If your roof has large dark areas, you may think your shingles are bad. However, it might just be algae growth. Algae can usually be removed from shingles, so the roof's appearance is restored. Removing the unsightly growth not only improves the appearance of your roof, it saves it from further destruction too. The algae eats away at the organic matter in the shingles, so if you don't clean it off, you may eventually need to replace the roof. Here are some things to know before you attempt to clean your roof.
Roof Washing Is Dangerous
It may be best to hire a roof cleaning company to do the job due to the dangers associated with walking around on a wet roof. If your roof has a very steep pitch, you may have a difficult time walking on it when it's wet, because the shingles become slick. If you plan to wash the roof yourself, it's a good idea to use a harness that attaches to the house. Then if you slip and fall, the harness will catch you and keep you from sliding to the ground.
Think Twice About Power Washing
Power washing may seem like the perfect way to clean algae off the roof, but it isn't all that effective. You won't be able to use high enough pressure to knock off the algae, because if you do, it will damage the shingles. Also, you could force water underneath the shingles and create problems by getting the wood decking wet. It's also easy to lose your balance when using a power washer, especially if you are balanced on a ladder or steep roof. A roof cleaning company will probably use chemicals and low pressure water to remove the algae, and that's what you should do too.
Choose The Right Cleaners
Choosing the right cleaners to get rid of the algae can be difficult. You need to consider your exposure, since you don't want to be overcome by the smell of bleach while scrubbing the stain. You also need to think about how the chemical runoff will affect the plants near your home, and how they will eventually affect the groundwater. While bleach is effective, it isn't very environmentally responsible. You can buy eco-friendly roof cleaner at a home improvement store. These break apart the algae so you can rinse it off. These also eliminate the need to scrub, which can damage the asphalt granules.
Hiring a professional (such as Roof Renewal Systems, LLC) to do the job may be the best choice, especially if the work is guaranteed. If you decide to clean your roof yourself, be sure to work with a buddy, so you can get help quickly if you slip or inhale chemical fumes.