Believe it or not, those black streaks staining the shaded areas on the asphalt shingles of your home’s roof can actually be removed with proper cleaning tools and techniques. While these stains may look like mold, they are actually colonies of algae that have fed off moisture and grown in the shingles. Now most asphalt shingle roofs have in fact been treated with an algaecide, which will keep it free of algae colonies and stains for up to ten years, they reemerge as soon as the algaecide wears off. The problem with algae colonies, as any Bay Area roofing contractor would tell a homeowner, is that eventually as the algae eats into the limestone filler agents in the shingles, it digs into and breaks down the light-reflecting granules in the roof, which begins the process of roof damage.

Bay Area Roof Cleaning

While cleaning the roof of your own home definitely has risk associated with it, if your roof isn’t particularly steep and you feel capable, the DIY approach to the Bay Area roofing project could save you hundreds of dollars. But if you do decide to take this roofing project on yourself, make sure you are prepared for all the potential safety hazards you may encounter while doing the job.

In addition, also come prepared with all of the appropriate tools, which are as follows: full body harness, ladder, garden hose, portable garden sprayer/alternative pump apparatus, and finally, a noncorrosive and nontoxic roof cleaning solution. When it comes to choosing the cleaning agent, nearly all Bay Area roofing companies advise against using bleach and a power washer because these could cause serious damage to the shingles. Moreover, the runoff would be very harmful to your pets and plants, not to mention the fact that the bleach isn’t even successful in killing all the layers of the algae colonies.

After you have acquired the ideal cleaning solution, you need to dilute it with water according the manufacturer’s guidelines (the average ratio is 1:7). This mix will then be poured into the desired pumping apparatus that you have selected. In regard to choosing the best spraying device for roof cleaning, there are several options that your Bay Area roofing contractor might suggest depending on the severity of the stains themselves. For example, a roof cleaning tool like a supplemental pressure-boosting pump might be necessary if you don’t think the average garden sprayer will have an impact on your roof’s stains. Once you have prepared the pump with the cleaning agent, make sure you presoak the roof using the water from your hose and an attached nozzle. The purpose of soaking the roof in water prior to the cleaning solution is to help slow the process of evaporation down when the solution is applied.

Remember: only start this Bay Area roofing project after first checking the forecast and making sure that the wind conditions in the Bay Area are minimal during the duration of the project.

Before you get atop the roof, also remember to prep the surrounding landscape and areas directly underneath the runoff areas on the roof, to protect your plants and furniture. After securing the position of the ladder as well as the harness around yourself, climb the roof and apply the cleaning solution with your sprayer. When applying the cleaning solution, be sure to start at the bottom row, working your way to the top and saturating the area until you see runoff. Take your time when doing this, because uneven strokes with a sprayer will result in patches of clean and unclean shingles.

After each row of shingles has been sufficiently saturated, some Bay Area roofing companies suggest to spray on a stain-blocking solution to keep the algae colonies at bay for longer periods of time. Similarly, there are copper and zinc strips that you can buy and install on your roof to help slow down algae regrowth on your roof. However, these options will typically keep the algae at bay for no longer than three years.

If you’d prefer to leave this work to a professional Bay Area Roofing Company, give Yorkshire Roofing a call today!