Clean Roofing: Why Is It Important and How to Do It?

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Clean roofing has multiple benefits. Your house will look more appealing, and you might manage to drive down your air conditioning expenses. You’ll be able to quickly notice potential damage on the roof and remove it with little effort and cost.

The roof and its underlying structure will serve you longer. The resale value of the building will increase. In this article, we’ll explain how to clean the roof and why you prefer contracting professionals.

clean roofing

What’s the Ideal Frequency of Roof Cleaning

The first cleaning is necessary to remove the dust from roof replacement or installation. Then, it would be best if you waited for a year on average to repeat the process.

Brand-new roofs can remain in decent condition for two years — but hardly longer. It depends on the material and the weather.

Direct UV rays destroy algae spores and prevent mold. Surfaces in the shade require more frequent maintenance than those exposed to the sun.

When Is It Better to Clean the Roof

The ideal time for cleaning is a mild and warm day. Different kinds of extreme weather have their respective shortcomings:

  • Even a minimal layer of ice can make the roof slippery — you’d better avoid stepping on it
  • Strong wind can push you and the objects that you’ll be using too close to the roof’s edge
  • Intense sun can make the bleach solution evaporate before it takes effect
  • When it rains or snows, the precipitation can get mixed with the cleaning solutions and decrease their efficiency

If you want to clean your roof in the colder time of the year, ensure the air temperature rises above zero at least four hours before you start.

How to Prepare for Roofing Cleaning

Remove all the debris and standing water from the roof. Feel free to use a leaf blower.

If there are plants around your house, water them and cover them up with plastic. If chlorine bleach or other chemically aggressive liquid pours from the roof, it won’t damage the soil, grass, bushes, or flowers. If there is garden furniture or decor items close to the walls, cover them as well.

Don’t forget about gutter cleaning. There might be objects there that would clog your drainage system — and your task is to remove them.

If you prefer to avoid professional assistance, at least ask a family member or a friend to help you. They will be able to support you or pass you the tools.

Always use a ladder with a stabilizer.

clean roof - asphalt shingles

How to Clean Your Roof: Which Tools and Methods to Use

The answer to the question “How do you clean your roof?” depends on the characteristics of the surface. Ideally, you should consult the vendor about it before purchasing the material. Otherwise, contact an official manufacturer representative and ask them for instructions.

The pressure washer is a powerful and environmentally friendly tool. You won’t have to apply any chemicals. Conversely, it’s incompatible with selected materials, such as asphalt shingles.

Chemicals are available in multiple varieties. They don’t require you to apply as much effort as the pressure washer — so the risk of damaging your roof won’t be too high. Organic substances, such as vinegar-based ones, are the safest to use — but they might fail to cope with black streaks and intense mold. The most robust products might be available only to professional companies and not private users. If you choose something from the middle of the range, thoroughly rinse it from the roof, your clothes, and your shoes. Even in small quantities, such a substance can be toxic to plants, pets, and people.

Here is a brief instruction:

  1. Mix the chemical with water with a 50/50 ratio
  2. Use a garden sprayer to distribute the liquid over the surface
  3. Scrub it gently with a brush
  4. Wait for 20 minutes
  5. Rinse the liquid off without applying too much pressure

The safest and the most efficient working direction is from the top to the bottom. Sometimes, you might need to treat the dirtiest spots twice.

How Can Cleaning Affect the Temperature Inside the House

By cleaning debris off the roof, you might make the building more energy efficient.

Lighter surfaces reflect heat better than their dark counterparts. But if there are dark algae on your roof, its surface will absorb heat more than you expect. You’ll need to use air conditioning more intensely.

Besides, there is a dedicated “cool” type of roofing that employs advanced technologies to prevent overheating. When the surface gets dirty, it becomes more prone to heating. It’s supposed to be cleaned regularly.

Is It Possible to Ensure Clean Roofing Without Third Party Assistance

You might feel tempted to do everything yourself if your house is not too tall, the roof is flat, and you can easily access it. However, it might not be the best idea.

It’s not that easy to use the chemicals properly if you lack experience. You might fail to clean all the dirty spots thoroughly. There will be a risk of accidental damage to the building materials, the surrounding area, and health.

Teams that carry out roof replacements and installations can usually do the cleaning, too. They know how to take proper safety precautions and handle various materials.

Professional roof cleaners can complete the task in around 3-4 hours. Their prices tend to be competitive.

Final Thoughts

Clean roofing improves the looks of your house, boosts its resale value, and increases the lifespan of your roof. The ideal frequency of cleaning is once per year. For new roofs that are exposed to direct sun and remain dry, it can be once in two years. A pressure washer and liquid chemicals are the most popular cleaning methods. Before applying them, determine if they’re compatible with the surface. To save time, funds, and nerves, contract a roof cleaning service instead of doing everything with your hands.

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Main Contractor at ID Flat Roof | + posts

Denis is the driving force behind ID Flat Roof, a leading company in Boston specializing in flat roof repair and installation for over 20 years.
Denis excels in PVC, TPO, EPDM, and rubber roofing. His meticulous approach ensures quality and customer satisfaction.
Denis incorporates cutting-edge solutions like skylights and solar PV roofing.