How Frequently Should You Clean Your Roof?

February 28, 2023

As a homeowner, it's important to keep your roof in good condition to ensure the safety and integrity of your home. One question that comes up is how often should I clean my roof? The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as the type of roof, the weather conditions in your area, and the amount of debris accumulating on your roof. Today, we'll take a closer look at roof cleaning details and what factors to consider.

Factors to consider for roof cleaning

Type of Roof

There are many different kinds of roofing materials, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Each material has its benefits, such as cost, durability, energy efficiency, and long-term use. Here are some commonly used roofing materials:

  •  Asphalt shingle roofs accumulate more debris than other roofs and require specialized cleaning techniques to avoid damage to the shingles. 
  • Metal roofs can generally be cleaned with water and a soft brush. Abrasive products could discolor the finish. 
  • Gentle pressure washing a tile roof restores its natural luster and color and prevents moss and debris buildup.

Weather Conditions

The Pacific Northwest experiences moderate to heavy rainfall throughout the year which can cause mold and mildew growth on roofs. To prevent this, it is recommended that roofs be cleaned at least once a year. Homeowners should also clear snow from their roofs during winter to avoid damage from heavy snow buildup.

Surrounding Environment

Homes surrounded by trees may require more frequent cleaning to remove leaves, branches, and other debris that can accumulate and cause damage to the roof. In the Pacific Northwest, moss is a culprit that can cause great damage to every type of roofing material. It acts like a sponge, collecting and holding water. This can lead to damage to the underlayment which will eventually cause structural problems and the integrity of the roof will be compromised. 

Homes located in urban areas may experience an increased buildup of pollutants on their roof due to traffic and industrial activities. These pollutants include dirt, dust, and chemicals, creating a breeding ground for algae and mold. As a result, urban homes may require more frequent cleaning to remove these pollutants and prevent damage to the roof.

Age of Roof

The age of the roof is an important factor to consider when determining the frequency of cleaning. Older roofs are generally more susceptible to damage and debris buildup. They require more frequent inspections and possibly additional cleaning.

Homeowners should also be aware of the expected lifespan of their particular type of roof to determine a cleaning schedule that will extend its lifespan.

How Often Should you Clean your Roof?
Maintaining a clean roof is crucial for your home's structure and longevity. However, cleaning frequency varies depending on your roof type. Here are some practical recommendations to follow:

  • Asphalt shingle roofs typically need cleaning every 1-5 years.
  • Metal roofs require cleaning every 1-10 years.
  • Tile roofs should be cleaned every 6 months to 5 years.

The frequency of roof cleaning depends on several factors. The type of trees surrounding your home and the amount of debris they shed will contribute to wear and tear. How much sun or, more importantly, how much shade your roof receives daily will directly impact mold and algae growth.

The shape and slope of the roof can affect what settles and stays on the roof surface. Roofs with complex designs that feature flat areas and more than two valleys coming together at one point, called a dead valley, may require frequent cleaning. It is recommended to have a dead valley roof inspected every six months as water and debris may collect in these areas causing issues over time.   

Can you damage your Roof by Cleaning it?

YES! Improper cleaning techniques or using the incorrect tools and materials can damage your roof. A pressure washer at too high of a setting will remove the granules on an asphalt roof. Harsh chemicals, incorrect chemicals, or even the incorrect mix of the correct product can damage all roof material types. However, regular cleaning with appropriate techniques and equipment can prolong the life of your roof by preventing the growth of moss and algae.

DIY vs. Professional Roof Cleaning
Regular roof cleaning is vital for maintaining your home's integrity and extending your roof's lifespan. However, as a homeowner, you may be wondering whether to clean your roof yourself or hire a professional. While DIY cleaning may seem like a budget-friendly option, it's critical to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages before deciding.

With the recommended cleaning schedule for your roof in mind, Let’s explore the factors to consider when deciding whether to tackle the task yourself or hire a professional.

Pros of DIY:

  • Cost-effective
  • Flexibility to clean at your convenience
  • No need to wait for a professional to schedule an appointment

Cons of DIY:

  • Safety risks involved in climbing on the roof
  • Lack of proper equipment and cleaning solutions
  • Potential for damage to your roof if not cleaned properly

If you're uncomfortable with DIY, hiring a professional is best. IBEX Roof is here to help you with your roof cleaning needs. Contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation and start protecting your home.

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