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Roof Cleaning Products In A Nutshell

Updated on March 22, 2011

If you've taken note of the black streaks on your roof then you're probably already in the process of trying to locate a qualified roof cleaning company or an effective cleaning solution to use on your own. I have a bit of crummy news for you, however. The cold, hard truth is that there really aren't any very good roof cleaning products on the market at the moment.

If you like to take the easy way by using Lowes as a crutch, then so be it. Just be aware, however, that you can probably save some fuel and simply use some household chemicals to make your own roof cleaning mix. Something they won't tell you in those online ads is that you probably already have in your posession the primary component of the most effective roof cleaning solution.

The reason I come down so tough on most products for cleaning roof shingles is that they tend to require the use of a pressure cleaner in order to be completely effective. Ask any roofer or home inspection professional and they will tell you that high-pressure roof cleaning is a recipe for possible disaster. If a pressure washing wand can slice open skin then imagine what it can do to your fragile asphalt shingles.

Bring up this little problem with the power washing and some of these folks will fire back by saying that if you're willing to wait two to five months that the stains will eventually go away after the treatment. What a total joke. I don't know about you, but if I pay good money and spend tons of time to clean something I expect it to clean up right away!

This brings me back to the central point. If you do the household laundry on a regular basis then you probably already have the primary ingredient that is required for effective roof stain removal: bleach. A bleach or chlorine-based mixture is quite simply the safest and most effective system available for roof cleaning.

This witch's brew for roof cleaning is easy to make. You'll just need to mix equal parts liquid household bleach and water in a very large plastic container or tub. If the roof has a steep pitch then you might also add a cup of liquid laundry detergent. If the stains don't come off during the first round you can gradually increase the ratio of bleach or chlorine until the desired results are achieved.

Now it's time to watch the magic happen in front of your very eyes! Keep the pressure washer locked up in the garage and instead gently apply your homemade roof cleaning solution to the shingles. Allow several minutes for it to work, then pull the garden hose up to the roof level and rinse thoroughly until all the soap and black algae is history.

A few final important notes to keep in mind. Make sure you have a capable helper on the ground to rinse down any landscaping around the perimeter of the house during chemical application. Also take extra care to protect yourself and your helper from the chemical as it can be detrimental to your skin, lungs, and eyes.

So, what's the bottom line?  As is the case with many DIY home cleaning products that you can find at the hardware store, roof cleaning products often make greater promises than they can deliver on, and they contain chemicals that you can probably find around the house quite easily.  Whip up your own roof cleaning product as I outlined above and you'll be glad you saved the money.


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