Have you ever seen dark, discolored areas on your roof’s shaded sections? Some homeowners may believe that mold has taken hold on the surface of their roof’s shingles at first glance. The black spots or streaks on your roof are actually algae colonies. You’re dealing with moss if you notice green patches dispersed across your roof.
So, what’s the best method to deal with these annoyances? Roof Cleaning is the apparent solution, but cleaning can have its own set of issues. So, how do you know what to do and what not to do when it comes to roof cleaning? Continue reading to learn more.
Don’t: clean your roof with a high-powered pressure washer. In fact, it’s usually best to stay away from pressure washers entirely. Why? Pressure washers have a bad reputation for causing roof damage and shingle loosening. If you damage your roof, you’ll have to pay for expensive repairs that could have been avoided.
Do: Use your garden hose and a sprayer attachment. To obtain the best results, combine laundry-strength bleach and water in a DIY cleaning solution. Allow the mixture to remain for up to 20 minutes after spraying the asphalt shingles. To avoid the solution sitting on your roof for too long, rinse it with clean water. This method of roof cleaning is both safer and more cost-effective than using a power washer.
Don’t: Disregard safety measures.
Do: After you’ve made sure you can walk securely on your roof, clean it. Always wear a pair of shoes with a grippe bottom and eye protection. You might wish to hire an expert if your roof has a steep slope or numerous stories. Paying a professional a small fee up front could save you a trip to the hospital and hundreds of dollars in medical bills.
Don’t: clean your roof on a hot, sunny summer day. Your bleach solution will evaporate too quickly and lose its effectiveness.
Do: Choose a cloudy or overcast day for roof cleaning. Make sure there isn’t a lot of rain or severe winds in the forecast. Your cleaning solution won’t evaporate as rapidly this way, and you’ll be able to finish the task in a couple of hours.
Don’t: get irritable. It will take some time for the cleaning solution to function. Don’t expect it to eliminate your moss or algae right away, and if it doesn’t, don’t use it again.
Do: have patience. Even if the algae on your roof does not wash away after you rinse the cleaning solution off, it normally does after a few of rainstorms. Wait until the mixture loosens the algae growths before removing it with a leaf blower or other equipment.
Roof cleaning will be easier and less time-consuming if you use the right safety procedures, cleaning products, and preventative maintenance. If you wait too long, you risk causing harm to your roof. If your roof is leaking or showing symptoms of wear and tear, don’t try to fix it yourself; instead, contact a professional roof cleaning business to avoid a headache.
- Five fundamental aspects about roof cleaning
- Frequently Asked Questions
Five fundamental aspects about roof cleaning
Many homeowners are tempted to clean the roof on their own. Even though some may have good results, we recommend gathering as much information as possible about roof cleaning. The most important comes down below.
1. Roof power washing isn’t a DIY job
We don’t recommend you rent a pressure washer and wash your roof. Here are some of the reasons for which roof cleaning isn’t a DIY job:
- It’s more complicated than you think to balance on a roof. Using a powerful pressure washer while standing on a sloped and slick surface is even more difficult, if not impossible, when you lack the experience. The risk of severe injury when falling off a roof is high.
- Let’s say you can keep your balance on a ladder and use the power washer. You still need to spray the roofing tiles so that you don’t loosen the staples and nails. When you spray the shingles from below, you can cause splatter that poses a risk for your safety.
- You need skills, experience, and proper equipment to reach debris and dirt collected between the crevices and cracks of the roofing shingles. Watching a tutorial about roof cleaning won’t be enough to help you do a good job. Professional pressure washers know how to clean around vents, flashing, chimneys, and surfaces without causing damage.
- Should you use too much pressure, you might loosen the shingles’ granules. The tiles will get thin and brittle.
- Professional power washing contractors know which detergent or surfactant to use on each roof. They will dissolve grime and dirt without drying out the shingles and damage anything.
2. Soft washing is best for old roofs
Soft wash cleaning is one way to clean roofs and it’s the most appropriate method for old roofs. Special formulated surfactants or detergents are used to go deep into pores and pits of the roof. They will go along the undersides of the tiles and shingles, roof materials, and around flashing. Even if soft wash cleaners are gentle, they’re also strong and dissolve dust, grime, grit, mud, soot, and other residues.
Low-pressure rinsing is used to eliminate the dirt with soft wash systems. The pressure is a tad stronger than the force generated by a garden hose with a spray nozzle. Low-pressure rinsing doesn’t cause any damage to brittle roofing tiles and doesn’t wash away the damaged granules. The age of your roof and the amount of dirt requiring cleaning are factors to consider when deciding if soft washing is a good choice.
3. Moss and algae will ruin your roof
Algae and moss can cause damage to your home’s roof. They’re moist and damage roof shingles and roof paper. The added moisture will soften the shingles and make the roofing paper tear. As a result, the roof will start to leak.
The worst part about moss, algae, mildew, and mold is that they keep growing if not removed completely. They can go deep under the roof’s shingles and even dislodge the tiles. Moss, algae, and similar contaminants don’t go away on their own. You shouldn’t postpone roof cleaning as you risk severe damage to the roof and interior water leaks.
4. Plan the roof washing before you can see debris and algae on your roof
If you’re a responsible homeowner, you probably know that you cannot afford to postpone roof cleaning. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait with removing algae, moss, etc. from your roof:
- Moss, algae, mold, and mildew thrive in dark and damp spaces with limited air and sunlight. Under and around roofing shingles and tiles and areas difficult to reach from below are such places. When checking out your roof, you might skip them if you don’t know where and what to look for.
- Once algae and debris begin to collect, they will grow, spread, and cause softening and dislodging of the shingles. The higher the humidity of the environment, the faster the growth speed of the contaminants. Your roof can become damaged a lot sooner than expected.
- Regularly cleaning the roof of wet twigs, seeds, leaves, and debris that generate mold and algae keeps the roof in good shape and maintains its appearance for a reasonable amount of time.
- Wash the roof after the rainy/stormy time of the year to remove debris and storm residue that lead to moss, mold, and other buildups.
5. Hire professionals for a soft wash of your roof
Professional roof cleaning will make your roof look nice and keep it in good shape too. Professionals are experts in removing grime, dust, and other debris and stains and discolored areas. Shingles with fresh and nice colors change for the better the whole appearance of a house.
A soft wash system will remove moss, mold, mildew, and algae that are difficult to reach and remove with a pressure washer or standard hose. The surfactants and detergents used with soft pressure washing get in all crannies and nooks of your roof. The low-pressure rinsing doesn’t strip away granules and loose tiles.
Power washing also reveals damaged areas of your roof. Should any repairs be necessary, the professionals will manage them accordingly and avoid roof leaks.
What’s the cost?
Expect to pay anywhere from $374 to $600 for roof cleaning. It’s an affordable price, especially considering the risks you’re taking if cleaning on your own.
Should you clean or replace the roof?
Built algae and moss on a roof can alter the roof’s appearance and not necessarily damage its conditions. Only professional roofing contractors will be able to tell you more about your roof’s condition after a thorough examination. They can tell you which of the two (cleaning or replacing) are the best solutions for your roof.
If the roof inspection reveals that replacement is necessary, the contractor might suggest you have shingles made with copper/materials that reduce the risk of algae growth. He can also give you valuable tips on how to keep your roof nice, clean, and in good condition for the longest time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible for roof cleaning to damage the roof?
Cleaning the roof will extend the roof’s lifespan and improve its appearance. Make sure you hire the most reliable professionals in your area. Poor technique and use of low-quality products can harm the roof through cleaning instead of benefitting it.
What cleaning solutions use professionals to clean the roof?
Sodium percarbonate, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium hydroxide are some of the products used to clean roofs. However, many professionals use “bleach” or sodium hypochlorite. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association also recommends its usage.
How often should you call the professionals to clean the roof?
Ideally, you want to call professionals to clean the roof once a year. Should they discover any problems with the roof while cleaning, they can catch the problem in its early stage. If the roof is in good shape or it’s relatively new, you can call professionals for roof cleaning every two years or so.
Is it worth cleaning the roof?
Some homeowners sit on the fence about whether they should clean the roof or not. We need to highlight that roof cleaning will save you money in the long run. If you keep the roof in good condition, you won’t have to replace it any time soon. Additionally, roof cleaning maintains the roof’s warranty. Should anything happen to the roof, the warranty will cover the costs.
Should you clean the roof on your own or call the professionals?
Technically speaking, nothing can stop you from cleaning the roof on your own. However, roof cleaning is a job for professionals. The risk of injuries and property damage is significant. Unless you’re a professional roof cleaner, you most likely lack the skills, knowledge, and equipment for a proper job.