black algae, roof cleaning, green algae removal, best siding cleaning, cedar cleaning, dryvit cleaning, safe exterior cleaning

​​​​​House Shampoo, Inc.

Specializing in Roof Cleaning
House Washing & Exterior Cleaning​

(815) 585-4745

Serving the Greater NW Chicago, IL & Lake Geneva, WI areas


​House Shampoo, Inc. Proprietary Low-Pressure Solution Cleaning & Restoration Process

House Shampoo, Inc. Proprietary High-Pressure & Solution Cleaning & Restoration Process



"If it needs cleaning, House Shampoo has THE solution!"

​​​​We like what our fellow Angie's List colleagues had to say about the fear that drives 
property owners to seek roof replacement rather than a solid cleaning -- check it out:  

CLICK HERE --> 4 Reasons To Clean Your Roof Instead of Replacing It

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Roof Cleaning & House Washing - FAQ's


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Just some of the communities we serve ... again, just ask!

Algonquin, IL, Arlington Heights, IL, Barrington, IL,  Barrington Hills, IL, Buffalo Grove, IL, Burlington, WI, Cary,IL, Crystal Lake, IL, Deer Park, IL, Deerfield, IL, Delavan, WI, East Dundee, IL, Elburn, IL, Elgin, IL, Elkhorn, WI, Geneva, IL, Glencoe, IL, Glenview, IL, Fontana, WI, Hawthorn Woods, IL, Highland Park, IL,
Hoffman Estates, IL, Inverness, IL, Johnsburg, IL, Knollwood, IL, Lake Barrington, IL, Lake Bluff, IL, Lake Forest, IL, Lake Geneva, WI, Lake Villa, IL, Lake Zurich, IL, Lauderdale Lakes, WI, Libertyville, IL, Lincolnshire, IL, Lindenhurst, IL, Long Grove,IL, McHenry, IL, Mettawa, IL, Mundelein,IL, , North Barrington, IL,
Northbrook, IL, North Chicago, IL, Palatine, IL, Park Ridge, IL, Powers Lake, WI, Riverwoods, IL, Rolling Meadows, IL, Spring Grove, IL,
Trout Valley, IL, Twin Lakes, WI, Vernon Hills, IL, Walworth, WI, Wauconda, IL, Wayne, IL, West Dundee, IL, Winnetka, IL

 Roof age:  10 + yrs  -   "Lifetime"50-Year Algae Resistant - (AR) Premium Architectural Shingles  -  Costly and ineffective against  algae/lichen infestation.  

Q:  What are the black stains on my roof ?
A:  The technical name is “Gloeocapsa Magma” (GM), otherwise referred to as blue-green algae (black algae).  Ideal growing conditions for roof algae are found on the north and east sides of your roof where sunlight is subdued and moisture is high.  GM actually thrives on all sides of the roof - it is just less visible in the sunny areas.   Those ugly roof stains are a combination of dead and dying algae cells and a self-generated protective layer that keeps ultraviolet (UV) rays from harming the living colony underneath.  The algae spores travel until finding an environment where an ample supply of shade, moisture and food are found ... in other words, your roof!  Professional roof cleaning is required to eradicate this nuisance.

Q:  Why should I be concerned and what should I do about it?
BLACK STREAKS ARE  WARNING SIGNS! In the past they were misdiagnosed as a cosmetic issue caused by jet fuel, tree sap, airplane waste, tree pollen and dirt.  Property owners ignored their roofs allowing them to deteriorate until the only option was an expensive replacement.  The truth is that unattractive roof stains make your home or business look unhealthy and neglected, seriously compromising its curb appeal.  More importantly, algae infestation is the enemy of roof shingles because it acts as host to lichens 
that have anchors that attach it to the shingles causing irreversible damage.

Q:  Why is it on my roof and not the property next door?
A:  The answer has to do with several variables, but the  age of the roof and type of material are the likeliest suspects.   Shingle manufacturers added limestone to composite (asphalt) roofing material as a filler to replace weight lost by reductions in the amount of costly petroleum-based product.   This change had unforeseen consequences, as the addition of limestone created a constant food source for Gloeocapsa Magma  To compound the problem, algae acts as host to other more harmful roof parasites (all of which thrive on algae), accelerating the decomposition of your roof.   They include harmful fungus, bacteria, mold, lichens, and moss.  Tree shade, dormers, gutter debris, water on the property (including sprinkler systems), all contribute to ideal growing conditions.  In addition, it is most prevalent on the north and east sides, so you may need to inspect your neighbor's roof from another vantage point.

Q:  Is there anything other than cleaning that effectively prevents this type of infestation?
A: Shingle manufacturers are aware of the problem and have recently changed the way they make asphalt shingles to include metal compounds meant to offset the risk of algae infestation which have performed with mixed results.  For existing roofs with limestone fillers, zinc roofing strips have been suggested as an effective deterrent with inconsistent results.  Years of on-site experience shows that most of these "solutions" are effective for limited periods of time.  Observe the photo of the roof above and note that it is a 50-Year Premium AR (algae resistant) shingled roof installed less than ten years ago.

For cedar shingles, this beautiful resilient material functions at it's best when clean and dry.  Allowing lichen and moss growth only expedites the decomposition of the shingles due to moisture retention.  There are no other alternatives to preventing infestation.

Q:  Because my roof has algae and lichen on it, does this mean my roof is ready to be replaced?
A: It is important to remember that every roof has a lifespan and WILL eventually need to be replaced (some earlier than they should).  The life of a roof varies depending on whether it has received proper maintenance, suffered excess exposure to extreme weather conditions, has proper ventilation, insulation, has a manufacturer material defect or has experienced flora infestation.  If algae, lichens, and moss are eliminated, the roof should be expected to provide years of trouble-free service, but only if regularly maintained.  

  By postponing action the roof's lifespan can be cut by up to 50%


Q:  Do roof stains contain health related considerations?
A:  Algae is a spore and is not only harmful to your property, but it can be harmful to children, the elderly, and those with allergy sensitivities and upper respiratory problems.   According to top researchers excessive mold growth can lead to increased risk for allergies and indoor air quality issues.  The prevalence of Gloeocapsa Magma is increasing across the U.S. as a consequence of changing weather patterns.

Q:  Do you clean siding?  What process is best?

A:   We use a low-pressure solution process for all types of siding, dryvit, cedar, and other delicate surfaces.  Because our customized proprietary solutions perform the primary function of killing what we are removing, we can craft the solution to meet the type and condition of the feature we are treating.  That's the beauty of our house washing process.  We apply the solution with low-pressure thereby eliminating many of the risks associated with pressure-washing.  Soft surface material like siding should always be treated gently with as little agitation as possible.   We only use a combination of pressure and solutions when appropriate, typically on hard resilient surfaces like stone, brick and concrete to produce the best possible results.

Q:  Why do I need to pay someone to clean my roof when I could do it myself? 
A:  As with all choices in life, there is a “risk-reward" that should be taken into account when considering the “Do-It-Yourself” method.  We recommend you stay off of your roof and do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk  for injury or death.  Roofing is listed as one of the ten most dangerous jobs.  Add water, solutions, hoses and ladders and you have a better understanding of why you really should let a professional take care of this maintenance issue.  We have an enormous amount of service and maintenance expertise in commercial and residential properties, use commercial-grade product, are fully insured and our staff has over 40 years combined experience. 

Q:  How to get rid of black algae?

A:  The House Shampoo low-pressure solution roof cleaning system uses no more pressure than that of a garden hose which is why it's referred to as "soft-wash".  We use a proprietary algaecide mixture that is applied through the nozzle of a low-pressure wash wand.  Once the solution application rests for a period of time it "times out", and the algae, lichen or moss die, dry out, and release.  A clear water rinse may be applied at the same low rate of pressure to remove remaining residues and dead  material in some cases.  Most often the weather completes our work with rain, sunshine and wind.  Under NO circumstances should asphalt or cedar shingles be treated with a pressure.  Power washing on a roof isn't just dangerous for the roofing material, but the applicator may be blown off the roof by the high pressure in the wand.  Every effort should be made to minimize damage to all the features of the roof, but especially with infested cedar shingles, or the protective/reflective granules that form the exterior surface of an asphalt shingle.  Pressure washing has a place in exterior cleaning - just never on the roof.

Q:  How long does a “house shampoo” last? 

A:  After a cleaning, recurrence ultimately depends on the location of the property.  Wooded areas, lake properties, lowlands, etc.,  are all more susceptible to algae infestation.  We recommend scheduling follow-up visits every 2-3 years as preventative maintenance.

Q:  Will the products you spray on my roof hurt my landscaping or pets?

A: The cleaning solutions we use are gentle, thorough, phosphate-free, biodegradable, and yet very powerful and effective.   We recommend that residents and pets remain indoors during treatment application.   Our solutions are confined to the target area with our low-pressure applicator and fresh water rinsing with hoses.   The solutions subsequently “time-out” 45-120 minutes after application.  The preparation and treatment of surrounding areas include ongoing rinsing that protects excluded exterior features, your landscaping and property.  We have a high level of confidence that when the treatment is completed the evidence will speak for itself.  Your property will be vastly improved - no damage done.

Q:  How much does roof cleaning cost? 
A: Many factors go into determining the cost of a roof cleaningThe number of stories, the roof pitch and dimensions, the degree of infestation and the surrounding environment.  Labor, materials and insurance costs are also relative components of pricing.   Cost tends to run approximately 5-8% of a full roof replacement.  The value we deliver cannot be understated.

Q:  What should we expect the day of the job?
A:  Upon arrival a House Shampoo staff member will notify you that we are ready to begin.   Staff will photo-document all aspects of the job, move furniture and other items the homeowner was unable to move to a safe distance from the building so that the work area is secured.  We tarp select landscaping and thoroughly fresh-water mist/soak all other landscaping, walks, decks and driveways in the immediate work area throughout the process.  Prior to cleaning your roof, we remove loose debris from your roof and gutters.  Final steps include clean up, equipment removal, furniture replacement, and do a walk-around inspection.   After photos are taken of the project and job site.

Q:  How long does a roof cleaning take?  How about siding and other job items?
A:  On average, a roof cleaning takes between 3-6 hours depending on the specifics of the job.  We work from the top down, so if your contract includes work below the roof line the work time will increase accordingly.  If your project includes paver sanding and sealing, this may require a return visit when conditions are dry.

Q:  What do I need to do to prepare for the big work day? 
A: All fragile items such as solar lights, bird baths, potted plants and personal belongings should be safely stored away.  Vehicles must be moved a minimum of 100 feet from the  exterior walls of the building.  For your safety, while we are applying our solutions and working with ladders, hoses and equipment around the perimeter of your home, stay indoors and keep all pets INDOORS. All windows and doors MUST be closed. Please refrain from excess water usage during our visit to assure adequate water pressure. We required two (2) outdoor working water spigots. We tarp as needed.

Q:  What other services do you offer?
A:  We clean a vast array of exterior features, so it's always best to just ask.  Typicals are siding, decks, gutters, paver patios and walks, drives, retaining walls, pillar posts, gated entrances.  Rust removal from hardscapes is another of our specialties, in addition to purging, sanding and sealing pavers.  The  staff are skilled tradesmen with expertise in roofing and exteriors, and can advise on some repairs that may be required prior to conducting an exterior cleaning.

Q:  Do you work if it is going to rain?
A:  We do not work in the rain, high winds or other dangerous weather conditions.  This business is weather dependent and safety is #1 for our crews and for your property.   We will notify you of any appointment that requires rescheduling due to weather-related issues.

Q:  Do you carry insurance?
A:  We are fully insured and carry General Liability, Workers Compensation

Q:  Do you warranty your work?
A:  All our work is under a 2-Year Limited Workmanship Warranty.

Q:  Do I have to be home when you do my job?
A:  No, however we may need to contact you regarding a matter requiring immediate attention - an emergency contact number will be required.

Q:  Does your company accept credit cards?        
A: Payment can be made by cash, check or credit card - (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, PayPal).  Safely use Intuit's secure PAY NOW button on your final invoice.

Q:  When do I have to pay for the work?
A:  Payment is required the day of the job. If there is anything you are not satisfied with, it will be corrected under the terms of the warranty as soon as possible.