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Cleaning Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt shingle roofs have been a popular choice for residential and commercial buildings for many years. They are known for their durability, affordability, and ease of installation. Here is a brief overview of the history and manufacturing process of asphalt shingle roofs, as well as a recommended cleaning method:

Asphalt shingles were first introduced in the early 20th century as an alternative to traditional roofing materials such as wood and slate. They gained popularity due to their affordability and relatively low maintenance requirements. Over the years, advancements in technology and manufacturing processes have improved the quality and performance of asphalt shingles.

Asphalt shingles are typically made from a base material, such as fiberglass or organic felt, which is coated with asphalt. The asphalt is then embedded with mineral granules to provide protection against UV rays and enhance the shingles' aesthetic appeal. The manufacturing process involves several steps, including mat formation, asphalt saturation, coating, and granule application.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of asphalt shingle roofs can help prolong their lifespan and maintain their appearance. Here is a recommended cleaning method:

1. Safety Precautions: Before starting any cleaning activity, ensure you have the necessary safety equipment, such as a sturdy ladder, non-slip shoes, and appropriate protective gear.

2. Inspection: Inspect the roof for any signs of damage, such as loose or missing shingles, cracks, or leaks. If you notice any issues, it is advisable to contact a professional roofer for repairs before proceeding with cleaning.

3. Gentle Cleaning: Use a low-pressure blower to remove debris, such as leaves, twigs, and moss, from the surface of the shingles. Start from the top and work your way down, being careful not to damage or dislodge the shingles.

4. Treatment: If there are stubborn stains or algae/mildew growth, you can apply a mixture of water, specially formulated detergent and sodium hypochlorite (bleach).

For application, it is very important to avoid flooding with the cleaning agent. If you flood the surface it will flow over the edge and the mixture will cause damage to paint, siding surfaces and plants.

Correct application is pertinent. If there is a gutter on your home, protect the sod where the gutter empties, as the mix will burn the grass. Sufficiently pre-watering the roots will prevents killing the grass, but some browning is expected.

No worries, the roots are protected with a good watering and the brown will grow out.

The same disinfection qualities of the mix that damage plants is what is necessary to kill moss, mold and algae. The roots of things like gold mold and moss weaken as they decay. If you were to physically pull on the moss when the root structure is strong it can tear the shingle.

Next simply allow hard rain to naturally rinse the roof over time. It takes three to five episodes of rain to complete the removal of all biologicals.

"If its brown don't frown. But if its black, you got to go back".

A professional will guarantee the result and retreat the roof for free if there is any moss or mildew remaining.

5. Prevention: To minimize the buildup of debris regularly trim overhanging tree branches that may contribute to the accumulation of leaves and debris on the roof.

It's important to note that high-pressure power washers nozzles, harsh cleaning chemicals, and any sort of physical agitation such as brushing, should be avoided as these will damage the shingles.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable performing roof cleaning yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional roof cleaning service.

Sources: Owens Corning, GAF, CertainTeed, and Tamko. National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA)

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