The roof of a home or business is just as important as the foundation. If properly installed and maintained, a roof can last 20 years or longer. Simple mistakes in maintaining a roof can lead to premature, expensive repairs, or replacement. Whether you hire a professional roof cleaning company or prefer to do-it-yourself (DIY), the following top mistakes are essential to keep in mind to recognize potential for damage and other issues.
#1 Power Washing
As noted in additional blogs, high-pressure power washing easily causes damage to roofing. Primarily, the high-pressure water strips away the protective layer and granules from shingles, causing minor cracks to become fissures, or even break off small pieces of roofing material. This is one of the most common mistakes in roof cleaning and has been known to void warranties or even insurance claims on the roof.
#2 Brush Cleaning
Depending on the roof’s condition and how the brush is used, roofing material can be easily damaged and lead to further embedment of fungi and algae. For example, a DIYer starts brushing up against the tiles’ pitch or shingles unknowingly fights as bristles catch and pull up on the roofing material. This is where loosening starts, and debris is accidentally brushed up under the layer of roofing rather than off the roof. If you hired a roofing company and see the “expert” atop your roof with a strong brush, scrubbing away, first take a photo, then inquire about his method. If he seems like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about it’s likely because he has no clue what he’s doing. Stop him. If your roof is damaged, be thankful you took that picture as it will come in handy when you have to take that company to court to pay for your tarnished roof.
#3 Acid and Harsh Chemicals
Depending on the roofing material, any harsh chemical could harm the coloring of the roof. Worse yet, if the fine print is misunderstood, then roofing can disintegrate away, leaving expensive repairs behind. Keep in mind bleach must be used carefully, including covering any plants and removing furniture near the roof runoff areas. Other harsh chemicals can also cause damage or harm animals, so reading the fine print is critical. At Hang Loose, we use a proprietary solution with minimal bleach and our roof cleaning methods include fully saturating and rinsing nearby plant life to prevent any possible damage to the vegetation.
#4 Wrong Method or Too Often
Each roofing type will need a slightly different level of care. Fungi and algae growth or other microbial issues should be treated specifically to the actual growth. Additionally, there no need to clean a roof more than once a year though particular treatments may need to occur to inhibit growth. In these cases, a professional’s opinion and guidance will provide the knowledge need to properly maintain your roof.
#5 Be Aware of Ridge Caps
New roofers and DIYers may not even think twice when getting on a roof when suddenly a crack or breaking sound occurs on the ridge. These ridges are essentially the roof’s seams. The ‘caps’ installed are not meant as extra support but defense for the roof. It’s as simple as too much weight or leverage on the cap that ends up cracking or breaking these caps. To avoid this, don’t step on the ridge! Also be sure to hire a roof cleaning company that’s been in business for a while and has a strong rapport on your local directory listing such as Google Maps. If you need more help choosing the best roof cleaning company, click here
#6 DIYing the Internet
Although it’s easy to search the internet, there are too many bad players with processes or ‘recipes’ that leave searchers undeniably sorry. Plenty of DIYers with good intentions may not share the entirety of details relative to your roofing type. It’s easy to find the wrong information and this may leave you with discolored or otherwise damaged roof.
Even if you plan to DIY clean your roof, consult with a professional roof cleaning company in your area.
#7 Ignoring the Weather
As all Floridians are aware, the weather is nothing to ignore. This is another huge mistake easily made. If it’s fall, and leaves are all of your roof, don’t let this sit there and cause algae to build under them. Keep an eye on your roof throughout the year, even if that means getting the ladder or drone out and doing regular inspections. Have a property with a lot of trees? You may be well suited to invest in a good, strong leaf blower to minimize the need to have your roof professionally cleaned more often than truly needed. Wind will cause water and cleaning agents to spray all over and will be less effective cleaning overall. Rainy days will rinse off the cleaning agents too soon, and the converse with hot days where the cleaner will evaporate too soon.
Some Helpful DIY Tips
For hardcore DIYers, please use these helpful tips if cleaning your roof:
- Research the manufacturer of your roofing material and check their website for recommendations and specified cleaning processes.
- Wear eye protection, even if you don’t use chemicals.
- Use protective clothing appropriate for the cleaner being used.
- Never, ever, mix ammonia with bleach.
- Perhaps obvious, use slip-resistant shoes and a fall harness if possible.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely.
- Seek some professional guidance if you have questions or a significant amount of microbial, fungi, or mold growth.
- Start at the top of the roof and spray in sections and avoid walking on the wet roof.
- Once the cleaning agent has sat for 10-15 minutes or as directed, rinse the solution using a garden hose with even strokes.
- Trim tree branches (or hire an arborist) before cleaning the roof.
- If the roof is prone to growth, consider installing a copper strip or zinc strip under the row of shingles at the peak of the roof.
Final Thoughts on Preventing Roof Damage
Cleaning a roof is important and critical to the overall cost-effectiveness of maintaining and preserving its longevity. The above common mistakes and helpful tips are meant to assist DIY-curious and DIYers in their decision to hire a roof cleaning company or not.
Hang Loose Pressure Washing is happy to answer your roof cleaning questions and concerns. If you’re ready for a quote and live in the Clearwater and Pinellas County area, contact us for a free quote today.