Fraud Blocker

9 Helpful Roof Cleaning Tips For All Homeowners

The overwhelming majority of U.S. homeowners have an asphalt shingle roof. It’s not hard to see why. Asphalt shingles are affordable and low maintenance.

That being said, they are also slightly less durable than other roofing materials. The key to asphalt shingle roofs is to have a solid maintenance routine. For some owners, that may mean rolling up their sleeves and cleaning the roof.

If cleaning your roof sounds like an unheard-of concept to you, you aren’t alone. However, this simple task can help extend the life of your asphalt shingles and prevent roof damage. Today, we’ll help you understand:

  • Roof cleaning how tos
  • Why you might want to
  • General maintenance tips

Ready to get a squeaky clean roof? Keep reading!

The Benefits of Cleaning Your Shingles

Cleaning your roof shingles may seem like a daunting task, but the benefits far outweigh the effort involved. Here are some compelling reasons why you should make roof cleaning a part of your regular home maintenance routine:

  • Extend the Lifespan of Your Roof: Accumulated dirt, algae, moss, and debris can deteriorate your shingles over time, causing them to lose their protective capabilities. Regular cleaning helps prevent premature wear and tear, ultimately extending your roof’s lifespan.
  • Enhance Curb Appeal: A clean, well-maintained roof significantly contributes to your home’s visual appeal. Cleaning your shingles can revitalize your home’s exterior, making it look more attractive and inviting.
  • Prevent Costly Repairs: Neglecting your roof can lead to severe damage that may require costly repairs or even a full roof replacement. Cleaning your shingles helps identify issues early on, allowing you to address them before they become major problems.
  • Improve Energy Efficiency: A clean roof reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat, helping to regulate your home’s temperature. This can lead to lower energy bills, especially during hot summer months.
  • Maintain Home Value: A well-maintained roof adds value to your home. Regular cleaning and maintenance demonstrate that you take care of your property, which can be a significant selling point if you ever decide to put your house on the market.

Dangers of Neglecting Your Shingles

Neglecting roof shingle maintenance can lead to a cascade of issues. Over time, debris accumulation harbors moisture, becoming a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can compromise indoor air quality and trigger respiratory problems. Additionally, trapped moisture can infiltrate roofing materials, causing:

  • Rot
  • Weakening structural integrity
  • Leaks
  • Ceiling stains
  • Costly repairs

In extreme cases, unchecked debris buildup may even attract pests, such as insects or rodents, further exacerbating the damage. Regular roof shingle cleaning not only preserves aesthetic appeal but also safeguards the longevity and safety of your home.

How to Clean Shingles in 9 Steps

homeowner on ladder to clean roof

Cleaning asphalt shingles is a step-by-step process that involves safety precautions, equipment, and a gentle approach to avoid damaging the shingles. Here’s how to do it properly:

1) Gather Your Materials

Before starting the cleaning process, it is essential to make sure that you have all of the necessary tools, including:

  • Safety gear: Wear non-slip shoes, safety goggles, and gloves.
  • Ladder: Use a sturdy, well-maintained ladder to access your roof.
  • Garden hose with a nozzle attachment.
  • Mild detergent or specialized roof cleaning solution.
  • Soft bristle brush or a low-pressure power washer.
  • Plastic tarps to protect landscaping and catch runoff.
  • Safety ropes and harnesses if working on steep roofs.

2) Prepare Your Roof

Clear debris: Start by removing leaves, branches, and any loose debris from your roof using a leaf blower or a broom. This step ensures that you won’t be pushing debris into your gutters or shingles during cleaning.

3) Wet Your Roof

Use your garden hose to wet down the roof’s surface thoroughly. This step helps to loosen dirt and make it easier to remove.

4) Apply Cleaning Solution

Mix a mild detergent or a specialized roof cleaning solution with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Apply the solution to your roof using a soft bristle brush or a low-pressure power washer. Work in small sections to ensure thorough coverage.

5) Gently Scrub

Gently scrub the shingles to remove dirt, algae, moss, and stains. Avoid using excessive pressure, as it can damage the shingles.

6) Rinse

Rinse your roof with clean water using your garden hose. Make sure to rinse away all cleaning solution residue.

7) Prevent Future Growth

Consider applying a roof treatment or zinc strips to inhibit the growth of algae and moss in the future.

8) Clean Gutters

Don’t forget to clean your gutters as well, as they can become clogged with debris from the roof.

9) Safety First

Always prioritize safety when cleaning your roof. If you’re not comfortable working at heights or handling chemicals, consider hiring a professional.

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Deciding between DIY roof shingle cleaning and hiring a professional roofer hinges on several factors, including expertise, safety, and efficiency. While tackling the task solo may seem cost-effective, it carries inherent risks. Climbing ladders and navigating rooftops without proper training or equipment increases the likelihood of accidents, ranging from slips and falls to damage to the roof itself. Professional roofers possess the requisite skills and safety protocols to execute the job securely.

Moreover, experienced roofers are adept at identifying underlying issues such as damaged shingles, leaks, or structural concerns, which may elude untrained eyes. Addressing these issues promptly can avert more extensive damage and save on future repair costs.

Professional roofers utilize specialized tools and techniques to ensure thorough cleaning without compromising shingle integrity. Their expertise in selecting appropriate cleaning agents and methods minimizes the risk of damage to the roof surface.

While DIY cleaning may seem like a cost-saving measure, the investment in professional services offers peace of mind, quality assurance, and long-term preservation of your roof’s health and longevity. Ultimately, entrusting roof shingle cleaning to skilled professionals is a prudent choice that prioritizes safety, effectiveness, and the integrity of your home’s most vital protective barrier.

How Often Should You Clean Your Shingles?

yellow siding house and cleaned roof

The frequency of roof shingle cleaning depends on various factors, including your climate, the type of shingles you have, and the presence of nearby trees. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine how often you should clean your roof shingles:

  • 🔎 Annual Inspection: Conduct a visual inspection of your roof at least once a year. Look for signs of dirt, algae, moss, or debris accumulation. If you notice any issues, it’s time to clean your shingles.
  • 🌎 Geographic Location: Homes in areas with high humidity, frequent rainfall, or significant shade are more susceptible to algae and moss growth. In such regions, you may need to clean your shingles every 2-3 years or even more frequently.
  • 🌳 Tree Coverage: If your home is surrounded by trees, falling leaves and debris can accumulate on your roof. In this case, you may need to clean your shingles more often, particularly in the fall and spring.
  • 🔨 Type of Shingles: Different types of shingles may require different cleaning schedules. Consult your roofing manufacturer’s recommendations for specific guidance.
  • 👷‍♀️ DIY vs. Professional Cleaning: Consider whether you’ll clean your shingles yourself or hire a professional. If you’re doing it yourself, factor in the time and effort you can realistically invest.

Work With a Professional Roofer!

As you can see, properly cleaning your shingle roof can help you hugely in the long run. However, many homeowners don’t feel equipped to tackle this task on their own. We always recommend taking the proper safety precautions, and when in doubt? Hire your local roofing contractor!

At Greentek Roofing and Solar, we’ll help you care for your roof and spot any potential problem areas. Contact us today to get a free estimate for your roofing project!


“GreenTek was awesome to work with. My rep James was easy to get in contact with and answered all my questions and made the process quick and smooth. The roof came out great and everything was finished on time and they handled everything with my insurance company so I didn’t have to. It made the process stress free for me.”

-Dylan O.

Enter your email address receive notifications of new posts and videos by email.
Join 8 other subscribers


By clicking "submit", I consent to join the email list and receive SMS from GreenTek Roofing and Solar, with access to our latest offers and services. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. More details on this are in our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. Text "HELP" for help or contact us at 8133331963 . Text UNSUBSCRIBE to cancel.