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HomeExclusiveHow To Clean Black Off Roof Shingles

How To Clean Black Off Roof Shingles

Cleaning The Roof With Bleach And Trisodium Phosphate

Clean Black Streaks from Roof Shingles

The benefit of using Trisodium Phosphate is that it comes with sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient. Cleaning your shingles with this solution requires a pressure washer with black soft spray chemical injector tip, 5.5 gallon system and hot water

  • Start by climbing the roofusing a ladder to inspect affected areas.
  • Wear gloves, goggles andrubber soled shoes
  • Wetall the plants and vegetation around your home to protect them from bleachmixture.
  • Pour a ratio of 50: 75Trisodium Phosphate and bleach into the mixing tank a for 1500-2000 square roofaffected by algae.
  • Use a pressure washer with ablack soft spray chemical injection to add water in the tank.
  • Stir the solution with thespray tip as you add water and leave it to settle for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Spray the solution on theroof and leave it for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse the roof with water.
  • Water exterior surfaces ofthe building, windows and plants after cleaning.
  • The disadvantage of this is that trisodium phosphate strips paint from the roof. If the solution is left on windows, it dries leaving tough stains that are difficult to remove. It also contains phosphates that are harmful to the environment.

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    Black Streaks On Roof Shingles Heres What To Do

    Have you noticed black streaks on roof materials or patches along your rooftop, especially in the shade? Roof shingles often fade into lighter colors over time, but sometimes the opposite effect can occur thanks to subtle plant growth. Fortunately, there are ways of removing those black patches.

    Black streaks: Blame the algae

    Those black streaks on your shingles may look like problems with old age or damage, but they are really caused by algae – specifically, gloeocaspa magma is usually to blame for those wavy, dark shades that grow as the algae bloom spreads.

    Many homeowners are surprised to find that algae is growing on their rooftop, because algae is usually associated with pools and seashores. However, given the right conditions it can also flourish on shingles: Those conditions include plenty of moisture or humidity , and the right kind of minerals for the algae to feed on.

    So, how do you know if those black streaks on roof shingles are indeed algae, or a different problem? One of the best signs is how the algae behaves around metal. If you have metal vents, chimneys, or metal flashing along your roof, take a look: Do the black streaks die out around and underneath those metal pieces? During rainfall, elemental traces of zinc and copper often leak down from metal through your shingles. These traces are poisonous to algae, which will avoid these sections of your roof.

    Getting rid of the algae

    Algae-resistant materials

    Homes With Outdoor Space Is More Desirable

    People who want Chicago living are also looking for larger square footage and outdoor space. This has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where homeowners want room for a home office or a virtual classroom. Because of this, there will be competition to find properties that offer both so its important to act fast.

    Also Check: How To Waterproof A Roof

    How To Apply Wet & Forget Hose End

    Eliminating black algae with Wet & Forget Hose End couldnt be easier. Simply:

  • Attach the Wet & Forget Hose End product to your garden hose and connect the Jet Setting tip. Turn the water spigot on, turn the hose end dial to WATER, and rinse down nearby landscaping. Next, turn the dial to ON.
  • Spray the affected area with the diluted Wet & Forget Outdoor at a time that allows at least 4 to 5 hours of drying before the threat of rain, when the temperature will stay above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the dial to WATER and rinse down the landscaping once more.
  • Walk away and let Wet & Forget Outdoor do the work!
  • Re-treat once a year, or at the first sign of re-growth.
  • Be very careful walking on your roof surfaces may be slippery. If you dont feel safe on your roof, call a professional.

    Try Wet & Forget Outdoor to erase black streaks and love your roof again! Stop by our website to learn more about our easy solutions to everyday problems so that you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying life!

    Roof Cleaning With A Pressure Washer

    Roof Cleaning Services

    Some may believe that you can clean your roof simply with a pressure washer, and while that would probably work theoretically, using a pressure washer for roof cleaning is the kiss of death for the integrity of that roof. Especially if you are trying to clean an asphalt shingle roof. The granules will start to come off and will end up in the gutters, which can and does happen normally with age, but speeding up the aging process for the roof, is not the best idea and is something we avoid.

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    How To Prevent Algae Or Fungal Growth On Roof Surfaces

    Cutting back overhanging tree branches for more sun can also help reduce this problem.

    Zinc or copper strips tacked along the ridge will produce metal salts which will killalgae, lichens, and moss as the zinc salts wash down the roof. New shingles offered by some manufacturers include algae resistant chemicals in theirmineral granule coating.

    Shingle Shield and StainhandleR and Z-stop are example of a zinc strip products intended for use in reducing roof growth of moss, lichens, algae.

    Whatever cleaning is done on a roof surface, make sure the process doesnot cause more harm than good to the roof and to the environment around the building.

    Trim back trees whose branches overshadow the roof surface. Keep the roof clean of organic debris like leaves or pine needleswhich may collect in valleys or at other roof locations.

    Installing copper, zinc, or other metal strips along the ridge of an existing roof will slowly kill off algae, moss or lichens as rainwater washes over themetal and down the roof surface. Fungal stains may also be reduced extractive bleeding stains may be unaffected unless simply being whitened by zinc salts.

    This method is also suitable for both prevention of future or further moss or lichens growth on theroof and for gently treating an otherwise fragile old roof.

    Our photo, left, shows an absence of moss or lichens on this wood shingle roof found in Key West, Florida – notice that the “clean” wooden shingles are all below the cupola and its flashing?

    Roof Cleaning The Proper Way

    Roof Cleaning has a few steps involved, the first and most important step is identifying what treatment is going to be needed to get the roof cleaned, with the least amount of collateral damage to the roof itself, and the landscaping if there is any. In this article we go through the entire process from start to finish, if you are going to have a professional clean your roof. This article is about how the pro is thinking when they walk the property, and about what methods they use in removing the harmful algae that is infesting so many roofs around the country.

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    How To Clean A Metal Roof

    How to clean a metal roof like a PRO!

    By Roof Cleaning Pro – Pierce Parker of

    Cleaning a metal roof can be a very tedious and lengthy process depending on which way you decide to go about it. There are many types of metal roofing types, coatings to work with, and variables involved on every job. Every metal roof cleaning evolution is different with no two being the same ever!

    How To Clean Roof Shingles From The Ground

    Shingle Roof Cleaning LLC Demonstration

    If you are concerned about voiding the warranty on your roof shingles due to walking on them, then you can clean your shingles from the ground. In this instance, using a garden sprayer attachment with your hose is ideal. Put liquid bleach in the sprayer and apply from the ground. Apply bleach from top to bottom, as you dont want to spray up and under the shingles.

    It is important to note that leaving the bleach on the roof to sit too long will damage the roof. Ensure that you rinse the roof after 15 or 20 minutes. Repeat if necessary until all the damage is gone.

    Best Time to Clean an Asphalt Shingles Roof

    The best time to clean a shingle roof is when there is no rain in the forecast for several days and when temperatures will not drop below freezing. Freezing will freeze water to your roofs surface, negating the effects of the cleaner.

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    Another Less Common Occurrence Is Moss

    If you see green fuzzy stuff on your roof it is most likely moss. Moss loves cool, damp environments. If you have moss on your roof it will be commonly found on the North slopes in addition to overhanging treses or overhanging sections of the roof causing shade and allowing moisture to hang around and the moss to grow.

    Moss spores can become airborne and make their way onto roofs via wind, birds, squirrels, and other small animals, in the same way that algae makes its way to your roof.

    Once the moss spores land on a roof, they will gather in the spaces between shingles and eventually grow into thick spongy moss.

    Algae is a term for a large group of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. They are typically aquatic and lack the roots, stems, and leaves of other plants, though they still contain chlorophyllthe green pigments found in most plants. However, they are not plants but rather organisms also spread by spores, much like moss.

    Mold is the result of algae left too long on a roof. Algae needs perpetual moisture to exist, so they grow best in humid areas. When algae keeps the roof damp for long enough, rot can set in, commonly leading to mold growing and spreading.

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    How Does Algae Get On Your Roof

    Read more

    This algae is airborne, and wind is one of the most common transporters. The wind carries their spores to your roof. As the algae accumulates overtime, they develop a hard, protective coating that takes on a rather dark color. These are those unsightly dark streaks or stains that you have noticed on your roof. As time passes, their appearance can worsen and become even more unsightly.

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    A Brief History Of Algae

    Roofing manufacturers can provide shingles specifically made with an alternative type of mineral granule that resist algae growth. Earlier roofing manufacturers tried an algaecide coating to prevent algae growth. In the late 1980’s manufacturers began using zinc granules but zinc was discontinued out of environmental concerns for using a heavy metal on roofs.

    Zinc can also emit a “white rust” that builds up as a white stain or oxide. By 1996 manufacturers were using several coatings on asphalt shingles to reduce algae growth, including cuprous oxide coated granules mixed in with other granules on the shingle surface. The percentage of copper-coated granules affects the resistance of the roof to algae.

    Is algae the same as mold on roof shingles? Kirby’s 1996 article confused algae and fungal growth on roofs as equivalent, which may be ok since the same chemicals that resist algae growth may also resist fungal growth and stains. We discuss removing sooty black molds on buildings below. By the way, most of the roof surface samples we have tested have been shown to be algae, not fungal and not extractive bleeding stains.

    Shingle product names that include an “AR” suffix or “3M Algae Block” are products manufactured and warranted to be algae-resistant .

    See CAUSES of ROOF STAINS and CATALOG of ALL ROOF STAINS for the causes and types of stains that occur on building roofs.

    Our complete list of types of black stains on building roofs is at CATALOG of BLACK STAINS on ROOFS

    Make A Bleach Solution

    Do you have Black Stains on your Roof? in 2020

    While wearing protective rubber gloves and a breathing mask, carefully pour ¼-part chlorine bleach into a clean bucket with ¾-part water. Next, put a tablespoon of trisodium phosphate to the bleach solution. Pour the bleach solution into a pump sprayer. Generous spray the moldy roof shingles with the solution.

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    How To Clean Roof Shingles Properly

    My friend was complaining about his roof shingles the other day and how they looked dirty. He was frustrated because they were only a few years old and in good shape. He wondered if he could clean them somehow and bring the new look back. But he wasnt sure how to clean roof shingles.

    The best way to clean roof shingles is to use a garden hose with a vinegar mixture. Use a sprayer to spray vinegar solution mixed with dish soap. Be sure to coat the entire roof. Protect your landscaping and divert downspouts to avoid collateral damage. Let sit and gently blow a few days later. Repeat if necessary, then rinse once the roof is clean.

    In this article, well go over everything you need to know about cleaning your roof, including a step-by-step outline of how to clean your shingles, alternative options for cleaning, and methods to avoid when it comes time to clean your asphalt roof shingles.

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    How To Clean Roof Shingles

    This article was co-authored by Allen Lee. Allen Lee is a Home Improvement Specialist and the Owner of Honest Lee Handyman Services, a licensed and insured handyman business servicing Sacramento, California, and surrounding areas. Working with homeowners and businesses to get their small repairs done in a timely and efficient manner, Honest Lee Handyman Services provides gutter and dryer vent cleaning along with fixture, fence, drywall, and toilet repairs.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 49,518 times.

    Proper cleaning is an important step in roof maintenance. One day you may notice that your roof is turning black or fungus is spreading across of it. Some of this growth, including the stains from algae spores, are cosmetic, but others, such as moss, cause costly damage to your roof. To keep your roof safe and sightly, choose a cool, overcast day, mix a cleaning solution, spray it onto your roof, then rinse after 20 minutes.

    Read Also: How To Install A Cupola On A Metal Roof

    Why Algae Grows On Roofs

    The black streaks, a form of algae known as gloeocapsa magma or roof mold, only appear in the most humid areas of the country. Therefore, its normal for the streaks to appear on the roofs north side. This side of the roof receives the least amount of sun and stays damp the longest.

    The bacteria accumulated over time feed on limestone filler and moisture. The algae spores grow and darken, creating the dark streaks visible on roofs. These airborne spores can be carried from roof to roof and infest an entire neighborhood if left untreated.

    Not only do the elements and creatures carry the bacteria particles from place to place, the particles foster the growth of other roof inhabitants. The black stains harbor a number of molds or fungi which require warm, humid environments. The fungi lack chlorophyll, giving the them the name of heterotrophs. They feed on organic matter since they cannot manufacture food from raw materials.

    On the northern side of an asphalt roof gathers the most moisture, which raises the humidity and provides an abundance of organic nutrients for the fungi to feed off of. Another factor in supplying food sources to the fungi is the tar used in roofing. The substance is ultimately fossilized, dead organic matter.

    However, the granule base of asphalt is consumed first along with the tar. The dislodged bases accelerate deterioration of the roof because it cannot prevent the effects of excessive heat or extreme weather.

    Option Two: Oxygen Bleach

    What your roofer doesn’t want you to know… How to clean shingles!

    For those against using straight household bleach, oxygen bleach is another alterative in eliminating algae stains. Oxygen bleach uses hydrogen peroxide versus sodium hypochlorite as an oxidizer. The result comes in liquid or powdered form for an eco-friendlier choice.

    Once mixed with water, the power or liquid eliminates all foreign specimens without taking the color out of your shingles. In addition, it doesnt affect the vegetation surrounding your home. Using a pump sprayer, spray the solution on the roof continuously for 10 or 15 minutes. The oxygen bleach attacks the roof algae directly and begins to take the stains away.

    After the allotted time, take a scrub brush and lightly scrub the shingles. Apply more solution while you work for a deeper clean and hose off the roof once finished. If needed, repeat the previous steps until the stains are gone.

    Other special products for removing algae include:

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    Algae Or Black Stains

    Many people are very aware of the black stains that often appear on roof tops. People who are suffering from black stains often ask what the black stains are and wonder if it is damaging their roof. This roof mold is actually dead algae on the shingles. Black stains or this dead algae appears on the north side of roofs because it doesnt get as much sun and thus remains more damp for a longer amount of time.

    Can The Algae Harm The Roof

    Not really. By that we mean that the algae simply feeds off of the limestone that is in the asphalt shingles but it doesnt really damage the shingle. Black stains or a.k.a Roof Mold is more of a cosmetic problem.

    *Tip: One way to prevent algae growth on roof tops is to get algae resistant shingles. This will only work when you are getting a roof replacement or a new roof installed on a brand new home.

    How To Clean The Black Stains

    In order to clean the black stains off of the roof you will need to apply the right cleaning solutions. There are many DIY solutions that people swear by. Some of these include bleach, hot water, soap, and other chemicals. Before applying any type of chemical or cleaning solution to the roof check with a professional, your shingle warranty, and test it on some spare shingles that you may have or you can buy. Remember you can always buy a bundle of shingles from a local home depote, lowes, or roofing supplier for around $28. It will be worth your investment to know that your algae roof cleaning solution is safe.


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