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Roof shingles become dirty by weather events and also the pollutants in the air. Thus, it is necessary to clean them and maintain them like other areas of the home. You want them to stay aesthetically pleasing and it will also help increase the life of them. Wondering how to clean roof shingles? Gather the necessary equipment. Then, remove the debris and rinse with the garden hose.

Let’s learn how to maintain and clean your roof shingles.

What Should Be Cleaned From a Roof?

Before diving into the cleaning process, it is important to understand what needs to be removed from your roof. Accumulated dirt, debris such as leaves and branches, bird droppings, mold, mildew, algae, and moss should all be cleaned off to maintain the integrity and lifespan of your roof shingles.

Debris on the roof needs to be cleaned off the shingles.

Tools You Will Need

To clean your roof shingles effectively, you will need the following tools:

  1. Safety equipment – It is essential to prioritize safety when working on your roof. You should have a sturdy ladder, work gloves, safety goggles, and non-slip shoes.
  2. Soft bristle brush – A soft-bristled brush or broom will help remove loose debris without damaging the shingles.
  3. Garden hose or pressure washer – Depending on the level of dirt and grime, you can either use a garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment or a pressure washer set on a low setting.
  4. Roof cleaner solution – You can purchase a commercially available roof cleaner solution or make a DIY solution using household items such as water, bleach, and mild detergent.

How to Clean Roof Shingles?

To clean your roof shingles, you first need to gather the necessary equipment. This typically includes a sturdy ladder, safety harness, garden hose, soft-bristle brush or broom, a non-toxic cleaning solution suitable for roof surfaces, and protective gear such as gloves and goggles for your safety.

Start by removing any loose debris from the roof using the soft-bristle brush or broom. Take care not to damage the shingles while doing so. Next, apply the cleaning solution to the roof, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the solution to sit for the recommended amount of time to effectively break down any stains or growths.

After the allotted time, rinse the roof thoroughly with a garden hose, starting from the highest point downwards. This will ensure that any remaining dirt or cleaning solution is washed away without damaging the shingles. Avoid using high-pressure washers, as they can cause unnecessary damage to the vulnerable shingle surface.

Be careful using a ladder to climb to the roof to clean the shingles.

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Asphalt Roof Shingles

When cleaning asphalt roof shingles, it is crucial to follow certain guidelines to avoid causing harm. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Use a gentle cleaning solution specifically designed for roof surfaces.
  • Wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, to safeguard yourself from any potential hazards or harmful chemicals.
  • Do exercise caution when climbing ladders and ensure they are properly secured to prevent accidents.


  • Use harsh chemicals, abrasive brushes, or high-pressure washers, as they can strip away protective coatings or damage the shingle surface.
  • Walk directly on the shingles, as it can lead to breakage or further damage.

How Do Algae and Moss Affect Roof Shingles

Algae and moss can have detrimental effects on roof shingles if left unchecked. These organisms thrive in damp environments and can cause discoloration and staining. Additionally, their growth can lift shingles, leading to potential leaks and water damage. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help prevent the buildup of algae and moss on your roof, preserving its appearance and functionality.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about cleaning roof shingles, let’s take a look at a few other areas of recommended maintenance. One of those is solar panels on cloudy days. The good news is they will still work, but it does take longer as there is no sun and they make 10-25% of the normal electricity that they would on a sunny day.

Another is gutter hangers. These are put on the gutters and where they are placed is determined by how much rain each gutter can divert. They are an important part of the gutter installation process.

Lastly, is roofing felt. Many homeowners wonder when they see this going on the roof if it is waterproof. The answer is yes. It helps to repel water and keep ice and snow from penetrating the roof decking.

When Do I Call a Professional?

While cleaning your roof shingles can be a DIY task, there are circumstances when calling a professional is advisable. If you have a steep or multi-story roof that poses safety risks, or if you notice extensive damage, such as loose or missing shingles, it is best to consult a professional roofer or cleaning service. They have the expertise and equipment to handle complex roofing situations safely and effectively.


Maintaining clean roof shingles is essential for the longevity and aesthetics of your roof. By following proper cleaning techniques, using suitable products, and being aware of potential risks, you can keep your roof in excellent condition. Regular cleaning and proactive measures will not only enhance the curb appeal of your home but also protect your investment in the long run. While you are cleaning your roof shingles, this is a good time to reach out to Enviroquest Home Inspections for a complete home inspection in Harrisburg, PA.