Roof Washing 101 – How to Get the Job Done Right

Is it a good idea to clean your roof from time to time? Yes.

Over time, every roof will accumulate the kind of dirt, debris, and moss build-up that looks unsightly to say the least. Worse still, left to its own devices, this kind of grime can actually compromise the strength and integrity of your roof. In other words, it needs to be cleaned, but how should you go about getting the job done?

Make The Call?

Obviously, the easiest, safest, and most effective way of getting things taken care of is to hire a professional cleaning company. Exactly how much you can expect to pay will be determined by the specifics of the job. Click here to get a free quote.
Since cleaning the roof means getting up and walking around on the roof, please do not do so unless you are experienced walking on roofs, have a a safety-rated ladder, properly secured, and have a roof anchor, rope, lanyard, and harness to protect yourself from an unexpected fall (all falls are unexpected; some falls are preditcable). OSHA research indicates that any fall over 6 feet results in high risk of significant injury or even death. That’s something you don’t want to risk.

What You Might Expect in A Roof Cleaning

Depending on your type of roof: architectural composition, tile, shake, or other, there are some optional approaches. If all you are concerned about is loosed debris, then simply blowing the roof off with a handheld or backpack blower will suffice. If you want a deeper cleaning, for tile and shake roofs, you will want to have it power washed. Here is a good rule of thumb: NEVER POWER WASH A COMPOSITE ROOF! You will need a new roof, which is a different problem.

For composite roofs, there are a number of different options. Just remember that any mechanical action on the roof, such as brushing is also going to remove granules from the shingles and reduce the life of the roof. We prefer an organic oxygen-based wash and rinse as the least intrusive, best solution for roof cleaning. We call it our Green Clean.

If you are dealing with moss on the roof, that is really a different problem.

Removing Dirt, Grime, and Moss

After the roof is clean, make sure your service provider cleans your gutters and downspouts as part of the process, otherwise you may end up with clogged downspouts from the debris on the roof.

Pressure Washing

Although pressure washing can be an extremely efficient tool, we only recommend it for tile and shake roofs. And we prefer to recommend the Green Clean method for shake roofs. The cedar shakes are subject to deterioration and wear, and pressure washing can be tough on them.

Specialist Products

For every type of roof in existence, there are literally hundreds of different products available that can be used for more effective cleaning.  Some contain terrifying chemical cocktails, while others are 100% eco-friendly and safe to use – it’s your call which to go for.  There are cleaning products to be used during the washing process itself, along with a variety of treatments and fungicides to prevent moss from growing again once removed. If someone is going to apply a fungicide or moss treatment to your roof, they must be licensed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture as a Commercial Pesticide Operator. Like they used to say about seat belts: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.

Note Damage and Defects

Last but not least, an experienced service provider should take a good look at your roof, your gutters, your downspouts and anything for signs of damage or defects.  Minor roof repairs carried out at the earliest possible stage have the potential to save you a small fortune on major repairs and the replacement of structural products.

Finally, never forget that the most effective, safest, easiest, and possibly even cheapest solution is to have the professionals clean your roof. At the very least, give us a call and get a free quote. Even if it’s a job you’re confident you can tackle yourself, sometimes it’s better to spend the weekend with the family enjoying the beautiful Oregon weather.