Soft Wash Roof Cleaning
Shingle deterioration? Wood rot? This is far from “music to the ears”. What many homeowners don’t realize is that without residential roof cleaning, this could be in the not-so-distant future for their shingles.
The Importance of a Clean Roof
Protect your investment! A roof replacement for a typical suburban homeowner could cost $7,000-15,000. Routine roof cleaning could extend one’s investment by over a decade, not to mention increase the value of your home in curb appeal. A $300 clean, even as often as once a year, is worth protecting this investment on your home.
Indirect Deterioration- Algae Increases Sun Damage
One of the largest threats to a roof is algae growth. Algae grows in large patches and causes the black streaks that are prominent on many unclean roofs. Though algae roots are fairly shallow, the black streaks keep roof shingles from reflecting UV rays, and instead allows the roof to absorb the UV rays. This causes severe sun damage, and significantly reduces the life of a roof. A residential roof cleaning can easily remove algae from a roof.
Direct Deterioration- Lichen and Moss
Lichen and Moss both directly cause harm to the roots, with deeper roots than algae. The roots tangle between shingle granules and break down the components of the roof. Moss does the same, with the addition of moisture retention. A consistently wet roof is a fragile roof!
The Process of Roof Cleaning
(And why soft washing a roof is superior to pressure washing)
Pressure washing is the original method of cleaning roofs and is still used by many cleaning companies in combination with soft washing. However, this method of roof cleaning is slowly being pushed out of the industry, as it often does more harm than good. Especially on an already-damaged roof, pressure washing can significantly decrease a lifespan by physically degrading the asphalt granules that compose shingles. Most experts now say that soft washing is the only way a roof should be cleaned.
Soft washing is chemical based, versus pressure based. It uses only about the amount of pressure as a garden hose, while allowing for a chemical mixture of dilute bleach and soap to eat away at the algae, lichen, and moss. This solution kills the organic materials at a molecular level, preventing regrowth for much longer than pressure washing.
Since soft washing does not require close contact (as pressure washing does), the cleaner may stand on a ladder or scaffolding next to the house while applying the soft wash. This reduces risk of injury caused by standing on the roof to apply a pressure wash. The chemicals are sprayed on bottom-to-top, resulting in a complete covering of white foam. After the organic materials have degraded, the chemicals are washed off top-to-bottom, with again no more pressure than a garden hose.
Once the chemicals are rinsed off, the clean roof results are more than equal to that of a pressure wash. And, since the organisms are completely killed, residential roof cleaning results will last 3-5 years depending on the home’s environment.