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Roofing Maintenance: What it Means to You

Updated on December 27, 2013

The roof is a great defensive element for one's home. It protects us from the winds, rain, snow and heat, in addition to adding a final protective yet finishing touch to our homes. However, like many other elements involved in home care and ownership, the roof is not something that merely gets put in place and forgotten about. For a roof to be fully effective, it must be maintained.

Maintained? Yes, a roof requires some basic care and maintenance. This varies from ensuring that the shingles of tiling used are in good condition, removing any branches or debris that may have been blown there during a storm and even cleaning the shingles. Each of these jobs is necessary and can be done by the homeowner, or if one prefers, by a professional roofing company.

Of the assorted roofing maintenance jobs mentioned, perhaps the one that presents homeowners with the most questions is that of how to clean their home’s roofing. After all, it sounds a bit intimidating! Fortunately, it only sounds that way, it is actually something that can be easily done in a day (or if one has a larger than average roof, over a weekend!)

FAQs Regarding Cleaning the Roof

  1. How does one know what to look for when cleaning roofing tiles or shingles? If you look at your roof and notice areas that are streaked with black or green, then these areas have been affected by algae. These roof stains are often referred to as “roof mold” and are commonly found on the north side of the roof where there is less sunlight and, typically, more dampness. It will get darker the longer it is left on your roof.
  2. Will it damage the roofing, if ignored? Yes. The algae weighs down shingles and can cause the protective surface of the shingles to wear off thus leaving your home more open to the elements of nature.
  3. I have noticed moss and lichen growing on my roof. Will it go away? What will happen if this ignored? Roof moss and lichen anchor into the top layer of the roofing –often near the roof’s edge, and will cause leaks and moisture seepage between the shingles and the interior of your home.
  4. What do I need in order to remove algae, moss and lichen? A mixture of hot water non-chlorinated bleach (use a product that is oxygen based as bleach base products are harmful people, pets and plants) and strong laundry or dish soap that has been poured into a garden sprayer will typically be enough to clean the roofing. It is recommended that you do the job on a day that is cool and slightly humid.
  5. How long will this cleaning process keep the algae away? This can work from a 6 months to a year, depending on how significant the problem. If you feel that your roofing has been severely attacked, it might be best to hire a professional!
  6. Can I use a pressure washer instead of a garden sprayer? No! A pressure washer can damage your shingles and wash away the protective granules necessary to keep moisture out of your home.

Roofing maintenance is an important part of home ownership and should not be something one leaves to chance. If you are concerned about the status of your roof, talk to an area professional and find out what they suggest. After all, discovering there is problem during a rainstorm is not when you want to be calling a roofing specialist. Be proactive and keep your roof at its optimum performance level!

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of roofing maintenance. One such site worth visiting is

Janet Slagell independently authors articles for, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.


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