While some homeowners may be tempted to tackle roof cleaning themselves, it’s typically better left to a professional. Brushing the roof can damage shingles, forcing moss and algae granules to detach.
Heavy moss growth can crack tiles and cause roof pointing to break down. A bleach solution can kill the moss at its roots and prevent it from growing back. Contact Sarasota Roof Cleaning now!
Chemicals kill and remove organisms that damage roofs, including algae, moss, lichen, and mildew. Typically, they are applied to the roof in high concentrations and left to work before being rinsed off using low-pressure water. Choosing a contractor who uses the right chemicals for your roofing type would be best. While some contractors claim to use a “secret blend” of cleaning chemicals, the reality is that most mixes are similar and only differ slightly from one another.
For example, most professional soft wash cleaning mixtures contain a strong bleaching agent that kills Gloeocapsa Magma algae, mold, mildew, lichen, and moss. However, they also use a surfactant that helps the chemical penetrate and kill the organic matter at its roots. Depending on the roofing material, some chemical solutions, such as slate, clay, or concrete tiles, are unsafe for certain materials. They can cause discoloration and deterioration.
While some people may be concerned about using chemical cleaners on their roofs, these products are effective and can remove most stains and discolorations from your home’s exterior. They’re typically sold in spray bottles that attach to a hose and can be easily applied. They can be a little messy and leave behind a residue, but they do a great job removing stubborn stains from your roof.
Sodium hydroxide is another common roof-cleaning chemical. This alkaline substance can effectively clean your roof’s surface when used over a long period and with the proper dilution rate. It’s also a highly toxic substance that, when used improperly, can deteriorate the petroleum-based components of your shingles. Regardless of the specific product, most professional roof cleaners use the correct dilution rates and rinse thoroughly afterward to ensure the safety of everyone involved. They also protect any flora that may come into contact with the cleaning solution in advance.
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Having it in good condition is necessary to protect your home and ensure longevity. A dirty and stained roof is not only unsightly, but it can also lead to expensive repairs in the future. Fortunately, regular cleaning can help keep your roof in top condition. Choosing the right cleaning method is key to ensuring the best results.
Pressure washing involves directing high-pressure water at dirt, mildew, mold, and other materials to blast them away. While this effectively removes these materials, it damages most roofing materials, especially shingles. It can erode the surface of your roof and even void your warranty. This is why hiring a professional to perform pressure washing is important.
Another option is soft washing or chemical cleaning. This process uses a detergent or soap to remove organic growth. This is a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to pressure washing. This type of washing is also less expensive than pressure washing. However, it takes longer to clean your roof and may require more than one treatment.
Using high-pressure water to clean your roof can be dangerous, especially if the nozzle isn’t properly adjusted. It’s important to use a low-pressure setting and to wear safety equipment. A harness and face mask are essential; you’ll need extra care when climbing ladders or working on the roof. Having someone secure the ladders and hold them in place with a rope or chain is also a good idea.
Aside from boosting curb appeal, regular roof cleaning can also help save energy. Dirty and mossy roofs absorb more sun heat, requiring your air conditioner to work harder to cool your house. This can cause premature wear on your roof and raise energy bills. Washing your roof removes moss, algae, and other growing materials interfering with your roof’s ability to reflect sunlight. This helps lower your cooling costs and improves the lifespan of your roof.
Soft washing uses cleaning solutions, soaps, and mild cleaners to clean surfaces. It utilizes very little pressurization and cleans surfaces that might be damaged by high-pressure cleaning, such as vinyl siding, asphalt shingle roofs, and wooden structures like fences and decks. The cleaning solution is sprayed onto the surface and left to set to kill harmful organisms like mold, mildew, algae, moss, and fungus before being rinsed away with low-pressure water.
Soft washing can be as effective as pressure washing when done correctly. However, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not soft washing is the right option for your home.
One important factor is the cleaning chemicals and surfactants you use to create your cleaning solution. Using the wrong surfactants could damage your roof and shorten its lifespan. Moreover, too much surfactant exacerbates the problem by leaving a sticky residue behind on the surface.
Another consideration is the age of your roof and how much dirt it has accumulated. Often, old and brittle roof tiles can be damaged by the high-pressure power of a pressure washer. This can result in granule loss and cause permanent roof damage. This is why choosing a professional roofing contractor is essential to ensure that your roof is cleaned properly without causing any damage.
A third and final factor is the location of your property. If you live in a humid climate, your roof can be more susceptible to moss formation and other organisms. Having these organisms on your roof can lead to the premature degradation of your shingles and can decrease their lifespan by up to 50 percent. This is why keeping your roof and siding free of moss, algae, and other organisms is important.
Soft washing is a safe and efficient way to remove the buildup of unwanted organisms on your roof. It can also help prevent your shingles’ deterioration and help protect your home. However, it is important to note that you should hire a licensed and insured roof cleaning company to avoid any potential problems.
The black streaks on roofs are large colonies of airborne algae called Gloeocapsa Magma (Cyanobacteria). These bacteria affix to your shingles and eat away at the limestone filler agents that make up a majority of most roofing materials. As they eat, they darken your home’s exterior and cause shingles to degrade prematurely. This is unsightly and can lead to leaks and other serious problems.
The wind carries the spores that grow these organisms and can easily attach to other structures on your property, such as sheds, barns, and carports. They can also travel to different homes and spread the problem throughout the neighborhood. Once a colony grows on your roof, it keeps the surface damp, which can cause rot and mold to develop. Mold spores can enter your home and create health issues for you and your family.
Keeping the moss and algae under control can save you the expense of a full roof replacement. The best way to do this is to use a chemical treatment. The ARMA recommends using a 50:50 mixture of laundry-strength liquid chlorine bleach and water to spray on the surface of your roof. Be sure to use a low-pressure nozzle when applying the solution.
After rinsing, the bleach solution should remain on your roof for several minutes to soak in and kill the spores. After that, it should be rinsed off with clean water. If the problem persists, consider purchasing a commercial product to inhibit the re-growth of these organisms.
Several factors contribute to the development of moss and algae on your roof, including overhanging branches, clogged gutters, standing water, and porous roofing materials. Some of these factors can be fixed by removing debris from the roof and ensuring adequate gutter drainage and proper ventilation. You can also help prevent re-growth by installing copper or zinc flashing on your roof. When these metals wash down a tile roof, they leave behind the ions that are toxic to these organisms. Lastly, be sure to have someone assist you when on ladders and use eye protection when necessary.