How To Clean Roof Shingles (Step-by-step Guide)
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How To Clean Roof Shingles (Step-by-step Guide)

nice suburban house before the roof tile cleaning

A well-maintained roof protects your home and enhances its curb appeal. However, asphalt shingle roofs can accumulate dirt, moss, mold, algae, and lichen over time, deteriorating their performance and appearance. That’s why knowing how to clean roof shingles effectively and safely is essential.

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through how to clean and maintain your asphalt shingles while taking necessary safety precautions.

Of course, maintenance can only get you so far, and it’s important not to ignore any minor issues and allow them to become big issues. If you’re unsure as to the state of your roof, reach out to a professional roofing company to get a roof inspection.

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly cleaning your roof shingles can significantly prolong their lifespan and prevent wear and tear that could cause damage.
  • Cleaning your asphalt shingle roof improves the overall appearance of your home and adds value to it, making it more appealing to potential buyers.
  • Pre-treating the roof with a cleaning solution, rinsing thoroughly with low-pressure water, and using soft-bristled brushes or pressure washers are effective ways to remove stubborn stains from asphalt shingles.
  • Applying a protective coating after thoroughly cleaning the roof can help extend its life by protecting weather conditions.

Importance of Cleaning Your Roof Shingles

Clean asphalt shingles are essential to keeping your home in top condition. Not only will a well-maintained roof protect your property, but it can also enhance its curb appeal and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Here is a list of common importance of cleaning your roof shingle:

Prolongs The Life Of Your Roof

Regularly cleaning your asphalt shingles can significantly prolong their lifespan and prevent wear and tear that could cause damage. It is important to note that by not regularly cleaning your roof, the asphalt shingles can become brittle and result in cracking or breaking.

Over time, dirt, debris, moss, and algae accumulate on asphalt shingles, deteriorating or damaging your roofing material. Also, these materials can block your gutters and downspouts, potentially causing ice dams in the winter, which can lead to more serious damage.

Regularly cleaning these asphalt shingle roofs helps prevent this wear and tear while ensuring optimal performance for years. It also helps maintain structural integrity by helping to avoid costly repairs.

Increases Home Value

Prospective buyers often judge a property by its exterior appearance, so ensuring that your roof looks well-kept can directly impact your residence’s curb appeal and perceived worth.

For instance, if you compare two similar homes with the same square footage and features, one has an unkempt roof covered in algae or moss, while the other displays pristine roofing shingles. In this case, most buyers are more inclined towards purchasing the latter owing to its superior external presentation.

If you regularly clean your asphalt shingle roof, the buyers might be willing to pay a premium price for well-maintained exteriors. This is primarily because they recognize that diligent long-term maintenance significantly extends shingle lifespan and preserves structural integrity.

Prevents Health and Safety Risks

Mold, lichen, and moss growth on your roof can cause safety risks for home residents. Moss absorbs moisture from the air, creating an unsafe environment inside and outside the house.

Also, organic growths like mold have been linked to respiratory illnesses and other health risks. Routine cleaning of your shingles will help prevent this risk while ensuring your family stays safe and healthy.

A professional can inspect the roof for additional safety risks or damaged shingles.

Aesthetic Appeal

Looking at your home from the street, the appearance of a dirty and stained roof can be quite unappealing. A roof with black streaks caused by mold, algae growth, or dirt can make an otherwise tidy house look unkempt.

Roof cleaning will not only enhance the appearance of your home but can also improve its curb appeal. Additionally, a fresh and clean roof can make your property look more vibrant and inviting by removing algae stains.

When cleaning, a professional roofer can also add a coat of protective sealant that will help to prevent further discoloration from dirt and debris.

How To Clean Roof Shingles (Step By Step)

clay tile roof with a chimney cleaned from moss on half of it

Cleaning your roof isn’t an easy job and should only be done when taken in the necessary precautions to avoid any accidents or damage. So, if you’re wondering how to clean your asphalt roof shingles safely, follow these steps:

Safety Considerations

First of all, it is essential to take precautionary measures before beginning the cleaning process. This includes:

  • Wear protective clothing and equipment like safety glasses, gloves, long pants, and a hard hat.
  • Inspect the roof to check for broken or damaged shingles that might need repair.
  • Ensure your ladder is placed securely on the ground with its feet firmly planted at a distance of about 3 feet away from the side of the house. (This ensures you don’t slip while working on steeply pitched roofs.)

Proper safety considerations can ensure your and your property’s safety while protecting your roof from any damages.

Blow off Debris

If tree branches surround your home, you should begin by blowing off any leaves, twigs, and debris from the roof. You can use a leaf blower or a broom to remove the debris. This helps to avoid clogging gutters with organic matter while also making cleaning easier.


Before starting the cleaning process, it’s essential to pre-treat the roof with a cleaning solution. This step helps loosen dirt or debris accumulated on your asphalt roof shingles.

It is essential to avoid using harsh chemicals such as chlorine bleach that can affect your roof. Use an eco-friendly low-pressure wash is an effective option to help you eliminate any embedded dirt. You can also use a soft-bristled brush if the dirt is particularly stubborn. However, avoid using any hard-bristled brush or steel wool, as this can damage the shingles.

Low-Pressure Rinse

Once the pre-treatment is done, rinse the roof with low-pressure water to remove the cleaning solution and any debris. You can use a pressure washer to actively regulate the pressure you desire. However, if this is not available utilize a garden hose pipe or garden sprayer but be keen with the pressure.

Ensure not to use extra pressure as this can cause water to infiltrate into areas that should remain dry, such as windows or chimney flashings.

Applying a Protective Coating

Once the roof has been completely cleaned, you can apply a protective coating to help prolong its life. This coating helps protect against extreme weather conditions while also making it resistant to staining and moss buildup.

When selecting a coating, it is important to consider the type of roofing material, such as metal roofs. This is because some coatings are not compatible with certain materials.

When applying the coating, you should apply it evenly and in a thin layer to ensure it doesn’t pool on the roof. You can also choose to use multiple coats for added protection.


worker using pressured water to clean tiles of the house roof

By regularly cleaning your asphalt roof shingles, you can extend their life while protecting the structural integrity of your home. It also helps enhance the appearance and value of your property.

If you understand how to clean roof shingles, you can help prevent any health and safety risks associated with organic growth. Therefore, it is essential to follow the necessary safety precautions when cleaning your roof shingles.

Contact us to have your shingle roof professionally inspected and cleaned. Our experienced team can help you find the best solution for extending the life of your roof while ensuring its optimal performance.

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Father and son dancing in kitchen of their home, not stressing about their new roof