Your roof continuously collects dirt, debris, and dust over time. When it gets moistened, it creates perfect growing conditions for algae, moss, and fungi. Roofs that are not cleaned regularly look dirty and unsightly, which affect not just the property’s aesthetics but its value as well.

Neglected roofs eventually become damaged from excess organic growth and debris. Regularly cleaning your roof prolongs its durability, mitigates the need for the replacement and protects your investment. Cleaning your roof periodically prevents the proliferation of algae, lichen, and moss, which can literally eat away your roof. 

There are many methods and techniques that can be used to clean the roof of a home, but there are only 2 methods that can be considered safe for your shingles. Here is a quick look at those 2 methods.

1. Blowing Off The Roof

This technique involves using either a leaf blower or other high-pressure air to blow the debris off the roof. It can remove more visible debris such as dust, leaves, and sticks. It’s a relatively inexpensive method that takes a short time and can make a huge cosmetic difference.

Roof blowing, however, doesn’t address the underlying problem. If you have plenty of organic growth, it will continue to grow. If it’s been rainy, it may take some time to remove leaves and other vegetation. If your roof has mold, lichen, and fungi, the only way to safely clean it is with a chemical application.

2. Killing Organic Growth With Soaps and Detergents

While specialized eco-friendly roof cleaning agents are available, they can be a little more expensive and slow-acting- if they work at all. The better option (that we use) is a mix of sodium hypochlorite and soaps that help the mixture cling to the roof and organic matter that’s growing on it.

Sodium Hypochlorite is caustic to plants and vegetation, so caution needs to be taken around lawns and landscaping. Typically the solution only has around 5% of total sodium hypochlorite. In this method, we start by first wetting the surrounding landscaping with water, followed by spraying the solution on the roof in slow, even strokes.

The solution is left to soak in and dry onto the growth so that it can continue killing all the way down to the root structure. You can tell it’s dead because it changes to a white or light tan color, and will all get rinsed off of the roof over winter.

Never Power Wash A Roof!

Some people may tell you to clean your roof using a pressure washer. They might use ladders or walk right on the roof when cleaning. Pressure washing removes debris and organic growth and can make your roof appear clean quite quickly- but almost always damages the roof and decreases the lifespan of the shingles.

Power washing your roof can be dangerous and destructive. If the proper technique is not used, pressure washing can destroy shingles by removing the limestone filler and even lifting and breaking them. Roof pressure washing often voids the warranty on most roofs.

Besides, pressure washing without any form of treatment doesn’t completely get rid of fungi, moss, and lichens. When hiring a roof cleaning contractor, make sure they are going to use a chemical application to treat the growth on your roof.

The Bottom Line 

Roof cleaning will improve the aesthetic appeal and increase the durability of your roofing material. Getting rid of the organic growth and debris effectively reduces the need to replace your roof due to damage. You can always clean debris, dust, leaves, and twigs off your roof using a garden hose and a long-arm soft brush during routine maintenance. 

For durable, safe, and effective cleaning, consider hiring a professional roof cleaning contractor. If you don’t have one in mind yet, Michael Hines Painting would love to become your trusted contractor. Call us at 209-256-4587 to book a FREE estimate, and we will be glad to give your roof a rejuvenated look. 

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