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How Do You Clean A Tile Roof

How Often Should You Schedule Tile Roof Cleaning

How To Clean Roof Tiles – DIY At Bunnings

Most homeowners find its best to clean a tile roof within five years of its installation, and then every other year or every three years at most, after that. While cleaning a tile roof every other year is often sufficient, your home might need more consistent tile roof cleaning than average for a number of reasons!

As an example, homes in the tropics or overly humid areas often have a higher risk of moss and algae growth. Annual cleaning can kill any developing moss and other biological growth, ensuring it stays clean and clear throughout the year.

Homes in overly dusty areas or those located near production facilities and construction zones might also need more consistent cleaning. Waiting a few years before you schedule tile roof cleaning can mean allowing layers of dried dust and other debris to accumulate on a roof, risking damage and detracting from your homes curb appeal.

You might also notice your homes roof covered in dirt and other such debris after an unusually strong stormy season, after installing an outdoor kitchen, or because a neighbor had work done on their home and heavy construction dust made its way to your house! Whatever the reason, dont put off needed tile roof cleaning as well as other needed power washing services.

Tile Roof Cleaning Products

A dirty roof is unsightly and can make your home seem older than it is, reducing its resale value and curb appeal. Moss, algae and mold are regular culprits that grow on roof tiles and discolor them, whether they are ceramic, clay, asphalt or concrete tiles. If a roof is very dirty, with years worth of accumulated mud and dust, bird droppings and fungus, a low-pressure wash-down using suitable products is necessary. Some professional roof cleaners advocate a non-bleach cleaning method for lower environmental impact, while others prefer to use bleach-based chemical products.

What Can I Use To Clean A Tile Roof

There are different attachments and biodegradable cleaners that can be used effectively in a three step process.

  • Use a biodegradable cleaning compound
  • Wash the surface with a pressure washer
  • Use a hand held wand to detail any remaining areas
  • If the pressure washing contractor uses the method effectively, the roof should not need to be re-cleaned for approximately two years.

    Many roof cleaning contractors prefer using a non-bleach method rather than the harsher bleaching method. These contractors use hot water or steam to successfully clean the roof in conjunction with a wand or pressure washer surface cleaners.

    A rotary surface cleaner specifically designed to clean a roof allows operators to clean broader areas much more quickly. A contractor stands on the crown of a roof and lowers the surface cleaner down, then pulls it back up. Because the width of the cleaning area can be up to 25″, the roof can be cleaned must faster than using a pressure washer with a yellow nozzle.

    Always observe proper safety procedures when cleaning a roof and if you have employees, you must follow regulations created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration . OSHA provides details on the components of both systems and employers are advised to look into applicable regulations.

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    Apply The Cleaning Solution On Your Roof

    Its time to get to your roof and spray everything down. Spray every asphalt shingle you want to clean, especially those that already have a lot of algae.

    Point the nozzle of your spray, depress the handle and go! Be thorough and get rid of those nasty black streaks.

    Theres no absolute rule on how much cleaning solution you need. It usually depends on how dirty your asphalt shingle is, how much algae has grown, and more.

    So the more asphalt shingle you need to clean, the more solution you need to prepare.

    Once youre done spraying your roof down, let the solution sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.

    Walking On A Tiled Roof

    Tile Roof Cleaning

    Roofs have a tendency to be slippery, particularly if there is algae, moss or lichen on there so exercise extreme caution while walking on the roof. If you will be using a pressure hose, the roof will become more slippery as you progress. Always try to walk on the driest parts and stick to the places where tiles overlap as these are the sturdiest places on your roof.

    If you need to walk directly on the tiles, try to keep on the lower part of the tile as this has more support than the upper part.

    If your roof is slippery or if you have any doubts about how safe your tiles are to walk on, you should erect guardrails before starting your job. You can rent roof guardrails from a number of suppliers around the UK.

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    Tools And Essentials In Tile Roof Cleaning

    A professional roof cleaner will have all the equipments and tools needed to clean your roof. But if you prefer to do the cleaning yourself, you have to have the following tools and other essentials in order to properly do the job.

    1. Pressure washer A pressure washer is a must in tile roof cleaning. You should also have the recommended nozzles appropriate for your type of tiles. Concrete and clay tiles have small pores that can only be cleaned by a manual brushing or with the use of a pressure washer. 1,200 to 1,500 psi is adequate to remove dirt and stains without eroding the surface.

    2. Ladder Have sturdy ladder with foot stays.

    3. Plywood You will use the plywood to distribute your weight. Tiles are fragile and can easily crack under weight pressure. It is better to foam treat the underside of the plywood to lessen the pressure.

    4. Cleaning Chemicals Chemicals and other cleaning agents help the efficient roof cleaning process. Professional roof cleaners use and recommend sodium hydroxide based products. They are safer, environment friendly and just as effective degreaser. The chlorine and water solution is also an effective cleaning option that is also cheaper.

    5. Primers, Sealant, and Paint Cleaning can erode and peel away tile coatings and paint. Newly cleaned tiles are prone to dirt, moisture, and damage. Re-coat the seal and paint in order to protect the tiles from dirt and moss infestation.

    Preventative Maintenance Better Than Repair

    Letting your roof degrade too long will eventually cause the need for a full restoration or rebuild. This may be the most costly expense you will run into as a homeowner. Thats why we have the saying prevention is better than repair. Extend the lifespan of your roof in just one day every few years with an effective clean and you wont regret it.

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    How Do You Clean A Tile Roof Without A Pressure Washer

    Most roofs are made of asphalt or concrete which can be pressure washed. Thats not the case with tiled roofs though. You cant use a pressure washer or any other type of power cleaner, because it could damage your roof.

    Use a low-pressure water hose and a brush to clean the roof so that it wont cause any damage. The soft bristles of the brush working in tandem with what appears like plain old tap-water give surprisingly dramatic results!

    Cleaning And Removing Roof Algae And Moss

    How to clean roof tiles

    Roof or wall tiles are often covered with moss or algae if its not cleaned for more than 3 months. Random moss spots here and there are easy to clear, but the excessive build-up of algae and moss is pretty hard to remove. Use a roof scraper to scrape the extra debris from the tiles. Also be careful to not damage the tiles. You can easily find many kinds of roof scrapers designed for scraping. Dont use the crap thats used for lawn scraping. Those could potentially damage the tiles.

    Now that the thick moss and page pad is obliterated, apply an anti-moss spray. If your manufacturer has a particular recommendation for this job, feel free to buy that spray. If you dont like chemical solutions you could also make a DIY spray if you want. Your tile roofs could be sensitive to particular chemicals. If there is any mention of a particular chemical, obviously avoid buying any spray that contains them.

    Spray the bottle by walking away or backward from where it has been applied. Which means you should not step into the wet, treated surface. Once you are done spraying the moss killers let it rest for some time or as per the products recommendation to dry roof.

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    Tile Roof Cleaning Safety

    Responsible homeownership begins with putting safety first, and that is no different for when youre working on your roof. You will need shoes with good traction, distribute your weight carefully on tiles, only step on dry areas, carefully tread on the lower portion of tiles, work by section, and buff the tiles. In addition, some of the chemicals might be harmful to plants around your home, so make sure they are covered and protected from overspray and runoff during cleaning.

    How To Clean Terracotta Roof Tiles

    There are several ways on how to clean roof tiles. Here at House Washing Experts, well provide the best way to clean terracotta roof tiles at home! Read on and get started!

    Create a Plan

    You cant simply climb onto your roof. Thats completely dangerous. If this is something youll do for the first time, youll likely back out due to unpreparedness.

    So for starters, you should know what roof areas or spots need some cleaning. Do you see some algae on one side of your roof? Can you spot some moss under the tree branches? Finding where the contaminants are located will help you get started. Then, begin from the highest surface and work downwards.

    Keep it Safe

    Terracotta roof cleaning is not easy. Extreme safety measures are advised.

    Clay tiles can be tough to clean since they can get slippery once theyre damp or wet from water and diluted cleaning solution. Avoid accidents by wearing shoes that can give you proper balance and traction.

    Dont forget to use a secure, durable ladder that can support you. Its not highly dependable to stand on the roof tiles throughout the cleaning process. If you have to step on the tiles though, rely on the lower third of each tile. This is actually proven to be safer as it further supports the tiles below.

    Steer clear from the hips and valleys of the terracotta roof. Theyre not safe for you!

    Lastly, make sure that there is no large debris on your gutters and downpipe. A clear path makes a seamless roof cleaning possible!

    Tile Roof Cleaning

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    How To Clean A Plastic Conservatory Roof

    Plastic roofs should be washed with a pressure washer however, it is recommended to either not brush the roof or to only use a soft bristled brush. This is important to avoid scratching or marking the plastic surface. Again, be careful when moving around on these roofs to avoid breakages.

    So, there you have it! A clean and well-maintained roof which will be the envy of all of your neighbours! Why not check out our other blog posts here to find more helpful tips on maintaining your home including how to clean your decking and much more!

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    How to Clean Tile Roofs (Pressure Washing Recap)

    Our homes are constantly exposed to harsh elements such as pollution, road dust, wind and rain. The moisture that stays on the roof becomes a breeding ground for unwanted formations of mould, mildew, moss, algae and lichen. In time, cracks form on the surface, and leaks and missing tiles develop because of the unsupervised growth.

    Roofs are very versatile elements of a home because they can be wrought into different designs and can be made up of different materials. But one thing for certain is that like any other part of your home, constant cleaning is a must to have your property looking its very best.

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    How Long Does The Moss Killer Last

    Assuming that the roof isnt under tree cover, the moss shouldnt grow back for about 3 years, after 4 years there will be light growth.

    For this reason, the homeowner should instruct a roofing company to re-apply the chemical every 3 years, thus preventing any moss growth and keeping the roof looking clean.

    Moss killing chemicals are not expensive, expect to pay around £30 for enough to treat a semi-detached property. A backpack sprayer costs around £25 and the work takes around an hour.

    If you purchase a more expensive backpack sprayer then you will find they have a very long reach, about 6 metres! That is enough to reach the top of the roof from access towers erected to gutter height.

    So once the moss is initially removed nobody ever needs to get on the roof again. This reduces the amount of foot traffic on the roof tiles. Remove the moss once, re-apply the chemicals from gutter height with a sprayer every few years simple and cost-effective!

    This type of work is often carried out by traditional roofing contractors, although few roof cleaning/coating companies recommend this approach as it doesnt involve pressure washers and expensive roof coatings/sealants.

    It is possible to complete a roof cleaning project without pressure washing, but the chemicals do take a little time to work. Remember: the dirt you see on a roof is usually moss and lichen which can be treated and prevented with chemicals.

    How To Safely Clean Your Roof Tiles

    Your roof may not be the easiest place to access. Often its dangerous area to work on, therefore you should always adhere to the following safety tips.

    Make sure you use sturdy extendable ladders, that are well maintained using WD-40® Multi-Use Product on all of the sliding elements.

    Additionally, grab the necessary safety equipment, such as: harnesses with carabiners, ropes with adequate strength, anchoring elements, shoes with grip soles, and a helmet.

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    Check Thoroughly For Faults

    One of the most effective ways to clean a roof is with a pressure washer, which produces a lot of water that could leak into your property. Before firing up the washer, inspect the roof thoroughly for cracked or broken tiles, damaged roof flashings, cracked window edges or siding, broken caulk, cracked sarking, and whether the roof ridge is properly intact. Without an inspection of every fixture on the roof, water can leak into your property, which can lead to mould, stains, bad smells, and a tempting dinner invitation for termites.

    Get The Right Safety Equipment

    How to walk on and clean a tile roof

    Our bones are best left unbroken, and youll want to satisfy this universal principle while cleaning your roof. To do so, youll need the right equipment, including:

    • Non-slip shoes that have good traction, so that you can tread safely while cleaning
    • A sturdy ladder for getting up to the roof
    • A safety harness that attaches to a secured anchor point on the roof

    For the sake of your safety, its best not to skimp on equipment.

    As the job gets underway, youll find that you need to consistently retrieve equipment from the ground, which adds extra time and work to the job. Youll save yourself a lot of time if you have a partner who can pass you the equipment you need, when you need it. Theyll also have a wider view of the roof, and can help to direct your efforts as you clean.

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    Do It Yourself And Save Big Bucks

    Professional roof cleaners charge hundreds of dollars the bigger the roof, the more hundreds youll spend. And they have to repeat the cleaning every few years. If your roof slope isnt too steep and youre comfortable working on it, you can clean it yourself and save the dough.

    Youll need a full-body harness, a garden sprayer, a garden hose and a nontoxic, noncorrosive roof-cleaning chemical. Some manufacturers sell a special tool applicator and rinsing tool, but if the staining isnt severe, you may not need them.

    Get On A Cleaning Schedule

    Your tile roof will need maintenance no matter what, you just have to figure out how much maintenance you need. In harsher climates, like Florida where it is always rainy and humid, you need to have your roof cleaned at least once a year. In drier climates like Arizona you can get away with doing it every other year.

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    Why Do I Need To Clean My Roof

    Over time, algae, moss, lichen, dirt and even salt can build up on your roof. These buildups can affect the look and function of your roof unless removed. The buildup of organic materials such as moss on a shingle roof can prevent water from sloughing off as it normally would. Trapped water can rot the roof or cause early deterioration of your shingles. Even if you dont have a shingle roof, moss and lichen absorb water, and that wet material adds weight and stress to your roof as well as providing a home for insects and other pests, and collecting dirt. For reflective, cool roofs that redirect heat away from the home, algae and moss growths can hamper their ability to deflect the sun, which can affect utility bills. Visually, moss, dirt and algae growths on a roof can have a negative effect on perceived home value and curb appeal. For example, black algae streaks on your roof may cause a potential homebuyer to assume that the roof might need repair or replacement, when it only needs to be cleaned.

    How To Clean Stained Terracotta Slate Concrete And Clay Tile Roofs

    Tile Roof Cleaning
    Use to clean stains caused by mold, mildew, black algae, dirt and grime. Improve the look of your home and value of your property!

    Determine Your Mixing Ratio:

    Wash Safe Tile Roof Wash is a strong concentrate.

    1. Add 1/2 cup per gallon of water, mid well stirring consistently for 15 minutes. It may seem like a lot of time but this critical step activates the solution for best results.

    Pro Tip:

    We recommend pressure washing with low PSI to avoid roof damage and best results. Avoid damage by attaching a Wash Safe brand, custom-tooled quick connect ‘soft tip’ nozzle to your pressure washer wand.

    • Cover and avoid all windows when spraying.
    • Never mix with other cleaners or bleach.
    • Avoid contact with eyes and prolonged skin contact.
    Wash Safe Tile Roof Wash – Premium Roof Cleaner Application

    2. Apply surface with garden style pump sprayer or any mechanical pump/spray application. Spray entire dirty roof section.

    For instant results: After applying the product, rinse roof with a pressure washer.

    To clean over time: Apply 2 coats of product- the 2nd immediately after the 1st dries. Wait 45 days and apply 2 coats again. Repeat 45 days later if needed. Heavy rains needed to rinse roof.

    Wash Safe Tile Roof Wash – Premium Roof Cleaner Storage & Disposal

    Mix only what is needed. After mixing, do not store in airtight container when not in use due to pressure build up. Use completely or dispose of properly according to local disposal requirements.


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