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Clean Black Streaks from Roof Shingles

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Sandra in Pennsylvania needs some help with some cleaning of shingles. What’s going on? Tell us about it.

    SANDRA: Yes, I have white shingles on my home that’s about seven years old and on the side – of course it’s the front side (Leslie chuckles) – that doesn’t get as much sun we’re getting black streaks down it. Is there any way to clean them off?

    LESLIE: Well, why would dirt present itself on the side of the house that no one’s going to see? (Tom and Leslie chuckle)

    SANDRA: Yeah, isn’t that the truth.

    TOM: And the reason for that is because the sun is a natural mildicide.

    SANDRA: Yes.

    TOM: The shingles will get mildewy, they will get mossy and they do need to be cleaned from time to time; especially on a very, very shady side of the house. So here’s what you need to do.

    You need to apply a mildicide up there – now you can use bleach and water; you can use one of the commercially available roof cleaners – and then you need to let that sit for a while and then you need to brush it off. Usually you have to have somebody go up there with sort of like a broom and hose and apply the material, let it sit for a while and that will clean it up and then …


    TOM: … after you get them nice and clean what we’re going to suggest you do is add a copper or a nickel ridge vent to the peak of the roof and the reason you’re doing that is because when rain hits it some of that metal releases into the water and it acts as a mildicide and scrubs that roof clean. The third thing that you should do is see if there’s an opportunity to trim back some of the branches, some of the trees …

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) That cause the shade.

    TOM: … on that shady side …


    TOM: … so that you can get at least some sun over there. I’m not talking about cutting them all down but just a little …

    LESLIE: Just thinning things out, perhaps.

    TOM: Exactly; will make a big difference.

    SANDRA: OK, thanks very much. I appreciate your help.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Sandra. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You are tuned in to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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