Roof cleaning has become an accepted part of home exterior maintenance. All roofing contractors agree that cleaning and maintaining your roof can extend its life. Keeping your roof free of debris, routine gutter cleaning at least once a year, and repairing any loose or missing shingles will go a long way to extend the life of your roof. However, remember that most roofing professionals will recommend that you leave the cleaning and maintenance of your roof to the professionals. These people have the expertise and equipment to navigate your roof safely. Moss, fungi and moisture can make your roof slippery and dangerous to work on.
The question of how often you should clean your roof has many answers. The condition of your roof has everything to do with its lifespan, so paying attention to your roof will save you money in the long term. Also, the type of roof you have will determine the kind of cleaning needed. Other factors include the amount and kind of trees surrounding your home, the type of weather in your area, the age of your roof, and whether or not your roof has sustained any type of damage from severe weather.
Most common concrete tiles are brushed, flat and barrel or s-tile with a rough finish that takes a long time to dry when wet. Because of this it requires more frequent cleanings, every two to three years depending on the type of cleaning. New tiles will usually required a first cleaning at about five years. Pressure washing can erode the finish which will require more frequent cleanings.
Asphalt composite shingles are more fragile than concrete tiles but should not require cleaning for at least seven years. These shingles dry much faster when wet. However, low or high pressure cleanings will destroy their delicate surfaces by removing the sandy gravel finish and expose the tar paper underneath to high heat from the sun. Because this makes the paper dry and brittle more mildew growth occurs due to the time it takes to dry after rain. Unsightly dark splotches or streaks on roofs can be caused by algae growth on the roof.
According to roofshampoo.com, here are some good reasons to have your roof cleaned to remove algae, lichens or moss:
1) Organisms such as algae, lichens and moss can be feeding off the organic material in your shingles. They need to be cleaned away to stop the damage to your roof.
2) Prevent wood rot by removing roof algae, lichens and moss. These organisms can eat through your shingles and into your roof deck causing moisture to get into cracks. This can result in mold growth,.
3) Roofs covered with algae, moss or lichens do not efficiently reflect sunlight which causes shingles to absorb heat. This may increase the heat in your attic, raising cooling costs.
4) Your insurance company may require that homeowners clean their roofs as part of roof maintenance.
5) Cleaning your roof can save the homeowner the cost of re-roofing and increase a home's curb appeal.
6) Avoiding damage to your roof can prevent animal and insect invasion.
According to angieslist.com, reputable roof cleaning companies use cleaning methods recommended by the Roof Cleaning Institute of America or the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. Companies offering to pressure wash the roof should be avoided because pressure washing can damage roofing material. Usually a biodegradable cleaning solution is sprayed on the roof. The solution is designed to adhere to the roof, resulting in little runoff which is contained.
Going back to the question of how often you should clean your roof, utilizing the factors listed above and the condition of your roof, every three to five years would be a good estimate.
Joye Roofing offers a free roof inspection. They will give you an honest assessment of any work that is needed. We offer full roof repair or replacement services. Check out our A rating with the Better Business Bureau. We are fully licensed, bonded and insured.
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Derek Joye has been roofing homes and businesses in the Midlands for over 20 years.