Tips for safely cleaning your roof

September 23, 2014

Before getting started on your project, read these tips to properly and safely clean your roof.
Most people do seasonal cleaning of decks, siding and gutters. Your roof needs attention, too. To prevent build-up of damaging algae and mould, you should maintain it regularly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Tips for safely cleaning your roof

Pressure washing can damage your roof

Using a power washer to clean your roof is a bad idea. The pressure is damaging and won't allow your shingles or tiles to last their full lifetime. Here’s why power washing can have a disastrous effect on your roof:

  • It removes the granules on shingles, shortening their lifespan
  • It may negate your warranty
  • It may require foot traffic on your roof, which could damage it
  • It’s likely to flood your home’s loft space

How to get rid of dark streaks on your roof

However, the accumulation of algae and mould can also shorten the life of your roof. Plus, it can also decrease your home's curb appeal. Solve this problem by either hiring a contractor to clean your roof or by doing it yourself regularly. It’s easier than you think. There are inexpensive chemicals on the market to remove algae, mould and moss growth. Here are some tips to help you get the job done right.

  1. Choose a summer day with temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cover any plantings beneath your roof with plastic sheeting to keep chemicals off of them.
  3. Prepare your roof for the chemicals by removing any moss. Scrape gently with a standard trowel or stiff brush to remove it.
  4. Put anti-algae solution in a backpack sprayer and apply the solution to your roof.
  5. Unless manufacturer’s instructions indicate otherwise, you can leave the solution on your roof until it rains. However, keep your plants covered until the job i complete.

Permanent roof cleaning with zinc and copper

If you are afraid of heights or short on time, you can install (or have installed) a strip of zinc or copper running horizontally underneath the line of shingles covering your roof’s peak. The exposed metal will ensure copper or zinc molecules wash over your roof in the rain. Since these metals prevent the growth of algae and moss, your newly cleaned roof will be protected.

Be safe

If you plan to work on any roof, be sure you’re wearing skid-proof shoes, safety goggles and a harness. A clean roof is never worth a serious injury or death. If you're unsure of how to do it on your own, call in a professional. Better safe than sorry.

NOTE: Some roofers may offer to coat or “paint” your roof in order to increase thermal efficiency and/or extend the life of your roof. These offers are generally regarded as scams. Don’t fall victim to them. Conduct your own research before agreeing to any extra expenses.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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