Cleaning Your Roof: What You Need to Know

Cleaning Your Roof: What You Need to Know

You clean your floors, you pressure wash your sidewalk, but do you need to clean your roof too? A new roof is shiny and fresh, but the Florida sun and rain can dull that shine with moss and algae. If you’re starting to see a change, it might be time to clean your roof.

What Is It and Why Should You Clean It?

Chances are, the black build-up on your roof is either dirt, algae, or moss. Dirt is relatively harmless but can lessen your home’s curb appeal. Moss and algae tend to absorb and hold moisture, keeping it pressed against roofing material. This can speed up the natural degrading that occurs in roofing materials like concrete, shingles, and clay.

The buildup may also be mold or pollen. If someone in your household has allergies, looking at your roof might provide a clue as to why they flare up. A gentle cleaning can help remove pollen and other tree-born irritants. Schedule your cleaning for after the ‘worst’ part of allergy season.

Is It Safe to Clean Your Roof?

Despite persistent rumors to the contrary, it is safe to clean your roof, if done properly. Walking on a sloped roof, especially one wet with water and cleaning chemicals can be a dangerous task. It’s best to leave it to a professional roof cleaner.

One of the most common reasons for premature aging of a roof is improper washing, so be sure the company you hire knows the best practices for maintaining the strength of your roofing materials. The high pressure of a standard pressure washer can escalate the natural erosion of shingles. Be sure they are using a lower pressure method to wash.

Harsh chemicals, especially those containing bleach, can also break down the bonds within your shingles. This could decrease the life span of your roof in the long-term, and in the short-term, may destroy your landscaping with drainage and overspray.

Simple debris and dirt can be removed with a soft pressure wash, but if your seeing algae, moss, or mold building, it's better to use an algaecide or fungicide. It will not only remove the current accumulation but also prevent further buildup for a bit.

Why and When Should You Clean Your Roof?

The obvious answer would be when it gets dirty, but when is it dirty enough to warrant a good cleaning. Most buildup on your roof, whether it be dirt, algae, pollen, mold, or moss is mostly cosmetic. It isn’t until the algae or moss starts holding too much moisture or grows thick enough to create space between the shingles that it poses an issue to your roof.

If you’re looking to up your home's curb appeal, a quick cleaning can do wonders to make your roof fresh and new looking but don’t overdo it. Gentle washing and proper chemicals create a clean roof, but even when done properly, they do put a strain on the materials and on the nails. Don’t overwash! One washing, perhaps two, a year should be more than enough.

A good cleaning, especially if you have a significant buildup can uncover some roofing issues. While we don’t offer cleaning services, we’ll be happy to come and conduct a free inspection after your cleaning, to make sure there are no issues or problems with your roof. Eliminate the worry with a free inspection!

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