Proper maintenance can extend the longevity of a roof by years, or even decades. In most climates, maintenance includes routine cleanings. Homeowners used to assume that pressure washing was the best way to remove moss, algae, and unattractive stains from their roofs, but the excessive force exerted by pressure washers can actually do more damage than good.
Soft washing provides a safer but equally effective solution. Read on to find out about seven dos and don’ts of soft washing a roof.
Do: Hire an Experienced Professional
Not all roof cleaning companies have the equipment and expertise required to soft wash a roof. Soft washing was only proven to be safer and more effective than pressure washing on shingle roofs in 1995, so not all contractors have caught up with the changing times. Make a point of asking the contractor about the company’s standards for roof cleaning, or learn more about one roof cleaning service with plenty of specialized experience
Don’t: Pressure Wash the Roof
This bears repeating: do not pressure wash a shingle roof. The extreme pressure will blow some of the granules off the shingles, leaving the shingles exposed to UV light and reducing the roof’s expected lifespan. Pressure washing a shingle roof can also void its warranty, so just don’t do it.
Do: Clean All Gutters and Downspouts First
Clean the roof’s gutters, downspouts, drains, and scuppers before washing the roof. They should be completely free of debris to ensure that the water and cleaning solution used during the soft wash will be safely removed from the roof instead of flowing down the home’s walls.
Don’t: Allow Roof Debris to Accumulate
Homeowners should ensure that no pine needles, leaves, or other debris are accumulating on their roofs. Roof debris can leave shingle roofs prone to
Do: Prioritize Safety
Washing a roof can be dangerous.
Don’t: Scrape Mold or Algae Off a Roof
Some homeowners may be tempted to get up on the roof and remove mold or algae by hand, but that’s a huge mistake. Scraping off mold, algae, and other potentially damaging substances can cause shingles to rip, crack, or break. This allows water to leak into the subroof, creating a whole new problem and sometimes necessitating a roof replacement.
Do: Take Action As Soon as the Roof Gets Dirty
If the roof is already covered with debris, algae, moss, or stains, it’s time to take action. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse and can cause the shingles to deteriorate prematurely. Homeowners should call a soft washing company for help as soon as they notice their roofs getting dirty.
The Bottom Line
Soft washing provides a much safer and more effective alternative to pressure washing roofs. Homeowners who don’t have all the right tools, safety equipment, and knowledge should never attempt to wash their roofs themselves. They should call a trusted local professional.