Roof cleaning is a hugely important part of home maintenance and may be the most important part of roof maintenance. Keeping your roof clean prevents decay, which could lead to expensive repairs or even a complete replacement of your roofing. Roof cleaning will extend the lifespan of your roofing and help the roof stay more functional for a longer period of time.
Roof cleaning contractors are available across the nation, and each of them have their own preferred methods and tools. So how do you decide on the right way to clean your roof?
Here are five things about roof cleaning that you should know before you hire a contractor or start on the process yourself:
1. You Can Do Roof Cleaning Yourself--But Don't Take The Decision To Lightly
DIY roof cleaning certainly exists, and with the proper methods, tools, and cleaning products, an able homeowner can do an adequate job. But before you decide that this is your preferred method, make sure you look at all the facts.
When you're purchasing cleaning products, find a company you know you can trust to buy from. Look for a company that supplies multiple formulas and also offers preventative solutions.
Remember: there's no easy way to get your roof cleaned. Set aside at least a full afternoon, and be ready to work no matter what sort of cleaners you've bought for the job.
If you use the right chemicals, proper procedures, and rinsing techniques, you can count on the chemicals not doing any damage to your shingles or your landscape.
2. Roof Algae Is Much More Than An Aesthetic Concern
Sure -- having algae on your roof is an unattractive attribute. However, it's more than that, and it's not something you can put off taking care of.
Here's the thing: roof algae is a living thing, and it's feeding off of your shingles (actually, it's feeding off of a limestone filler commonly used in shingle production). If it's not taken care of, it will take years off of the life of your roofing.
If your roof isn't cleaned regularly, especially if the algae is visibly noticeable, it can lead to rapid deterioration of your shingles, which has a few effects:
Since your shingles help block UV rays, you'll drop in your home's energy efficiency and steep rise in your AC bills.
You'll have to replace your roofing much sooner than you should need to, and that can cost upwards of $10,000.
While we were on the subject...
3. Roof Cleaning Is Not An Overpriced Service
On the contrary, roofing contractors typically charge a fair price, especially considering the aforementioned cost of roof replacements. Roof cleaning typically runs about $200-800, and the average cost is about $476. Considering the importance of the service, plus the amount you'll end up spending without it, it's well worth the cost of hiring a professional if you choose not to do it on your own.
4. Even If You Can't See The Algae, You May Still Need A Cleaning
In its earliest stages of development, algae is completely invisible. So even if your roof appears to be okay, there's a chance that the best time to have it cleaned is now. This is one of the reasons that professional roofers recommend you have a roof inspection around once every three years--the earlier you're able to catch the problem, the better it is for your roofing.
Many homeowners may decide to spot clean their roof, but algae could be effecting your entire roof even it's only visible in spots. It's always a good idea to take preventative measures, and to have a cleaning be as thorough as possible when it is done.
5. There Are Two Main Ways To Clean A Roof, And Each Are Viable For Different Reasons
The two main methods for roof cleaning are:
Pressure Washing - in which highly pressurized water is sprayed on the roof to remove any mold, algae, dirt, or grime, and
Chemical Cleaning - sometimes called Soft Washing, in which chemicals are the main thing that are removing those harmful things from your roof.
Each of these methods has their strengths and their own shortcomings.
Pressure washing is very effective, but may be best for metal or concrete roofs. There is a chance that the pressurized water could damage your shingles.
Of course, some chemicals can harm your roof as well, and the runoff could cause problems with your landscape or parts of your home. But if the contractor knows what they're working with, they should be able to find the right balance of effectiveness without harming any parts of your property.
As was the case with choosing your own DIY cleaning products, be selective about the professional that you hire. Make sure that they're ready to adequately clean your roof and can guarantee no damage will be done to your property!