One roofing threat that many homeowners overlook is the damage that creosote can cause. If your home has a fireplace or wood stove, that means your roof is at risk of creosote buildup on the shingles. Creosote, a byproduct of wood burning, is highly flammable. When it settles on your roof, all it takes is an errant ember coming out of the chimney to spark a fire. If you've started seeing visible black staining on your roofing shingles, that is a key indication of creosote buildup. Here is some guidance for the cleanup process.
Protect The Landscaping
Cleaning the roof will cause some runoff and splatter that may contain creosote debris. To protect the plants and landscaping on the perimeter of your house, you'll want to put some tarps or soft cloths over all of those plants. The cloths will protect everything from contamination by the creosote or the cleaning solution.
Make a Cleaning Solution
Create a solution of oxygen bleach and warm water. You can mix about a cup or two of the oxygen bleach into several cups of warm water for a good cleaning mixture. Make sure that the oxygen bleach dissolves completely so that you create a complete solution.
Clean The Roof
Clean the roof on a sunny day so that you get timely drying. Apply the cleaning solution to the roof with a hand-held sprayer. Don't use anything that's pressurized, though, because the high pressure could damage the roof even further. Use the gentle sprayer so that you coat the shingles with cleaning solution without causing any damage.
Cover the entire roof surface with the cleaner so that you can be sure you get all of the creosote and any other residue that's left behind. Once treated, rinse the whole roof with a garden hose. The goal is to make sure you rinse all of the cleaner away. Once rinsed, let the roof dry completely so that you don't risk any mold or mildew growth that can threaten the sub-roofing.
If you're not confident doing the work yourself or you believe that you might need more repair, talk with a local roofing contractor. You may also want to invest in some new roofing shingles or other materials so that you have things on hand to repair any unveiled damage. This is important, because shingles can crack, fracture or come loose and should be replaced right away when that happens. Click here for info on roofing repair.