Ever notice how people ask a question which immediately leads to another question? They start off with, Are you going to eat that slice of key lime pie? and then the follow-up: Can I have it? This is also true with questions about roofs: Can roof shingles be cleaned? and then, Can roof shingles be pressure washed? Let’s dig into the roof cleaning concerns; the key lime slice is for you and yours to sort out.
What could go wrong with the appearance of your Florida home’s shingles? Shingles are astoundingly popular; they are North America’s #1 residential roofing material. Economical, quickly, and easily installed, shingles are relatively long-lasting if properly maintained.
Still, they can get dirty. Various organisms have a penchant for shingles:
- Moss — Moss grows on moist, shaded roofs; the moss can easily creep beneath the shingles and ruin their water-resistance surface.
- Mold — Mold is everywhere, but it will settle and spread on a shingle roof where it can get moisture and nutrients from the shingles themselves.
- Mildew — If conditions are moist enough, mildew (a certain type of mold) with long tendrils will creep across shingles and take up residence.
- Algae — the black streaks you see are an alga, Gloeocapsa magma, which feed on the limestone in your shingles’ granules; the blue-green algae build up and create a dark, hardened outer surface, causing the black stains.
In addition to living enemies of your shingle roof, plain old dirt and debris can build up on your roof. Many Florida homes have gently sloping roofs that cannot rid themselves of pine needles, leaves, and twigs from overhanging trees. This leaf litter must be removed to prevent gutter clogs, roof leaks, and other issues.
No matter the source of the problem, a dirty roof is unsightly. A dirty roof can disguise a damaged roof, so once you enlist a roofer to clean your roof, you may be facing a choice between cleaning a damaged roof or replacing the shingle roof. Cleaning is preferred over replacing if the roof can be rescued.
Can Roof Shingles Be Cleaned?
Absolutely, roof shingles can be cleaned! If you see discoloration, moss, algae, or other unattractive issues detracting from your North Port-area home’s appearance, you may be tempted to clean it yourself. Roof shingles can be cleaned; just not by you!
Please, please, please do not go up on your roof! Your roof, even on a beautiful one-story Florida bungalow, is dangerous and slippery. A clean roof is not worth a trip to the emergency room, or worse. Leave roof cleaning to trained professionals.
Your roofer has the training, technique, and tools to properly clean your shingles. When you enlist the help of a neighborhood roofer to perform cleaning services, you get a lot of bang for your buck:
- Your roof is maintained in pristine, attractive condition
- The roofer can visually inspect for flaws, problems, or incipient repair concerns
- Your roof lasts longer since moss and algae cannot work against the shingles
- Fewer branches, leaves, and twigs clog your gutters
A skilled roofer familiar with the composition of fiberglass-asphalt shingles can work carefully to protect your shingle roof while ridding it of unsightly stains, clinging moss, and wind-tossed debris. If you climb onto a shingle roof, your cleaning may result in damage and lead to expensive repair bills. If your roofer climbs on your roof, the roofing contractor assumes liability for any damage done during cleaning. Here’s a tip: roofers do not damage roofs. They know what they are doing!
Can Shingles Be Pressure Washed?
Absolutely not; shingles should never be pressure washed! Shingles are tough enough to withstand Florida’s weather. They are designed to be flexible but strong. High-pressure water streams can lift and crack shingles, drive water beneath the layers, and soak the underlayment and sheathing. Once water infiltrates, roof leaks are not far behind.
Take a tip from the professionals by taking a look at a local roofer during a shingle roof cleaning project. You will not find pressure washers on the jobsite. Instead, trained crews use soft brushes and ordinary garden hoses to gently wash the shingles, allowing the water to naturally fall down to the gutters.
Roofers use cleaning agents specifically designed to kill algae, moss, mold, and mildew. Fungicides and algaecides work far more effectively than household bleach, so only small amounts of these chemicals are needed. Much of the work comes from the hard work of softly scrubbing the unsightly organisms from the roof, followed by ample rinsing.
Please contact us today at Mark Kaufman Roofing so we can offer you practical solutions to your roofing concerns. We are ready to bring our best to you and your home in the North Port area, from roof cleaning to full roof replacement.