When it comes to home maintenance, the roof is one area that doesn’t get enough attention. But roofs need proper care and maintenance just like any other area of the house. Roof cleaning is the process of removing algae, moss, mold and mildew from your roof. It’s important to occasionally clean your roof to keep it looking good and increase its longevity. Here’s why cleaning your roof is something you should be doing, as well as a breakdown of the average cost of roof cleaning.
Is Roof Cleaning Necessary?
Adhering to a regular maintenance plan for your roof is important. Cleaning is one of the most basic tasks to help maintain your roof. Occasional roof cleaning not only keeps your roof looking good, but also increases its longevity.
Your roof bears the brunt when it comes to protecting you against nature. Rain, hail and harsh sunlight are just a few of the things your roof protects you from. Florida is particularly prone to hurricanes, hail, and tropical storms.
Another problem is Florida is the humid coastal weather. High humidity in the air combined with warm temperatures make transform roof shingles into the ideal place for moss to grow. Eventually, this moss, can combine with algae and other fungi to form lichen on roofs. Lichens attract humidity to the roof and can lead to permanent roof damage.
This is why roofs need to receive as much attention as the rest of the house when it comes to cleaning, regular cleaning will keep lichen growths under control and prevent roof damage.
A disintegrating roof can require extensive repairs or even complete replacement, which can cost thousands of dollars. You can avoid all this by simply having your roof cleaned and prevent it from falling apart prematurely.
Roof Cleaning Benefits
Roof cleaning is not only cost effective but also the easiest way to maintain your roof’s appearance and condition. Benefits of roof cleaning include:
- Increasing curb appeal and resell value: If you intend to sell your house, you need to understand that nobody wants to buy a house with a dirty, damaged roof. You need to have your roof professionally cleaned so that your shingles look brand new. This in turn adds to the overall curb appeal and resell value of your house.
- Avoid unnecessary costs: A roof that is not properly cleaned periodically will eventually cost you thousands of dollars in the form of extensive repairs and roof replacement. Roof cleaning removes the moss, algae and debris that causes roof disintegration, ensuring you don’t need roof repairs or replacement prematurely.
- Avoid excessive energy costs: When moss and algae are left uncleaned on your roof, they absorb and retain heat from sunlight, resulting in increased temperature inside your house. Roof cleaning will allow your shingles to reflect sunlight properly, thereby avoiding the need for air conditioning in the warm Florida weather.
- Avoid insurance policy cancellation: To the surprise of many homeowners, insurance companies in recent years started notifying them that their homeowner insurance policies would be cancelled if they didn’t clean their roofs. This is because moss can damage asphalt shingles and insurers don’t want to pay for a new roof. Replacing a roof costs around $8,000-$12,000. It’s way cheaper to have your roof cleaned than run into costly insurance problems.
The Average Cost of Roof Cleaning in Florida
Although roof cleaning and maintenance is cheaper than replacement, knowing the cost of roof cleaning in Florida can help you compare the costs.
The national average cost of roof cleaning is around $293-$576. In Florida, it’s the average cost is estimated at $444 depending on roof material, square footage and roof pitch. Taller, more complex roofs usually cost more due to the extra safety equipment needed.
Other factors to consider when evaluating your roof cleaning costs include the roof’s coating and age of materials. In Florida, humidity, high temperatures and harsh sunlight can contribute to the deterioration to your roof.
Extras like cleaning gutters and removing moss can be part of the total roof cleaning cost or charged separately. An additional $100-$200 may be requested for moss treatment to delay moss regrowth.
The cost of roof cleaning differs according to the material of the roof. Asphalt shingles range from $300-$575, while roof tiles cost an average of $425.
Best Way to Clean Shingles
Like many homeowners, you might aware that having the shingles on your roof pressure cleaned could lead to damage. Instead of pressure, soft washing offers and alternative where your roof can be cleaned without excessive pressure. Soft washing relies on biodegradable chemicals and low-pressure water beams to clean roofs.
Safe soft washing incorporates low-pressure washing and sustainable chemicals that won’t leave damaging residues on your roof. Often times, even only a garden hose can be used instead of a pressure cleaner.
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) strongly advises against using pressure washing on shingles, as it causes granule loss and even reduces the longevity of the roof system.
Roof Algae and Moss Removal
Even though algae takes away from the aesthetics of your roof, there’s no scientific evidence that it damages shingles. It does have a negative long-term effect on the effectiveness of highly reflective roofs.
Moss, on the other hand, is quite detrimental to shingles. It can cause the leading edges of the shingles to either lift or curl, increasing the risk of shingle blow-off during windy conditions. At its worst, moss can cause moisture damage to the roof and even leaks.
Moss also clogs gutters and absorbs heat, increasing cooling costs. A soft washing contractor will usually remove it by hand, with water and/or biodegradable cleaning products. Soft washing will protect your roof from any regrowth for even up to a year after removal.
Soft Washing vs Pressure Washing
What’s the difference between soft washing and pressure washing, and why is soft washing a better way of cleaning your roof? Pressure washing uses high pressure equipment that sprays water at a pressure forceful enough to blast away dirt, grime, moss, algae and other forms of debris.
Soft washing uses a garden hose (or a pressure washer on a low setting) with very low pressure and biodegradable chemicals to clean exterior surfaces of your home, including the roof.
Pressure washing can be very effective for cleaning side-walks, drive-ways and garage floors, but can be very damaging for more delicate surfaces like roofs. High pressure washing will damage roofs and should never be used.
Soft washing is designed to safely remove moss, algae, mildew and all forms of dirt from your roof without causing any damage. Soft washing not only preserves the integrity of your roof while cleaning it but is also safe for your plants and all other parts of your property.
Make sure to ask your contractor if the chemicals they use for soft washing are eco-friendly.
Best Time of the Year for Roof Cleaning
Most homeowners have roof cleaning scheduled at least once a year. The time of year you choose to have your roof cleaned can make a huge difference especially in a climate like Florida, where the weather isn’t too kind to asphalt shingles and other roofing materials.
An ideal time of the year for roof cleaning would be during the winter months when there are no scorching temperatures. Chemicals are also less effective during heavy rains, so it’s best to schedule a cleaning when the weather is likely to be clear.
Another ideal time for roof cleaning would be after extreme weather has dirtied your roof and caused debris to accumulate. Removing leaves, sticks and other objects within a short period of time eliminates the possibility of your roof being damaged by them.
Lastly, apart from getting the time of year for roof cleaning right, it’s also important to get the right roof cleaning company to do the job for you. Cleaning your roof is an investment that yields nothing but excellent benefits for your home. It needs to be done properly and by roof cleaning professionals.