Cleaning the roof: a practical guide

October 24, 2014

If you've noticed debris on your roof or mould or algae growing on your shingles, it may be time to clean the roof before real damage to your shingles occurs.

Cleaning the roof: a practical guide

This is a regular part of roof maintenance and can greatly extend its overall life, save you money and improve the appearance of your house. Here are a few tips for a successful roof cleaning.

Debris on your roof

Debris on your roof can include sticks, twigs, leaves, acorns and other organic matter. Often, this type of debris results from intense storms or strong winds, but can also come from changing seasons.

This kind of debris not only ruins your roof's appearance, but can also back up gutters, preventing water from properly draining. This can cause rot and mould to build up on your roof tiles, leading to serious damage.

The first cleaning method for debris is to simply get on the roof and use your hands. You can also use a leaf blower or a broom, which allows you to avoid bending down repeatedly to touch dirty leaves. Be careful not to brush too harshly, as roof granules built into your shingles can be swept away as well.

Whenever working on your roof, it's important to take the proper safety precautions, including wearing work gloves and other protective equipment, and taking care to maintain your balance.

Combatting roof mould and moss

Many people notice black stains or mould forming on their roof shingles, which are actually made up of dead algae that usually appear when areas of a roof don't get enough sun, giving the mould a better chance to grow. Greenish or brown moss can also be a problem.

When cleaning the roof of black stains or moss, there are a number of different cleaning solutions you can use. Usually the best solution is a mixture of 50 per cent hot water and 50 per cent bleach. Be sure to test the solution on a number of roof shingles to see what kind of effect it has before using it on the entire roof.

Talking to a professional and checking your roof shingle warranty is also not a bad idea, so you have yourself covered. Note that you should never use a pressure washer on your roof, as this can seriously damage your shingles.

Ultimately, cleaning your roof is not a complicated project, but it does require proper safety at all times. It's also important to not cause more damage than the debris or organic matter that's causing your roof problems in the first place. However, if you can clean your roof on your own, you'll be able to save some money and save your roof some costly repairs.

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