How to Clean and Maintain Your Roof

The roof protects one of your most valuable assets— your home! It’s important to take some time twice a year to make sure your roof is properly maintained. This can prevent damage and save you a lot of money down the road.

A few tips before you head outside:

1) Choose a sunny day when the roof is dry to do any maintenance

2) Have a friend hold the ladder

3) Start fixing issues at the top of your roof and work your way towards the edges

4) When possible, avoid standing on the roof
Note: Do not use a power washer or hard-bristled brush to clean a roof.  It can wear away shingle granules and damage the shingles. Instead, use a soft bristled broom and wide handheld brush.

Dark algae streaks

Algae streaks can be just a cosmetic issue. They can be removed by gently scrubbing with a mixture of bleach and water.  Avoid brushing the protective granules off your shingles and remember to protect your yard from the bleach run-off.


Moss can grow on roof surfaces that don’t get much sunlight, especially in cool, moist climates. Moss growth can be more than a cosmetic issue because it traps moisture against the roof’s surface, which over time can cause damage to the shingle granules. Moss can be brushed off, but that will not prevent it from growing again.  Spray a roof moss remover and cleaner on affected areas. Follow the specific cleaner’s instructions and then gently brush away the moss.

Loose Debris

When the wind blows, loose debris can scratch and strip granules off the shingles.  Make sure to remove branches, leaves, or other debris that may have accumulated.


Trees may fall in a storm, drop fruit, or act as a convenient “bridge” to let animal pests climb onto your roof.  Trim overhanging branches and nearby trees.

Bird Nests

Bird Nests can block your roof drains which create standing water and moisture on your roof. A nest in your chimney causes problems when you use your fireplace because they are flammable and can also block ventilation.  Wear a breathing mask when removing nests to avoid inhaling contaminants. Install a chimney cap to keep birds and other animals out in the future.


Substantial amounts of shingle granules in your gutter can be a sign your roof is not protecting your home as it should. Use a plastic gutter scoop (plastic for flexibility and to avoid scraping the gutter bottom) and a garden hose to clean dirt and leaves from gutters and downspouts.


Last but not least, look at the underside of your roof.  The attic will show danger signs of leakage like dark patches, streaks, wood rot, dampness, dripping water, or mold. Inspect the attic regularly and get leaks taken care of as quickly as possible before they cause serious damage.