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Roof cleaning products to remove black algae, moss, or fungus from your roof shingles are usually made with one of two active ingredients. In this article we will review the two different types of products most widely used by homeowners and contractors and the pros and cons of each.
The first roof cleaning product we will discuss is Chlorine Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or lye (sodium hydroxide). This type of roof cleaning product is primarily used by professional roof cleaners due to the caustic nature of the active ingredient (sodium hypochlorite) as well as being the most economical chemical available. Industrial strength Chlorine Bleach is also a readily available product that can found at pool supply retailers which make it easy for contractors to purchase as needed.
PROS: Cheapest chemical available to use. Normally, no pressure needed when rinsing. Chlorine Bleach is readily available to purchase as needed from pool supply retailers.
CONS: This is a very harsh, dangerous chemical, and if used incorrectly could potentially stain, dry out or damage your shingles, remove the finish on aluminum gutters, stain painted surfaces, damage plants and grass, or create health hazards for your pets and children. Just a little bit of over spray while roof cleaning could be disastrous in so many ways. Chlorine bleach is not biodegradable and once it enters the ground it will always be there
Can chlorine bleach or chlorine bleach roof cleaning products be used without this kind of damage occurring? Yes, they can if you are extremely careful. The question you need to ask is when was the last time you did a home improvement project that worked out just the way you thought it would? No matter how careful you are, the chances that you may have over spray get on something else other than your shingles is pretty good. Just a little bit of wind can cause over spray to reach your yard or your neighbor’s yard. Most homeowners are not willing to take that chance so they either hire a professional roof cleaner or use an alternative biodegradable and safe product that we will discuss next.
The second type of roof cleaning products are hydrogen peroxide based and use the active ingredient Sodium Percarbonate, the biodegradable and safe alternative to Chlorine Bleach. Used by both homeowners and professional roof cleaners who want a safe alternative to Chlorine Bleach that is effective in cleaning black algae stains, moss, or fungus from roof shingles.
PROS: This type of roof cleaning product takes the worry out of over spray and will not harm the finish on aluminum gutters, stain painted surfaces, damage plants and grass, or create health hazards for your pets and children. It allows for a biodegradable and safe way of accomplishing the same result. You can approach the cleaning process in two different ways with this type of roof cleaning product. You can spray it on and then use a pressure washer on a low pressure setting (as much as a hard rain) for instant results, or you can spray it on and let the rain rinse away the stains naturally over approximately 90 days. This type of flexibility in the application and rinse process is another reason why homeowners and contractors choose to use this type of biodegradable roof cleaning product.
CONS: Slightly more expensive than Chlorine Bleach. Green products normally cost more than caustic chemicals. In severe cases when using the natural rinse method you may need to reapply after 90 days to achieve your desired result.
Now that you have the facts about the type of roof cleaning products available you can make an informed decision in regards to what is best for you, your family, pets, and home.