Is Roof Cleaning Necessary? A Maintenance Guide

Typically, the life span of a roof is between 20-30 years, and a well-maintained roof can add thousands of dollars to the value of a house. However, if it’s not properly maintained, it can have a reverse effect on the price of a property.

Roof cleaning is necessary, and keeping it in great condition should be part of your regular housing maintenance tasks. Failing to look after it properly can result in huge bills or loss of property value.

Although roof maintenance might feel like a job you want to put off because it’s too difficult or you’re not sure what to do, however, a few robust preventative measures done a couple of times a year can save you a lot of hassle ad expanse later on down the line.  

Read on to find out everything you need to know about roof care and the importance of maintaining it.

Is Roof Cleaning Necessary?

Yes, roof cleaning and maintenance are absolutely necessary. There are numerous reasons why cleaning a roof is important. For a start, it extends the life of your roofing material, and although algae aren’t harmful to an asphalt shingle roof, the moss can make the edges curl upward, which makes it more likely to blow off the roof during high winds.

If you have a reflective, cool roof, then the algae can negatively affect its performance because black algae growth can interfere with the reflective properties of the roofing.

Whilst you’re cleaning your roof, it’s also a good opportunity to do a general roof inspection. This will highlight any damages and other wear and tear you will want to get fixed before it becomes a serious problem. 

Regular Roof Inspection

A roof inspection should be done at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and the fall. Below are some key things to look out for during your inspection.

  • Cracked and damaged caulking around flashing
  • The appearance of rust spots on flashing
  • Shingles that are starting to buckle, blister and curl
  • Any broken or missing shingles
  • Any worn or cracked rubber boots around vent pipes
  • Gutter clearance, especially for grit from the roofing material and leaves
  • Excessive moss and lichen growth

After inspecting your roof, establish if it needs cleaning. Regular roof maintenance will help to preserve the life of your roof and keep help prevent major problems.

Regularly inspecting your roof allows for any issues to be remedied before they turn into a costly problem.

Should I Clean Or Replace My Roof?

If you’ve inspected your roof, and it’s looking in poor condition, you should address the problem straight away. There’s a big possibility that it just needs a thorough cleaning rather than replacement

Large build-ups of algae and moss on your roof can make it look like it’s in a much poorer condition than it actually is. In the first instance, we recommended cleaning the roof and then doing a further roof inspection before fully replacing it.

If you need a replacement roof, speak to a roofing pro contractor who will advise you on the best way to move forward.  

What’s Involved in Roof Cleaning

Roof cleaning involves killing and removing the algae and moss growth. Depending on the severity of the problem, this involves using chlorine bleach. If you are cleaning your roof by yourself, then a ratio of 1:1 of bleach to water is needed.

Before starting, remove any loose debris using a leaf blower or a large yard brush.

Use a sprayer to apply the bleach mixture with and then leave it for up to 20 minutes. Rinse away the bleach solution with clean water. Be careful of any guttering getting clogged up with debris, and be aware that if you accidentally spill bleach on any vegetation below that, it will kill it. 

After cleaning the roof with water, use the leaf blower or yard brush again to remove any leftover pieces of moss.

As tempting as a pressure washer is, we advise against using one, especially if it’s on an asphalt shingles roof, as the force of the water will damage them.

Safety And Roof Cleaning

If you’re going to clean your roof yourself, then there are a few things you should consider from a safety stance. If you’re not confident, have the right equipment, or are not fully sure what you are doing, then you’ll be better off hiring a specialist. Here are some considerations to take if you’re going down the DIY roof cleaning route.

  • Pick a day that has good weather, not too hot, windy, or wet
  • Wear shoes that aren’t slippery
  • On a slanted roof, use a safety rope to help you stay secure 
  • Wear safety goggles to prevent debris from getting into your eyes
  • Wear gloves to prevent harsh cleaning materials from getting on your skin
  • Cordon off the area below in case equipment falls from the roof

Don’t Want To Clean Your Roof Yourself?

Cleaning a roof can be a tedious job, especially if the idea of climbing up onto the roof to hose it down and use a chemical cleaner to get rid of the moss. The task of roof cleaning might be something you prefer to get a professional in to do.

At Mid-State Roofing, we specialize in commercial and residential roof repair and inspections. We cater to flat, low-slope, single-ply, metal roofing systems and everything in between.

Speak to our knowledgeable team today, and book a free assessment by an experienced roofing contractor.

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