How to Get Your Roofing Shingles Looking Like New

How to Get Your Roofing Shingles Looking Like New

Ken Arnswald |

Are you working on deep cleaning the outside of your home? Spending time cleaning off siding and gutters can be a good first step. When you step back, you may look at your roof and feel like it also needs freshening up. While you can replace it or hire someone to clean it, there’s another option. Check out these tips on how to clean your own roof!

How to Clean Your Own Roof

What makes the roof look dirty?

There is an alga on the roof that is called GCM. This alga is wind-blown and once it starts to grow, it gets darker and blacker. This alga is also to blame for any staining or darkening that your roof might have. Removing this alga from the roof can give you a cleaner overall look. It can also help with your overall value of the house as it improves the curb appeal for the home.

How does the alga get on the roof?

Shingles used to be asphalt and alga could not live on them. With the cost of petroleum going up manufacturers started adding lime as a way to reduce cost. This used less petroleum and made roofing shingles more affordable. The problem with this lime-based roofing is that alga can feed on the lime portion of the roofing. This means that this cost-saving roofing is actually going to cost you a bit more in care over time.

Does the alga damage the roof?

When looking at the alga on the roof the first question goes to damage. Does it actually damage the roof? The short answer is no. While it is a cosmetic difference, it does not damage the actual roofing shingles. It is still important to clean it as cleaning it can add value to the home and remove unwanted alga.

How do you clean the roof?

Do you want to remove this alga from your roof and give the house a facelift? There are a few different ways to handle this issue. For some, it means replacing the roof. For others, it means hiring out help. We want to share a few ways you can clean it. Even better, we have a DIY formula that is sure to be a hit!

Ways to clean the roof:

  • Replace it - There are some people who will see the darkened roof and assume that it needs to be replaced. Instead of treating the alga that has grown, they will opt for a new roof. This is by far the most expensive approach and isn’t a necessary solution to the problem of alga darkening a roof.

  • Hire cleaners - Another option many will consider is hiring someone to come in and clean their roof. Pricing for roof cleaning can start at $450 and climb upwards quickly. There are also many different upsells that will be offered with a roof cleaning that could end up costing you a great deal more. This may be an option but it doesn’t have to be the only option for cleaning a roof.

  • Pressure washing - Some will go onto the roof with a pressure washer and work to remove this alga in that way. This can have safety implications as you walk around on a wet roof. It can also remove granules from your shingles and ultimately damage the roof. The pressure washing approach can have multiple negative implications and should be looked at carefully. This DIY approach can leave you spending a great deal more on repairs.

  • DIY with this formula - One of the safest ways to clean your roof of this alga buildup is by using a formula many of the pros use. In a 2-gallon garden sprayer mix 25% pool shock, 1 cup Isopropyl alcohol, 2 tbsp dish soap, Fill balance with water. The alcohol helps the bleach penetrate the algae. The dish soap makes the bleach stick to the roof. In fifteen minutes you’ll see that algae disappearing. When it rains next, it will wash off that dead alga. **This is the least expensive option for a good overall clean.**

How do you avoid future alga mess from darkening your roof?

One of the biggest ways to discourage future alga growth is with zinc. In order to prevent future alga growth, purchase zinc strips. You can tuck these zinc strips under your shingles carefully. This will prevent the alga from being able to form on the roof. By making this simple adjustment you can avoid cleaning your roof in the future.

What else causes a roof to get messy?

Another important way to help keep your roof in top shape is to make sure the area around the roof is clean. Are there trees that need cut back? Do you typically get a lot of debris on your roof from different things in your neighborhood? Take some time to get trees cut back and remove debris from the roof. By taking the time to cut back trees and clean up messes that can impact the roof you will extend the life of your roof and help to keep it cleaner.

*Pro tip - Make sure gutters are cleaned out and able to effectively move water run-off from your roof to the ground. This will help to avoid more mess and damage happening to your roof.

What about making the gutters and siding match this clean roof?

So you’ve taken the time to clean your roof of alga and get a fresh look at your roof. Now you’re looking at the rest of the house and realizing it needs a spruce up as well. Don’t let the look of gutters and siding stress you out. Use the clean gutter bundle from Healthier Home Products to make tackling the siding and gutters quick work. On a weekend, you can have the entire outside of the home looking a great deal better.

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