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How To Clean A Slate Roof

Why And When Clean A Slate Roof

Slate Roof Cleaning Restoration – Algoclear Pro – How to clean a roof – roof moss removal

In theory, mosses are not directly harmful to the roofing. At least, this holds true for lichens that do not occur in large numbers. In case of artificial slates, this moss type usually appears after 10 years.

The protective layer of the roof is worn out at that time, as a result of which the slates have become porous and less smooth. The growth conditions for algae and mosses are perfect then, especially when the roof is partially shaded or if it is slowly dehydrating for some reason.

Next to lichens, also other types of moss may start to grow on the roof. These kinds are able to keep moisture for a long time, which is disadvantageous for the general condition of the roof. Natural slates are much better protected against weather conditions and mosses only manifest theirselves after 15 to 20 years. The work method of removing moss is as follows:

How To Clean Slate Roofing Tiles

Slate tiles are made of natural stone. Like terracotta tiles, they are porous, so moss and algae can grow in them. However, as slate tiles have thinner layers, they should not be pressure cleaned, as this can cause damage. They are also brittle, so walking on slate tiles is not recommended.

Cleaning slate tiles DIY is not recommended, but you can work from a ladder and remove debris from the tiles before calling a professional cleaner. Focus on the areas where debris tends to collect, such as the valleys and around chimneys and other protruding objects.

If you have moss on the slate, only clean as far as you can reach, using a medium stiff brush with a solution of a quarter cup of household cleaner and 4 litres of water. Use a brush with a long handle to reach further up the roof, but don’t attempt to walk on the roof.

When you rinse the roof, do it gently with a garden hose. Point the hose up so the water won’t get under the tiles and cause a leak. Don’t use a hard spray or the water will work its way under the tiles and into your house.

Using A Trowel Or Stiff Brush

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.

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Fast And Effective Roof Cleaner For All Types Of Roof Tiles

Roof Clean Xtreme is a fast acting, high performance cleaning product that will enable a roof to be cleaned without intense pressure washing. Roof Clean Xtreme will quickly remove all forms of organic growth from any type of roof tile including clays, without risk of damaging the roof. For best results dilute the product 1:1 and apply to a wet surface by watering can or sprayer. Keep the roof tiles damp throughout the 60 minute period, then hose or lightly pressure wash away with clean water. For areas of heavy contamination or soiling, leave product on surface for longer or re-apply.

Roof Clean Xtreme is the best roof cleaning product for slate or concrete roof tiles. It combines 4 powerful, active cleaning ingredients and a biocide to inhibit further growth of moss and algae. It will also work as a shingle roof cleaner and regarded by many professional roof cleaning contractors as the best roof cleaning product around today.

Helps facilitate the easy removal from roofs of

  • Black and White Spot
  • Moss
  • Surface Grime

5 litres of product will clean and treat approximately 40 m2 of roof tiles. Wear appropriate safety wear at all times. See technical page for more information.

Caring For Your Slate Roof

Slate roof cleaning: Working method and Prices

A sedimentary rock, slate features many tiny layers that naturally split. The rocks properties make is a durable option for roofing and often lasts a lifetime. Once made into roofing material, soft slate easily absorbs water and naturally delaminates or splits during freezing and thawing. While more expensive, harder slates absorb less water and last longer.

When cleaning a slate roof, it is important to take care. Slate roofing is usually installed with high quality components, including flashing and fasteners. Heavy-gauge copper is usually used for accessories and other materials. Copper corrodes when encountering certain cleaning chemicals, including chlorine bleach and ammonia. These chemicals could prematurely darken or tarnish copper. Along with strong chemicals, a pressure washer could damage your slate roof.

There are also several safety considerations. You are not able to walk on slate roofs like you can with other roofing. Since slate roof tiles do not sit flat against each other, it is easy to snap them when pressure is applied. Slate is also very slippery when wet. The best way to access a slate roof is with a long extension ladder. By placing the ladder flat against the roof, you will evenly distribute your weight on several of tiles.

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Which Chemicals Are Best

As we have previously stated, in most cases moss will not damage the roof tiles but can block gutters and drainage points. On certain roofs, such as those with a very shallow pitch, moss can potentially reduce the flow of water off the roof.

If this is the case then gently removing the excess moss via traditional methods and treating the tiles/remaining moss with a fungicide is the best option.

Try any of the moss killers listed here, they can be used on tiles, patios and driveways etc. I have used all of them previously.

As general advice: RoofCoatingScam does not recommend regular roof cleaning just for the sake of improving the appearance of the roof. Foot traffic can damage roof tiles so we only recommend roof cleaning/de-mossing when it is absolutely necessary, ie when the moss is preventing water from draining off the roof.

Is Moss On Slate Roof Bad

Hole. Moss can also sneak under roofing boards, tiles and slate, uproot them from the roof and cause enormous damage. This uprooting can lead to holes, leaks and structural deterioration of the roof.

More than that, can moss damage the slate roof? Moss retains moisture and can cause damage such as cracking of tiles if left on the roof for extended periods of time. It also likes to grow in the continental zone and can weaken the bonds used by cement and other materials to hold roof joints together.

In this regard, do we need to remove the moss from the slate roof? How can I remove moss from roof tiles? To avoid costly repairs, if moss covers a significant portion of the roof, the moss should be quickly removed from the roof tiles. Avoid pressure-washing the roof to remove moss. The tiles can be damaged and the inside of the roof can get soaked.

Also, what you need to know is how to remove the moss on the slate roof? To remove moss, mold and rust, gently rub with a medium brush and a mixture of household cleaner and water. If you see gray or greyish-green streaks, these are usually due to copper or zinc nails or blinking. They are harmless to slate and help keep moss, mold and other organic matter away.

In addition, do I need to remove moss from the roof? It is imperative to remove moss from the roof to ensure proper drainage function and prevent the roof from freezing and shattering.

  • Can moss cause moisture?
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    How Should You Wash A Slate Roof

    The best way to clean a slate roof depends on the debris build-up. In most cases, its best to remove the bulk of the moss and debris by hand using a scraping tool and then apply a nonaggressive treatment to the tiles to kill the biofilm.

    The treatment will continue to work over a few weeks, with the weather helping out. While the results arent immediate, the tiles will start to self-cleanse once the treatment has started working. Not only is this method less harsh than pressure washing, but it also protects the tiles from regrowth for many years to come.

    Repairing Slate Roofs Return To Top

    Slate Roof Cleaning and Roof Algae Removal Lancaster PA

    Broken, cracked, and missing slates should be repaired promptly by an experienced slater in order to prevent water damage to interior finishes, accelerated deterioration of the roof and roof sheathing, and possible structural degradation to framing members.

    The damaged slate is first removed by cutting or pulling out its nails with a ripper. If steel cut nails, rather than copper nails, were used in laying the roof, adjacent slates may be inadvertently damaged or displaced in the ripping process, and these, too, will have to be repaired. If the slate does not slide out by itself, the pointed end of the ,slate hammer can be punched into the slate and the slate dragged out. A new slate, or salvaged slate, which should match the size, shape, texture, and weathered color of the old slate, is then slid into place and held in position by one nail inserted through the vertical joint between the slates in the course above and approximately one inch below the tail of the slate two courses above.

    After removing the deteriorated slate and sliding the new slate into place, it is secured with a copper nail. A copper bib is formed to protect the newly created nail hole. Finally, a slate hammer is used to push the bib in place over the nail head. Photo: Jeffrey S. Levine.

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    Remove Moss And Algae

    If your roof has a severe build-up of moss or algae, the first step is to gently scrape away the larger pieces. When doing this, its important to ensure you dont damage your roof tiles. You can buy purposely designed roof scrapers for this job and shouldnt be tempted to use those designed for lawns, as these may damage your roof.

    Once the thicker moss and algae is gone, you can use a simple garden sprayer to apply specially formulated moss remover and algae remover. These chemicals have been designed not only to kill the existing moss and algae but also to prevent future growth. Whats more, their acid-free formula means they wont damage any coating on your roof tiles.

    While applying the anti-moss and algae spray, make sure to work your back backwards from where its been applied. This means you wont step onto a wet, treated tile while cleaning your roof tiles. So, youre staying safe from slips and falls, but also not undoing your work! Once youve applied an initial coat, all you need to do is wait for it to dry.

    Character And Detailing Of Historic Slate Roofs Return To Top

    During some periods of architectural history, roof design has gone far beyond the merely functional and contributed much to the character of buildings. Roofs, by their compelling forms, have defined styles and, by their decorative patterns and colors, have imparted both dignity and beauty to buildings. The architectural styles prevalent during the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries placed strong emphasis on prominent roof lines and greatly influenced the demand for slate. Slate, laid in multicolored decorative patterns, was particularly well suited to the Mansard roofs of the Second Empire style, the steeply pitch roofs of the Gothic Revival and High Victorian Gothic styles, and the many prominent roof planes and turrets associated with the Queen Anne style. The Tudor style imitated the quaint appearance of some English slates which, because of their granular cleavage, are thick and irregular. These slates were often laid in a graduated pattern, with the largest slates at the eaves and the courses diminishing in size up the roof slope, or a textural pattern. Collegiate Gothic style buildings, found on many university campuses, were often roofed with slate laid in a graduated pattern.

    This graduated slate roof is composed of large, thick slates at the eave which are reduced in size and thickness as the slating progresses to the ridge. Photo: Jeffrey S. Levine.

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    Maintaining A Slate Roof

    To maintain your slate roof, you should have it inspected every year after the winter. This inspection will help catch issues early to avoid big problems and repair costs in the future. When the weather is cold, the last thing you want to do is get up on a ladder and inspect the roof yourself. To avoid the hassle and ensure a thorough inspection, employ a professional to inspect your slate roof.

    When a slate roof is damaged, it may not be obvious unless you know what youre looking for. If you try to inspect the roof yourself, the first you know of the damage might be when water leaks into your house. To avoid this, hire a slate roofing company that specializes in maintaining slate tiles.

    After winter each year, hire them to come out and take a look. Ask them to take photos and write notes about any damage so you have a reference. This way, you can keep an eye on any issues and have them fixed when necessary.

    Can You Power Wash A Slate Roof

    Cleaning a Slate Roof  New England Slate


    Removing moss from your roof will dramatically improve the look of your home. When left on slate tiles, moss and lichens can cause them to become porous and hold onto moisture. Over time, this can cause the slate to look and feel less smooth.

    When moss builds up on a driveway, a quick power wash will fix the problem. But can you power wash a slate roof?

    Unfortunately, the simple answer to that is no.

    You should never power wash a slate roof. While power washing is ideal for concrete surfaces, slate tiles are too delicate to be blasted with a power washer. To avoid damaging your roof, its better to use an alternative cleaning method.

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    Price Slate Roof Cleaning

    Removing moss and also coating or impregnating a slate roof costs £25 to £43 per square metre on average. The price depends on the roofs level of difficulty and the accessibility. In case of some roofs that are not walkable, it is required to use a scaffolding. This entails extra costs.

    Curious about the price of slate roof cleaning? Request informal quotations now from specialised cleaning companies via our online service.

    How To Clean A Terracotta Tiled Roof

    Terracotta tiles are naturally moist and can be a breeding ground for moss and algae. The first step in cleaning terracotta tiles is to wash them down with plain water and then apply an anti-fungal solution, which is more environmentally friendly than chemical cleaning terracotta roof tiles. You may have to wait a few days until you can clean the roof. When the moss or algae is brown, it will come off more easily.

    Terracotta tiles can be cleaned with a pressure washer. Use 3000psi pressure and don’t hold the nozzle too close to the tiles: about 300mm away is about right. Start from the top and try to avoid walking on wet areas. When you get to the end of a roof, you can work from the ladder or slowly work your way down the roof, but be extremely careful. The roof can become slippery, so take care to avoid slipping and falling.

    While you’re cleaning the roof, look out for signs of damage. You may see broken tiles, areas that need re-pointing or damaged flashing. These can be DIY jobs, but you need to learn the proper techniques for repairing tiled roofs. If you are not confident, get quotes from roof repair services.

    If you have an older roof, the terracotta tiles may be brittle and it might not be a good idea to walk on them. In that case, you should also call a professional roof cleaning service.

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    Phase : Impregnate Or Coat The Slate Roof

    When the roof is entirely cleaned, it is advisable to have it impregnated or coated. This is only necessary in the case of artificial slates. The protective topcoat of these slates has worn off over the years, and by treating the slates with an impregnating agent or coating the roof wont become dirty gain. Which method you should choose, depends on the state of the slates and your personal preference.

    If the slates do not look too good anymore despite the cleaning, you can choose a coating in a specific colour. The roof then gets a completely renewed look. If this is not really necessary, you can also opt for a transparant coating or for a treatment with an impregnating agent. This agent completely absorbs into the slates and is no longer visible after application, although it maintains its protective function. After impregnating, the roof will be protected for fifteen to twenty years.

    Cleaning Slate Tiles Top Tips And Tricks

    Slate Roof Cleaning

    Slate tile floors are a popular choice in many homes. Theyre durable and make a stunning natural stone look. With natural variants, no tile looks the same for a striking interior or exterior. But theyre not just beautiful, slate floors are also very functional. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for decades. So how do you go about cleaning slate tiles?

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    The Importance Of Slate Roof Maintenance

    Maintenance for slate roofing can be a tricky chore that is best left to experienced professionals. Maintenance servicing includes gutter cleaning, inspections for damaged areas, and cleaning about three times annually. Slate roofs are delicate, and repairs can be costly, but quick action is vital to preservation and longevity.


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