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Roof Maintenance

The Do’s and Don’ts of Roof Cleaning

August 5, 2022 | 4 min. read

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Professional cleaning a metal roof.

It’s no secret that replacing your roof can be a significant financial investment. Ideally, spending thousands of dollars on a roof means it should last the life of your home.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A “lifetime” in the roofing industry is only 50 years. And this lifespan can be affected by weather, workmanship, and poor maintenance. 

When you’ve already invested so much in your roof, it can be upsetting to learn that it may not last. You already need to plan for so many other things – you don’t want to have to count on repairs or another replacement. 

Rescue My Roof has done thousands of roof replacements in the past decade, and with every client we have walked them through roof maintenance. Today, we are extending that education to you because we believe every homeowner should have a roof that lasts.

We’ve put together all of our top tips and tricks for cleaning your roof so that you can get the longevity out of your roof that you deserve. By the end of this article, you will know the dos and don’ts of cleaning your roof. 

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Roof

When taken care of properly, your roof can last for 25-30 years. However, there are steps to follow when cleaning or conducting maintenance on your roof. 

Not following these steps may result in a damaged roof that needs repairs or an early replacement. 

Here are some things to avoid when cleaning your roof:

1. Using  A Pressure Washer

Roofing contractor using a pressure washer to clean a slate roof.

When homeowners want to clean their roofs, the first thing that comes to mind is a pressure washer to get all the dirt and grime.

While a pressure washer may be effective for washing away debris and dust, it also washes away the essential parts of your roof.

Because of the high pressure, pressure washers often take off granules and dirt. Granules are the top coating of your shingles and are the first line of defense against moisture seeping into your home.

Without the granules, your roof will not be as effective as it once was. And once you notice the bald spots, it’s time for a roof replacement.

Using a pressure washer can lead to early replacement or costly repairs—our advice is don’t use a pressure washer to ensure your roof’s longevity. 

2. Using Soapy or Sudsy Cleaning Products

Cleaning a roof can be perilous. Anytime there is someone on your roof, there is a safety risk.

We recommend avoiding soapy or study products if you must climb onto a roof to clean it.

Using greasy substances on your roof beyond just water or products specifically designed for roof cleaning can increase the chance of falling. 

Keep yourself safe and avoid any foaming or sudsy roof cleaning products.

3. Avoiding Safety Precautions

As we said before, climbing on your roof is a fall risk. However, there are safety steps you can take to minimize the chance of injury. 

Only Work During Good Weather Conditions

Is there a chance of rain or snow? Avoid going on your roof during severe weather conditions.

Extreme weather leads to slips and falls. It’s better to side with caution and wait for ideal weather before climbing onto your roof. 

Secure Your Ladders

Ladder safety is important. You should always ensure your ladders are safe to prevent harmful accidents or injuries.

You can learn more about ladder safety and how to inspect your ladders here

Wear Proper PPE

Wearing helmets, shoes with traction, and fall protection harnesses can decrease the chance of injury when falls occur. 

Always have safety gear on hand when planning any home improvement project in case something goes wrong. 

The Top Three Tricks for Cleaning Your Roof

Roofs don’t need constant cleanings like your kitchen or bathroom, but it is ideal for checking on your roof once in a while. 

We recommend cleaning your roof during the Spring or Fall. In the spring, you can inspect and clean your roof before it endures the wear and tear of the winter. In Fall, you clean away debris that could cause clogged gutters or algae growth. 

Once you get a schedule down, here are some tips to use for cleaning your roof: 

1. Use Cleaning Products Designed for Roofs

Did you know that there are products designed to clean your roof? 

They are effective for cleaning your roof, treating mold and algae growth, and have easy-to-use instructions.

You can find a list of the top-rated roof cleaning products here.

2. Follow the Shingle Manufacturer’s Cleaning Directions

There are times when cleaning your roof DIY style can result in voiding your manufacturer’s warranty.

If you are concerned about your roof warranty, check in with your shingle manufacturer to see what cleaning products or methods they recommend for their roofing system. 

3. Hire A Roofing Contractor

Clean asphalt roof

While cleaning your roof can be a nice touch as a seasonal inspection, sometimes it’s also necessary for the roof’s health.

Have you ever noticed black streaks on someone’s roof? That’s algae growth, which can break down the asphalt shingle’s limestone and weaken the roof’s structural integrity over time. 

If your roof has algae, it’s time for a cleaning and algaecide. 

Roofing contractors can provide cleaning services and spray algaecide, leaving your roof sparkling and algae-free. 

Additionally, if DIYing your roof cleaning will result in a voided warranty, it’s best to call the professionals. Check with your shingle manufacturer to see if it is against their policy. 

Get Your Roof Professionally Cleaned

If you want to save money and clean your roof, follow proper safety precautions and avoid sudsy products and pressure washers. 

We also recommend finding a cleaning product designed for roofs and following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. 

If cleaning your roof without professional aid voids your shingle warranty, you can always call Rescue My Roof.

With over a decade of roof cleaning experience, Rescue My Roof serves homeowners in Southeastern Wisconsin.

If you’re not in the area or not looking to hire a cleaning service, check out “How to Ensure the Longevity of Your Roof” or “3 Ways to Clean Black Roof Stains.”
Ready to get started? Contact Rescue My Roof for a free estimate.