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Can I Pressure Wash My Roof

Improve Your Homes Curb Appeal

How to Pressure Wash Your Roof

Next time you drive through your community take a look at some of the houses. Are their roofs stained as well? A home with a dirty exterior is unappealing. If you are trying to sell your home, unsightly marks and mildew may deter potential buyers. Not only is it an eyesore, but it also reflects that the structural integrity may be compromised.

A simple roof cleaning can dramatically change the image of your home. Your homes curb appeal will improve and possibly increase property value. To maximize this opportunity, tell your neighbors about the benefits of cleaning your roof. Soon, your community will be filled with homes that look brand new.

How Often Should I Pressure Wash My Roof

Its easy to see when its time for your homes exterior is due for its annual pressure washing, but homeowners often forget about their roof. While your roof may not need as much attention as the rest of your home, its important to remember rain does not wash your shingles. In fact, rain and wind lead to a build-up of debris on the roof, which leads to the growth of algae and moss.

Why You Should Not Pressure Wash Your Roof

Pressure washers produce highly-pressurized jets of water that can be used to blast sediment off surfaces. This cleaning method works really well when the surface being washed can stand up to that level of water pressure.

But while asphalt shingles are made to handle heavy rainfall, raindrops are not quite the same as a concentrated beam of water from a pressure washer. Simply put, unless you have it on a low setting, cleaning your roof with a pressure washer would likely do much more harm than good.

The water pressure wont damage just the shingles, either. Theres a good chance the jet of your pressure washer could work through the adhesive bond holding your shingles together, or seep into and damage your roofs fabric underlayment. Plus, pressure washers tend to blast sediment into the air, so its likely any dirt you do scrape off your shingles is bound to fall back down onto another section of your roof.

On top of all that, most pressure washers are simply not made for roof work. You could seriously injure yourself trying to lug your pressure washer up a ladder. And once its up there, theres no guarantee the weight of the machine wont damage your shingles.

Also Check: How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Roof

Why Should You Clean Your Roof

Over time, your roof will get dirty. It may have moss, algae, dirt, and more on it. You may want to clean your roof to help with the appearance of it. You should also clean your roof to decrease the rate of decay. Leaves, moss, and algae can eat away at your roof. Then, you will need to repair or replace your roof.

Using A Pressure Washer Not Recommended


One of the most common methods of cleaning roof tiles is to pressure wash them, but this is something that is widely disputed. Using a high powered pressure washer could cause more damage than good, because the strength of the water stream can remove the finish of the roof tiles. The finish, which is often granular, has been designed to gradually wear off over the years, so removing that prematurely can result in a much shorter lifespan of the roof tiles. Additionally, there is a risk of flooding the roof/loft space when using a pressure washer, as the water will enter any small cracks or gaps in the roof tiles.

For these reasons, many tile manufacturers do not recommend using pressure washers on their products, and using such a method to clean roof tiles may invalidate any guarantees.

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Can I Pressure Wash My Metal Roof By Myself

There is a reason that many renters and owners turn to professionals for their first roof-cleaning. While some dedicated DIYers balk at the prospect of hiring someone to work on their home, many readers remain cautious about climbing the ladder in the first place.

Safety is always the top priority, but as long as you follow instructions carefully, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Read on to find out how to clean your metal roof as safely and efficiently as possible.

Cleaning And Inspecting Your Roof

The most common task involved in roof cleaning is removing debris from rain gutters to allow rainwater to flow through the roof drainage system as designed, and help prevent water damage to the exterior and interior of your home. Gutter cleaning is a great time for a general health inspection of your roof.The best times to do an inspection are during spring and fall as the seasons change.

If possible, use a ladder to work on clearing your rain gutters. As you work, carry out a good visual inspection of as much of the roof as you can see. Judge the condition of shingles, downspouts, gutters, and skylights. Take note of any dark stains or discolorations, such as water stains. These are possible signs of water infiltration or areas that may need furtherinspection and repair.

Here are a few things to include in your spring and fall cleaning and inspection:

  • Clear and test gutters and downspouts. Use a broom, gloves or other light tool to clean out debris from these important systems that direct water away and off your roof. The roof valleys and the roofs intentional slope are designed to direct rainwater from the roof to the gutter system. When debris accumulates on your rooftop, the entire system is affected. Loose or broken gutters and downspouts need to be repaired so that they do not misdirect rainwater and cause damage to your home.

Also Check: Does Replacing A Roof Increase Home Value

Cleaning Roofs With Uncommon Shingles

The above advice applies to roofs with asphalt shingles. If you have a less common style of shingle on your roof, it may be safer to use a pressure washer to clean them. Homeguide actually recommends homeowners with clay roof tiles use a pressure washer set at 1200 psi to clean their roof.

If your roof does have specialty shingles, do further research and check with the manufacturer to learn exactly what kind of cleaning methods they recommend.

Using A Trowel Or Stiff Brush

Roof Preparation – Pressure Washing A Roof

A simple yet relatively manual method of cleaning roof tiles is to scrape off the moss, algae and dirt by hand. Using a tool such as a trowel, scrape the moss and dirt away from the tiles. The drier the day the better, because the moss and other materials will not be stuck to the tiles with moisture. Alternatively, use a stiff brush to scrape the dirt off both methods are a quick and easy way to clean your roof tiles.

Also Check: Can You Put A Skylight In A Metal Roof

Choosing The Right Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are expensive and are often rented by those who do not want to invest the full sum. A new pressure washer can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the manufacturer and the intensity. It is wise to buy a power washer if you plan on washing your roof yourself for years to come.

Pressure washers come in two different power types: gas-powered and electric-powered.

Gas-powered pressure washers:

  • Are more powerful than electric-powered pressure washers and are often the preferred tool for cleaning a metal roof.
  • Typically generate 3000 pounds per square inch, while electric-powered washers tend to generate around 1400 pounds per square inch.

More Considerations To Keep In Mind

  • You only need to treat your roof to a power washing once every year or two. More than that and you may wind up subjecting it to more wear and tear than its built to withstand in a short amount of time.
  • That said, the inverse is true, as well. The roof of your home does need to be cleaned every now and then. Algae can ruin the appearance of your roof and mold can cause long-term damage, creating leaks. Your insurer probably requires you to keep your roof clean in order for your policy to remain valid.
  • If you dont have power washing training yourself, its a good idea to consider professional help on this one. The job is both delicate and dangerous, which is always a tricky combination if youre not completely comfortable with the task at hand.
  • Pressure washing and soft washing arent exactly the same thing. Pressure washing allows the water to come out at full force and is preferred for cleaning concrete, brick and industrial buildings. For most residential roofs, soft washing, which uses a special nozzle to limit the PSI of the sprayer, will be more than strong enough for the job.

We recommend enlisting a pro to handle the job. But, if you are going to try to tackle the job yourself. Remember: safety, safety, safety. Gloves, goggles, slip-resistant shoes, and dont forget the sunscreen.

Get more seasonal home maintenance advice from the experts: Is Your Roof Ready to Withstand the Winter?

Also Check: How Can I Tell If My Roof Is Leaking

Can A Moss Killer Be Applied Before The Moss Is Removed

This is a common question, can/should a moss killing chemical be applied to the roof before the moss is removed?

The answer is no.

First, you would need much more of the chemical as the moss would soak it up.

Second, thick layers of moss will prevent the chemical from soaking into the tile/overlaps.

Third, if you were thinking of applying the chemical instead of manually removing the moss with a scraper, then you would have a big problem the dead moss would gradually wash down into the gutters and block them. It could take months if not years for all the moss to wash off the roof. Your gutters would need frequent cleaning and even then they are still likely to become blocked.

How To Clean Roof Tiles

Clay Tile Roof Cleaning

Project Guide: Roofing Tools & Accessories

Help & Advice> Project guides> Pitched Roofing

Over time, dirt, moss and algae can build up on your roof tiles. In order to retain the structural integrity of the roof, and ensure your home and belongings are protected from all weather conditions, it is important to keep your roof clean, and clean it relatively regularly. There are a number of ways in which you could clean roof tiles, but which methods are best and which should you avoid?

Here at Roofing Superstore we are always on hand to offer help and advice, and weve created a quick guide on why you need to clean roof tiles, how to clean roof tiles, and how to prevent a build up of dirt, moss and lichen.

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Things To Remember When Cleaning Your Roof

After you remove debris from the gutters, test the system using your water hose . Run the hose across the roof to simulate rain. Check that all the water is flowing into the gutters and that they, and the downspouts, are clear and functioning. There should be no water pooling on top of your roof.

Still dirty? If your roof appears to need more than just a hose-cleaning, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Roofing materials will begin to look weathered over time. Look for areas that appear moist or warped, rather than just aged or weathered. Long-term, localized moisture is your roofs enemy and should be investigated.
  • If moss, algae or related unattractive stains are a problem, most roofs can be gently cleaned with a biodegradable chemical cleaner to discourage moss growth and help extend the life of asphalt shingles. They can be cleaned by the homeowner using regular household items. Note that installing copper or zinc flashing can also help to reduce moss and algae as they naturally contain antifungal elements which wash down the roof and protect it from these growths. Algae stains are common in humid parts of the country but not common in the Southwest.
  • Some roofing materials may have a manufacturers clause regarding regular cleaning or maintenance. Keep your warranty effective by following their guidelines.

What Causes Black Streaks On Roof Shingles

Diagnosing what treatment to use when roof cleaning is as simple as taking a walk through the property with a professional. A professional will be able to take a look into what is actually growing on your roof, and will know the correct application in order to treat the algae and the amount of time it will take to remove it.

Lets talk about the two types of algae we come in contact with on a daily basis.

Also Check: When Should You Replace Your Roof

Top Reasons Why Its Not A Good Idea To Pressure Wash The Roof

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The roof is so important for the health and curb appeal of your home. But its something many people ignore, as it sits up toward the sky, silently protecting home sweet home and your family from the elements. When you finally take a gander at the roof, you might see unsightly moss, algae, and other debris on the shingles.

You bought that power washer years ago, and all it has done is collect dust in the garage since then. So, is it a good idea to fire it up and use it for a bit of roof maintenance? After all, that blast of high-speed water should quickly get rid of the moss and other gunk clinging to the shingles like stubborn barnacles. But were here to tell you why its not a good idea to power wash the roof.

1. Damage to the Shingles

Sure, blasting away that stubborn algae with a pressure washer will get those shingles looking sparkling clean, but your roof and your wallet will pay for such vanities later.

Asphalt shingles are made with a composite of different materials, but if youve ever seen one up close, youll notice tiny, rough granules on its surface. These granules wear away over time, while they protect your home from UV rays, wind, rain, and debris. The newer your roof, the more granules the shingles will have. But pressure washing the roof will wear away these crucial granules much faster, pushing your roof into an earlier grave. If your roof is extremely dirty and at the end of its natural lifespan, its better to replace the roof.

Alternative Ways To Clean A Roof

Don”t Pressure wash Your Roof! This is why!

The main reason to not use your pressure washer to clean your roof isnt that the water jets will damage your shingles. Its just that there are better, more effective methods.

If your roof is covered in leaves, moss and dirt, try a leaf blower to sweep the roof clean. Got moldy roof stains? Just use a garden spray nozzle and some nontoxic chemicals to remove those ugly black streaks. That should get your shingles looking as good as they were on the day they were nailed into place.

Most of the time, though, a dingy-looking roof isnt a sign it needs to be cleaned its a sign it needs to be replaced. Repairing a few shingles is a simple enough process that any DIYer with a head for heights can tackle. Tearing off a roof entirely and then reshingling the whole thing is a much more complicated process best left to the pros.

Read Also: How To Waterproof Concrete Roof Deck

Be Sure Not To Use Bleach When Cleaning Your Metal Roof

Never use bleach to clean your metal roof! Although it might seem like a good idea, the chemicals in bleach will cause corrosion on your metal panels if left there for too long. It can also eat away at any sealant or coating that you may have already applied which means you will need to reapply it over time.

Why Is Pressure Washing Your Roof A Bad Idea

Pressure washing a tile roof will prematurely age the roof. One of the benefits of a tile roof is its durability and longevity, but pressure washing can diminish those benefits. If you wash your tile roof with a pressure washer, you may have to replace your roof much sooner than if youd used a safer method.

However, even though pressure washing is not the best method, it is still recommended that your roof be cleaned.

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Metal Roof Cleaning Tips: You Wish Youd Known Before Your 1st Try

A metal roof is one of the best roofing systems you can install in your home. It is durable, long-lasting, and requires minimal maintenance. However, failing to clean your roof could negate all these benefits. Without proper cleaning and maintenance, you could need a roof replacement sooner than you think.

Cleaning your roof is not a challenging task, but there is a method to it. You should not cause harm to the panels or accessories while doing it. In this article, we tell you how to clean your roof and the right tools and cleaners to use. We also give you tips on what to do and avoid.

  • Mild detergent
  • Solvent
  • A Sponge or cloth and
  • Garden hose or power washer

Here is a step-by-step procedure that you can follow when cleaning your roof.

Things That You Should Never Pressure Wash

4 Reasons why You should get your Roof Cleaned

While pressure washing is a great way to boost the curb appeal of your home or commercial property, not every surface is safe for pressure washing. A professional in pressure washing in Warner Robins GA will be the one to identify surfaces that are safe- and unsafe- for pressure washing service provision.

Nine things that you should never pressure wash include these surfaces:

Also Check: Are Metal Roofs Cheaper Than Shingle Roofs


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