Roof Cleaning – Top Questions Answered
The term Roof Cleaning brings up several common questions for someone just learning about it for the first time. Why should I clean my roof? How to clean roof shingles? What types of roof cleaning products are available? Can I do it myself or do I need to hire someone? How much does it cost?
There are several different reasons why someone may decide to clean their roof. The most common reason is to restore the appearance of the roof as well as the overall curb appeal of the home. Whether its black streaks on roof due to the growth of air-borne algae known as Gloeocapsa magma, mold, mildew, roof moss, or lichen, exterior blemishes make a great house look neglected and unsightly. When selling your home it is especially important in order to maximize the value of your home and to eliminate any perception to potential buyers that the roof would need to be replaced if they decide to purchase. It could be the difference between selling your home or not.
The most important reason someone should clean roof shingles is to prevent any further damage and premature replacement. Did you know that almost one out of every three roofs are replaced early because the home owner was unaware that the roof could be cleaned, or neglected to clean the roof and the roof algae, mold, mildew, roof moss, or lichen damaged the roof beyond repair? Not only is replacing your roof one of the most expensive home improvement projects, it’s just not necessary in most cases.
If you still have several years left on the service life of your roof and it’s showing any signs of roof algae, mold, mildew, roof moss, or lichen then you could definitely benefit from roof cleaning. Not only would you avoid spending thousands to replace it, but it will restore the health and appearance of your roof as well, allowing you roof to reach its estimated service life. You wouldn’t replace your vinyl siding due to algae, mold, and mildew stains would you? Absolutely not, you would clean it or have someone else clean it for you. Then why spend thousands of dollars replacing a roof that can be cleaned for a small fraction of the cost?
As you may expect there are several different ways that a roof can be cleaned as well as a variety of roof cleaning products or chemicals on the market today. How someone goes about cleaning a roof is normally directly tied to the roof cleaning product or chemicals that they are using. Deciding how you will clean your roof is really about what you are most comfortable with.
First, you have the Chlorine Bleach or lye (sodium hydroxide) no pressure method. The reason there is no pressure needed is because Chlorine Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or lye (sodium hydroxide) are very harsh, dangerous chemicals. The part they commonly don’t tell you is that using this method could potentially stain, dry out or damage your shingles, remove the finish on aluminum gutters, stain painted surfaces, damage plants and grass, or create health hazards for your pets and children. Just a little bit of over spray while cleaning could be disastrous in so many ways, it’s just not worth it.
Second, is the biodegradable and safe method of roof cleaning. This is normally achieved by using a biodegradable and safe roof cleaning product that is hydrogen peroxide based. This type of roof cleaner takes the worry out of over spray and will not harm the finish on aluminum gutters, stain painted surfaces, damage plants and grass, or create health hazards for your pets and children. Your roof can be cleaned two different ways when using this type of roof cleaner. You can spray it on and then use a pressure washer on a low pressure setting (as much as a hard rain) for instant results or you can spray it on and let the rain rinse away the stains naturally over approximately 90 days.
In my opinion there is really only one choice when it comes to choosing a roof cleaning product. Take the worry out of it; use a biodegradable and safe roof cleaning product. There is absolutely no reason to take the risk of using a harsh caustic chemical like Chlorine Bleach or lye (sodium hydroxide) when there is a biodegradable and safe way of accomplishing the same result.
Lastly, should you clean your own roof or hire a professional roof cleaner? Roof cleaning can be done by a homeowner, a contractor, local handyman, or by a professional roof cleaner. It really depends on your level of comfort being on or around your roof. Having someone else clean your roof will normally cost approximately $500 to $1500 depending on the square footage of your roof. As always, we recommend that you follow all roof cleaning safety practices whether you are a homeowner or a professional roof cleaner and ensure that a biodegradable roof cleaning product is used in order to keep you, your family, and your property safe.