While asphalt shingles have come a long way in becoming less prone to moss and algae growth, regular cleaning can help extend the life of your roof. Cleaning also reveals areas that require structural repair.
Professionals use different chemical solutions depending on the current condition of your roof. These range from 75% Sodium Hypochlorite (Pool Shock) and 25% water for hearty algae, fire moss, or black streaks to 50% bleach and 50% water for lighter stains. Contact Sarasota Roof Cleaning now!
Unlike pressure washing, chemical roof cleaning uses specific chemicals (like sodium hypochlorite, Sodium Percarbonate, or Copper Sulfate) sprayed directly onto your roofing system to kill off organisms like algae, moss, and mildew. These chemical solutions are then rinsed off the surface of your roof using low-pressure water to avoid damaging or removing your roofing materials.
This technique is a more environmentally friendly option that still provides an immediate aesthetic improvement. This roof cleaning can also benefit your resale value, eliminating unsightly organic growth and restoring your shingles to their original condition.
A professional technician will begin this process by protecting nearby greenery and preparing the solution. For example, if your roof is mostly made of asphalt shingles, you must protect them by covering them with plastic sheets. In addition, you will also need to prepare any areas that have been covered in dirt, mud, or debris. Lastly, you must identify any areas of your roof that are particularly damaged or stained.
After the chemicals are applied, they will be left to work briefly so that they can do their job. When this time is up, the technician will rinse the roof with low-pressure water to remove all the chemicals and ensure all organisms are dead.
Some professionals prefer to use a hybrid approach to soft-wash roof cleaning, which combines the deep-cleaning power of chemicals with the rinsing ability of low-pressure water. This method allows them to offer a more comprehensive roof cleaning service while maintaining high environmental protection and customer safety standards.
When considering hiring a company for chemical roof cleaning, finding one with a good track record and extensive experience is important. Inexperienced technicians may use excessive amounts of chemicals, leading to damage or discoloration. Also, improper application of these products can be hazardous to plants and animals in the surrounding area. The best companies will take great care to follow all the proper precautions to protect themselves and their customers.
Rather than manually scrubbing the surface, cleaning products are applied, and then a safe amount of pressure is used to rinse. This helps to remove stubborn stains from siding, roofs, and more. Popular Mechanics reports that Professionals use various nozzles and can adjust the pressure to tackle different stain types. They always start slow and test the pressure in an inconspicuous spot first, ensuring it’s safe to use and not damaging the surface.
Streaks and discoloration are cosmetic problems, but they can cause damage to your roof and home. A mildew buildup, mold and algae can eat away at the surface, eventually causing it to tear or collapse. Regular washing can prevent these issues and keep your home looking fresher and longer.
The same can be said for gutters. When they are clogged, water is not properly drained and can seep under shingles or behind fascia boards, damaging the structure of your home. Regular cleaning can help avoid these problems, which can be costly.
Power (or pressure) washing is far more efficient than traditional scrubbing. Cleansers treat the surface, and then a low but appropriate amount of pressure removes contaminants such as dirt, mildew, algae, mold, and spiderwebs. In addition, professionals use telescopic lances that can be extended out to reach higher surfaces without ladders or towers, improving safety and efficiency. These professionals also have the proper training to handle high-powered equipment safely and know how to best prepare a surface for washing. This includes removing weeds and debris beforehand and sweeping up any resulting debris before rinsing.
Cleaning your roof using soft washing involves a combination of low-pressure water and cleaning solutions to clean the surfaces. This method uses mild detergents that penetrate deep into layers of grime, eating it away from the inside. It’s a more gentle alternative to high-pressure power washing, often used on delicate surfaces that would be damaged by high-powered water.
It’s also more environmentally friendly than pressure washing since less water is used overall. Soft washing is also easier for beginners to learn, and it’s less likely to damage your home’s siding, paint, wood, or EAFIS if done correctly.
One of the most important tools a soft washing pro uses is a surfactant, which aids in cleaning by loosening, absorbing, and carrying away dirt. This surfactant is the same chemical that helps wash off food residue on your plate after a meal: it improves water’s ability to wash away unwanted gunk.
Other soft-washing chemicals include bleach, which kills bacteria that cause staining. However, bleach can take up to three hours to reach its full kill ratio against rooftop microbes that cause discoloration. That’s why a soft-washing pro typically applies a solution with a surfactant that can stay on the surface longer to kill more germs, fungus, and mildew.
After the treatment, a soft-washing pro rinses the area with low-pressure water to remove any remaining solution and contaminants. The cleaners will use a neutralizer to prevent runoff from the chemicals harming plants and other materials around your home. They might also use odor removers to eliminate unpleasant smells that can linger.
A professional will usually apply the cleaning solution to your roof using a backpack sprayer, with a higher concentration for the roof than for the siding of your home. It’s a slower process than pressure washing since the soft-washing solutions must penetrate deeper into layers of dirt to be effective. The cleaning solution may also be applied to the undersides of roofing tiles and shingles, and it’s essential to rinse these areas thoroughly. If not, the accumulated dirt can void your roof’s warranty and cause granule loss.
Whether you have a shingle, flat, or metal roof, performing preventive maintenance is the best way to extend its life and improve your home’s appearance. This includes cleaning and inspections twice yearly, in the spring and fall. A comprehensive preventative maintenance program helps to identify and correct issues before they become major problems.
Start by removing any accumulated debris from valleys, snow guards, gutters, and the area around the chimney. These materials trap moisture that can damage the shingles or cause leaks. Next, check for the presence of moss or algae, particularly in shaded areas that are prone to dampness and heat. These plants can retain moisture that accelerates the deterioration of the shingles, which can cause structural damage to the home. The simplest way to kill these organisms is by spraying them with a commercial chemical that will either bleach them or kill them altogether.
Before climbing onto the roof, ensure you have a properly secured ladder and are in good condition. Climbing a poorly secured ladder can result in serious injuries and is a major safety hazard for homeowners. A ladder positioned incorrectly can also damage the roof or even collapse. It is important to use proper ladder safety techniques, particularly when navigating steep-slope shingle roofs.
When conducting a visual inspection, look for wear and tear, sagging, or aging areas. In addition, be on the lookout for spots where fixtures like chimneys or vents penetrate the roof. These areas are often the first to develop significant moisture deposits. Look for damp spots inside the home, which can also indicate a major roof issue.
The soffit area should also be inspected to ensure it is free of clogged gutters, rotting fascia boards, or animal nests. Check for the existence of mold and mildew as well, which can indicate a moisture problem. Inspect the area for sagging or curled shingles, as these can allow water to seep into the house, leading to significant and costly structural damage.