Roof Cleaning: Should You Do It?

Thinking about cleaning the roof? There are pros and cons to the process. Here are a few things to know before you start:

Pros to Cleaning the Roof

Clearly, cleaning a dirty roof is going to make it clean again, and that’s not a bad thing. However, there are several more specific advantages to cleaning the roof that go beyond cosmetics:

  • No more algae: If aroof is stained with dark patches of algae, a proper roof cleaning will remove the algae and make theroof’s color look uniform once again. To permanently remove algae, consider using copper bands or new resistant shingles.
  • No more moss: Moss is very dangerous for a roof. However, it’s difficult to fully eradicate without a thorough cleaning. Removing moss involves peeling away the moss itself, getting rid of dirt or moisture left behind by the moss that was there and replacing damaged shingles.
  • No more mess after a storm or winter season: Not only is collection of needles, leaves, branches and debris an ugly sight— it is bad for your roof. A simple cleaning can lower the risk of damage or moisture accumulation.
  • More knowledge: Cleaning the roof via a professional is a great way to learn about the roof’s state. This knowledge will help ward off future issues.

Problems When Cleaning the Roof

While it may seem like a roof is one of the more durable parts of a home, rooftops can be surprisingly delicate in some ways. This makes a roof cleaning risky, especially if the roof cleaner is an amateur completing a DIY project. Here are several potential problems that could arise:

  • Lost shingle granules: If you treat theroof too roughly, shingle granules – or the small particles coating asphalt shingles that protect them from the sunlight and other elements – could be dislodged. Unfortunately, scrubbing the roof with a brush or other cleaning tools will break apart granules. Never casually clean a roof with tools around the house.
  • Pressure washing is dangerous: Roof materials aren’t designed to be pressure washed with an average pressure washer. Roof cleaning takes tools designed for the job. Don’t try to pressure wash a roof like you would a fence or a sidewalk as doing so could cause damage to surface tiles or shingles— while also creating moisture damage.
  • Roof warranties are tricky: Washing the roof, especially with something like a pressure washer, can often void roof warranties and make future damage much more expensive. However, warranties may also require occasional professional cleanings. Finally, homeowners insurance is also a risk, as insurers may use a DIY cleaning as an excuse to not fulfill a claim.

Making the Decision

Cleaning your roof is more complicated than most homeowners realize. If your roof has physical debris, from storm detritus to algae stains, then cleaning is a good idea. For further questions about specific tools to use and what to avoid, contact the professionals at Findlay Roofing.

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