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Pressure Washing

How Often Should You Clean Your Roof?

Split image of roof tile before and after professional roof cleaning.

Although the roof over your head is a major part of protecting your family and possessions from the elements, you probably don’t give it the time and attention it deserves. After all, cleaning your roof isn’t usually high on most priority lists. However, to extend the life of your roof and maintain its good condition, it should be cleaned at least once a year. Doing so will also provide an opportunity to do a yearly assessment of its condition. A good roof cleaning can also serve to increase the curb appeal of your home.

When it comes to your roof, you should have debris removed, your gutters cleaned, and repair any loose or missing material on an annual basis. Staying on top of such roof maintenance will not only save you money over time, it will help you avoid the hassle and expense that comes from a damaged or unkempt roof.

Depending on the age of your roof, color, slope, and the materials it is made of, you should have your roof professionally cleaned at least once a year. Factors like your climate and surroundings (for example, lots of trees around your home) will also determine how often your roof should be cleaned and cleared of debris. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that will determine how often you should clean your roof:

Roof Age

The age of your roof will play a part in how often it needs maintenance. If your roof is brand new, you may feel that you can get away with minimal upkeep. However, this approach is not advisable, even for a relatively new roof. When it comes to roof maintenance, it’s better to be proactive than deal with an unexpected problem at the worst possible time (a leak during the height of your rainy season).

If you have a roof that is over 5 years old, cleaning it annually will accomplish several things: clear debris, mildew, and mold, beautify your home’s exterior and provide an opportunity to inspect and assess your roof’s condition. Then, any issues that you may not have been aware of with your roof can be resolved before it gets any worse. If you have a roof that is over 10 years old, it should be cleaned and inspected at least twice a year to ensure it is still in good condition. Be sure it is checked thoroughly for signs of wear, such as loose, cracked, or missing material.

Roof Color and Pitch

In addition to the age of your roof, the color of the roof material and the slope and pitch of your roof will also determine how often it should be cleaned. A roof constructed of darker material will hide dirt and grime much better than a roof that is a lighter color. If you have a light-colored roof, you’ll probably need to have it cleaned once or twice a year depending on the amount of rain or snow you receive. Also, a roof that is pitched or set to a steep angle will allow water, dirt, and debris to run off easily. In contrast, a flat or slightly sloped roof will enable water and other debris to sit and accumulate, and therefore it will require more frequent cleaning.

Roof Materials

The type of material used to cover your roof will also determine how often it needs to be cleaned. Several types of materials can be used to cover your roof. Depending on where you live, builders may use materials like concrete or slate tiles, which have a rough finish and are typically brushed and flat. Other materials include barrel or ‘S’ tile, which is rounded and more slippery when wet. Then there are shake, cedar, or asphalt shingles, or you may even have a metal or clay roof. Some of these roof materials, like cedar, shake, and asphalt shingles, take longer to dry once they become wet. Other materials like the barrel and ‘S’ tile and metal can be extremely slippery when wet and increase the likelihood of a slip and fall accident. Some roof materials can also be damaged easily by the use of heavy equipment or the use of highly pressurized water.

Related Topic: Why You Should Never Pressure Wash Your Roof

A roof constructed of material like shake, cedar, or asphalt shingles usually holds up well to weather. These shingles typically hide dirt and grim much better and don’t need to be cleaned as often – perhaps once a year. However, roofs constructed of tile or metal tend to show dirt, grime, and mildew more easily, and therefore will require cleaning every 6-8 months.

It’s important to note that pressure washing—although a popular method for cleaning a roof— can erode the material used to construct your roof. Some materials, like asphalt composite shingles, are more fragile and can be damaged easily. Cleaning these type of shingles with highly pressurized water will destroy the surface by removing the sandy gravel finish, exposing the protective tar paper that lies underneath. Once this protective membrane is exposed to heat from the sun, the chance of developing a roof leak increases significantly. This is just another reason why hiring a professional to clean your roof is a good idea.

Climate and Surroundings

The location of your home can have a significant impact on the condition of your roof. If your home is surrounded by trees, chances are debris like branches, leaves, and twigs will find their way onto your roof. As this debris sits on your roof dirt and grime also accumulate to diminish its appearance.

If your area also gets a lot of wind, rain, and snow, branches and leaves can fall from nearby trees and land on top of your roof without you realizing it. This debris can damage roof material and clog your gutters. This combination of weather can be very detrimental to the appearance and structure of your roof. However, it’s nothing some timely cleaning and maintenance can’t handle.

Professional Roof Cleaning

Yes, your roof is designed to protect you and your possessions from anything Mother Nature throws your way, but this doesn’t mean it won’t need a little TLC every once in a while. Working on a roof can be extremely dangerous and cleaning one is not an easy task. So when it’s time to clean your roof, leave it to the professionals at Window Genie. We have the experience and equipment to do the job thoroughly and safely. Call Window Genie today for a free consultation and let us help you get your roof and the rest of your home’s exterior looking its absolute best!

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