Restore the beauty of your home. A dirty roof detracts from your home’s curb appeal. You clean your siding, porches, and walkways. You may even apply weed control and fertilizers to spruce up your lawn and garden. But if you ignore those ugly roof stains, no matter what else you do to improve your home’s exterior, those stains will be the main focal point of your home’s exterior. And, if you are hoping to sell your house, roof cleaning is a must!

What is roof cleaning?

Roof cleaning is relatively new to most homeowners. The algae infestation that is taking place has only been present in our area for the last 20 years. Having streaks on your roof isn’t a sign of poor home maintenance. Rather, the unsightly dark splotches that streak across roofs are caused by bacteria known as Gloeocapsa Magma; often referred to as algae growth. The growth typically occurs on the north side or shaded area of the roof. Though there is little scientific evidence of the harm caused by the bacteria, industry experts concur that it can help deteriorate shingles and shorten the life expectancy of the roof.

The Gloeocapsa Magma or Algae makes the roof susceptible to damage that may have not occurred had the roof been properly maintained. Furthermore, insurance companies can and will cancel your home-owner’s policy for having a dirty roof demanding that homeowners have their roofs cleaned. They often only give a very short notice to comply, In some cases the home-owner was given less than a week and if not completed they  lose their insurance coverage. That’s why it is SO VERY important to be proactive and have those roof stains professionally removed BEFORE you get that notice from your insurance company. Insurance companies know that untreated roof stains (black or green algae) will negatively impact the overall integrity of the roof, which can also lead to further damage INSIDE your home. Roof stains are seen as ‘risks’ that could cost them money in a claim.

The good news is that there is a solution despite what some people believe. Replacing your roof is an unnecessary expense that Squeegee Pros can help you avoid for a fraction of the cost!!!

Recommended Roof Cleaning Method (Soft Washing)

Any reputable roof cleaner should use cleaning methods recommended by the Roof Cleaning Institute of America and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. Squeegee Pros uses the “soft wash” cleaning method in which we spray a biodegradable cleaning solution on the roof. It is the ideal method because the solution is designed to adhere to the roof, there is very little runoff and what does run off is captured and contained. Usually it will take two coats to get it all clean, but it’s very visual when we are all done it’s easy to see that everything has been performed correctly and for the next few days you will be able to see even more of a difference. After a rainfall or two your roof will be completely clean and rid of all stains, streaks, and problem causing growths that have been on your roof for years! For an average size house the cost may be $400-$800 compared to the unnecessary alternative which is replacing your roof for $8,000-$15,000 depending on the material and extent of damage.

Avoid Pressure Washing Your Roof

Avoid companies who offer to pressure wash the roof, or demand payment up front. Hire someone who knows what they are doing, roof cleaning is a relatively new industry and a lot of people just think that if they have a power washer, they are able to clean a roof. You should never allow anyone who utilizes a power washer…to clean your roof, as they are damaging the shingles by using this type of excessive pressure. Utilizing excessive pressure to clean or rinse a roof will shorten the shingle life dramatically. Roof cleaning should only be performed by a professional service that is knowledgeable and has the ability to provide the service safely and responsibly.

Soft Wash Process Vs. Pressure Washing

Traditionally in the past, exterior cleaning contractors used high pressure, which removes surface growths and biological contaminants with force. Unfortunately, this often causes damage, which we have seen countless times. This is the case even with well-meaning professional cleaning contractors. Manufacturers of the most common roof and exterior building products consistently warn against using pressure to clean their products. Sometimes even voiding the warranty.

Soft Washing Is the Only Smart Option!

Chemical cleaning is a much gentler method that uses similar pressure to a garden hose. The results of soft washing, on roofs, is by far superior, and becomes obvious minutes after starting.What Are Some Of The Biggest Benefits Of Having Your Roof Cleaned?

Aesthetically it makes a major difference and it is immediate. Most homeowners are shocked at the difference. This is especially valuable when trying to sell a home. Obviously, the first impression is important. When the first impression is, “I will need to replace the roof in a couple years”, that has a big impact on the sale. After we clean a roof the first impression will almost always be, “Great, it has a new roof.”

Also, roofs can have their service life shortened due to bacteria and algae growth. Composition asphalt shingles, the most common type of roof in this area, are susceptible to damage from algae, moss, and lichen, and it’s not just aesthetic. That is why insurance companies routinely threaten to cancel home-owner’s insurance if a roof is not clean.

By James Bargmann 
Residential Supervisor