Wednesday, June 12, 2024

How To Clean Mold Off Roof Shingles

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How to Clean Your Roof with Jomax Roof Cleaner

Set a schedule to have your home professionally inspected for roof damage at least annually twice a year is ideal. Scheduling an inspection before the start of a severe weather season is a great way to catch issues like loose shingles or failing flashing before they become a major problem. Having your roof inspected after a major storm is just as important, plus post-storm repairs may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

What If I Like The Moss

Some homeowners find moss enchanting, like ivy growing up the side of their home. If youd like to grow moss or other plants on your roof, you could consider investing in a residential green roof. Thin, extensive green roofs are enough to grow succulents and mosses. If youre interested in taller plants, consider an intensive green roof.

What Are The Dark Streaks On My Roof

You may have noticed dark streaks across your roof. Given that moss grows upright on surfaces, and algae stays low and flush to the surfaces it grows on, its likely any dark streaks you see are algae.

Algae staining on roofs all start out being spread by wind, birds, and varmints, affecting homes across much of the United States.

This algae normally begins its lifecycle as airborne spores that will settle on your roof, especially those roofs that have asphalt shingles. The northern exposure of roofs has the most chance for algae to survive/thrive because that part of the roof is exposed to the least UV and dries last after morning dew and rain.

As the algae grows and spreads, it begins to look like large black streaks on your shingles.

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How To Remove Moss From An Asphalt Roof

Q: We have a green roof that is not meant to be green. Moss is collecting on one side of the asphalt roof. The roof is otherwise in good shape. What I have learned so far is that the roof should not be power-washed. How should one remove the growth, and who does this type of work? I am not interested in getting on the roof myself.

Falls Church

A: The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association distinguishes between moss, a plant with leaves that can grow into thick clumps, and mold and mildew, which are common names for types of algae that simply discolor the surface. Algae creates ugly black or brown streaks but doesnt damage a roof. Moss which is what shows in the pictures you sent is more worrisome because it can damage asphalt shingles. A thick growth of moss works like a sponge, keeping the roofing damp for long periods, and it can lift edges of shingles, making them vulnerable to blowing off in a windstorm.

To clean either algae or moss, the association recommends putting on protective gear and protecting plants, spraying with a 50-50 mix of household bleach and water, allowing that to sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes and then rinsing with low-pressure water. The bleach will kill the algae or moss, but rinsing wont necessarily leave the roof sparkling clean. Algae will disappear and wash away with subsequent rains, the association advises. Moss will loosen over time and may be removed with a leaf blower.


Apply A Moisture And/or Microbial Barrier

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning  Phoenix Clean

Roofing materials and technology has advanced greatly within the last few decades.

One of those advances is the ability to apply chemicals to your existing roof that repels water, or prevents algae and mold from developing. New roofs are often constructed of materials that have these properties impregnated into them.

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Moss Removal Products And Diy Solutions

Some readymade cleaners, like Wet and Forget Liquid Mold Remover , can be mixed and applied per manufacturer’s instructions and left to kill the moss with no rinsing required. Others, like Bayer’s Advanced Moss and Algae , are available in ready-to-go sprays that hook up to your hose. Be sure to follow the mixing and application recommendations to ensure your safety and protect roof tiles, shingles, and plantings from damage.

You can also make your own moss remover for your roof. These are generally less toxic than their chemical counterparts. Chlorine bleach removes mosses, fungi, and mildew, but it may damage plants, so dilute it before spraying on your roof. A good formula? Mix 1 quart bleach with 1 gallon water and 1/4 cup heavy-duty cleaner like trisodium phosphate . Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners because they create toxic fumes when mixed with bleach.

Or, make a plant-friendlier solution of 1 cup oxygen bleach and 1 gallon of water. Home improvement expert Bob Vila says you can also mix 8 ounces of Dawn dish liquid or 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 cups of white distilled vinegar with 2 gallons of water. Pour solutions into a pump garden-style sprayer choose a backpack-type sprayer , which will be safer to use if you’re climbing and standing on a ladder.

Once you’ve decided on your moss-removing solution, it’s time to get started. Follow these step-by-step instructions to rid your roof of moss and any other debris that’s accumulated atop your house!

Cleaning Procedure For Roofshingles With Bleach Powdered Laundry Soap And Water

  • Use a ladder to climb and inspect the roof for dirt, algae, mold, mildew, moss or lichen.
  • After identifying the affected areas climb down the roof and mix thoroughly 1 gallon of hot water, 1 cup of chlorine and 1 cup of powdered laundry soap in a large bucket.
  • Pour the mixed solution into a garden sprayer.
  • Carefully get to the roof using a ladder and spray the affected shingles starting from bottom to the top of your roof.
  • You also gently scrub the wet areas as you spray the solution on dry areas.
  • Rinse the roof.
  • Repeat the process until when the roof shingles are clean.
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    Keep An Eye On The Sky And Your Roof

    There are maintenance practices no matter the type of roof you should employ. First, pay close attention to the weather, especially if you live in an area prone to severe storms like hurricanes or hail. You should perform your own visual inspection both before and after a storm. Walking a rooftop may seem like the sensible way to inspect a roof, but it is a very dangerous. Even among trained construction professionals, falls are the leading cause of jobsite fatalities. For this reason, CertainTeed cautions homeowners to only inspect their roof from the ground by using binoculars for an up-close view, or from the top of a ladder while being mindful of ladder safety practices. Look for shingles that are damaged, loose, or missing also, do the same for flashing. Flashing is a thin material, typically made of galvanized steel, installed to direct water away from areas where the roof plane meets a vertical surface like a chimney or dormer.

    Additionally, you should check your roof from the inside by going into your attic space right after wet weather, and looking for signs of leaks. These include water staining on the rafters or roof decking , wet insulation, or mold growth.

    If you spot any trouble signs, contact a local roofing professional for further assessment. No matter the extent of your roof damage, its important to leave roof repairs in the hands of professionals.

    For The Best Results To Clean Your Roof: For Moss Removal / Black Fungi Removal

    How to Clean and Prevent a Mossy Roof | Ask This Old House
    • Apply to a cool roof surface, preferably on an overcast day. This will keep the roof surface wet with the solution for longer. The solution also helps to loosen the grip of the shallow moss roots.
    • Make sure the surface is dry in order to get the best penetration of the growth with the least amount of evaporation.
    • Total saturation of the surface with this product is essential in order to obtain a good kill of the fungi, algae, lichen, moss & algae which infests these surfaces.
    • If the surface is particularly bad, do another application approximately one month from the first application.
    • Then allow the surface to weather naturally and nature will take its course. The growth decomposes while the rain gently removes it from the surface over time. Let Mother Nature do her thing!
    • After 1st application use as a maintenance tool. Only re-apply at the first sign of regrowth. Lichen Removal

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    Make Your Shingles Last Longer

    Roof stains are a common roof problem. Black streaks on the north- and west-facing and shaded areas of your asphalt-shingled roof can really wreck the appearance of your home. The roof streaks look like mold, but theyre actually algae colonies that form in your shingles and feed on moisture and the limestone filler agents in the shingles.

    Using shingles that have been treated with algicide keeps the growth at bay for about 10 years . But once the algicide wears off, your roof hosts an all-you-can-eat buffet for the neighborhood algae spores. So it pays to clean your shingles as soon as you spot algae growth.

    How To Clean Roof Shingles Properly

    My friend was complaining about his roof shingles the other day and how they looked dirty. He was frustrated because they were only a few years old and in good shape. He wondered if he could clean them somehow and bring the new look back. But he wasnt sure how to clean roof shingles.

    The best way to clean roof shingles is to use a garden hose with a vinegar mixture. Use a sprayer to spray vinegar solution mixed with dish soap. Be sure to coat the entire roof. Protect your landscaping and divert downspouts to avoid collateral damage. Let sit and gently blow a few days later. Repeat if necessary, then rinse once the roof is clean.

    In this article, well go over everything you need to know about cleaning your roof, including a step-by-step outline of how to clean your shingles, alternative options for cleaning, and methods to avoid when it comes time to clean your asphalt roof shingles.

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    Where Does Mold Grow In My Shower

    • Mold can grow in the grout. That is one of its favorite places.
    • It can grow inside the window frame if your window is IN the shower like mine is.
    • It can grow around the drain and on the drain plug.
    • Mold can grow on the shower caulking.
    • It can grow in the door tracks if you have doors.
    • Mold can grow under shampoo bottles, bars of soap, shaving cream bottles, etc
    • While not technically a part of the shower, mold can grow on a shower curtain.

    Mold can also grow behind shower tiles and on the wall but this is due to a leak behind the shower and not from water in the shower typically. The exception is if your grout is old and cracking. Then water can seep behind the shower tiles allowing mold to grow.

    Why Do Algae And Moss Grow On Asphalt Shingles

    Roof cleaning and maintenance tips

    The wind and small animals will carry algae spores, and its one of the reasons why you may see algae-covered roofs clustered in a single neighborhood. Moss, on the other hand, likes moist, shady environments and often grows on the north-facing side of trees. Overhanging tree branches and debris left to accumulate on a roof is why you may find clumps of this green stuff gathering on asphalt shingles.

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    Diy Algae And Moss Removal Recipes

    Luckily both algae and moss can be easily removed from shingle roofs. DIY stores sell many popular liquid solutions that are specifically made to kill the moss. Or you can make your own moss remover in a large spray bottle with one of these four DIY recipes:

    • 240 ml dish washing soap + 7,5 liter of water
    • 450 grams powdered oxygen bleach + 7,5 liter of water
    • 500 ml chlorine bleach + 7,5 liter of water
    • 500 ml white distilled vinegar + 7,5 liter of water

    When using one of these homemade options, you should wet down the roof with plain water first, then apply the cleanser and let it rest for 20 to 45 minutes. Lightly scrub your roof with a soft-bristle brush, and then rinse with water.

    Read Also: How To Fix A Leaking Roof

    How To Remove Black Roof Stains

    Our home is 10 years old and the asphalt roof shingles are starting to stain badly on the north exposure. Is there something that we can use to clean off the staining and treat the shingles to prevent further staining?-Tim

    Hi Tim,

    Your stains are probably caused by the airborne spores of a blue-green algae known as Gloeocapsa Magma, which is often mistaken for mold or mildew. While doing little harm to your shingles, the black streaks caused by the algae are unsightly.

    Algae can be killed and the stains removed using chemical cleaners, though they usually return over time. Use a cleaner specially made for killing algae, or by spraying a mixture of one part bleach to four parts water with TSP or other detergent added in a garden pump-up sprayer. Allow the bleach to remain on for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse it off with a hose.

    Note that bleach may kill or damage plants, so wet down or cover any shrubs or flowers that will come in contact before starting. Repeated use of harsh chemicals or pressure washing can damage or shorten the life of your shingles.

    Once the roof is clean, consider installing strips of zinc or copperwhich are toxic to algaealong your roof below the ridge. Molecules of the metal will then wash down the roof each time it rains to keep new algae from forming. A better solution is to specify algae resistant shingles, which have copper granules embedded in them, the next time you have your roof replaced.

    Good luck with your project,

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    How Much Bleach Is Safe For Your Roof

    When using bleach, the amount you use is a key factor that will determine the results. According to ARMA a 50/50 solution of household strength sodium hypochlorite and water is sufficient to remove moss and algae. Below is a discussion from a roof cleaning expert explaining how much sodium hypochlorite is too much to damage your roof.

    Tips To Prevent Roof Algae & Moss

    Angie’s List Roof Cleaning

    Roof algae and moss usually grow because of moisture and bacterial growth. You can stop that growth from ever starting in the first place, effectively making your roof last longer. Here are a few ways to prevent future growth once you have gotten rid of moss and algae:

    • Trim trees near the home: Overgrown trees often spread bacteria onto the roof and cause algae growth. Make sure to plant trees far enough away from the house and trim them back regularly so they arent hanging over the roof.
    • Get rid of standing water: Standing water is another factor that can contribute to mold and algae growth. Minimize standing water on the roof by fixing shingles, cleaning gutters, and performing small roof repairs as necessary.

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    Can You Clean An Asphalt Shingle Roof

    You can clean an asphalt shingle roof, and you should if you notice any type of damage occurring on it. There are numerous products available to clean asphalt roofing the aisle that sells shingles at your local home reno store will also probably sell cleaning products.

    Cleaning of asphalt shingles is primarily done via chemical means. Using brunt force to scrub or scrape shingles is not a good idea and will only exacerbate the wear on the shingle itself, shortening its lifespan more. There are several recommended cleaners, but using a bleach mixture is usually best.

    How Can Homeowners Discourage Algae And Moss From Growing On The Roof

    Trees overhanging the roof can encourage algae and moss growth. So trim back any overhanging branches. Twigs, leaves, and sticks that accumulate on the roof should be promptly removed with a leaf blower. Always direct the airflow down the slope of the roof, so debris doesnt get stuck under the shingles.

    Keep the gutters clean and clear. If a higher roof is draining onto a lower roof, thats a recipe for algae and moss growth. A simple fix is to direct the downspout of the upper roof into the lower roof gutter.

    If youre due for a roof replacement, then installing algae-resistant shingles is an excellent way to prevent unsightly algae growth. Algae hate copper, and you can also put strips of copper under the shingles nearest the roof peak. This will prevent future algae cells from making your roof their home. You can also replace your old asphalt shingles with new ones in a darker color to hide streaks and stains.

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    Rinse The Bleach Solution

    After spraying the shingles with the bleach solution, allow the bleach to sit for approximately 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the severity of the mold growth. Using a garden hose at low pressure, rinse the roof shingles thoroughly to remove the bleach solution. When rinsing, start at the top affected shingle and work downwards. While wearing gloves, run your fingers across the shingles. If you still feel slime on the shingles, apply the bleach solution a second time and let it sit for an extra 10 minutes. You can then rinse the roof again.

    How To Clean Mold Off Roof Shingles

    Exterior House Cleaning Services
    • Written by Carol S. on Dec 13, 2009To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by

    Mold stains can form on roof shingles that are in permanent shade. These stains will discolor your roof and damage the shingles over a period of time if left alone. Extensive mold growth can also expose the interior of your attic or crawlspace to mold spores, carrying the problem over to the inside. Not to worry, though, because you can clean the mold off with basic household bleach and save your roof long before you need an expensive replacement. Follow the steps below to remedy this problem.

    Protect Your Plants and Lawn

    Splash the plants and parts of your lawn that are close to the sides of your house with water to protect them from the bleach solution. You can also cover them with tarps or plastic sheeting, which will protect the soil around your plants as well. Make sure that you create a wide radius around your home to be safe.

    Make and Apply the Bleach Solution

    Check for Cleanliness and Rinse

    Allow the solution to soak into the shingles for at least 15 minutes. If they are severely molded, you may want to give it a little longer. Next, rinse the shingles thoroughly with a garden hose at low pressure. Start from the top shingle and rinse downward to prevent water seepage.

    Take Precautions

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