one of the most popular roofing materials over the years for several reasons - they're durable, cost-effective, and versatile. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a great option for any home style. Asphalt roof shingles can last up to 25 years, which means you're getting a significant return on your investment and are also likely to need sprucing up from time to time. So how do you keep them in good condition, by cleaning your roof shingles without damaging them?

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Asphalt Roof Shingles

Want to keep your Asphalt roof shingles looking great? Soft washing with the right shingle-cleaning chemicals can do the trick! Using low pressure helps to maintain the lifespan of your shingles too. Which is known as soft washing in the roof-cleaning industry. For the best results, use 12.5% Sodium hypochlorite (pool shock) bleach. Different ratios work for different problems.

  • 75% bleach and 25% water work best for tough algae, fire moss, and lichen.
  • 50/50 works for black streaks caused by gloeocapsa magma or light black algae.
  • For light black stains, a diluted mix of 25% bleach and 75% water will do the trick (but bear in mind that it won't work for tougher stains due to its high water concentration).

So want to refresh your asphalt shingle roof? Here's how to do it step-by-step:

  1. Soak your plants with water to protect them from the shingle cleaner.
  2. Mix the chemicals in a 50:50 ratio for the perfect cleaning solution.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution from top to bottom using a small amount at first. Less is more!
  4. If dirt persists, apply a second coat to ensure it's gone.
  5. Rinse your plants after the treatment.
  6. No need to rinse the shingles, but if there's any dirt left, reapply the chemical.

Ok so now we’ve got the lowdown on how to clean your roof shingles without damaging them, you might be wondering what kind of products are best to use.

Where Can I Get The Best Roof-Cleaning Products?

Looking to clean your shingle roof without spending money on a professional? Southeast Softwash has got you covered with our top-selling shingle-washing products! Our Softwash chemicals surfactants have an improved formula for better washing results and can be mixed with bleach for an even deeper clean. Our batch buster blend manifold is a game-changer with the world's first purpose-built Softwash Metering Valve System that displays bleach percentages and allows for easy adjustment to tackle tough stains. And don't forget to check out our wide selection of cleaning equipment, designed to help you clean your shingle roof like a pro!

How To Clean Roof Shingles Without Damage - To Finish On

So there you have it! Everything you need to know about getting your roof shingles clean and like new without damaging them! For more soft wash hacks and tips to keep your home looking its best, check out our helpful Youtube tutorials and Blog area of our site. Also, don't forget to head over to discover more about our soft wash training for those of you who are considering becoming a pro!