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Should You Clean Your Roof? Is It Important / Worth the Money?

Should You Clean Your Roof? Is It Important / Worth the Money?

Roof cleaning might not be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to home maintenance, but it’s a critical task that shouldn’t be overlooked.

It’s essential to remember that your roof is a significant investment. It shields your family from the elements and maintains indoor comfort.

By keeping your roof free from debris, dirt, plant growth, and other damaging elements, you can extend its lifespan significantly.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about roof cleaning. You’ll discover why it’s essential, how often it should be done, and the best methods to keep your roof in top condition.

So, let’s dive in and get started, shall we?

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Why you might need your roof cleaned? Is it worth the money?

Keeping your roof clean might seem like a minor task, but it actually packs quite a punch in terms of benefits. Let’s dive into why you might need to get your roof cleaned and whether it’s worth the money.

First off, why clean your roof? Well, think of your roof as the guardian of your home, shielding it from all sorts of elements like rain, snow, sunlight, and debris. Over time, this superhero of a structure can accumulate dirt, moss, algae, and even mould. Not only does this make your roof look unsightly, but it can also cause some serious damage if left unchecked.

Worker using high pressure water jet spray gun to wash and clean dirt from rooftop tile at residential building in renovation

One major reason to clean your roof is to prolong its lifespan. Those pesky growths like moss and algae can actually eat away at your roof’s materials, causing premature deterioration. By giving your roof a good scrub, you’re essentially adding years to its life, which can save you big bucks in the long run.

Another benefit of a clean roof is improved energy efficiency. When your roof is covered in grime, it absorbs more heat from the sun, making your home warmer and your energy bills higher. By keeping it clean, you’re helping to reflect sunlight away, keeping your home cooler and your wallet happier.

Let’s not forget about curb appeal. A clean roof can drastically improve the overall look of your home. Whether you’re planning to sell or just want to impress the neighbours, a sparkling roof is sure to turn heads.

Is it worth the money?

Now, onto the big question: is it worth the money? Well, that depends on a few factors.

First, consider the age and condition of your roof. If it’s relatively new and in good shape, a simple cleaning might be all it needs to stay that way. However, if your roof is older or showing signs of wear and tear, investing in regular cleanings could actually save you from having to fork out for costly repairs or even a full replacement down the line.

Next, think about where you live. If you’re in an area prone to heavy rainfall or high humidity, your roof is more susceptible to moss and algae growth, making regular cleanings a wise investment.

Lastly, weigh the cost of cleaning against the potential savings. While hiring a professional to clean your roof can be a bit pricey upfront, the long-term benefits in terms of energy savings and extended roof life can more than makeup for it.

What is the best way to clean a roof?

Ideally, roof cleaning should be done once a year to keep your roof in top shape. However, if you have a newer roof, you can stretch this interval to every two years. Timing matters too; it’s best to tackle this task during the summer months when your roof gets plenty of sunshine and dries quickly after cleaning. Plus, a dry surface reduces the risk of slip and fall accidents, making it safer to walk on your roof.

Now, let’s talk about the nitty-gritty of roof cleaning. You’ll need the right weather conditions, suitable cleaning materials, and proper techniques to get the job done effectively. However, a word of caution: roof cleaning can be dangerous, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. It’s best to leave it to the professionals if you lack the necessary knowledge, skills, or experience.

When it comes to tools and materials, here’s what you’ll typically need:

  • A sturdy ladder for safe access
  • A pressure washer for more robust cleaning
  • Professional roof cleaner (a cleaning chemical specifically designed for roofs)
  • Paint, primers, and sealant for any touch-ups or repairs
  • A full-body safety harness to prevent falls

Now, onto the cleaning methods: pressure washing versus soft washing. Pressure washing involves using highly pressurized water to blast away moss, stains, dirt, and grime. It’s effective for more durable roofing materials but can be too harsh for delicate surfaces like shingles. That’s where soft washing, or “chemical washing,” comes in. This method utilizes gentler cleaning solutions to protect sensitive materials while still achieving a thorough cleaning.

When you’re ready to start cleaning, remember to work in sections. Divide your roof into manageable areas and focus on one at a time. Not only does this ensure thorough cleaning, but it also allows each section enough time to dry before moving on. A dry surface is essential for safety while working on your roof, so take your time and proceed with caution.

How much does it cost to hire a roof cleaning professional?

Roof cleaning costs typically range from $35 to $50 per hour on average. However, prices can vary depending on your location, with some areas charging up to $90 per hour.

Keep in mind that the final cost will be determined by the quotation provided to you by the cleaning service. To help you anticipate expenses, we’ve put together this price guide.

Before diving into cleaning methods, it’s essential to identify the type of roof you have at home. This information will not only help you estimate cleaning costs but also aid in budgeting effectively.

To calculate the area of your roof, simply multiply the length by the width. Then, consult the chart below for estimated cleaning costs based on different roof types:

  • Terraced: A roof with an adjoining flat area, perfect for resting.
  • Gable Roof (Semi-detached or Detached): A roof featuring two sloping sides and a gable at the end.
  • Hip Roof (Semi-detached or Detached): A roof with no vertical ends, thanks to its evenly sloping sides.
Worker using high pressure water jet spray gun to wash and clean dirt from roof ceiling at residential building

Which areas of the roof require cleaning?

There are three key parts you should be aware of:


Positioned beneath the roof’s edge, the gutter’s main job is to collect rainwater and direct it away from areas where it could cause damage. However, it also needs regular cleaning. Experts recommend cleaning gutters at least every two years, especially if you live near trees where leaves and debris can accumulate. For optimal maintenance, a quick clean every three months is advisable. Professional gutter cleaning services typically cost between $100 and $600.

Roof Cavity

This refers to the space between your roof and the ceiling. Like other areas of the house, the roof cavity can collect dirt, dust, and other debris over time, potentially leading to damage. Cleaning the roof cavity involves opening and sealing the roof, which adds to the overall cost.

On average, cleaning the roof cavity costs between $60 and $90 per square meter, while sealing the roof can range from $7,000 to $12,000. Unlike gutters, there’s no set timeframe for cleaning the roof cavity, as it often indicates the need for roof replacement. It’s best to have an expert assess the condition of your roof and recommend any necessary actions.

Roof Tiles

Roof tiles play a vital role in protecting your home from the elements, but they also require regular maintenance. Cleaning roof tiles typically involves scraping moss and debris from the gaps between them using a trowel. While there’s no specific timeframe for tile maintenance, it’s advisable to clean them regularly since they’re the most exposed part of the roof.

Should you have your roof cleaned or replaced?

While we’ve discussed the importance of roof cleaning, there comes a point where stains refuse to budge and the roof is on the brink of collapse, beyond the help of mere scrubbing.

Experts point out that different roofing materials have varying lifespans. Here’s a glimpse at some common materials and their life expectancies:

  • Asphalt Shingles: 15 – 30 years
  • Wood Shingles: 20 – 25 years
  • Rubber Roof: 30 – 50 years
  • Metal Roof: 50 – 75 years

However, these are just averages, and factors like environment and maintenance can influence longevity. So, when do you know it’s time for a replacement? Here are three telltale signs:

  1. Age: Even if your roof isn’t visibly falling apart, age can still be a factor. Ageing roofs can surprise you with sudden deterioration, so it’s wise to replace them before they become a hazard.
  2. Damaged Shingles: Damaged shingles not only compromise your roof’s integrity but also invite moss and dirt, leading to further damage and compromised insulation. Instead of temporary fixes, opt for professional repairs to prevent additional costs down the line.
  3. Granule Damage: Granules act as a shield against weather elements, so any damage or loss due to age or moss signals trouble. If your granules are compromised, it’s time to seek expert assistance.

Whether you choose manual scrubbing or softwash roof cleaning, costs will vary based on the roof type and cleaning method. To avoid unnecessary expenses, enlist the help of a professional who can assess the situation and provide the most cost-effective solution.