HomeownerHelpful Info: Cleaning Services

Roof Cleaning

Roof Cleaning Educational Content

Roof cleaning is an important exterior cleaning service. It removes algae, moss, dirt, mold, and other buildup from your roof. Normal accumulation of dirt is difficult to see, but keep an eye out for black streaks. They are a sign that algae is growing on your shingles.

Algae growth is an especially common problem in areas of the country with high humidity. Even if your area isn’t humid very often, you may find mold, mildew, and other dirty buildup on the north- and west-facing sections of your roof. Those parts of the roof receive the least amount of sunlight during the day. This makes them more susceptible to accumulation of dirt and debris. If allowed to grow unchecked, algae, lichen, moss, and mold can damage roof shingles, underlayment, and decking. Roof cleaning improves a roof’s appearance and extends its life. A clean roof also improves the overall appearance of your house.

There are different methods for cleaning a roof, depending on the roof’s material. Soft washing and low-pressure washing are the most common cleaning methods. If it’s done improperly, pressure washing of any sort (low or high pressure) can damage your roof. Be sure to hire only an experienced professional equipped with the right tools. Schedule roof cleanings once or twice a year, depending on the climate in your area. This preserves the health of your roof and helps prevent the need for harsher cleaning methods later on. It also keeps your house looking great.

The most common roof cleaning methods are soft washing and low-pressure washing. Your roof’s material and condition will dictate which cleaning method your roof cleaner will use.

Soft washing. Soft washing uses cleaning solutions to first kill organic matter. Ideally, your roof cleaning contractor will use an eco-friendly cleaning solution recommended by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA). This is usually a diluted mix of bleach and trisodium phosphate, but there are several options on the market. Your roof cleaner will apply the cleaning solution to the entire roof using a commercial sprayer. If there are any especially tough spots or stains, the technician may use a soft broom or brush to carefully loosen the dirt or organic growth. Once those steps are done, the contractor will rinse the surface with plain water. This final rinse step is very important.

The cleaning solutions recommended by ARMA aren’t caustic and won’t damage your landscaping. At the same time, it’s not a great idea to leave any sort of chemical on your roof. When left to heat up in the sun, virtually any chemical can damage shingles and other roofing materials and cause them to degrade prematurely. This increases the likelihood of roof leaks and other problems.

Low-pressure washing. Low-pressure washing a roof requires a lot of skill and know-how. Don’t try to do this yourself, and don’t allow just anyone to do it for you. Pressure washers can do a lot of expensive damage to a roof if they aren’t used properly. Hire only experienced roof cleaners for this job. The right equipment is the key to low-pressure washing a roof without causing damage. Anything that sprays water or a cleaning solution at a pressure rating of greater than 100 psi will damage your roof. This will likely also void any warranty on the roof. Professional roof cleaners will have the right equipment to clean your roof safely and efficiently.

Professional roof cleaners use special tools and cleaning solutions to wash your roof without damaging it. Equipment is important, and so is expertise. Hiring an experienced professional is crucial. Roof cleaners use leaf blowers to clear loose debris from your roof. Then, they wash your roof to kill algae and other growth. Sometimes soft scrubbing is needed to remove organic material.

Many cleaning solutions will kill algae, lichen, and moss and prevent their future growth. Some cleaning solutions contain bleach. The bleach-containing solutions are diluted and shouldn’t harm your plants or landscaping. The pros should still take precautions to protect your landscaping from the cleaning solution as it runs off the roof. Other equipment required for roof cleaning includes ladders, safety harnesses, and roof anchors. Your roof cleaning technicians must be securely anchored during the roof cleaning process. Reputable contractors will take the proper safety precautions for the job.

Many roof cleaning companies also offer other exterior cleaning services. These typically include gutter cleaning and pressure washing services. Some roof cleaning companies also offer window cleaning services. Maintaining your home’s exterior improves curb appeal and helps prevent costly repair work in the future. If your roof needs cleaning, it is likely that your gutters or other exterior features need it too.

Dirt and grime can build up over the years, particularly on siding, gutters, and concrete driveways and walkways. Having these surfaces pressure washed makes a big difference in their appearance. If you’re considering selling your home, these exterior cleaning services are even more important. The outside of the house is the first thing potential buyers see, so keeping it clean is a worthwhile investment.

Roof cleaning requires the proper equipment and expertise. It is not a do-it-yourself project. And since it often involves actually getting on the roof, there is potential for serious injury. Walking on the roof isn’t great for the shingles. Roof cleaning experts know how to navigate your roof to clean it without dislodging shingles. Improper methods and tools can lead to costly roof damage or personal injury.

Choose a roof cleaning company with extensive experience. Also be sure that they have all state-required licenses as well as general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
Using a company that is properly insured helps protect you in case of an accident. Also keep in mind that most homeowners’ insurance policies will only provide accident coverage if the company involved is adequately insured. This extra step of due diligence when making a hiring decision is well worth it.