5 Tips On How To Properly Clean A Roof


Regularly cleaning a roof can not only help with the overall appearance of a home but can also increase the lifespan of the roof. Naturally, bacteria and fungi such as mold, mildew, algae, and gloeocapsa magma will start to grow on roofs over time. Many homeowners will notice this growth when their roof starts to form black streaks. If left untreated, these black streaks will eventually turn the whole roof black.

It is always recommended to hire a professional roof cleaning company when cleaning any style of roof.

Cleaning a roof might not seem like a physically impossible task, working on a roof can be very dangerous, so it is essential to use extreme caution. This article will outline five useful tips on how to properly clean a roof in case hiring a professional contractor is not an option.

1. Never use high pressure on a roof.

Using too much pressure when cleaning can do extensive damage and cost you thousands! To adequately clean a roof, it only takes about 100 PSI which is about the same as a standard garden hose.

When cleaning a roof with low-pressure, it is essential to use the proper roof cleaning chemicals and soaps. By using the correct cleaners, a homeowner can achieve longer-lasting results. Low-pressure roof cleaning kills organic growth at the source. This cleaning method results in longer-lasting results that can sometimes last up to 5 years in the right conditions.

Homeowners can also face extreme danger trying to use a power washer on a roof. The high-pressure water stream can sometimes be tough to control, especially on a roof. Therefore using a pressure washer on a roof can put one at risk of falling off.

2. Understand the chemicals you are using and corresponding mixing ratios.

As mentioned earlier, when conducting a no-pressure roof cleaning, the soaps and cleaning detergents do all the work. When using these industrial cleaners, it is crucial to understand the safety procedures and proper mix ratios for each product.

The most common cleaning product for roof cleaning is sodium hypochlorite. This ingredient is the main ingredient in household bleach and pool shock. However, the concentration levels found in these products are much higher than what should be applied on a roof, therefore these solutions must be diluted.

For homeowners, it is recommended to start with 6% household bleach. The bleach should be mixed in a one-gallon pump up sprayer at a ratio of 1:1. Therefore the sprayer should contain half a gallon of bleach and half a gallon of water.

It is essential to mix in surfactant to this mixture that is compatible with bleach. Adding a surfactant to your solution helps the detergents stick to the roof and kill the organic growth. However, many household surfactants are not compatible with bleach. In turn, it is vital to research and locate proper commercial grade surfactants that are safe with bleach.

Consult a roof cleaning service if you are unsure how to use these cleaning chemicals properly. Using a professional service eliminates the risk of any dangerous chemical reactions that can occur when mixing chemicals.

3. Protect all surrounding landscaping.

When using commercial grade cleaners to clean a roof, it is imperative to protect the surrounding vegetation. The cleaning solution that is used to clean roofs can cause severe damage to plants and grass.

To adequately protect all the surrounding landscape, it is best practice to generously water all plants and grass before cleaning the roof. Once the plants and grass are sufficiently hydrated, a layer of protection such as a tarp should be placed over the plants. Once the cleaning process is complete, all surrounding landscape should receive water one last time.

Skipping this step can cause a homeowner significant headaches after a roof cleaning. If hiring a contractor, always make sure they protect all landscaping during a roof cleaning service.

4. Have the correct equipment to get on the roof safely.

Working on a roof is no easy task. It is vital to follow the best roof safety precautions to ensure no one is hurt. Having the proper equipment is essential to clean a roof successfully. Some of the necessary equipment are:

  • An extension ladder
  • Quality rope
  • Rope and harness hardware
  • Safety harness
  • Second person

Ensure that the ladder is tall enough to access the roof. It is best if the ladder extends three feet past the roofline. Always make sure the ladder is on level ground, and a second person stabilizes the ladder when climbing.

Once on the roof, it is critical to use a safety harness to prevent a fall injury. More importantly, always use the correct safety hardware for the specific application. It is best to follow OSHA guidelines when determining the proper equipment and anchor point.

Following all the precautions will massively decrease the chance of bodily harm when cleaning a roof. Any homeowner that is uncomfortable working on a roof should contact a roof cleaning professional.

5. Wear proper protective gear.

Lastly, when cleaning a roof home, it is critical to have the necessary personal protective equipment. Working around chemicals can be very dangerous. Getting cleaning solutions on your skin or inhaling the fumes can cause severe damage to the body.

Some of the proper safety gear that should be worn are:

  • Nitrile or latex gloves
  • Respirator
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Pants
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Safety glasses

All these items will prevent any chemicals from touching the skin. In the case that any cleaning solution touches the skin, it is imperative to rinse the area off immediately with water. It is important to understand the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of every chemical that is used. This way, in the case of an emergency, it can be treated accordingly based on the specific chemical.

Contact Salty Seas Pressure Washing for Roof Cleaning Services Today!