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How To Wash A Roof

Can You Pressure Wash A Roof Answered

HOW TO SOFT WASH A ROOF – A Step by Step Explanation

Your roof takes a beating. It protects you from everything mother nature throws at it. Debris carried from severe weather, birds using it as a bathroom, and flowing water negatively affects your roof. Take a look at your roof. Does it look like an ugly painting? If so, you are in dire need of a roof cleaning.

It is one of the most important aspects of a home, so why not give it some special treatment? Neglecting to pressure wash your roof will only cause issues in the future.

Two Common Types Of Algae On Your Roof

Fire Moss – Fire Moss is less common than the Gloeocapsa Magma below but is still very prevalent on many roof substrates, from cedar shake to asphalt shingles, it loves to latch on and reproduce. When fire moss gets out of hand, it will push up your shingles allowing water to get underneath and severely degrading your roof.

Gloeocapsa Magma – This is the old “black streak on my roof” culprit. It is most common on Asphalt shingles and can is a spore based algae, it lives on the limestone in your shingles. When it feeds it degrades the limestone and eventually if left untreated, will take over the whole roof making it look all black when that is not the color of the shingle itself, that is in fact the algae growing on the shingle.

Pressure Washing A Roof

Roofs get more than just rainwater on them. Depending on where you live, you may find moss and lichen growing on your shingles. Roofs with moss and lichen growth need to be cleaned. Neglecting to remove the growth will only damage your roof further. However, there are some risks to consider.

You need to be careful to only step in dry areas of your roof, as wet algae is very slippery.

You don’t want to fall from your roof. Once you climb off of your ladder, and onto the roof, walk to the opposite corner to start, then work your way back to the ladder.

Also Check: How Much Roofing Cost Per Square Foot

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.

Cleaning An Asphalt Shingle Roof

The skill of Roof Cleaning For Asphalt Shingle Roofs ...
  • Protect All Vegetation – Pre Soak and Direct Flow Of Gutters – Before we get started cleaning our roof we want to make sure that all vegetation is completely pre-soaked, with water. This process will insure all cells of the plant are saturated, and when the cells are saturated, the plant will not absorb our chemical through the leaf layer. You still will need to post rinse though, for extra plant protection and insurance.
  • Mix Your Roof Cleaning Chemicals in your garden sprayer. Refer to the mix ratios above. Start with a 50/50 mix for most asphalt shingle roofs, this will insure your chemical is hot enough to actually get a result you would be happy with.
  • Start High On The Roof – Work your way from top to bottom applying and even coat of “roof cleaning chemical.” Some like to toss a 1/4 cup of gain green dish liquid in their mix to allow a slower run of chemicals down the roof. This helps our active ingredient stay wet longer so it has time to work on the algae we are trying to kill.
  • Less Chemical Is More – Less in more in the sense that you shouldnt have chemicals running like a river down your roof. If you are using a garden sprayer, you are not likely to get this type of volume out of your sprayer so you probably don’t need to worry about this portion.
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    Metal Roof Cleaning Step

  • Preparation/Protection: Soak down and cover certain vegetation as required. It doesnt hurt to have somebody or something constantly watering the plants while the roof cleaning evolution is taking place.
  • Mix your metal roof cleaning concoction in your pump sprayer and get ready for action.
  • Wet the entire roof with water, especially where you will be cleaning first. This will saturate the pore of the metal and allow you to achieve a premium clean!
  • Utilize the least amount of metal roof cleaning chemical as possible when applying and then start brushing with your soft bristle brush!
  • Re-apply chemical where required and brush again!
  • Rinse down all plants before, during, and after the evolution.
  • Rinse the roof and rinse everything in the vicinity of the cleaning. RINSE RINSE RINSE!
  • Best Metal Roof Cleaning Tools

    The following are great tools to clean your metal roof with:

    • Washcloth
    • Soft bristle brush
    • Non-abrasive pad

    The type of cleaning tools used to clean a metal roof can vary. There are instances where no cleaning tools other than water are necessary. But there are also instances requiring a higher power cleaning agent and a tool to actually wipe/wash the panels with. It just depends.

    Recommended Reading: What Is A Roof Boot

    Best Power Washers To Use

    As we have said, there are gas-powered washers and electric-powered washers, but for metal roofs, its really best to stick with gas. That being said, the best all-around power washer is The Simpson MSH3125. Not only is this the best power washer money can buy, but it is also one of the more affordable models at under $400 at the time of writing this guide.

    The Simpson boasts incredible power , in addition to its attractive price-tag. This power washer is powered with a Honda engine to ensure maximum performance and reliability and will be the most dependable item in your garage.

    Its easy to use and even comes with five different nozzles of varying types to ensure that you can always complete whatever job is at hand. The hose is 25 feet long to ensure easy use with most roofs, and affordable extension hoses are available to high-up and difficult to reach spots. This machine is unbeatable!

    Why Is Bleach A Good Roof Cleaner

    Soft Wash Roof Cleaning. How to wash your roof Shingles safely [Best Roof Wash Method]

    Bleach is a class of compounds widely used to whiten clothes and remove stains and as a disinfectant to kill germs.

    Liquid household bleach has 5.25 to 8.25% of the active sodium hypochlorite ingredient. It also contains other secondary ingredients such as sodium hydroxide which is intended to keep the solution alkaline.

    It is the sodium hypochlorite in bleach that denatures proteins in microorganisms that thrive on roofs. This ingredient is effective in killing algae, mildew, mold, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

    The Sodium hypochlorite becomes hypochlorous acid when it comes into contact with water. Hypochlorous acid is the active ingredient further that attacks proteins that make up the microorganisms leading to the destruction of the algea as well as other microorganisms on your roof shingles.

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

    Why Power Wash Your Metal Roof

    Not only does regular power washing keep your roof looking its best, but it also ensures your roof will last as long as possible. If you want the paint and enamel coating to remain free of irritants that might otherwise compromise the roofs integrity, regular cleaning is absolutely essential.

    The metal panels that comprise your roof are coated in enamel in order to protect them from the elements. Everything from mildew to acid rain can erode this coating on the way to the metal itself. Once the enamel is gone, the metal paneling will begin to degrade. How quickly the metal degrades depends on the thickness of the paneling and the material that comprises it.

    How To Wash Rv Roof

    For years rubber roofs were the construction material for RVs. It is the same compound used on a variety of manufactured homes. What you need t be aware of is that these type of roofs were designed to flake. That is normal and not something to worry about.

    To keep rubber roofs clean, you need to wash them every few months and use special rubber roof cleaner. You can find these at your RV dealer or camper stores. The just wash your rubber roof like you would your car.

    Read Also: How Many Sheets Of Metal Roofing Do I Need

    How To Use A Pressure Washer

    Pressure washers are very simple to set up and operate. A standard garden hose is twisted onto the intake to provide the machine with water, and gas-powered models are filled with gas and oil to provide fuel. Once your pressure washer is fueled up, simply power it up and get to spraying!

    Its a good idea to test how powerful your pressure washer is before getting on the ladder and spraying your roof. The complications arise when climbing and balancing are added to the equation. Using the pressure washer itself is actually very simple!

    Tips for Pressure Washing.

    • It is recommended to use a pressure washer with a 45-degree angle to ensure maximum efficiency when washing. The angle is in the nozzle, so the jet of water sprays downwards while your grip remains normal. A pressure washer with an angled nozzle will guarantee your ability to safely and efficiently wash your metal roof.
    • The best power washers will have an adjustable nozzle to make spraying even safer and easier. As mentioned, the ideal angle for power washing is around 45 degrees however, different jobs require different applications. You will likely only use a 45-degree angle but finding a power washer with an adjustable is a good idea.

    While you may get comfortable up there on the roof after a while, always remember: you want to be on the roof or ladder for only as long as you need to be.

    Why Is Roof Cleaning Important

    Soft Wash Roof Cleaning

    As the roofing system is a considerable investment, roof cleaning should be a priority in your home maintenance and your roof maintenance list. Some significant benefits of roof cleaning and maintenance include:

    • Keeping your family safe and comfortable inside
    • Prolonging your roofing systems life
    • Giving your roof a fresh new look
    • Preventing pest infestations
    • Allowing bigger energy savings

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

    Make Your Shingles Last Longer

    Roof stains are a common roof problem. Black streaks on the north- and west-facing and shaded areas of your asphalt-shingled roof can really wreck the appearance of your home. The roof streaks look like mold, but theyre actually algae colonies that form in your shingles and feed on moisture and the limestone filler agents in the shingles.

    Using shingles that have been treated with algicide keeps the growth at bay for about 10 years . But once the algicide wears off, your roof hosts an all-you-can-eat buffet for the neighborhood algae spores. So it pays to clean your shingles as soon as you spot algae growth.

    So How Do You Clean The Composition Roof

    First, consider ways of reducing roof moss, lichen, and algae growth in the first place.

    • Cut back trees that are growing close to the home which keep the roof in moss-loving, perpetual shade. It will also stop trees dumping debris on the roof and filling your gutters. Added bonus: it also removes a bridge that helps rats and other critters get access to your attic space.
    • Remove debris from the roof using a leaf blower…facing down the slope of course so as not to get under the leading edge of the shingles. Also, keep your gutter clean so they drain properly.
    • Avoid having gutters from an upper roof lazily dump water onto a roof below. Run a downspout all the way to the gutter instead.

    Moss removal: you’re probably not going to like this but… you, or someone you pay, needs to get up on the rood with a brush and start scrubbing it off with some good old elbow grease.

    “Elbow Grease? Is that some fancy new moss killing chemical I can buy at the hardware store?”

    Umm, no. It’s just you and everything from a stiff toothbrush to a yard broom having a bonding experience with your roof . It’s quite therapeutic!

    Don’t Miss: Do Metal Roofs Make Noise

    What Type Of Metal Roof Do I Have

    There are different procedures to practice depending on the type of coating on the metal paneling of your roof. There are also different types of materials such as copper or stainless steel, but luckily, we are only aiming to protect the coating on the metal not the metal itself.

    When you protect the coating, you protect the metal. If you already have exposed metal on your roof, please look into metal roof repair before proceeding.

    The most common types of coating for metal roofs are:

  • Acrylic
  • Fluorocarbon
  • Can You Pressure Wash Rv Roof

    How to wash your roofing shingles (Roof Cleaning Tips)

    You can use a pressure washer on your rubber or fiberglass RV roof. For the former construction material it is okay to use normal car wash soaps and polish. Or you can spend a few dollars more and purchase cleaners made for a fiberglass roof.

    The only thing you need to be concerned about is to avoid cracking any seals around vents, antennas and other roof top seals. Seals are usually made from silicone and they can easily be damaged when direct water pressure is sent their way.

    Also Check: Do It Yourself Metal Roofing Kits

    Dos And Donts: The Best And Worst Ways To Clean A Roof

    If youre reading this, chances are youre looking for roof-cleaning tips because your shingles are no longer looking new and attractive. If your roof appears dark and discolored in some areas, you may think that mold has developed on the surfaces of the shingles. However, the black streaks youre seeing are really colonies of blue-green algae. If youre noticing thick, green patches on your roof instead, then youve got a moss problem, The north, west, and shady areas of your roof are most susceptible to these moisture-loving nuisances.

    Moss and algae spores are carried by the wind or animals from rooftop to rooftop, which is why entire neighborhoods are often affected. Moss can seriously impact asphalt shingle performance by causing them to curl up and blow off, eventually resulting in leaks. While algae doesnt actually harm your roof, it can impact its aesthetic appeal. Further, climbing on your roof frequently to clean off growth CAN damage your roof and shorten its lifespan by loosening the granules on your shingles. So, its best to know how to clean your roof properly so that you ensure you dont have to do it too often.

    Knowing this, what are the best ways to clean a roof of algae and moss growth? Read on for our best roof-cleaning tips!

    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.

    Read Also: How To Start A Roofing Company In Georgia

    Roof Cleaning The Proper Way

    Roof Cleaning has a few steps involved, the first and most important step is identifying what treatment is going to be needed to get the roof cleaned, with the least amount of collateral damage to the roof itself, and the landscaping if there is any. In this article we go through the entire process from start to finish, if you are going to have a professional clean your roof. This article is about how the pro is thinking when they walk the property, and about what methods they use in removing the harmful algae that is infesting so many roofs around the country.

    Roof Pressure Cleaning Done Right

    Roof Cleaning Contractors: Hiring the Best Company for the ...

    Can you pressure wash a roof? Now that the question has been answered, you should be able to make a better and well-informed decision. Keeping your roof clean should be an obvious priority. The problem now is how you go about it.

    On the one hand, you can do it yourself but risk damaging your roof and weakening its structure. Alternatively, you can use soft washing or other techniques. The most convenient of all options, though, is to hire a professional to do the job for you. Keep Washh in mind!

    Read Also: What Are Metal Roofs Made Of

    Put Your Solution On The Garden Sprayer

    If youre looking for the best results, start by mixing your chemical solution with a gallon of water, and a quart of chlorine bleach.

    Mix them well and place them in your container. You can even use a pump-style garden hose sprayer to get the job done fast.

    Youre given a lot of leeway in terms of where you want to pour your cleaning agent.

    As long as its a low-pressure sprayer, its all good. But, never pour your solution and use a pressure washer! Youll damage your asphalt shingle in the end!


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