Roof cleaning is one of those important home maintenance jobs that often ends up on the “to do” list. It is not an appealing job; it is messy and difficult and without the use of ladders and special equipment it is easy to damage your roof if you decide to get the pressure washer out and have a go yourself!
It is a mistake to ignore your roof. Cleaning your roof is important and a dirty or moss covered roof can lead to internal damp and a cold home, not to mention the risk of damage to tiles and shingles.
Roofs often attract moss and algae growth especially on northerly or westerly facing aspects which receive the brunt of the weather. Our damp climate means that we do get plenty of rain and this can lead to roofing problems.
Moss, lichen and algae
Most roofs have moss, lichen and algae growing especially in the places on the roof which face the worse of the weather. Moss especially is a problem in damp climates growing into dark green clumps of unsightly vegetation on the roof.
Moss can damage the structure of your roof. Because it retains water, there is a risk of this freezing during the cold winter months and if it gets underneath the tiles, as it usually does, it can lead to cracked tiles. In addition moss will interfere with the internal comfort of your home. It prevents it from absorbing sunlight and warmth and can lead to internal damp as well as causing your home to feel cold.
Algae are microorganisms carried by the wind and these can damage roof structure too. Algae feed on the structure of your roof and gradually erode tiles if left unchecked. If you have noticed black stains on your roof or running down your walls, you likely have a problem with algae.
Lichen feeds off algae so if you have one, you probably have the other. Lichen is hard to remove because it lies dormant often appearing only in damp weather.
How to clean your roof yourself
Cleaning your roof yourself is not impossible but it can be a difficult job requiring the use of specialised equipment. Ideally you need to climb onto your roof and scrape off any moss or algae. You then need to clean the roof by washing it.
Never use a pressure washer on your roof. Most roofing materials are too fragile to sustain a high pressure wash and you do run the risk of causing extensive damage to tiles and structural fittings.
You can try washing the roof yourself but without professional equipment this is largely ineffective and hard to do if you are balancing on a ladder. This means if you want to have your roof cleaned, it is always best to have this done professionally rather than struggling on alone.
A clean roof makes your property look fantastic!
As well as keeping your roof in good condition, cleaning your roof improves the whole appearance of your property. An effective roof clean brings the original colour back to tiles and shingles, making your home look well maintained and cared for.
You can’t hide a dirty roof. Although it is easy to ignore, your roof is highly visible for the world to see. If you are considering selling your property, having your roof cleaned will create a positive first impression on any buyer who will be looking for potential faults and any maintenance issues for the future.
Hire a professional roof cleaning service.
Hiring a professional roof cleaning service is always the best option. A professional roof cleaning service will be able to clean your roof in the best possible way for your property.
Most roof cleaning companies use a professional low pressure wash system that enables the roof to be cleaned from ground level by the use of water fed poles. Alternatively some companies offer a specialised steam cleaning service which is suitable for cleaning historic properties and listed buildings.
If it is necessary to gain access to your roof, you don’t have to worry about hiring expensive scaffolding or investing in ladders because this will all be included in the price.
Once the roof has been cleaned you can have it treated with a biocide spray which will prevent moss regrowth for the next few years. You can also have your roof treated with a sealant spray for added protection.
Treating your roof with biocide requires special protection as it is a hazardous substance so working safely with this potentially dangerous chemical does require competence, protective clothing and adequate training.
Is roof cleaning expensive?
Roof cleaning is not expensive. Prices will depend upon the contractor you choose, the size of your roof and any special circumstances such as the condition of roof. The best way to find out more is to contact roof cleaning companies in your area and to obtain a quote. Find out exactly what is included in the price such as the biocide treatment and see if you can see any reviews or testimonials from other customers in your area.
Never agree to have your roof cleaned by a doorstep caller because in most cases, these sorts of cowboy traders will rip you off and damage your roof by high pressure cleaning.
Have your gutters cleaned at the same time
If you are having your roof cleaned, it makes sense to have your gutters cleaned at the same time. Most roof cleaning companies also offer a gutter cleaning service and although both jobs require different equipment, they can both usually be carried out in the same visit.
Cleaning your gutters and removing any blockages is an easy way of avoiding damp. According to insurers, problems with guttering are one of the most common reasons for household water damage.
Although a clean gutter does not have the “wow” factor of a clean roof, both maintenance jobs are equally important.
Cleaning your roof and your gutter gives your property a health check.
It is difficult to see up onto your roof or into your gutters so having these professionally cleaned will give you peace of mind that everything is functioning as it should. It will also alert you to any minor problems before they become major expenses. Many companies use video cameras and mirrors to check out condition so you can see exactly what is going on.
Although we all enjoy doing our own DIY maintenance and repairs, cleaning your roof and gutters are always jobs which are best left to the professionals!