How to Clean Roof Shingles & Vinyl Siding

Springtime is the right time to spruce up your home’s exterior. Sometimes adding curb appeal is as simple as cleaning up your roof and siding. Here are tips for adding shine your neighbors will envy.

How to clean roof shingles

It’s not uncommon for roofs in Lancaster, West Chester, Reading, and other areas of the Mid-Atlantic to be marred by algae or moss.

Algae often appears as a black discoloration on roofing shingles. Since the spores are deposited by wind and critters, it’s easy for algae to spread through a neighborhood quickly. While there’s no evidence it harms asphalt shingles, it certainly detracts from your home’s curb appeal.

Moss, which spreads the same way as algae, can cause shingles to curl or lift. In some cases, the damage can trigger shingle loss during a storm.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association recommends using a 50:50 mix of laundry-strength liquid chlorine bleach and water. Apply the solution with a sprayer and let it sit on the roof’s surface for about 15 minutes–do not let the solution dry. Rinse with low-pressure water. Always protect yourself, landscaping, and other property features from contact with the bleach solution.

The algae residue will disappear over time as rain washes the dead material away. Moss will loosen; you can then remove it with a leaf blower.

Pro tip: Clean shingles on a cloudy day to prevent the solution from evaporating too quickly.

Use safety precautions whenever you clean roof shingles. Never work on a roof in bad weather, and always work with a partner who can lend a hand if you run into trouble. When in doubt, hire a contractor with professional equipment and safety training.

How to clean your home’s vinyl siding

From dirt to grime to the fertilizers you spray on the lawn, home siding takes a beating. Fortunately, vinyl siding is relatively easy to clean so you can keep your home looking neat and well-maintained.

You’ll find many recipes for homemade siding cleaning solutions online. A good all-purpose mixture is 70% water and 30% white vinegar. This mixture is perfect for tackling light dirt and mold. Simply apply it using a soft cloth or a soft bristle, long-handled brush. Work the solution from the top down to eliminate streaking.

If stains are stubborn or tough, it’s okay to try a household cleaner like Murphy’s Oil Soap or Windex. However it’s always a good idea to spot check the cleaner first to make sure it doesn’t discolor the vinyl.

Never use steel wool, nail polish remover, or other harsh solvents or products on vinyl siding.

Pressure washers aren’t always the best option to clean vinyl siding. Some siding makers don’t recommend pressure washing at all, while others may recommend using a specific amount of pressure. If you know which company manufactured the siding, check its website for recommendations.  

If you choose to pressure wash your home’s exterior, point the stream straight at the siding. Pointing the stream at an angle increases the chance you’ll get water behind the siding, potentially allowing water to get into your walls.

Always take proper safety precautions when working on a ladder or using cleaning solutions. As with other exterior tasks, if you’re unsure about doing it yourself it’s best to hire a professional contractor with the proper experience and equipment.

Did you clean roof shingles or siding but your home still looks shabby?

It might be time to refresh your home’s appearance with new roofing or siding. The Best Contracting team is ready to give you a no-obligation quote for your home in Lancaster, West Chester, Reading, and other areas of PA as well as MD, DE, and NJ. Schedule your free inspection.

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