Removing Creosote from Asphalt Shingles

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated April 3, 2011)

Asphalt shingles are one of the more popular choices for roofing materials among homeowners. As such, there is a good chance that you will find yourself needing to remove some creosote from asphalt shingles, at least if you happen to have a chimney and a fireplace. Creosote is a tough, sticky, tar like substance that builds up over time when you burn things, and is typically found around fireplaces and chimneys. If you do not periodically remove these stains, then you can potentially find yourself with an extreme fire hazard. Removing creosote from asphalt shingles is possible, though it may require a bit of time and money on your part.

  • Get specialized cleaners. At most home improvement stores you can find specialized cleaners for asphalt shingles. These cleaners are typically specially designed and formulated to deal with specific types of stains, and to not damage the shingles too much. Simply purchase some of the cleaner that has been designed for removing creosote or similar stains, and follow the directions carefully.
  • Oxygen bleach. Oxygenated bleach is a great choice for cleaning all sorts of stains from asphalt shingles, and will do wonders on creosote stains as well. Ideally you will want to work on your roof while on a cloudy day since the clouds will help prevent the roof from drying out too quickly. Simply create a mixture of water and the bleach (roughly one quart of bleach for every gallon of water) and place it into a garden sprayer. Get the roof wet around the chimney, or wherever the stains appear, and wait about 15 minutes. Rinse off the mixture with a hose. Repeat the process as necessary to ensure the stain is removed.
  • Power cleaners. For particularly difficult stains, you may need to resort to a power cleaner. Be careful when you use one though, since you will be working higher up than ground level. Either use a scaffolding set up to get higher up, or an extra long sprayer hose. When using the power sprayer on the roof, be sure that you go with the grain of the shingles or you may accidentally remove or damage your roofing.
  • Hire a professional. If all else fails or you simply aren't comfortable with doing the work yourself, you can always hire a professional to do the work for you. While this method is a bit more expensive, you are usually guaranteed to have spectacular results. Many chimney sweeps will also clean this part of the roof as well to help prevent any accidental fires in the future.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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