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7 Tips for proper roof cleaning

Roof Cleaning

If crowns of monarchs are polished regularly, then surely the crown of your Nevada home — your roof — would need continual cleaning, too.

You might think that Mother Nature uses the rain and wind to do the roof cleaning for you, and you would be partially correct. However, it is also the wind that brings detritus, such as leaves and spores from algae and moss, onto your roof, and it is the rain that triggers spore germination and fosters growth.

Neglecting to clean your roof can lead to a host of problems, such as:

  • Clogged downspouts – The accumulation of leaves and branches in your gutters may eventually keep water from draining properly. Standing water becomes host to pesky mosquitoes and gutter overflow can destroy the landscaping below, splatter mud onto your exterior walls, and let water seep down and damage the foundations of your house.
  • Unsightly black streaking – Algae colonies ruin the majesty of shingled roofs by staining them with black streaks.
  • Shingle curling and peeling – When moss grows, it creeps up the slope of your roof. Along the way, it establishes roots at the bottom of shingles and pushes upward, causing shingle corners to curl up and even peel off entirely. Shingle curling and peeling expose the wood structures of the roof underneath to rain and other sources of moisture, which will cause the wood to rot.

In short, you need to have your roof cleaned regularly to maintain the crowning glory of your home. Please note that if your home is more than two stories high or the pitch of your roof is steep, it’s best to hire professional roof cleaners. Otherwise, you can clean your roof yourself if you’re up for a challenge. Here are a few tips on how to do this properly:

1. Pick the right time to clean

Roofs are generally low-maintenance, requiring cleaning only at least twice a year. The best times fall at the beginning of spring and the end of autumn. However, how frequently you’ll need to clean your roof will depend on the roofing material used and the environment you’re in. If, for instance, your house is surrounded by tall and verdant trees, then you may need to clean your roof more frequently than if there weren’t any trees around at all.

When deciding the time to clean your roof, follow these criteria:

  • Heatwaves are not recurrent.
  • It is daytime so you can clearly see what you’re doing.
  • There’s no wind blowing and no threat of rain.
  • If you’re treating your roof with algae and moss remover solutions, do it when the sky is cloudy so that the solutions wouldn’t dry up too quickly.

You need to have your roof cleaned regularly to maintain the crowning glory of your home.

2. Assess what you need to do

Before proceeding with the cleaning, examine your roof and determine what needs to be done. Do you only need to clear your roof of debris or do you also need to remove moss colonies? What you find will dictate the tools you’ll need.

3. Prioritize safety

Cleaning your roof yourself involves risk of physical harm, so wear protective gear such as safety goggles, ear muffs, gloves, and rubber-soled shoes. You may also want to apply sunscreen beforehand.

4. Have someone assist you

Having someone help you out can make things go a lot quicker and help prevent injuries. For example, if you’re climbing a ladder, have someone hold it steady so it doesn't slip or fall over.

5. Prepare your equipment

Gather the equipment you need and make sure that they are ready for use. To illustrate, if you’re using a leaf blower, make sure that it is fully charged (if it’s battery-operated) or has enough fuel (if it runs on gasoline).

6. Do not go on top of your roof

Obviously, walking on your rooftop is risky. If you really have to go there, you’ll want to use a safety harness, especially if the pitch of your roof is high. But even if the pitch is flat enough for you to walk without a harness, you may trip, lose your balance, or slip.

Walking on your roof may also cause you to break roof tiles or loosen the granules off of asphalt shingles. Fixing the damage may end up costing you more than the savings you made by cleaning your roof yourself.

7. Follow this roof cleaning procedure

To be efficient, follow these steps:

Note: While doing this step, keep an eye out for missing shingles, detached gutter hangers, and other roof problems that need fixing.

  • Step 1: Clear your roof and gutters of debris. Using a leaf blower is by far the easiest and fastest way to do this, so if you don’t own one, just rent one. Use the appropriate nozzle extensions so that you can clean your roof and gutters while remaining at ground level.

    If you don’t have access to a leaf blower, you’ll have to remove roof debris by hand. One way is to go on top of your roof, but as we said earlier, we don’t recommend you do this. The other way is to use a ladder, but you will have to do a lot of climbing up and down and repositioning the ladder.

  • Step 2: Remove algae and moss. Dampen affected areas with plain water, then use a long-handled brush to gently scrub in a downward motion to remove the algae and moss. Never scrub upward because doing so might dislodge tiles or peel off shingles.

    Sometimes, scrubbing alone would be sufficient, but when patches are hard to remove, you’ll need to apply algae and moss remover solutions. Most hardware and DIY stores carry these, though you need to check their usage instructions to see if you need to take steps to protect garden plants or exterior surfaces.

  • Step 3: Take preventive measures. To minimize the accumulation of leaves and twigs, cut back branches so that these are six feet away from your roof. This will also expose your roof to the sun, which will help eliminate moisture and thereby prevent algae and moss growth. You can also install zinc- or copper-coated metal strips along the top ridge of your roof. Zinc and copper are toxic to both algae and moss and are thus effective at preventing them from growing on your roof.

As you can see, roof-related jobs like roof cleaning are arduous tasks that are best left to professional contractors like D&D Roofing. Leave us a message to get a free quote today!