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Should You Pressure Wash A Roof

Pros And Cons Of Pressure Washin

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

In a temperate, moist climate, moss and lichens can quickly overtake an otherwise pristine roof, making it look old and weathered before its time. Roofs in windy areas become dusty and dull-looking, despite their young age and durable nature. The miraculous effects of pressure washing such roofs are a strong enticement to homeowners who want to keep their homes looking good. In just an afternoon, pressure washing can turn a soiled or overgrown roof into one that looks brand new.

However, pressure washing is not without its negative effects. Depending on the type of roofing material in question, applying direct, super-charged jets of water with a pressurized machine is not always a wise option. When in doubt, contact a reputable Cherry Hill roofing firm to find out whether they recommend pressure washing your specific type of roof.

On composition shingles, which are coated with tiny ceramic granules for durability, pressure washing can do more harm than good. The ceramic coating not only gives composition roofing its color, but it also protects the asphalt materials beneath from ultraviolet radiation. Pressure washing can dislodge the ceramic granules, leaving the shingles vulnerable to the ravages of weather. While experienced pressure washing professionals may be able to clean a composition roof without ruining the shingles, homeowners should carefully consider less damaging alternatives.

Term of the day, courtesy of Fortified Roofing, Cherry Hill NJ:

Composition roofing

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!

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.

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Can You Repair A Tpo Roof

Patching Problems Because TPOs are heat weldable, you can make a patch if there is a simple puncture. But in order to make this patch, youll need electricity, a hot-air welding tool, and patching material tools that professional roofing contractors will have on hand, but an average building owner probably wont.

Roof Algae Is Much More Than An Aesthetic Concern

Pressure Washing Roof Tiles: It Can Damage Your Roof

Sure — having algae on your roof is an unattractive attribute. However, it’s more than that, and it’s not something you can put off taking care of.

Here’s the thing: roof algae is a living thing, and it’s feeding off of your shingles . If it’s not taken care of, it will take years off of the life of your roofing.

If your roof isn’t cleaned regularly, especially if the algae is visibly noticeable, it can lead to rapid deterioration of your shingles, which has a few effects:

  • Since your shingles help block UV rays, you’ll drop in your home’s energy efficiency and steep rise in your AC bills.
  • You’ll have to replace your roofing much sooner than you should need to, and that can cost upwards of $10,000.

While we were on the subject…

Recommended Reading: Roofing Cost Los Angeles

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.

Why You Should Never Use A Pressure Washer On Roof Tiles

The most common roof tiles in the United Kingdom are made from concrete and have a sandy/granular finish on the exposed side of the tile. This part of the tile is designed to gradually wear off until the tile needs to be replaced, usually after 80-100 years of normal weathering.

Using a high powered pressure washer may strip the surface of the tile and shorten its life expectancy.

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The Short Answer Is No

When you search this very same question, youll see the Internet shout back with words like never and dont. The response isnt wrong. Even with growth forming on your roofs surface, you should not break out the pressure washer on your asphalt shingles.

The reason is simple: youll do more harm than good. It takes a professional to clean a roof, and they dont employ the use of high-pressure equipment. If a pressure washer is used, the professional is trained to use minimal pressure or specialized cleaning tools to remove algae colonies, moss, and other growth from asphalt shingles. Its not a job you should undertake yourself.

What happens if you do pressure wash asphalt shingles? You could blast off their protective coating, as most modern roofing shingles are treated for optimal effectiveness against algae resistance and/or UV reflection. If you aim the pressure washer at an incorrect angle , the water could jet beneath the shingles, which could lead to water damage.

Water damage is a big no-no, especially in your roofing system because it means the damage doesnt quite stop there. The structure is at risk if the shingles are compromised, and for you that means wildly expensive repairs in your future.

Other Ways To Clean Your Roof

Should You Rinse?? | Roof Washing

In many cases, pressure washing a roof isnt necessary. If the roof is covered with leaves and other debris, you may be able to clear the surface using a leaf blower or a broom. If the shingles are covered with mold or algae, you may be able to clean them yourself using bleach and water or a roof-cleaning solution and a garden hose.

Read Also: How Do You Know If Your Roof Is Leaking

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.

Getting The Right Pressure

If you are looking to pressure wash your roof yourself, it is critical to remember that the pressure of your washer cannot be too high. The main reason for this is that a high pressure may strip the surface from your roof tiles. This will reduce the life expectancy of your roof drastically and you could end up having to pay for a new roof much sooner than you expected.

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Hiring A Professional Roof Cleaning Company Is An Investment In Your Home

Regular, professional roof power washing will restore the overall appearance of your home’s roof, removing built-up soot, grime, dust, and other debris, as well as various stains and areas of discoloration. Roofing shingles and tiles will then look fresh and vibrant so that your entire home seems cleaner and newer.

A soft wash system will also remove algae, mold, moss, and mildew that is typically unreachable with a standard hose or pressure washer. The detergents and surfactants used during a soft pressure washing are meant to penetrate all nooks and crannies of a roof, dissolving dirt and debris trapped under shingles and around roof eaves. Low-pressure rinsing won’t strip away loose tiles or granules on the shingles themselves, while still protecting those tiles from damaging storm residues.

A thorough power washing also reveals areas of damage along the surface of a roof. A home’s roof might have soft spots, indicating the need for structural repair, hidden under water stains or layers of soot and grime. A professional cleaning reveals damaged areas so that repairs can be made promptly, preserving the framework of the home and avoiding roof leaks and eventual water damage.

How To Clean Your Roof

Why You Should Never Pressure Wash 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.

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Know The Machines Limits

You need to make sure that some stains and sports are too strong , and some dirt is impossible to remove. Hence , make sure to know about the limits of the machine you are using , and do not insert too much pressure , which might affect the roof shingles adversely.Pressure washing of the roof is something which includes a lot of risk, and hence , you must bank on the leading driveway pressure cleaning Adelaide company, and be away from the hassle, getting professional results.

How To Pressure Wash Your Roof: Roof Pressure Washing Basics

Many business and home owners strive to maintain their propertys curb appeal and protect their investment with periodic cleanings for moss removal, lichen removal, mildew removal and to eradicate other undesirable debris. Anyone considering attempting to pressure wash roof installations themselves should use caution.

Not only can using the wrong cleaning method or too much pressure damage certain types of roofing, but the task itself can be physically risky. Here, well discuss the question of can you pressure wash a roof and offer tips concerning how to pressure wash a roof safely and effectively.

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Having Said That Let Us Now Look At The Question Of Pressure Washing

High powered pressure washers can cause extensive damage to RVs: cut tires, broken seals, paint damage, gel coat delamination, removal of decals the list is endless. Pressure washers can even force water into your rig. So please, NO HIGH-POWERED pressure washers! It is recommended that you do not use anything over 1300 PSI. Why? A 2500 PSI direct blast can break mortar and concrete: just imagine what it could do to your traveling home! If you do use a low-pressure power washer, set your nozzle to a lower setting and keep the nozzle at an angle and at least 15 inches from your rig.

The roof can be the dirtiest part of your RV and the area where you can be most tempted to blast away with that pressure washer. Dont! All the seams and caulk you could damage may result in a leaky roof. Perhaps that is why so many RV owners are turning to FlexArmor roofs. Our roofs are seamless and guaranteed not to leak. Maintenance is simplified without continued caulking and cleanup is easy with mild soap and water.

What About Pressure Washing Specialists Who Say They Can Safely Clean Your Asphalt Roof

How to Pressure Wash Your Roof

Sorry, such a company does NOT exist!

Even if that discount mailer or friendly salesperson confidently states that they are an experienced/expert roof cleaning company and have “special low-pressure washer nozzles” don’t believe the sales pitch and don’t let them anywhere near your roof.

Feel free to have clean your driveway and patio, but keep them firmly on the terra firma!

Also Check: How To Install Skylight On Metal Roof

Alternative Ways To Clean A Roof

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.

What Is Pressure Cleaning

First, lets have a quick look at how pressure cleaning works. Pressure cleaning uses water sprayed at high pressures reaching or exceeding 4,000 PSI. The pressurised water blasts off stains and debris stuck to your roof or other surface.

Pressure washing is not the same as power washing. While both use high-pressure water, power washers typically heat the water. Power washers are generally used for more heavy-duty cleaning jobs, such as removing paint. For general cleaning tasks like roof and gutter cleaning, heated water is not necessary.

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Know What You Are Cleaning

Inquire from the company that manufactured your roof to find out whether or not the panels can tolerate high-pressure power washing. Or, if you know the composition of the roof, check with a roofing expert to learn best practices for that material. If you use something too strong or too hot, you will remove the coating on the panels. Generally, its the pressure you have to watch out for.

A high-pressure hot waterpower wash will eliminate grime faster than any other method but could damage your metal roof. Always do some research on your particular roof before you start. You dont want to call a repairman for two jobs to avoid calling them for one!

Cleaning Your Tile Roof

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Cleaning a tile roof is an excellent way of ensuring that its true color and natural beauty shines through, while also offering protection against damage including cracking, chipping, and other breakage. Unfortunately many homeowners put off tile roof cleaning, either because they assume its somehow damaging to the tile or because theyre not sure how to manage this cleaning and how often it should be done.

Clean a tile roof with a soft wash pressure washer every other year or as often as needed to remove dirt, dust, algae, lichen, and other debris. While this work ensures a tile roof looks its best, using a pressure washer safely and effectively is more complicated than many homeowners realize, and being on a wet roof is also downright dangerous for untrained individuals. To ensure your safety and a thorough clean, leave this work to pressure washing professionals.

Before you go another month or, worse yet, a full year without proper tile roof cleaning, you might note some reasons why this work is so vital for every home. Its also beneficial to note some signs of needed roof washing as well as some tips on how to get his job done right.

Read Also: How Often Should You Get Your Roof Replaced

Can Pressure Washing Damage Roof Tiles

Pressure washing roof tiles is something that requires the right technique. Whether youre wanting to pressure wash your roof because of a build-up of moss or just to have a general clean up, its important to be aware of exactly what you are doing before you begin. While it wont damage your roof if done correctly, it can also have serious implications for your roofing if it goes wrong.

Its important not to let moss and algae build up on your roof, especially as this could lead to leaks. Having said that, we always recommend approaching pressure washing with care and perhaps leaving it to a professional if youre unsure you dont want to cause damage to your roof unnecessarily.


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