ROOF CLEANING FAQ’s
Companies will explain they dial down the pressure, whatever number they give you, remember a standard garden hose is about 60 psi, a safe level.
Your roof material and its installation is a very costly component and should only be handled by an experienced roof cleaning professional. Shingle roofs can tolerate foot traffic, but can suffer severe damage by using pressure that will dislodge the granules and can burn holes into the shingles. During the summer months, additional care must be taken as foot traffic can cause what is known as scar marks. As a roofing contractor for almost 30 years, we understand what can go wrong in trusting your roof to an unskilled roof cleaner.
Our view is tile roofs should have minimal foot traffic due to the fragile nature of the tiles and the process to repair. We strive to clean as many roof sections from a ladder and our equipment allows us the distance of about 30-40 ft to apply our solution.
There are homes with design layouts that make it more difficult to access all areas and in those cases we will have to access the roof by walking on them. However, we will walk the ridge of the roofs and have found them to be very sturdy to ascend the roof section. Our position is to stay off the roof as much as we can to avoid any breakage of the tiles. If an incidence should happen we have top notch insurance to cover your roof.
Pressure washing tile roofs has been a very popular form of cleaning in the south, due to lack of liability to the vegetation surrounding a building. However, the risk is not the vegetation, the risk is much more expensive in allowing foot traffic to pressure clean or use of a surface cleaner to walk your roof in it’s entirety. There are many qualified persons (roofers) that are familiar with proper technique in walking a tile roof, but if a tile gets broke or a section of tiles are cracked, will you be informed? And will you be able to inspect the roof after being cleaned? Probably not or you may have cleaned it yourself.
Roof repairs can be costly and may only be noticed after several months have passed. We have heard many stories from roof cleaners that formerly pressure washed roofs about breaking tiles from walking and the pressure coming from the wand, yet kept it to themselves. We only use a Soft Wash method for cleaning all our roofs and refrain from convenience to deliver a quality job that ensures a longer lasting clean.
Pressure washing your roof has another downside that is not talked about much, but it is something we do notice. Many times a pressure washed/surface cleaned roof has a very quick turnaround time for algae to re-bloom. Our findings show that tile roofs that are cleaned using only pressure will last about 1 1/2 years before the algae makes its appearance again. It comes on as a 5 o’clock shadow then deepens in color with each passing month. Roof pressure cleaning is like an elephant sneezing all over your roof!! Pressure washing roofs is financial insurance for a recurrent business at your expense.
DO THE STORE BOUGHT ROOF CLEANERS ACTUALLY WORK?
Most often they will not give the results as expected, we have heard numerous times of consumers going through the process only to be very disappointed and waste of money along with time. A couple have shown promise, but require multiple and frequent applications applied over a period of 6 months to a couple years.
Are zinc or copper strips a cure-all?
Copper and zinc were the initial trial tested materials from shingle manufacturers and zinc was discarded due to mineral staining left behind. Copper was the chosen product, but needed to be widespread through out the shingle to be effective.
While they raised the bar for some relief, they have shown not to be a total cure all for algae streaking. Many of the shingle products sold are listed as “algae resistant” and that is due to there is no real prevention. The strips are often applied along the top layers of the roofs ridge and are completely ineffective as the algae will start at the bottom of the roof and grow upward, not the other way around. However, algae is a very adaptable species and will jump the strips or coat them over time by layering the strip until it is rendered useless. They are very hardy and persistent. Copper spray treatments are ineffective as the algae can only be poisoned over time and is not an instant direct result. This information was supplied directly from the extensive accredited testing results and reports from the shingle manufacturers and suppliers to them.
How long can I expect my roof to stay clean? An average time frame can be anywhere from 5-7 years. This is dependant on multiple factors such as what your neighbors roofs are like, as the algae is airborne and reinfection is a certain possibility. Tile roofs and asphalt can have different grow rates and is subjective. While the growth is essentially slow, we have observed neighborhoods that are 5-7 years old that generally have various stages of contamination.
DO YOU OFFER A WARRANTY?
Yes we do, every roof cleaning we do comes with a 2 year standard warranty. What that means is that if you develop spots or stains during that time, we will come back and treat them for free! Due to nature’s elements we can not guarantee it will never return beyond the warranty period, but can spot treat as needed for a small fee. For full details, please check your invoice documentation.
DO YOU PROVIDE ANNUAL TREATMENTS FOR PREVENTION?
NO. Based on our extensive research, there is not one product or service provider that can substantiate the application of yearly treatments as:
- being approved by the government for use in roof treatments
- nor has subscribed the product for research or testing at an accredited testing facility
- algae is a slow growing organism, it takes years not months to reappear when cleaned in compliance with manufacturers recommendations.
A quality business does not need to rely on selling snake oil treatments to ensure themselves revenue for each passing year. Most times, the applicator is applying a product that has no business being used in a roof application and in keeping their products as a “trade secret” is misleading the consumer and bypassing governmental approval for use.
Some products that are used and have been used are ” fungicides” for treating barn stables, pools, and others are “disinfectants” for treatment in hospital and nursing home settings, these products are for diseasecontrol such as HIV, hepatitis, meningitis.
If your roof cleaning quote comes with an annual treatment ask questions, many questions. Contact your local gov agency or city for further information.
DO YOU DO ROOF REPAIRS?
No, we cannot perform any repairs as outlined by Manatee County and Sarasota County, you must be licensed by the State of Florida and registered within the county.
Our license was held as a roofing contractor (19 yrs) in the State of Michigan and has since been retired due to the nature of the business and the physical demands of roofing. We do network with a few contractors that service both county’s and we are happy to provide a referral to them.
Always ask for license and both liability & workman’s comp insurance for any home repairs. It may cost a little more, but your home/piece of mind is worth more than saving a couple hundred dollars in the long run.
WILL THERE BE ANY DAMAGE TO THE LANDSCAPING?
We have a process to prevent damage to your foliage, with a combined use of watering before, during and after as well. This allows us to prevent foliage damages much better than the average roof cleaner. This is all backed by our liability insurance as a complete system for your piece of mind as well as ours. Plant damage is taken very seriously by a “professional” roof cleaner within our industry and due diligence is part of that mission.
So before you call out the roofer who wants to sell you a new roof, Or a roof cleaner that will offer to clean a roof in any condition, give us the opportunity to offer a cost effective solution for your roof. We can offer a professional opinion based on experience and not your pocketbook.