Cleaning Asphalt Shingle Roofs

What You Should Know About Cleaning Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Are unsightly streaks, blotches, and visible microbial activity on your asphalt shingle roof bringing down your curb appeal? Cleaning Asphalt Shingle Roofs in South Carolina is very important. South Carolina humidity and heat create the perfect environment for algae, mold, and mildew growth on asphalt roofing, all of which can become serious eyesores. 

What Causes Streaks and Stains on Asphalt Roof Shingles

Accumulated dirt and debris can definitely contribute to a streaky, discolored roof surface. However, the primary culprit, particularly in the Southeastern United States, is almost always Gloeocapsa Magma. This bluish-green alga is spread by airborne spores and loves this region’s damp heat. This algae growth doesn’t cause harm or do physical damage, but it undeniably brings down your resale value and deals a devastating blow to your home’s curb appeal. This is why cleaning asphalt shingle roofs is important.

Have you noticed there are areas of your roof that seem impervious to discoloration? Chances are, they’re directly below metal flashing around chimneys or roof vents. Both copper and the zinc coating on sheet metal are toxic to algae; every time rain falls on your roof, it washes trace amounts of these metals down the roof. As a result, microbial growth is inhibited, and these areas of your roof stay clean. 

There are ways to prevent microbial growth before it begins with copper-embedded shingles, but this requires replacing all your existing ones. This course of action is a great one to consider when it’s time to replace your roof. Until that day comes, cleaning asphalt shingle roofing is a far more efficient and cost-effective option.

Cleaning Asphalt Shingle Roofs: What to Do (and What Not to Do)

A pressure washer strips algae and molds off just about any surface, so it can be tempting to take out the heavy machinery and start blasting away. It’s true that a pressure washer can remove mold, mildew, and algae; it’s also true it can remove paint from wood, etch the surface of concrete and do permanent damage to vinyl siding. Asphalt roofing doesn’t fare any better under the violent attention of a pressure washer.

Algae, mold, and mildew stains can be removed by thorough cleaning, but this process requires expert use of cleansers and detergents designed specifically for the task. The wrong chemicals can be corrosive, shortening the lifespan of your shingles and causing permanent roof damage. It’s also a good idea to think carefully about the safety risks of roof cleaning; roof work is inherently dangerous, and the surface becomes even more hazardous when it’s wet. Harsh chemicals can be damaging to your skin and eyes if they’re accidentally exposed. 

Reaching for the bleach will certainly kill and remove algae, but the bleach will also run off the roof and down to the ground, where it’s equally lethal to grass and other desirable plant life. So, in the end, there are a staggering number of ways DIY roof cleaning can go wrong. Cleaning asphalt shingle roofs by using a professional is the safest, most efficient way to clean your roof.

Safe and Effective Roof Cleaning You Can Trust

Your roof is a big investment, but it’s also an immediately visible part of your home that can make even meticulously maintained properties seem a bit bedraggled. Working with knowledgeable, highly experienced and heavily trained professionals allows you to make quick work of even the worst stains without the risk of injury or property damage. If unsightly organic growth on your roof brings you (and your property value) down, Carolina Power Wash can help.

Because the company is co-owned by a firefighter and boasts many other firefighters on staff, everyone absolutely knows their way around a ladder. Roofs aren’t the only thing Carolina Power Wash can clean; low-pressure soft washing leaves all your exterior surfaces clean and sparkling without the damage of high-pressure cleaning systems. Contact Carolina Power Wash to learn more about all the ways you can revitalize your roof and any other problem areas on your property.