How to Roof Wash Your House
If you live in a humid, coastal state like Florida or Louisiana, you might not be aware that the summer is your best friend when it comes to a roof wash. The sun and heat will dry out any wetness on your roof and make sure all the dirt has been removed. And if you’re lucky enough to have a metal roof, even better! You can use boiling water to clean off any algae or other growths from them without worrying about damaging the surface because they don’t corrode like other materials would.
But before we get started with how to wash your own house’s rooftop, let’s look at some basics: What kind of roof do I have? How should I start? What tools will I need?
Not all Roofs are Created Equal
Although there are a lot of different kinds of roofs out there, the first thing you should do is make sure what kind of roof you have. Some roofs may be too fragile for water to strike them directly and some roofs might not be able to withstand the weight that comes with having a bucket of water on them.
It is best to find the drains and see if there are any big obstructions that could prevent drainage. You can then use a rake or broom to remove excess debris that has gathered in the gutters. If you don’t have access to either of these, you can also try buying gutter guards designed to filter out leaves, pine needles, and general gunk from blocking your downspouts.
You should also make sure the roof is dry before you start washing it because if there is any moisture on it, this will not only reduce the effectiveness of the cleaner you use but it can also distort wood or cause rust to form on iron. One of the best things you can do is try and get a dry day with no rain in the forecast!
You will need a bucket, a sponge or other soft mop, one or two squeegees depending on how large your roof is, rubber gloves if you have sensitive skin, a ladder tall enough to reach your roof, a scrubber for any tough areas, and of course the detergent or cleaner you will be using. Make sure all of these are within easy reach before you attempt to start washing your roof.
Cleaning Your Roof
Depending on what material your roof is made from, there are several different cleaners that can come in handy when it comes time to get dirty. For asphalt shingles, a mixture of ½ cup liquid dish soap and 2 gallons of water should be sufficient to clean the dirt from your roof without causing any damage or fading to it. You can also add ¼ cup ammonia if you want a scent, but this is not recommended for aluminum because it can leave behind a dull shine.
If you have a cedar shake roof, then the best cleaner is generally just plain old hot water because it can help remove oils and other buildup that might cause mildew or discoloration. Just be certain to stay away from any bleach-based cleaners!
For metal roofs, vinegar and water can generally do the trick but you’ll want to test it out first on a small section because some metals can turn certain colors. The best thing to use is either olive oil or baby oil mixed with equal parts water for them since they are both non-toxic and won’t leave behind any residue.
Now that you have all the tools you need, you can start washing your roof. The first thing you want to do is make sure the entire surface has been moistened; this will help loosen any grit or grime that might be stuck around. Then all you need to do is use your mop, squeegee, or sponge to scrub away! You’ll find that many times, it can be easy to miss spots here and there so make sure you take your time when cleaning.
Extra Cleaning Tips
If you notice any tough stains or discoloration, it might be necessary to use a pressure washer with your cleaner of choice. This is not recommended for cedar shake roofs because you could end up depriving it of too much moisture and drying it out, but if your roof can handle this then this would be a good idea. Just make sure that the pressure isn’t too strong, or it might cause damage to your roof!
Once you’re finished washing your roof, make sure you wash yourself! You don’t want to spend hours on your roof and then walk around the surrounding neighborhood with dirty hands.
Always make sure your tools are completely clean before putting them away, so they won’t become breeding grounds for dirt or bacteria.
Now that you’ve finished washing your roof, sit back and enjoy the view!
If you have any more questions, we are located in Tampa, FL, feel free to reach out!
Peter’s Pressure Washing
2004 Florida St, Valrico, FL 33594