December 9

How To Clean Your Roof


Home maintenance can be tiring and seem like an endless chore, but it must get done. Cleaning your roof is a major part of maintaining your home. Removing stains and debris from your roof will help with curb appeal and restoring your roof so that it lasts for years.  However, caution is strongly advised if you attempt to do this yourself. It is recommended to have a roofing professional handle this project due to the risks of injury involved.

cleaning your roof

How Your Roof Gets Dirty


Leaves, sticks, branches, and acorns are some of the debris that causes your roof shingles to get dirty.  The debris can fall from a tree, be carried by birds and squirrels, or blown onto the roof through heavy winds or storms.


These spore-producing plants grow best in areas that have lots of moisture. The shady areas of your roof are most susceptible to the growth of moss.

Algae or Black Stains

The black stains that you see on the roof shingles are dead algae. It’s usually located on the north side of a roof due to lack of sunlight causing the area to remain damp. Algae feed off the limestone in the asphalt shingles.

Helpful Tips on Cleaning a Roof

helpful tips for cleaning your roof

Asphalt shingle roof cleaning involves the use of specially made chemicals or a mixture of water and bleach. Use a product that is designed to remove moss and algae stains.

  • Clean your roof on a calm and cloudy day. You don’t want to be on your roof when the wind is blowing. Too much sun can cause a bleach solution to evaporate quickly.
  • Eco-friendly cleaning solutions do not contain toxic chemicals such as chlorine bleach or phosphates that can harm plants and pollute waterways.
  • If you’re using a bleach solution, protect your home’s surrounding plants and landscaping by wetting them with water, then covering them with plastic. Rinse them again after spraying the bleach solution.
  • Do not use a pressure washer.  This can blow off granules from the shingles, loosen them, and cause damage to your roof.  This may also invalidate your roof’s warranty.
  • Make sure you can safely walk on your roof. If the slope is too steep or if your house is more than one story, you should hire a roofing professional. If you must clean the roof yourself, wear the proper attire. Shoes with a slip-resistant rubber sole, eye, and skin protection are important to have on.

Steps to Clean Your Roof

  1. Determine what cleaning solution to use or create your own by mixing equal parts chlorine bleach and water.  The downside to using a bleach mixture is that it has a strong odor and results may not be instant. It may have to be applied several times.

    An eco-friendly cleaning agent provides results that are instant and complete. Algae and moss are completely gone after a professional roofing contractor cleans your roof.
  1. Pour all cleaning ingredients into a pump-style garden sprayer and mix them very well. 
  2. Spray your roof as thoroughly as possible. Allow the cleaning mixture to sit on the surface for 15 to 20 minutes.  If you have moss on your roof, it will loosen up once the cleaning solution is applied. 
  3. Rinse your roof thoroughly with clean water to remove the cleaning solution entirely. Algae will eventually wash away during rainstorms.

Why You Should Hire A Professional

hiring a roofing professional

Based on what we’ve previously discussed about roof cleaning, you can assume there are risks involved that you should be aware of when cleaning roof shingles.

  • You could fall off your roof and cause serious harm to yourself.
  • Roofs are steep and can get slick with water and cleaning solutions on them.
  • You could ruin your shingles using your non-tested cleaning solution, nullifying the warranty.
  • Your beautiful landscaping can be destroyed if they aren’t protected from toxic cleaning solutions.
  • Walking on your roof can loosen granules & tear shingles.
  • Scrubbing shingles with a stiff brush can cause them to tear.

What Happens When You Don’t Clean Your Roof

Algae, lichens, and moss feed off the material in shingles. The longer they go untreated, the more damage they will cause. As moss thickens and continues to grow on your roof, it can raise the shingles.

Not cleaning your roof also promotes water buildup. This limits the lifespan of your roof and could cause individual tiles to rot. The chances of roof leaks increase leading to damage inside your home.

Don’t take a chance in injuring yourself by trying to clean your roof. Brian Dawson Roofing can tackle this for you. Our experienced contractors know the proper steps to take, cleaning solutions and equipment to use to give your roof an exceptional cleaning without causing roof damage or nullifying your warranty. Contact us today for a free estimate.


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