Proper Roof Maintenance And Care
Bi-annual pressure washing isnt enough to preserve the condition of your roof. You also need proper maintenance and care throughout the year.
Here are some helpful tips that will help keep your roof in tip-top shape:
- Trim overhanging branches near the roof to prevent them from falling on and damaging your shingles.
- Remove leaves, branches, and other debris from your roof regularly.
- Make sure to clear and clean gutters, especially before a storm. If the gutters are backed up, they can contribute to the deterioration or rotting of roof materials.
- Always inspect your roof after extreme weather events like a storm. If there is any damage even if it is minor have your roof fixed as soon as possible.
- A well-insulated attic will help maintain the condition of your roof. If the attic is not properly insulated, this can lead to ice dams and excess moisture.
- Look for leaks in the attic, ceilings, and walls. Leaks can signify a serious issue with your roof.
Start By Applying Detergent
Before you begin pressure washing, consider using a good quality biodegradable pressure washer safe detergent. Applying some detergent first will help to loosen the algae, moss, or lichen so it’s easier to remove and doesn’t take as many granules with it. You won’t want to use a lot of pressure when you spray your shingles, as too much pressure can strip your shingles of their protective granules or even damage or remove the shingles themselves.
This will help prevent you from walking on soapy wet areas that may be very slippery. This works best if you have a pressure washer with an onboard detergent tank that can be switched on and off accordingly.
Don’t Wait Until Algae And Other Debris Are Visible To Schedule Roof Washing
A homeowner should never wait until they see lines of algae or moss along roofing shingles or roof edges to schedule power washing for their home. Note why that is, and when you should have your homes roof washed:
- Algae, moss, mold, and mildew grow best in damp, dark spaces, away from air and sunlight. For a residential roof, these spaces are typically under and around roofing tiles and shingles, in areas unseen from below or during casual visual inspection.
- Once algae and other such debris begin to form, they will grow and spread, dislodging and softening roofing tiles. The more humid the environment, the faster these contaminants will increase so that a roof then suffers quite a bit of damage in a short amount of time.
- Consistent washing of a roof will remove wet leaves, twigs, seeds, and other debris that can cause algae, mold, and other contaminants to grow in the first place! Regular power washing can then prevent damage to the roof and ensure it always looks its best.
- Washing a roof after a particularly stormy time of the year will remove all storm residue and debris that can lead to mold, moss, and other buildups.
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Are Other Roof Materials Safe For Power Washing
Roof composition is the first thing to determine when deciding how to approach achieving a clean roof. Other roofing materials less common than shingles can still be damaged during pressure cleanings, and in some cases the owners warranty could be voided. Its always wise to check the manufacturers recommendations before breaking out the pressure washer for a DIY roof cleaning. Here are some general guidelines that a roof cleaning service typically follows.
- Clay Roof Tiles: This material is durable, and one should use a pressure washer set at 1200 psi to clean clay roof tiles.
- Concrete Tile: These roofs are typically flat and commonly used for industrial or apartment complexes. They can handle a wide array of pressure cleaning settings.
- Slate Roofs: Slate is another resilient material, but they can be damaged by forceful contact, making them a good candidate for soft wash techniques.
- Metal Roofs: Typically made of tin alloy, metal roofs are capable of enduring several pressure washing setting levels.
- Wood Shake: Similar to asphalt shingles, wood shake must be carefully washed with a low-pressure setting.
Attach The Correct Tip
The power coming out of your portable pressure washer may still be enough to cause a fair amount of damage to your shingles, which is why you need to use the right spray tip. I suggest the white or black tips, you want something that is 40-degrees or wider as these are the most appropriate for washing your roof, use these when power washing your roof and you shouldnt damage your shingles.
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Hiring A Professional To Power Wash Your Roof Is An Investment In Your Home
Professional roof pressure washing will help to restore the overall appearance of your home through the removal of soot, dust, and other debris. Your shingles will look vibrant and clean, in turn helping the overall appearance of your home. Our team also knows exactly what detergents and surfactants should be used to leave your roof looking pristine!
Power washing your roof helps to dissolve dirt and debris trapped in your shingles, and around your roofs eaves without damaging the shingles themselves.
It is important for you to know that thorough cleaning of your roof can reveal damages along the surface. Your roof may have some soft spots or water stains that will need structural repair. So not only will power washing your roof keep the appearance of your home perfectly pristine, but it will also help save you money over time. Give us a today to schedule your professional power washing services!
So Why Is Power Cleaning Bad For Your Asphalt Roof
Power washing a composition roof will remove the protective granular from the outer layer of the shingles leaving the shingles less protected from the sun and other harsh weather conditions. It will also leave gouge marks in the lower layers leaving them more vulnerable to the elements.
Take a good look in the gutters. That’s where 50% of the remaining life of your roof is now sitting. It will have a nice thick layer of all that gritty material from the outer layer of the roof.
Now run your hand hands over he shingles. Nice and smooth eh?
So now, a home seller that had a slightly grubby looking roof with 10 years left on it now has a clean asphalt roof with less than 5 years left on it…and buyers asking for a new roof after doing their home inspection.
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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?
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.
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What About My Composite Or Pvc Deck
While these surfaces can be pressure washed, it is not recommended. It is possible to damage these materials with the pressure washer. Your best solution for your deck may be soap, water, and a scrub brush. First-time DIYers should tread carefully with low pressure settings, or better yet, trust a professional with the job. If you are in the greater Philadelphia area, Judge Mobile Wash has the cleaning solution for your deck, regardless of the material.
Why You Should Never Pressure Wash Your Roof Shingles
You come home one day and your neighbors roof looks spectacular and so clean! It cant be a new roof because roofers havent been there. So what is it? The neighbor had their roof pressure washed. Now youre thinking of having your roof cleaned too. After all, his roof looks brand new, and wellyours doesnt.
Stop right there. Your neighbor just made a huge mistake. Never, ever under any circumstances pressure wash your roof shingles on your own or pay a company to do so. Sure, its tempting to want to get any moss, algae, dirt, etc. off of your roofing shingles. But pressure washing your asphalt roof will do more harm than good. Yes, it will make it look sparkling clean, but also youll end up replacing the roof system sooner rather than later.
The damage caused by pressure washing is not immediately noticeable. Pressure washing strips the granules from asphalt shingles. Therefore it strips away years of your roofs lifespan. These granules are what enable your roof to protect your home from the elements, like rain, wind and sun.
A 15-year-old roof has fewer granules to spare than a newer roof does. Older roofs are usually the ones that look like they could benefit most from a good cleaning. But keep in mind pressure washing an older roof is sending it to its grave all that much sooner.
Here are some options, and both are bad ideas
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Should You Hire A Professional
Washing a tile roof can be tricky. Tiles could be damaged if you dont wash them correctly. Plus, theres the risk of injury if you do clean your roof yourself. Hiring a professional to clean your tile roof could help to minimize the risk of damage. Whether you clean your roof yourself or hire a professional to do so, its a good idea to have your roof professionally inspected for damage that you may miss yourself.
How Much Does A Roof Cleaning Cost
According to Angies List, it costs about $550 for roof cleaning. A roof cleaning takes two to five hours. This depends on the size of your roof and the condition it is in. The method can impact the length of the cleaning as well.
Having your roof cleaned professionally is cheaper than replacing your roof. By keeping up with roof cleanings, you can save a lot of money. Plus, you wont go through the trouble of a roof replacement.
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Soft Washing And Other Alternatives
Roof pressure cleaning poses a lot of risks when not done by professionals. Luckily, there are other washing techniques you can adopt to keep your roof spotless and free from mold.
The first option is called soft washing, otherwise known as chemical cleaning. To do this, start by thoroughly soaking the plants in your house with water.
Using a tarp, cover more sensitive plants and flowers to protect them. Next, use soft pressure to wet your roof before spraying it with a chlorine-based gel. Leave it as is for a short while, then use a pressure washer on low pressure to wash it down from top to bottom.
Other alternatives dont require water. You can use a soft brush or broom to sweep dust and dirt off your roof. While this is a less thorough solution, it can still be quite effective. Another option is to use a garden blower to get rid of debris. Finally, to combat mold and fungus growth, apply a roof treatment all over.
Should You Pressure Wash Your Tile Roof
You should not pressure wash your tile roof. Pressure washing a tile roof isnt a good idea as it can prematurely age the roof. Instead, you should use a spray-on solution to clean your tile roof.
Its important to keep your roof clean, no matter what material its made out of. Some homeowners think that washing a roof could actually damage it, but the opposite is in fact true. As long as you wash your roof using a method appropriate for its material, keeping it clean helps to not only improve the curb appeal of your home but also to minimize potential damage.
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How To Clean Your Roof
The best choice is to call a professional. A professional knows how to clean your roof properly. They can look at your roof and select the best technique. They have experience and know what works. They can choose the solution for your needs.
Choose a trustworthy contractor. They should use the techniques of these two organizations:
the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association
the Roof Cleaning Institute of America .
These groups are both against pressure washing. This is important in keeping your roof intact. If a contractor wants to pressure wash your roof, find another method or contractor. Not all contractors use best practices.
If you want to clean your roof on your own, you should be cautious. Climbing on a ladder can be dangerous. Plus, washing your roof incorrectly can cause damage. Be sure to follow guidelines for washing your roof.
According to This Old House, you can use a 50/50 mix of water and bleach. Be sure to use low-pressure water. After washing the roof, rinse it with clean water. Before you start, you should wet your plants with clean water. Bleach can kill them. Then, once you are done, rinse the plants with clean water again.
Extend The Life Of Your Roof With No
The algae, Gloeocapsa magma, feed on the limestone in and around the shingles on your roof. A roof professionally cleaned will not just look like new, but also prevent you from paying thousands of dollars for an expensive and time-consuming replacement roof.
Dont make the mistake of counting on the cold winter months of New England to kill the algae. After all, this particular variety can survive in low temperatures and continue to wreak havoc on your roof all year long.
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So Can Pressure Washing A Roof Cause Damage
Pressure washing a roof can cause damage. Pressure washing will get your roof clean. It will look great when it is finished. The long-term damage is not worth it. Pressure washing causes a lot of damage. There are alternatives that work better and dont cause damage.
Asphalt shingles have granules. The granules protect your roof from many things. This includes rain, sun, and more. A pressure washer can strip those granules away from the shingles. Then, your roof will not be protected. This means you will be replacing your roof soon.
Also, pressure washing your roof may void the warranty. Then, if your roof is damaged, you will have to pay for it yourself. This is very important to keep in mind.
Moss And Algae Can Cause Serious Damage
When it comes to your roof the presence of moss and algae can mean serious damages. These contaminants hold excess water which causes shingles to become soft and crumbly. This in turn can cause the paper to tear leading to a water leak. Different from other debris on your roof, mold, mildew, moss, and algae continue to grow as time goes on, allowing them to make their way under your homes shingles and dislodge the tiles over time.
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Can You Pressure Clean A Shingle Roof
As a homeowner, there are different options available when it comes to picking the suitable material for roofing. Asphalt shingle roofing is quite popular because the material isnt expensive, can fit many home styles, and is easy to install. But after living at your property for several years, youll definitely ask yourself this question: can you pressure clean a shingle roof?
You can, but its not recommended unless youre using very low pressure. As a matter of fact, pressure cleaning a shingle roof can potentially damage it beyond repair if youre not doing it right.
Keep on reading to learn more about when and how to use a pressure cleaner to clean your shingle roof.
Our Top Professional Roofing Organization Weighs In On Power Washing Roofs
The RCABC and their Roofing Institute of BC are recognized worldwide for top quality. Quotes from the Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia
- Consumers Roofing Guide
- Section 5.b. June 26, 2006
Without question, maintenance in the form of cleaning is essential for roofing of all types but especially for cedar, since it is a natural product. High-pressure washing can do more damage than good by removing the pulp of the cedar itself.
Roofing product manufacturers and associations recommend not using power washing devices. The force of the water can remove the surface or break away pieces of material, causing immediate leaks or shortening the service life of the roof system.
Care must be taken to avoid damaging the surface of the roofing materials. Damage to the materials or their surfacing will shorten the service life of the roof.
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