Ultimate Roof Cleaning Guide For 2023 (Tips, Tricks & More)
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The Ultimate Roof Cleaning Guide for Homeowners

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Posted By: Roof Troopers

roof cleaning with a high pressure water washer

Keeping your roof clean is really important for the health and longevity of your home. Ideally, your roof will last for many, many years, and you won’t have to worry about replacing it very often.

If you neglect your roof and aren’t taking care of it, then you’re bound to have problems and will eventually need to hire a roofing contractor like Roof Troopers to fix the issues or do a full roof replacement. Think of your roof as an investment that protects your home. To get the most out of it, you’ll need to take care of it.

Why Roof Cleaning Is a Must

mold on the roof cleaning gutters

Beyond ensuring that your roof stays clean and in shape for the next big storm or rain, there are other reasons to keep your roof clean.

Wash Your Roof To Avoid Discoloration In Shingles

As your shingles age and are exposed to the weather, they will begin to discolor due to dirt and what not building up on your roof. Different types of roofing will more easily build up with different sediments and can have deep color changes where the water runs off the roof vs. where it doesn’t.

Washing your roof is a great way to help extend its life. Over time, your roof may start to look dirty and develop long dark streaks that run from the peak to the edge. Those dark streaks are from algae growing on your roof. The algae aren’t going to damage your roof immediately, so washing it off isn’t always urgent. But, to remove the algae from your roof, you’ll need to spray it down with a 50% water and bleach mix.

Get Rid Of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can be a huge problem within different regions of the U.S. Roof cleaners are often helping to clean off roof moss to help ensure that your shingles or roofing material doesn’t have mold and mildew build-up. Ultimately, if your roof is in the shade for most of the day, moss is much more common, and it can take a toll on your roof, causing it to break down faster.

Removing Debris and Checking for Damage

Debris, such as sticks, leaves, and other things blown by the wind onto your roof should be regularly removed to help keep your roof clean and free from anything that can clog your gutters or cause more damage. After every big wind or storm, that rolls through your neighborhood, be sure to check on your roof and make sure that there isn’t debris built up on your roof.

Cleaning gutters and working on roof; roof maintenance
  • Flooded basements or lower levels
  • Washout around the foundation of the house
  • Damage to the pain both on your gutters and on the home

Have a Good Ladder

When it comes to general roof cleaning, you’ll want to have a good ladder that’s safe. It will also need to be a pretty big ladder. Even a 20ft ladder will sometimes be too short if you’re hoping to clean some of your roofs from on top of the ladder. Be safe, though, because the taller your ladder is, the more dangerous it can be.

Always Wear Protective Equipment

Eyewear, gloves, and other safety equipment are very important for you to stay safe on your roof while you’re cleaning it. Ensuring you have the best safety equipment is essential to stay safe and out of harm’s way when you’re cleaning the roof.

Make Sure To Have Ice Dams Removed

When ice dams build up during the winter months, they put undue stress on the edge of the roof and can cause it to become comprised. One way to keep ice dams from building up is to remove the snow from your roofline before it can melt and cause an ice dam. Another way is to ensure that your house is adequately insulated.

If you have ice dams that need to be removed, be sure to reach out to a professional so that you can ensure that your roof is in good condition when the spring rains start to fall.

Never Push Yourself Too Far

If you’re not comfortable being on top of your roof, don’t push yourself. Cleaning your roof is a big deal, and it can be dangerous. Instead of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and potentially getting hurt, call a professional to get the job done.

Best Cleaning Supplies for Roofs

There are several different roof cleaning supplies out on the market. Here are some of the best roof cleaners that we think you should have in order to clean your roof.

Wet and Forget is one of the most popular brands used throughout the United States. There are a number of roof cleaning companies that rely on this product and its cleaning abilities. One of the main reasons that it’s so popular is that it is safe on all surfaces, contains no bleach, and has no scrubbing or rinsing. All you have to do is apply this solution, and the rest is history!

Mold Armor is for those tougher messes. This product is bleach-based and thus kills mold and mildew in just 10 minutes. It works on a number of different materials and is easy to apply by attaching a garden hose and then spraying it on the roof’s surface.

If you’re looking for a 100% eco-friendly and green material, then Simple Green might be the perfect cleaner for your home. It’s a trusted, non-flammable, non-abrasive, and non-corrosive cleaning solution. The extremely versatile solution can be used to clean and degrease almost any surface.

Cleaning Different Types of Roofs

There are many different roofing materials, as we’re sure you know. But each of these materials needs to be cleaned and taken care of in a different manner. If you try to clean metal roofing the same way that wood or cedar shakes are cleaned, then you’re likely going to have some problems. For a more thorough breakdown of the different roofing materials, then check out this ultimate guide.

asphalt roof shingles; roof cleaning

Asphalt Shingles

As the most common type of shingles in all of the U.S., you can probably guess that there are some different methods and ways to clean asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are known for their low maintenance and easy-to-install design.

You can keep an asphalt shingle roof clean by regularly removing debris and spraying it down with a soft wash soap once or twice a year. You don’t need to use any harsh chemicals or products like bleach on this type of roof.

Be sure to avoid pressure washing asphalt shingles as it will rip them off the roof or damage the granules that help keep your roof intact.

Clay and Concrete Shingles

Clay and concrete tiles are coated or painted with a protective layer that helps to keep them safe from the environment and keeps them lasting for many years. Harsh chemicals can be really hard on these materials and can destroy the coating while eroding them.

Because this material is so sensitive, it’s probably better to try and find a roof cleaning company that can help you get it taken care of. But, if you’re looking to do it yourself, then you’ll need to apply a gentle cleaning solution and possibly buff them dry to keep them developing a film as the water drys.

Wood Shake and Shingle

Wood shakes are a material that needs regular attention if it’s going to last a long time—this material regularly needs maintenance. Whether that be cleaning or staining, it is by no means a maintenance-free roofing material. But, when the wood material is taken care of, it makes for a beautiful roofing material that can last 30 years or more.

The best way to clean this roof is with a soft wash solution. Avoid pressure washers, and be sure to trim back branches to help minimize the accumulation of debris on the roof.

Cedar Shake and Shingle

Cedar shakes are similar to wood but have different needs than wood. One of the best things you can do for these shingles is to keep them dry. Allowing them to have fresh air and sunshine is a big help to the life of the shingles.

Don’t pressure wash this material but instead stick with a soft wash solution that isn’t harsh or full of chemicals.

Slate Shingle

slate roof in need of repair with the cost

Slate roofing is beautiful but costly, thus making it important to take care of. While you might think that a “stone” type roof is durable and strong you’ll realize quickly that this material is actually fragile when it comes to being exposed to moss, mildew, and mold build-ups.

Harsh chemicals will take their toll on slate roofing and the different materials that help to hold them together, and pressure washing or even a high-powered garden house can break up the roof and damage it—instead, this with a simple soft wash.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is very vulnerable to rust and corrosion. Additionally, if different types of metal touch one another, there is always the possibility of a chemical reaction that can cause problems with the roofing.

To keep a metal roof healthy, inspect it for rust, corrosion, and visible debris and growth. Cleaning this type of roof is as simple as one soft wash application each year.

Contact Roof Troopers to Request a FREE Quote

If your roof needs a good cleaning or inspection, contact Roof Troopers. We’d love to help you ensure that your roof is well taken care of and that no further damage is incurred due to neglected damage. We offer free inspections and estimates on what it would cost to fix the damage you’re experiencing.


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