The Importance of Roof Cleaning
Many homeowners are unaware that the moss and algae on their roof is more than just unsightly; it retains moisture which damages the shingles. Regular cleaning prevents this damage and prolongs the lifespan of your shingles.
Bleach is the most effective solution for removing stains from most roofs. The bleach used is typically 5.75% sodium hypochlorite (the same concentration available at your local grocery store). It is mixed with water to clean the roof surface. Contact Sarasota Roof Cleaning now!
Debris can build up on your roof for a variety of reasons. It might be from a recent storm that left a lot of debris or from a large tree near your house that continually drops spent leaves. Regardless of the cause, debris that builds up on your roof can be an issue for your home. If you don’t remove it, the debris can damage your shingles, the substrate, and your attic. Fortunately, there are ways to remove it safely.
If the debris is light enough, you can sweep it off with a broom or blow it off using a leaf blower. The leaf blower will help you get to the parts of your roof that you can’t reach from the ladder. Just be careful not to direct the leaf blower directly at your shingles or any other protrusions on your roof such as a chimney, skylight, or vents.
Heavy debris can be more difficult to remove from the roof. It’s often best to leave this type of cleanup to professionals. Trying to drag heavy debris across the surface of your roof can scrape and damage tiles and other roofing materials.
The humid climate in Florida makes your roof susceptible to mildew and mold growth, so a regular cleaning will prevent this from getting out of control. There are a few different methods for cleaning your roof, including washing it with soapy water and scrub brush or chemically treating the surface with sodium hypochlorite or another biocide solution. These products are usually sprayed on the roof and then allowed to rinse off gradually through rain, dew, and other natural weather cycles.
A professional can also use this opportunity to check and clean your gutters and drains, ensuring that they aren’t clogged or showing signs of wear and tear. It’s important to keep up with routine roof maintenance to prolong the lifespan of your roof.
If you notice green or black streaks on your roof, it’s probably algae. These primitive plants thrive in moist areas and can cause unsightly stains on shingles. While they don’t damage the shingles, the discoloration detracts from the overall look of your home and can also trap heat, causing your energy bills to spike.
The good news is that algae can be removed during a roof cleaning. A fungicide can kill the algae and prevent it from growing back. However, the process can be very labor-intensive, and repeated treatments are often necessary. For this reason, it’s important to work with a professional roofing contractor when addressing a problem with algae.
Moss can be more difficult to remove than algae, but there are several methods that can be used. The most common is to spray the affected area with a solution that contains chlorine bleach and water. The solution is sprayed on and allowed to soak for approximately 30 minutes, which allows it to kill the moss and loosen its hold on the shingles. Once the solution is applied, it should be scrubbed off with a brush and rinsed thoroughly. It’s a good idea to cover any plants below the roof that may receive run-off from this solution to protect them.
A more environmentally friendly method is to use sodium hydroxide. This solution can be applied to a roof using a power washer with a pressure setting that’s below 500 PSI. The agitation of the cleaning solution will help to remove moss and algae, but it can also damage shingles if used too aggressively.
Another option is to replace the affected shingles with algae-resistant shingle options. This will not only improve the appearance of your roof, but it will also save you money in the long run. The specialized shingles are designed to not only hide the presence of algae stains, but they also offer superior resistance to algae growth. Algae-resistant shingles are available in both asphalt and tile roofs and can be installed over existing shingles or in place of a complete roof replacement.
A clean roof looks great and increases the resale value of your home. It also protects the roofing material from damage caused by algae, mildew, moss and lichen. Stain removal during roof cleaning is an important part of the process. Stains on a shingle roof can be unsightly and lead to deterioration of the shingles over time.
Stain removal can be done with chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach. Both are effective but oxygen bleach is less damaging to the shingles than chlorine bleach. Many contractors use both types of chemicals to clean a roof. The type of cleaning you choose should depend on the extent of the staining and the type of roofing materials.
If you need to remove stubborn stains, such as those from moss or lichen, you will likely need to hire a contractor who uses chlorine bleach to clean the roof. The bleach is sprayed on the stains and allowed to dry. Over the months, it will lighten the stains and kill the fungus that caused them.
The bleach used by contractors is a very strong product. It is not the same as fresh bleach from your grocery store, which has a concentration of about 5.75%. The strength of the chemicals is what makes this a very expensive type of roof cleaning.
For most homeowners, the cost of this type of roof cleaning is prohibitive. However, if you have an asphalt shingle roof that has severe stains, you may want to consider this type of cleaning. A professional can help you decide if this is the best option for your property.
Before beginning the actual stain removal, it is a good idea to clear away debris, such as leaves and branches, from the surface of the roof. This will allow the chemical solution to reach and penetrate the stains more effectively. In addition, it will prevent the chemicals from running off and polluting the surrounding environment.
Before applying the stain removal chemicals, it is a good idea to wait for an overcast day with little or no wind. This will ensure that the chemicals are not blown away and do not soak into the roof in places where they are not needed.
Unchecked dirt, algae, moss and lichen growth cause long-term damage to shingles. They strip away the protective oils from shingle surfaces and make them more susceptible to sun and wind damage. Over time this damage can create holes in the roof that allow water to enter your home. Untreated moss and lichen also retain moisture and can cause rot and decay of the underlying wood structure of your roof.
Heavy moss growth can lift and loosen shingles and crack the surface of the roof. It can also infiltrate shingle underlayment and cause permanent damage to the roof. Moss also attracts insects like cockroaches and beetles that can damage the wood surface of your roof as well. Moisture entering your home from damaged shingles also contributes to mold, fungus, and other health problems in the house.
A thorough cleaning of your roof will reveal areas of underlying damage that may need structural repair. These areas are often obscured by water stains and other debris that accumulates over time. A professional cleaning can prevent the need for costly and potentially hazardous roof repairs in the future by allowing you to catch these issues early.