Roof Cleaning 101 – The Complete Guide

Roof Cleaning 101 – The Complete Guide

Taking good care of your roof is critical to maintaining the health and integrity of your entire home, and it is not necessarily an easy task. While the experts at West Coast Moss Removal are always happy to help with roof cleaning and roof maintenance needs, we also recognize that many folks enjoy tackling home improvement and home upkeep projects on their own. While we would always recommend hiring a professional when it comes to working at heights on uneven surfaces (i.e. your roof), we are also happy to help set people up for success should they want to handle roof cleaning and maintenance on their own. What follows is a guide to basic roof cleaning to get you started.

Prevention and Inspection

Perhaps the biggest component of roof maintenance is catching small issues before they become larger problems. The most diligent homeowners will have their roofs inspected twice each year – typically at either end of winter. Getting up on your roof to inspect for seasonal damage and complete basic cleaning at regular intervals will make your life much easier.

roof cleaning guide

Roof Cleaning Guide

When it comes to inspections, homeowners should be looking for rust spots, buckling or curling shingles, missing shingles or gaps in roofing, cracked and or worn pipes, damage around chimneys, significant grit and grime build-up in gutters, and excessive moss and lichen growth. Depending on the complexity of the roof, its pitch, and the comfort level of the homeowner these types of thorough inspections are often best left to the professionals.

Roof Cleaning Specific to Roof Type

No two roofs are alike, and professional roof cleaners will cater their methodology to the specific roof they are working with. There are many intricacies to this, and our expert roof cleaning team at West Coast Moss Removal is prepared for them all. That said, if you are hoping to handle your own roof cleaning, here are some tips to keep in mind specific to different roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingle Roof Cleaning

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing and are comparatively easy to maintain. After physically removing any large clumps and growths of algae and moss, a gentle outdoor cleaning product applied by hose once each year will generally be enough for most asphalt shingle roofs. Bleach and power washers should not be used with asphalt, as both can cause significant unnecessary damage.

Clay and Concrete Roofs

Similar to asphalt, clay and concrete tile roofs do not handle harsh chemicals or pressure washing well. Delicately cleaning these types of roofs is essential to maintain their integrity. These types of roofs can also be very fragile, and it is not recommended to walk directly on them. Instead, use a plywood plank with foam underneath to distribute weight and pressure. Use standard cleaning chemicals on these roofs, and be careful!

Wood Shake and Shingles

Wood shake and shingle roofs are some of the most aesthetically pleasing and also easily damaged. Again, you should avoid pressure washing wood shingles as the intensity can lift and peel shingles and trap water underneath. When using cleaning materials, it is essential to choose options that will not stain the wood. More so than other shingle types, you must stay ahead of any moss or lichen buildup with wood shingles as it can spread fast and even void any warranty you may have.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are also fairly commonplace and rightfully so as they are durable and relatively easy to maintain. That said, if not properly taken care of, metal can rust and corrode. Catching any rust or corrosion early is key to preventing further damage or having to replace an entire roof prematurely. Like with all other roofs, be sure to use chemical cleaners that will not cause more damage than good and aim to clean metal roofs at least twice each year.

Roof Cleaning Services

Roof cleaning is no easy task, however, it is something many homeowners choose to tackle on their own. If this is not something you wish to do, give the experts at West Coast Moss Removal a call. Our team is always eager to take on new projects, and our decades of experience will save you time and money in the long run! Get a free quote for your roof cleaning needs.

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