Roof Cleaning 101: Importance, Methods, Costs & More

Have you ever looked up at your roof and seen that it's starting to look a little worn?

There might be spots or even moss on it that make it look bad. It's easy to forget how important it is to clean the roof, but if you don't, it can lead to some bad things. A dirty roof not only makes your house look bad from the outside, but it can also damage the shingles and cause leaks. In this article, I'll talk about roof cleaning and why it's an important part of keeping the outside of your home in good shape. Grab a cup of coffee and let's get started!

Roof Cleaning

Why is Roof Cleaning Important?

Over time, dirt, garbage, algae, fungi, and other organic substances can build up on the surface of your roof.

This increase can weaken the roof's structure, which can cause damage that lasts for a long time.

Algae, fungus, and other organic substances can also damage the structure of the roof by causing wood to rot and brick and shingles to become brittle.

Cleaning your roof regularly can help stop long-term damage and make it last longer.

A clean roof can also make your house look better and add to its curb appeal.

A clean roof can also help lower energy bills because it keeps heat from getting stuck in the house.

A dirty roof is more likely to soak up heat, which can make it hard for the HVAC system to keep the inside temperature comfortable.

Methods for Cleaning Roofs

There are different ways to clean roofs, such as low-pressure cleaning without chemicals, cleaning with chlorine bleach, high-pressure power washing, and cleaning with chemicals.

Let's look at each way in more depth.

  • Chemical-free low-pressure cleaning: This method uses a low-pressure rinse finish to clean stains off the roof instead of high-pressure scrubbing and brushing, which could damage the roof. This method is free of chlorine bleach, phosphates, vegetation-killing chemicals, and waterway-polluting chemicals.
  • Chlorine bleach cleaning: This method uses a mixture of bleach and water to clean the roof. However, this method has some drawbacks, including a strong odor, potential harm to people and pets, and potential damage to landscaping.
  • High-pressure power washing: This method uses high-pressure water to clean the roof. However, this method can damage the roof and is not recommended for most roofs.
  • Chemical cleaning: This method uses chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium percarbonate to clean the roof. This method is effective in removing stains, moss, and algae from the roof. However, it is important to use the correct chemicals and follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damaging the roof.

It's important to remember that regular roof cleaning can help keep the home looking nice and keep its resale value high.

It can also reduce the chance that the roof will get damaged or lose its guarantee.

Homeowners can use binoculars to look at their roofs from the ground and see if there is any dirt or trash that has built up there.

Professional Roof Cleaning

Even though homeowners can clean their own roofs, it is best to hire pros to do it.

Professionals use a method called "soft washing," which involves using the right solution to kill the bacteria and fungi at the surface's heart.

A mixture of detergents, soaps, and chemicals are used as the treatment to get rid of all organic matter, even at the tiny level.

Professional roof cleaning can protect your roof from long-term damage and make it last longer.

Frequency of Roof Cleaning

Establishing a Preventative Maintenance Program

Professional roofers say that you should set up a regular preventive maintenance program for your roof.

This should include cleaning and checks twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall.

This program can help your roof last longer and save you money on fixes.

If your roof is more than five years old, you should clean it once a year to get rid of dirt, mildew, and mold and make the outside of your home look better.

Type of Roofing Material

The type of roofing material also affects how often it needs to be cleaned.

For example, asphalt shingle roofs are the most popular type of residential roof in the U.S., and the above maintenance plan should be enough to keep them in good shape.

On the other hand, if your roof is made of wood or brick, which tend to grow moss, lichen, and algae, you may need to clean it every two to three years.

Soft Washing versus Pressure Washing

It's important to remember that pressure washing, which is a common way to clean a roof, can wear down the material your roof is made of.

Soft washing is the best way to clean your roof and make it last longer at the same time.

Soft washing uses chemicals that are safe for asphalt shingles, clay, cement, and metal, but still get the job done.

The Risks of Not Cleaning Your Roof

A roof needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid damage and expensive fixes.

Over time, dirt and waste build up on any roof surface.

This can cause clogged gutters and drains, possible pest infestations, and slippery surfaces that can cause injury or damage to property.

A roof can also get damaged by algae, mold, and mildew.

This damage can happen before it can be seen.

Regular cleaning can help keep a home looking nice and keep its selling value high.

It can also reduce the chance that the roof will get damaged or that the warranty will be voided.

But it can be risky and dangerous to clean a roof.

It's not a good idea to pressure wash a roof because it can damage a home's structure and wiring.

It can also cause wood shakes and shingles to lift or trap water underneath them, which can lead to leaks.

Also, pressure washing a roof can be very dangerous, so it's best to leave it to the experts.

If a roof isn't cleaned regularly, it can make people with allergies or a weak immune system sick.

Organic growth on a roof can let water in and cause the wood to rot, which can cause an insurance claim to be denied or cancelled.

If a roof isn't taken care of, a homeowner's insurance may be canceled.

If the roof isn't fixed, it can get ruined and eaten away.

  • Clogged gutters and drains
  • Potential pest infestations
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Damage to the roof
  • Voiding of the roof's warranty
  • Health complications
  • Insurance claim denial and cancellation
  • Damage to the wood in the roof

DIY vs Professional Roof Cleaning

DIY Roof Cleaning

If you want to save money, cleaning your roof yourself might seem like a good idea.

But you should think about a few risks and downsides before taking on this job.

Safety Concerns

When you clean your own roof, one of the biggest risks is that you could fall or hurt yourself.

When you don't have the right safety gear, climbing up a ladder onto a sloped roof can be dangerous.

Before you try to clean your roof, you must have a roof harness, an anchor, a hat, and eye protection.

Chemical Damage

Another problem that could happen if you clean your own roof is that you might hurt the plants around it.

The cleaning solution (usually bleach) can hurt plants in your yard or near your house.

Before they clean your roof, professionals know how to water any nearby plants and cover them to protect them from chemicals.

Ineffective Cleaning

Lastly, cleaning your roof yourself might not be as good as getting a pro.

Homeowners might not have access to the same tools or cleaning solutions that experts do, which can make it harder for them to do a thorough job.

Also, if a person doesn't have the right training, they might not know how to clean their roof properly, which could cause damage or make the cleaning less effective.

Professional Roof Cleaning

There are a number of reasons why hiring a professional roof cleaning service may be a better choice for many homes.


Professional roof cleaners know how to clean a roof the right way and have the tools to do it.

This is safer for both the people and the roof.

They use complicated, expensive cleaning equipment to get deep cleans that homes can't do themselves.

Curb Appeal

A clean roof looks better and can make a house or business look better from the street.

This can be very important if you want to sell your house or bring people to your business.


Professional roof cleaning is also a chance to look for damage or problems that can't be seen from the ground.

This can help people find small problems before they turn into big ones, which can save them money in the long run.


Regular care, like having a professional clean your roof, can add five or more years to the life of your roof, making it a good investment.

If you don't take care of your roof, it can cost twice or even three times as much to fix as it would to clean it.


Lastly, getting a professional roof cleaning service will save you time.

Cleaning a roof by yourself can be a long and frustrating job.

Professionals can do the job quickly and well, so you can focus on other things that are more important.

Why Gutter Cleaning is Essential for a Clean Roof

When it comes to cleaning outdoor surfaces, most people tend to focus on the visible areas like the walls, windows, and the roof.

However, one crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is the gutters.

Gutters play a vital role in protecting your roof and home from water damage, but they can also become a breeding ground for debris, leaves, and other unwanted materials.

If your gutters are clogged, it can lead to water overflow, which can damage your roof and even cause leaks.

This is why gutter cleaning is an essential part of maintaining a clean and healthy roof.

By removing the debris and buildup from your gutters, you can ensure that water flows freely and doesn't cause any damage to your home.

So, if you're planning to clean your roof, don't forget to include gutter cleaning in your to-do list.

It may seem like a small task, but it can make a big difference in the health and longevity of your roof.

For more information:

Gutter Cleaning 101: Importance, Tools, Risks & DIYGutter Cleaning 101: Importance, Tools, Risks & DIY

Costs and Eco-Friendly Options

Costs of Roof Cleaning

Roof cleaning costs depend on a number of things, such as the size of the roof, the way used to clean it, and where the property is. The national average cost to clean a roof is between $294 and $700. A pressure wash of a 1,500-square-foot roof costs an average homeowner between $400 and $612. Professional cleaning costs anywhere from $0.05 to $0.75 per square foot, with an average of $0.20 to $0.68 per square foot.

The size of the roof, the way it is cleaned, and where the property is located all affect how much it costs to clean the roof.

The cost of cleaning goes up with the size of the roof.

The way the cleaning is done also affects the price.

Some ways take more time and work, so they cost more.

The cost also depends on where the land is, and commercial buildings are often more expensive because they are bigger.

Benefits of Regular Roof Cleaning

Regular roof cleaning is important to make the roof look better from the street, get rid of leftovers, protect the roof from damage, and make it last longer.

Homeowners and business owners should use this service on a daily basis to avoid expensive repairs.

Even though the price of roof cleaning may seem high, it has many benefits for homes and businesses.

Eco-Friendly Options for Roof Cleaning

Yes, there are ways to clean a roof that are good for the environment.

Natural cleaners, like citric acid or baking soda, can get rid of organic matter without hurting the materials of the roof.

Also, these solutions don't need high-pressure blasting, so they won't cause any unintended side effects.

Wash SafeTM ROOF WASH is an organic roof cleaner that is safe for the environment and doesn't use bleach.

It can be used to clean asphalt, metal, wood, slate, and ceramic shingles or tiles.

It is used by more than 5,000 roof cleaning companies all over North America to clean roofs without bleach or other harsh chemicals.

The product is also sold in smaller packages that can be used at home.

Eco Soft Wash is another choice for cleaning the roof and outside of a house with a soft wash.

It uses a custom cleaning solution with a unique mix of nontoxic selective fungicides to get rid of moss, mold, algae, lichen, and general dirt and grime.

The chemical doesn't have any bleach or chlorine in it, so it won't hurt the roof or the plants around it.

Spray & Forget is an all-purpose outdoor cleaner with a concentrated formula that cleans the outside of a house without having to use pressure washing or brushing, which could damage the surface.

Its non-corrosive, non-caustic, and non-acidic formula is biodegradable and good for the environment.

It is made to penetrate and dissolve stains caused by mildew, mold, algae, moss, and lichen from all outdoor surfaces, such as all kinds of roofs, shutters, siding, decking, fences, and more.

It doesn't have bleach, lye, acid, phosphates, or heavy metals in it either.

Maintaining a Clean Roof

A clean roof is an important part of taking care of your home.

A clean roof doesn't just look nice; it can also help your roof last longer.

Here are some things you can do to keep your roof clean.

Establish a Regular Preventative Maintenance Program

To keep your roof clean, you need to do regular preventive repair.

This should be done twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall, when the roof is cleaned and checked.

If homeowners can't do regular checks from the roof, they can use binoculars to look at the roof from the ground.

This will help you figure out any possible problems before they get too big.

Clear Any Visible Debris

Another important part of keeping a roof clean is getting rid of any obvious trash.

This includes trees that hang over the roof, a lot of leaves, and a lot of stuff on the roof.

Cut back trees that hang over the roof to let light in, and if you need to, use a leaf blower to get branches and leaves off the roof.

Clean the gutters to make sure the roof stays as dry as possible.

Use a Mild, Non-Abrasive Cleaning Solution

The next step in keeping a roof clean is to use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner.

In a bucket, you can mix a home cleaner with water.

To get rid of the growth, Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner only needs to be used once a year.

It doesn't need to be washed with high pressure, scrubbed, or cleaned with strong chemicals that could hurt your roof.

Use a long-handled brush with soft bristles to spread the solution on the surface.

Use Chlorine Bleach and Water for Asphalt Shingles

If your roof is made of asphalt shingles, you can clean it by attaching a sprayer to your yard hose and filling it with chlorine bleach and water in equal parts.

After spraying the mixture on the roof, let it sit for 15 minutes before using a yard hose to wash it off.

Remember Safety

When you clean your roof, you should always think about safety.

Don't go up on your roof or try to clean it alone.

There should always be at least one other person there.

Many cleaning products are poisonous and could hurt you, your roof, and things on the ground, like plants.

Follow the directions for how to use cleaning products, especially when using solvents.

If the paint company or maker hasn't told you to use a cleaning solution, don't use it.

A clean roof is an important part of taking care of a house.

By setting up a regular preventive maintenance plan, getting rid of any obvious debris, using a mild, non-abrasive cleaning solution, and keeping safety in mind, you can help your roof last longer and look great for years to come.

Safety Precautions

It can be hard to clean outdoor areas like roofs, gutters, and walls.

To make sure these surfaces last as long as possible, it is important to keep them clean and healthy.

Here are some safety measures to take when cleaning outdoor surfaces:

Protective Gear

Before you start cleaning, you should put on safety gear to avoid crashes and injuries.

Protect yourself from toxins and chemicals by wearing gloves, safety goggles, and an NIOSH-approved mask.

Wear heavy-duty boots with nonslip feet to keep from slipping and falling.

Use a sturdy ladder and a roof harness with an anchor to keep from falling off a sloped area while you clean it.

If poisons are being used, it is also important to wear a helmet and eye protection.

Chemicals to Avoid

When cleaning outdoor surfaces, don't use strong chemicals like bleach or ammonia because they can hurt the surface and the area around it.

Use a mild cleaning solution and a soft brush to clean the surface instead.

Make sure to rinse the drains and gutters to get any cleaning solution off the metal that could cause it to rust.

If you don't think you can clean the surface safely, you might want to hire a professional to do it for you.

Pressure Washing

Don't use pressure washing on your roof or any other outdoor surface because it can damage the surface and make the guarantee void.

If you don't know what you're doing, pressure washing can also hurt you.

Instead, clean the surface with a gentle cleaner and a soft-bristled brush.

This will make sure the surface gets clean without being damaged.

Regular Inspections and Cleaning

Pests can be kept under control and your outdoor surfaces can last longer if you check on them and clean them on a regular basis.

Check your roof, gutters, and walls for damage and signs of pests on a regular basis.

At least twice a year, clean these places to make sure they stay clean and healthy.

Note: Please keep in mind that the estimate in this article is based on information available when it was written.

It's just for informational purposes and shouldn't be taken as a promise of how much things will cost.

Prices, rates, and fees can change because of things like market changes, changes in regional costs, inflation, and other unforeseen circumstances.

Final analysis and implications

In the end, cleaning your roof is not just about keeping your home looking nice. It's about protecting your property and making sure your roof lasts as long as possible. If you don't clean your roof, it could need expensive fixes or even be replaced before it should be. But it's also about being a responsible part of your neighborhood. A clean roof not only makes your home more valuable, but it also helps keep your neighborhood clean. So, the next time you think about skipping a roof cleaning, think about the big picture and how it could affect you. Remember that a clean roof is not just a nice thing to have, it's a must.

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Links and references

  1. United Cleaning Concentrate (UCC) installation instructions manual
  2. Article on about roof stains
  3. Roof Mold Cleaner OX product
  4. Article on about RV roof care
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