Recognizing Creosote Danger: Cleaning Your Roofing Shingles For Protection
If you own a home with a chimney, you should be familiar with creosote and what it can do to your roofing shingles. Creosote is a flammable substance produced by your fireplace or wood stove, and it can spread out of the chimney and onto the shingles. Creosote is flammable enough that an errant ember could spark a fire. If you're seeing black residue on your shingles, that means that it's time to clean your roof.
Cover The Yard
The cleaning process can result in some debris and creosote residue washing down off the roof. You'll also be rinsing a cleaning solution off the roof, which could damage your greenery. Before you clean the shingles, cover the landscaping with tarps or large sheets to protect it from this. Make sure that you cover any shrubs, plants or mulch in the area.
Mix The Cleaner
You'll want a quality cleaning solution to get rid of the creosote residue. Mix a cup or two of oxygen bleach into a couple of gallons of warm water. For granular oxygen bleach products, make sure that it dissolves entirely before you move forward. You'll have to stir the mixture well to make sure that it is combined.
Clean The Shingles
Pour the cleaning solution into a sprayer with a hand-pump control. Don't attach it to a pressure washer or a high-pressure hose, because that can damage the shingles. Spray the whole surface evenly with the hand sprayer.
It's usually easiest to treat the roof from a ladder. Just make sure you have someone on the ground holding the ladder so that it's stable. Work your way gradually around the whole roof, saturating the whole surface. Then, put a low-pressure nozzle on your garden hose and rinse the shingles completely.
Rinse the roof completely, going over it several times to make sure that there's no residue left behind. Let the roof dry completely. You'll probably find that this is best done early in the morning on a sunny day, because the sunlight will dry the roof throughout the day. It's important that the roof dry well, otherwise you may have mildew or mold growth under the roofing tiles.
Don't let the idea of cleaning your roofing shingles intimidate you. With these tips, you can better understand how to flush away residue and creosote from the shingles. If you're concerned about creosote buildup on your roof but you aren't comfortable cleaning it on your own, talk with a local roofing contractor like Lakeside Roofing for support.