It’s best to clean your roof on a cloudy day to prevent the cleaner from evaporating too quickly. If you know the manufacturer of your shingles, contact them or check their website for specific recommendations on cleaning. When using a product made for cleaning roofs or oxygen bleach, follow the directions on the container.
While the recipe for cleaning a roof with bleach can vary, the basic formula is:
- 1 quart bleach (6% sodium hypochlorite)
- 1 gallon water
- 1/4 cup TSP (trisodium phosphate) or other heavy duty cleaner (don’t use a cleaner that contains ammonia or is not recommended for mixing with bleach, as it can result in poisonous chlorine gas)
Pour the ingredients into a pump type garden sprayer, mix well, and spray.
After wetting down the roof with the solution, allow it to remain on the roof for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with a hose.
To keep algae from coming back once your roof is clean, install a strip of copper or zinc coated sheet metal along each side of the roof just below the ridge. To be effective, 2”- 4” of metal should be visible on the roof.
While copper is more toxic to algae, galvanized sheet metal is much less expensive. Both copper and galvanized metal are available in rolls of various widths and thickness both online and from local metal suppliers. You can also purchase zinc strips specifically made to eliminate roof algae from Z stop.
Narrow strips of sheet metal can be attached directly to your roof using roofing nails or screws with a rubber washer. For wider pieces of sheet metal, loosen the self-sealing tabs on the top row of shingles with a putty knife, slip part of the sheet metal under them, and nail it in place under the shingles with roofing nails.