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how to clean asphalt shingles: woman removing leaves

How To Clean Asphalt Shingles (DIY Guide)

We all know how difficult it is to maintain our roof every season. It becomes even more important to clean asphalt shingles since it can affect their longevity. Dirt, debris, moss, and algae can accumulate on the surface of your shingles. They can lead to discoloration and potential damage. 

Fortunately, you can use the right tools and techniques to clean your asphalt shingles. But how to clean asphalt shingles? We have curated a ten-step guide to help you understand the cleaning process. Follow this step-by-step outline to effectively clean your asphalt shingles and restore them to their original condition.

Why Asphalt Shingles Need Cleaning from Time To Time

Regular cleaning of asphalt shingles can preserve their aesthetic appeal, prevent damage, and maintain the structural integrity of the roof. You can restore their charm by avoiding discoloration and staining. 

An unnecessary buildup can also retain moisture, and promote the growth of mold and mildew, which can lead to premature deterioration of the shingles. If you regularly remove this debris through cleaning, you can prevent moisture-related damage which will ultimately extend its lifespan.

Moreover, regular cleaning helps prevent pest infestations. As we know, debris can provide hiding places and breeding grounds for pests such as insects and rodents. By keeping the roof clean and free from organic matter, homeowners can mitigate the risk of structural damage caused by pests. They can maintain a healthy and safe living environment. 

10 Steps To Clean Asphalt Shingles

Periodic cleaning of asphalt shingles is a key aspect of roof maintenance. Let us understand each step in detail to ensure long-term durability and performance.

1. Acquire the Proper Tools, Supplies, & Safety Equipment

Before beginning the cleaning process, gather all necessary tools and supplies, including a ladder, safety harness, leather shoes, gloves, safety goggles, etc. You may also need a garden hose or pressure washer, a pump sprayer, a scrubbing broom, and a suitable cleaning agent

Ensure that all equipment is in good condition and appropriate for the task at hand to minimize safety risks. Check the expiry date of each equipment and do not use anything that has rust. 

2. Remove Extra Dry Debris

Use a leaf blower or a simple broom to remove any loose debris, leaves, twigs, and branches from the surface of the roof. Pay particular attention to valleys, gutters, and areas around chimneys. 

Ensure to clean the vents where debris tends to accumulate more. Clearing away excess dry debris will make your job easy. It can prevent dry debris from interfering with the effectiveness of the cleaning process.

3. Clean the Asphalt Shingles on Cloudy Days

Summers and winters can be challenging for the roof cleaning process. Opt for cleaning asphalt shingles on cloudy days or during cooler hours to avoid rapid evaporation of the cleaning solution. High temperatures and direct sunlight can cause the cleaning agent to dry too quickly. 

It can reduce its effectiveness and potentially leave behind streaks or residue on the shingles. Cleaning on overcast days allows for better control over the application and dwell time of the cleaning solution.

4. Protect the Plants Around the Foundation of Your Home

Before applying any cleaning agent, take precautions to protect plants, shrubs, and vegetation around the perimeter of your home. Cover delicate plants with tarps or plastic sheeting to shield them from overspray or runoff. Alternatively, water the surrounding vegetation before and after cleaning. It can wash away or dilute any cleaning solution that may affect a healthy plant.

5. Choose Your Cleaning Agent Wisely

Select a cleaning agent specifically formulated for use on asphalt shingles and compatible with your roof material. You should avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that may damage the shingles or surrounding surfaces. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure safe and effective application on the roof.

6. Pour the Chemical Treatment as Per the Label Instructions

Carefully measure and dilute the cleaning agent according to the instructions on the product label. You can use a suitable container to mix the solution. Ensure that you have followed the recommended ratios for optimal effectiveness. Avoid using excessive amounts of chemical treatment, as this can lead to runoff and potential damage to the roof and surrounding areas.

7. Apply the Cleaning Agent to the Roof

Transfer the diluted cleaning solution to a pump sprayer or garden sprayer for easy application. Begin at the highest point of the roof and work your way down, applying the cleaning agent evenly across the surface of the asphalt shingles. Use a gentle, sweeping motion to ensure thorough coverage and avoid oversaturation.

8. Allow Dwell Time

Allow the cleaning agent to dwell on the shingles for the recommended time specified on the product label. Dwell time allows the solution to penetrate and break down stubborn stains, algae, moss, and other contaminants effectively. Do not allow the cleaning solution to dry completely on the shingles, as this may reduce its effectiveness.

9. Scrub Tenacious Moss or Algae

For particularly stubborn moss or algae growth, gently scrub the affected areas with a scrubbing broom. Use a circular motion to agitate the cleaning solution and loosen debris. 

Always take care of the pressure since if you apply excessive pressure, it could damage the shingles. Focus on heavily soiled areas and avoid aggressive scrubbing. Harsh scrubbing can cause surface abrasion that will damage your roof.

10. Trim Tree Growth for Future Protection

To prevent future debris buildup and minimize the risk of moss or algae growth, trim back tree branches or foliage that hangs over the roof. Overhanging branches can deposit leaves, twigs, and other organic matter onto the shingles. 

They can create ideal conditions for moss and algae to thrive. You can reduce the likelihood of future cleaning and maintenance issues by maintaining a clear perimeter around the roof.

Get Asphalt Roof Cleaning Service for Your Home

While cleaning asphalt shingles can be a DIY project for some homeowners, it can also be a time-consuming and physically demanding task. If you prefer to leave the job to professionals, consider hiring a reputable roofing company. Get in touch with Steadfast Roofing and stay stress-free. 

We offer roof cleaning, replacement, and emergency services. Our professional cleaners have the expertise, equipment, and safety measures in place to efficiently clean your roof. Check out our Google and Yelp reviews. You can see why residents of Florida prefer Steadfast Roofing.

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