When your roof is newly installed, it will look great and make your home look its best. Over time, you’ll see that it gets discolored, or mold or moss is starting to grow on it. You don’t need to worry too much, though, as you can clean it off and get it looking as good as new again. Here’s what you’ll need to do to clean that roof safely.
1. Understand the Issues With Your Roof
If you’re seeing dirt or dark patches on your roof, you’ll think that it’s most likely general dirt you need to wash off. Before you get started, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re dealing with first. What is it that’s on your roof? For example, if you’re seeing black streaks, that’s most likely blue-green algae. If there are thick green patches, that’s going to be moss. That’s more likely to grow on the north and west sides of the roof and any shaded spots.
Algae won’t damage your roof, but it will affect it’s cosmetic appeal. Moss can cause damage by letting shingles curl up or come away from the roof, which can lead to more serious issues. Either way, you’ll want to clean the roof to get it looking as good as new again.
2. Pick the Right Cleaning Equipment
Many homeowners will reach for the pressure washer to clean their roofs. It’s tempting to use as it seems like the quickest option, but it’ll do more harm than good. A pressure washer can loosen up shingles and damage the roof, so don’t use it for this job. Instead, you’ll need a garden hose with a sprayer attachment filled with equal parts of chlorine bleach and water. You’ll spray that across the entire roof, where the bleach can get to work. After 15 – 20 minutes, rinse the solution off with clean water.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Yard
You’ll be using bleach to clean the roof, but remember that it will wash off onto the surrounding area. As such, you’ll need to take precautions to protect yourself and the yard. If you have pot plants around the area, move them out of the way. For any vegetation, you can’t move, wet them with plain water, and then cover them with plastic sheeting. Once you’ve washed the bleach off the roof, remove the sheeting and rinse the plants again.
4. Have Patience
If you’ve never cleaned off your roof before, you’ll wonder whether you’ve actually cleaned it once you’re done. The moss and algae won’t come away from the roof instantly, and some homeowners are tempted to apply the solution again.
Refrain from doing this, as you don’t want to accidentally damage your roof. You’ll need to give the bleach time to work, killing off the growth. If you’re dealing with algae, it will most likely start rinsing away the next time you have rain. If you have moss, that will die off over time, and you’ll be able to remove it with a leaf blower.
5. Pick the Right Weather to Clean Your Roof
You’ll need the right weather conditions to clean your roof and get its best effects. A sunny day sounds best, but it will let the bleach solution evaporate quicker overall. That’s not going to give you the best results. Instead, pick a cloudy, dry day with no wind or threat of rain. That will give the solution plenty of time to work, and you’ll see you get much better results.
6. Be Safe When Cleaning
Working on your roof in any capacity can be dangerous, so you need to ensure that you’ll be safe. Beforehand, ascertain whether the roof will be safe to walk on. Wear nonslip rubber-soled shoes when on the roof, and ensure you wear eye and skin protection. If the roof is too steep, or you’re not sure if you’re able to clean the roof yourself, then look into hiring a professional to handle it for you. They’ll be able to do an excellent job of cleaning and ensure it’s done safely.
7. Take Steps to Prevent Moss and Algae
Before you even have to clean your roof, you can work to stop moss and algae from growing on your roof in the first place. You can take steps to limit their growth, so make sure you’re taking them. This is especially important if you’ve had a new roof installed.
Trim any tree branches away from the roof, or remove the tree itself if it’s too close. That keeps the roof clear and in the sun and stops animals from being able to run from the trees to the roof and spread moss and algae. You’ll also want to ensure you keep your gutters clean and clear. To do this, get up on a ladder to reach your gutters, and then scoop out any debris you find into a garbage bag. You can add gutter guards if you so wish to minimize the chance of this happening again.
Call on the Experts
As noted above, sometimes you won’t be able to clean your roof yourself. If the slope is too steep, for example, you won’t be able to get on the roof to clean it. If you’re unsure of the right way to clean it, then it’s always best to ask an expert to handle it for you. That way, you can stay safe and still have a clean roof at the end of the process. Now you know the best way to clean your roof when it starts getting dirty or has moss growing on it. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to clean it quickly, safely, and effectively. Remember to take preventative steps, too, to ensure that it stays cleaner for longer.