How to do roof cleaning for your home

Keeping your roof clean is vital for the health and longevity of your property. Ideally, your home’s roof will last many years, and you will not have to replace it often. 

However, if you’ve neglected your roof and haven’t had it cleaned regularly, you are destined to have problems. In fact, if you let your roof cleaning go for too long, you may end up having to pay for an entire replacement roof. It’s better to think of your roof as an investment that needs taking care of so it can protect your home. 

The following informative guide will teach you:

  • Basic Roof Care Tips and Best Practices
  • Best Roof Cleaning Supplies
  • How to Clean Your Roof
  • DIY vs. Professional Roof Cleaning
  • Top Roof Cleaning Companies
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Cleaning

Today we are covering the best roof cleaning tips and tricks to keep your home safe and dry. However, if roof cleaning becomes a hassle, we recommend companies such as Ned Stevens, Window Genie, or Window Gang. These professional roof cleaners have some of the most expertly-trained professionals to ensure that your roof is cleaned while ensuring safety and satisfaction.

Roof Care Guide – Tips and Best Practices

Beyond making sure your roof is in good shape and clean for the area’s next big storm, there is a myriad of other reasons to keep your roof clean. 

Regular Maintenance & Repairs

There’s no ignoring your roof when something goes wrong with it. Yet, rather than wait until problems arise, it’s better to regularly maintain your roof. Hence, you should never leave any damage, regardless of how small, on your roof. Instead, make quick repairs to ensure no further damage occurs before getting it fixed. When left neglected, roof repairs can be costly and extensive. 

Avoid Discoloration of Shingles by Washing Your Roof

As your shingles age and are subject to the weather, they may begin to discolor due to a buildup of dirt and other materials. Depending on your type of roof, debris can collect rather quickly in some places. When it rains, color changes can occur in areas where water runs off the roof versus where it doesn’t. 

Cleaning your roof is an excellent way to extend its life. So, when you notice long dark streaks, it’s probably time for a good roof cleaning. The truth is that these streaks are commonly algae. Though this substance won’t damage your home immediately, it can lead to stains if left too long. The easiest way to remove algae from your roof is using a mixture of 50:50 water and bleach. 

Remove Mildew and Mold

Mildew and mold are some of the most common issues with dirty roofs. And depending on where you live, this can be a major problem. Most professionals recommend that you begin the process by removing any moss that’s present to ensure that mold or mildew is not growing underneath. Since many roofs sit in the shade most of the day, moss is very common, but it can take a toll on your home, causing the shingles to break down faster. 

Check for Damage and Remove Debris

Debris, such as leaves, sticks, and branches, may be blown on top of your home during a storm. These items need to be regularly removed to keep your roof clean and free of any items that may clog your gutters or lead to further damage. Hence, after every major rain or wind storm, be sure to check your home and remove any debris that’s present on your roof. 

Clean the Gutters

Clogged gutters cause many roof leaks and damage. When your home’s main drainage system becomes clogged, your gutters and downspouts will begin to fill with water. Eventually, this water will work its way up until it reaches your shingles, where it can lead to roof deck rot. Moreover, the water can also damage your fascia and siding, which can be costly to repair. Worse, when your gutters remain clogged for too long, they eventually break away from the house and will not allow water to drain properly. 

Trim Overhanging Limbs

Overhanging limbs and branches pose a serious threat to your roof’s security. Not only can they damage or even destroy your home if the tree falls, but they can also lead to home damage over time. Branches or trees that make contact with your roof can scrape granules off when it’s windy. This will destroy your shingles and may even rip sheets of them from your roof. 

In the event, a branch falls on your home, do your best to remove it as soon as possible to prevent it from blowing around in the wind. And if you go on your roof, be careful when walking, especially if it’s wet with snow, rain, or dew. 

Always Remove Ice Dams

Ice dams are common in some regions during the winter. These formations cause undue stress on the edges of your roof, which can compromise the entire structure. The easiest way to prevent ice dams from forming is to remove the snow from your roofline before it begins to melt. Another way to prevent them is to ensure that your home is sufficiently insulated. 

If you need ice dams removed, be sure to call a professional like Ned Stevens so your roof is not damaged during the removal process. 

Do Not Push Yourself Too Far

At the end of the day, leave it to a professional if you are uncomfortable with the thought of climbing your roof. Cleaning your roof is a big deal and can be dangerous. So, rather than pushing yourself, call a professional to do the job safely, quickly, and effectively.

Best Roof Cleaning Supplies

There is no shortage of roof cleaning supplies on the market. Here are some of our favorite products for all of you DIY roof cleaners. 

Wet and Forget

This is one of the most popular brands used in the U.S. Wet and Forget is a moss, mold, and mildew stain remover that many professionals rely on. This product is so popular because it works on all surfaces, does not contain bleach, and requires no rinsing or scrubbing. You simply apply the solution, and it does all the work!

Mold Armor E-Z House Wash

If your home’s roof is filthy, you may want to consider Mold Armor E-Z House Wash. This cleaner is bleach-based and works well to kill mildew and mold in about ten minutes. It works on many types of roofing materials and is easy to apply with your garden hose. 

Simple Green

Simple Green is perfect for anyone looking for an eco-friendly, green solution. This trusted product is non-flammable, non-corrosive, and non-abrasive. It’s versatile and can be used to clean nearly any type of surface. 

How to Clean Your Roof

As you probably know, many different types of roofing materials are used today. The important thing to remember is that each type of roofing material requires a different care and cleaning technique. So, if you try to clean a metal roof the same way you clean cedar shakes, you’re going to have issues. Here is information about how to clean each type of roof:

Wood Shingle and Shake

Wood shakes are a high-maintenance type of roof covering. Between staining and cleaning, this roof requires great care if you expect it to last. A soft wash solution is the best way to clean a wood shake or shingle. You never want to pressure wash this style of roof, and always ensure branches are trimmed to reduce debris buildup. 

Cedar Shingle and Shake

Cedar shakes are a lot like wood but require different care. The best thing you can do for cedar shingles is to keep them dry. Ensuring that they have plenty of sunshine and fresh air is also recommended. Again, you never want to pressure wash these shingles. When cleaning cedar shakes, avoid harsh chemicals and opt for a gentle soft wash solution. 

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of shingle in the United States. Many people prefer these because they are durable and low-maintenance. The best way to care for an asphalt roof is to remove debris regularly and spray it with a soft wash a couple of times per year. Remember to avoid harsh chemicals such as bleach and pressure washing, as both methods can lead to damage. 

Concrete and Clay Shingles

Concrete and clay tiles are painted or coated with protective layers that help keep them safe from the elements. It’s important to understand that these types of materials are sensitive, so it may be best to hire a professional roof cleaning company to avoid damaging your roof. If you do decide to clean the roof yourself, avoid harsh chemicals and pressure washing. 

Slate Shingle

Slate roofing is gorgeous but also very costly. Hence, you must provide excellent care to a slate roof to ensure that it lasts for a long time. Though most people think of this as a “stone” roof that’s tough and durable, these roofs are however quite fragile. They do not do well when exposed to mold, mildew, or moss buildup. Pressure washing and harsh chemicals can take a toll on slate shingles, so always opt for a soft wash. 

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are durable and long-lasting, but they are vulnerable to corrosion and rust. Moreover, when different types of metal contact one another, it can potentially cause a chemical reaction that may lead to roofing problems down the road. To maintain your metal roof, inspect it regularly for rust, debris, or other types of growth. Metal roofs are easy to care for and generally only require one soft wash per year.

DIY vs. Professional Roof Cleaning

Many homeowners enjoy a good DIY project from time to time. However, the truth is that not all do-it-yourself home projects are created equal. In fact, there are some, such as roof cleaning, that initially seem to be easy in theory but can actually be quite dangerous. 

First and foremost, you should never climb up on your roof to remove debris or clean it if you are afraid of heights. It only takes a small slip to result in a catastrophic fall. So, it’s best to call a professional roof cleaning company rather than risk your livelihood and safety. 

Aside from your well-being, there are also a few other benefits of hiring a professional to undertake your roof cleaning project. The truth is that professional roof cleaners are expertly trained in how to clean every type of roof. So, they know better than to use the same type of cleaning method on a cedar shake roof that they do on a metal roof. 

Expert roof cleaners will do the job safely and effectively, allowing you to focus on more important tasks. They have the equipment to do the job quickly and may even find small repairs that save you money. 

Top Roof Cleaning Companies

If you choose to leave your roof cleaning up to the pros, we’ve got you covered. We have spent countless hours researching and interviewing roof cleaning companies. Here are the top roof cleaners that we have found:

Ned Stevens is a family-owned company with decades in the home maintenance industry. They offer a wide array of services, from gutter cleaning and installations to window washing and roof cleaning; their experts are friendly and expertly trained to do big and small jobs. 

Window Genie also offers a wide array of services, from window cleaning and house washing to commercial window tinting. Ned Stevens and Window Genie both use a soft wash technology that combines low-pressure water with biodegradable cleaning solutions. 

Window Gang is another leader in the pressure washing and house cleaning business. This company has been in business for over 35 years and utilizes various cleaning methods. 

Roof Cleaning FAQs

What is the Easiest Way to Clean a Roof?

The easiest way to clean your roof will greatly depend on what type of roof you have. However, most professionals recommend that you use a product that’s designed to clean roofing material. We discussed three really good options above, with Wet and Forget being the easiest to apply. All you have to do is spray it on your roof and forget it. 

How Do You Soft Clean a Roof Yourself?

To soft clean your home’s roof on your own, you will first need to invest in a pressure washer with low-pressure settings and a biodegradable roofing cleaner. You will then need to climb up on the roof to apply the cleaning agent, allow it to sit, and then use the low-pressure setting on the machine to rinse the cleaner and filth off of your roof. Just be sure to read the label and ensure that the product is compatible with your type of roofing material. 

What Chemicals Can I Use to Clean My Roof?

The most common chemical for cleaning a roof is bleach. Some people mix a solution of 1:1 water and bleach, while others buy bleach-based commercial products. However, with the rise of the “green” movement and the need for eco-friendly products, there are lots of safe options, such as Simple Green, that do not contain bleach yet are still highly effective. 

How Do I Clean My Roof Without A Pressure Washer?

For those who do not own a pressure washer, you can buy one of many products that are made to be sprayed on and left. Though these take time to work, they are effective and prevent you from having to put forth the effort and climb the roof. If you don’t mind going on the roof, you can use a mixture of 1:1 bleach and water or 2:1 water and detergent with a soft-bristled brush. 

Can I Spray Vinegar on My Roof?

Absolutely! Vinegar works great on your roof, so long as you don’t mind the smell during application. With this method, all you have to do is spray it on and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes, and then rinse it off with the garden hose. You can combine the power of vinegar with a soft brush to remove stubborn stains if needed.