It’s always easier to call in the pros when you need work done on your home or roof. But it’s definitely not the cheaper option.

That’s why we’re giving you the best DIY ways on how to clean roof shingles in 2022.

Whether it’s as simple as spraying down the roof or giving it a good scrub, you should feel confident to complete this job after reading this article.

Why It’s Important to Keep Your Roof Clean

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Not only does it keep you and your family dry, but it also helps protect your house from the elements and severe weather. That’s why it’s so important to keep it clean and in good condition – not just for aesthetic reasons, but for practical ones too!

One of the big reasons you’re going to want to keep your roof clean is to extend its life. The cleaner the roof is, the longer it will last and provide better protection for your home.

how to clean roof shingles on Navy blue vintage building with white trim and dark roof shingles

Signs Your Roof Needs to Be Cleaned

If you’re wondering whether or not your roof needs to be cleaned, then it likely does. The roof might have stains, streaks, or other abnormal colors that give you an indicator of how clean it is.

Beyond looking just for discoloration, also take the time to inspect the shingles up close to ensure that there aren’t any growths on your roof.

View from rooftop of dirty asphalt roof shingles

Common Types of Roof Algae

Two main types of algae grow commonly on roofs throughout the United States. If you notice either type of algae on your roof, then make plans to clean right away.

Fire Moss

Less common than the Gloeocapsa Magma algae, Fire Moss is still commonly found on roofs throughout North America. Cedar Shakes and Asphalt Shingles are the two most common roofing materials that it will grow on. The Fire Moss loves to latch on to the roof and reproduce.

Over time the moss can get out of hand and push up the shingles, allowing water to get underneath and behind, causing problems.

how to clean roof shingles that are grey bitumen asphalt overgrown with green moss

Gloeocapsa Magma

This algae leaves big long black streaks. Most commonly found on Asphalt Shingles, this spore-based algae is attracted to the limestone commonly used in shingles.

If this algae is left untreated, it will feed and degrade the limestone and eventually take over the entire roof, causing a multitude of problems.

Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

If you want to keep your roof clean without damaging it, it’s essential that you know the difference between soft washing and pressure washing. Soft washing specifically refers to cleaning the roofing with less than 1,000 psi or pounds per square inch, while pressure washing uses greater than 1,000psi.

Only some materials will be able to handle the force of pressure washing. This makes soft washing a much more common option because you’ll get close to the same effect without damaging the roof system.

Materials That Can Be Pressure Washed

Here are the materials that are commonly safe to pressure wash:

  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Aggregate or Rocks

Most other materials can be damaged in some way if you pressure wash them.

Man worker washing tilted stone roof shingles with water pressure washer

Materials That Should Be Soft-Washed

The below materials are best served with soft washing:

  • Stucco
  • Wood Decking
  • Wood Fencing
  • Wood Siding
  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Cedar Shakes
  • Metal Roofing

As you can see, most roofing materials will require soft washing, but that doesn’t mean you can only use a hose to clean the roof. There are some cleaning solutions that can help get the job done.

Cleaning Asphalt Shingles: Step-By-Step

1. Set Up and Pre-Soak

Before you start cleaning the roof with any type of solution or even water, it’s good to pre-soak the vegetation around your gutters and other places where the water will flow off of the roof.

If you’re using chemicals, this will also help to keep your plants from absorbing those chemicals and dying.

person pre-soaking plants before cleaning roof shingles

2. Mix the Chemicals

Working with a pump sprayer is most common for small roof cleaning jobs, and it seems to get the job done well.

You’ll want to mix the chemicals at a 50/50 ratio of chemicals to the water. You can find roof cleaning chemicals on Amazon and in most hardware stores.

3. Start High and Work Down

When your chemicals are mixed, start high on the roof and work your way downwards towards the bottom. This will help use fewer chemicals because they’ll clean the roof as they roll down it.

It’s important to note that you might have to go over some spots more than once, but it’s better to do the whole roof from top to bottom at least once first.

Caucasian man is washing the roof from high to low with washer

4. Don’t Overdo the Chemicals

It’s easy to get carried away with the mixture because it’s hard to tell how much you’re putting down. But less is always more when you’re starting.

It’s better to come back later and add more than flush out the whole area around your home with harsh chemicals.

5. Double Down on Problem Areas

When you’re finished with the whole roof, you might find a few different areas that still have moss attached. This is especially common when working with asphalt shingles.

All you need to do is repeat the process but only on the area that needs more cleaning—no sense in going over the whole roof again.

Cleaner with pressure washer at roof of house cleaning the roof tiles, removing moss

6. Re-Soak and Water Plants

When you’re finally finished, be sure to re-soak and water the plants and grass around your roof to dilute any of the chemicals more.

If you do it right, you won’t need to worry about the plants dying off or having any problems at all.

young woman watering flowers at garden after cleaning roof shingles

And that’s a wrap! Everything you need to know to keep your roof clean throughout 2022 and beyond. The next time you need professional cleaning or roofing services, we’d be happy to help you.

Reach out to the K&D team for professional and fast service for your roof!