5 Best Practices in Cleaning Asphalt Roof Shingles at Home

best roofers guide to cleaning
May 1, 2023

Asphalt roof shingles are a popular roofing material used in many American homes. They are durable and cost-effective, but they can become stained and discolored over time due to dirt, algae, mold, and other debris. Regular cleaning of asphalt roof shingles can help you maintain the beauty and integrity of your roof, extend its life, and prevent costly repairs. But which best practices should roof cleaners follow? Here are some ideas.

1. Never Use Pressure Washers

One of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning asphalt roof shingles is using a pressure washer. While pressure washing may seem quick and easy to remove dirt and stains, it can do more harm than good.

The high pressure of the water can damage the shingles, strip away the protective granules, and even cause leaks. Instead, use a garden hose with a low-pressure nozzle to gently rinse away dirt and debris. Although it may take longer, it causes minor damage to the shingles.

2. Choose Calmer Days

Another essential factor to consider when cleaning asphalt roof shingles is the weather. While it may be tempting to clean your roof on a sunny day, choosing a calmer day with little to no wind is best. But why does the weather matter?

Windy conditions can make it difficult to control the water and can also blow debris onto your freshly cleaned roof. Also, hot temperatures can cause the cleaning solution to evaporate too quickly, leaving streaks and stains behind.

3. Never Wait For Algae

Algae growth is expected in asphalt roof shingles, especially in humid and warm climates. While it may be tempting to wait until you see visible signs of algae growth to clean your roof, it’s best to be proactive and clean your roof regularly to prevent algae growth from occurring. Algae can cause discoloration and damage to your shingles, so keeping them clean and debris-free is essential.

4. Trim Overhanging Branches

Overhanging branches can cause several problems for your asphalt roof shingles. Not only can they drop debris onto your roof, but they can also scratch and damage the shingles. The shade the branches provide can also create a moist environment that promotes algae growth.

It is essential to trim overhanging branches regularly and keep them away from your roof. It will expose the top to sunlight and ensure that the entire area stays visible to the people at home or the people passing by the house.

5. Follow Safety Precautions

Cleaning your asphalt roof shingles can be dangerous, so following safety precautions is essential to prevent accidents and injuries. Always use a sturdy and stable ladder and have someone hold it while you work. Wear slip-resistant shoes and use a safety harness if possible. Use the appropriate cleaning solution and tools for your roof and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.


Regular cleaning of your asphalt roof shingles is essential to maintaining your roof’s beauty and longevity. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your roof stays clean and free from damage. Remember never to use pressure washers, choose calmer days, never wait for algae, trim overhanging branches, and follow safety precautions. If you’re not comfortable cleaning your roof yourself, consider hiring a professional roofing company to do it for you. With a little care and attention, your asphalt roof shingles can last many years.

Looking for reliable roofing companies and the best roofers in Vermont? Look no further than Three Mountain Roofing! We offer roofing services, including new installations and storm restoration on shingles, EPDM, and standing seam roofs. If you need a roof replacement or repair, our skilled professionals are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and start your roofing project.

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