Green Roof Cleaning – As Effective as Chemicals?

Here’s a question – is it really possible to properly clean your home’s roof, without turning to chemicals? Assuming you’re looking for professional-quality results and a finish to be proud of, are environmentally-friendly methods up to the job?

Contrary to popular belief, the answer is yes – green roof cleaning can be every bit as effective as chemical use. It’s simply a case of considering the various options available, in order to determine which suits your needs appropriately.

Preventative Measures

Adopting a preventative strategy can certainly help minimize required efforts when it comes to future cleaning jobs. It’s impossible to protect your roof entirely from dirt and debris buildup, but the following tips can be used to at least help keep things under control:

  • Gutters and Downpipes – You may be able to prevent your drains from clogging on a regular basis by installing high-quality gutter guards. Available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and specifications, gutter guards prevent leaf litter and other debris from entering your gutters and downpipes.
  • Moss and Lichen – Roof moss and lichen thrive in areas where temperatures are relatively cool and moisture near-constant. If possible, cutting back or removing branches that may be casting shadows on areas of your roof can be helpful in preventing lichen and moss growth.
  • Zinc Strips – In addition, installing zinc strips on your roof can help prevent moss and lichen growth. Rainwater hits the metal strip, runs down the roof and creates an inhospitable environment for the growth of roof moss and lichen.
  • Roof Treatments – There are also plenty of treatments that can be picked up from any standard hardware store, which when applied to the roof offer effective long-term protection from a variety of common roof problems.


Green Roof Cleaning Methods

If prevention isn’t an option and cleaning is called for, there are various methods worth considering. It all depends on the severity of the problem and your own DIY savvy – not forgetting the experts are only ever a phone-call away.

The Brush Method

If your roof is completely dry to its core, it may be possible to remove most of the dirt, debris and even moss with nothing more than a sweeping brush. As such, it’s the ideal method to try our first of all. Arm yourself with a stiff sweeping brush and a safe ladder, in order to pull the dirt and debris toward you from top to bottom. If possible, attach the brush to a pole and you won’t even have to set foot on the roof. Just be sure to manually remove all dirt and debris you dislodge, in order to prevent it doing a number on your gutters and downpipes.

The Blower Method

Not generally recommended as it has the potential to cause an even bigger mess, some nonetheless take a power-blower to their roofs to remove debris and dirt. It can certainly work, but at the same time simply blast all the stuff you’re trying to get rid of all over your garden instead. It’s your call, but be prepared for quite a mess!

The Scrubbing Method

If you’re willing to invest a little more elbow-grease into the job, you can get hands-on with a medium-stiff scrubbing brush and a bucket of diluted detergent. It’s quite the labor-intensive process and might not be realistic for the biggest homes, but can certainly work wonders on stubborn dirt and grime.

The Store-Bought Product Method

Also worth considering is the endless array of green roof cleaning products available these days in most hardware stores. Some get the job done far better than others, so you’ll need to speak to an advisor to find out which suits your roof type and requirements best of all. In most instances it’s a case of applying the product, leaving for the specified time and then getting busy with a sweeping brush and hose pipe.

The Pressure Washer Method

Only advisable if you want to damage your shingles, or rip them off your roof entirely. Despite the fact that so many swear by the pressure washer method, it treads a very fine line between getting the job done and destroying your roof. Sure it’s green, but it can also be lethal!

The DIY Product Method

Household products with a high acid content can do a great job cleaning your roof, preventing moss and to some extent preventing its return. From vinegar to lemon juice and anything similar you have lying around the house, there are various DIY concoctions you can try out without resorting to chemicals. Adding baking soda, salt and eco-friendly detergents into the mix can also help. Once again, it’s a case of finding yourself a safe recipe, applying the mixture as specified, leaving it a while and getting busy with the scraping.

The Professional Method

Last but not least, there’s always the option of hiring a green roof cleaning company to carry out the job on your behalf. The bonus here being not only environmentally-friendly cleaning, but superior results, longer-lasting results, and zero required effort on your part. And of course, there’s much to be said for the health and safety benefits of brining in the experts too.

To learn more about how we can help you with all of your gutter cleaning needs, click here.