A clean roof protects a building from elements that could damage the structure. Moss and algae on shingles can rot and weaken them, which exposes the inside of the home to moisture damage. Several methods to clean a roof include power washing, soft washing, and chemical treatments. All have pros and cons.
Pressure washing is one of the most effective methods for removing stains and other debris from exterior surfaces. It can also remove algae, mildew, and moss growth that may damage your building or outdoor furniture. However, hiring a professional Roof Cleaning Sarasota who knows how to use a pressure washer safely is important. There are nozzles available that allow you to select the level of pressure needed for different stains and surface materials. It’s always best to start with a low pressure and move up as necessary in order to prevent damage. It is also recommended to test the water pressure on an inconspicuous area before attempting to blast away a stain.
Dirt, grime, moss, and other debris can cause major damage to your exterior over time. Preventing these substances from taking hold saves you time and money. It also ensures that the damage is stopped in its tracks so that it doesn’t get worse.
A soft wash uses the same cleaning solution as pressure washing but at a much lower strength percentage, typically below 500 PSI. This allows for the same cleaning power but without the risk of damage to exteriors. It is commonly used on vinyl siding, asphalt shingle roofs and any delicate surface like windows and doors.
The cleaning solution for a soft wash normally includes safe soaps, surfactants and a sodium hypochlorite that is diluted to the correct strength. Sodium hypochlorite kills mildew, algae and any other fungus that has taken up residence on your rooftop and also provides an instant clean effect to surfaces after application.
It also helps to prevent excessive run-off allowing the solution to stay on your roof for longer which further aids in cleaning. Surfactants are similar to the way dish soap cleans the residue left on a plate after a meal, it improves the water’s ability to wash away undesired gunk.
Professionally trained and experienced soft washing contractors will have a specialized wand which can be adjusted from a pencil spray to a fan spray depending on the surface they are cleaning. They can often reach areas of the exterior of your home that are hard to get to using pressure washing such as second story exteriors and your roof, eliminating the need for ladders or scaffolding.
There are a few important things to keep in mind when having your home soft washed, such as avoiding hot spots and letting the washing solution dry thoroughly before walking on the surfaces. Taking the time to do this will ensure your property is cleaned properly and protects any plants or trees on your property.
The biggest advantage of a soft wash is that it can be done at a much lower pressure, which eliminates the risk of damage to paint, brick, wood and fragile windows and doors. When used correctly by a trained and experienced professional, a soft wash will leave your exteriors looking brand new, while also prolonging the life of your roof and other materials. It is also a lot safer than pressure washing as you will not need to be as close to the surface being washed and there is no risk of injury due to high water pressure.
When dirt, algae, moss or mildew start to build up on the surface of your roof, it may be time to get it cleaned. Unlike pressure washing, which can damage the granular surface of your roof and potentially void any manufacturer’s warranties, chemical treatments for roof cleaning use a combination of chemicals to safely remove organic growths.
There are many different types of chemicals that can be used for cleaning your roof, including bleach, sodium hypochlorite, potassium hydroxide and calcium chloride. Sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda, is a highly alkaline product that cleans well and has the added benefit of breaking down moss, algae and mold. However, it must be used with proper safety precautions and at proper dilution rates and limited time durations. If left on shingles, it can degrade the petroleum-based components of the asphalt and cause deterioration. For this reason, it is only recommended for the use on concrete, tile and slate roofs.
Other types of roof cleaning chemicals include sodium percarbonate, a powerful oxygen-based chemical that is safe for the environment and can be applied without the need for rinsing. It is effective against most fungi and bacteria, and it can be used on a variety of roofing materials, including wood shakes, asphalt shingles, clay tiles and concrete tile. However, it does not work as well on moss as sodium hypochlorite, and it cannot be used on shingles that are coated with zinc strips, as they may be damaged by the cleaner.
While some people avoid the use of chemicals to clean their roofs because they are concerned about the safety of the surrounding vegetation, a professional who specializes in soft washing will carefully protect grass and other greenery by watering the plants before, during and after spraying the solution. They will also carefully prep the surrounding area of the roof, ensuring that only the areas that need to be cleaned are treated.
In addition to their safety precautions, professionals who specialize in soft washing will take care not to damage the waterproof membranes of your roof. This means that they will only use low gallons per minute (GPM) and gentle water-to-chemical ratios, so that you can enjoy your beautifully clean roof without having to worry about any damage to your home’s structure or your vegetation.