Yes roofs can be cleaned, and yes, it’s a real thing. Roof cleaning may actually be a wise investment to prolong the life of your roof. Overgrowth of moss, grime, lichen or algae can all shorten the life of your roof. If you have black streaks growing on your roof, they are likely caused by gloeocapsa magma algae spores that have landed on your roof and taken up residence. Once the algae has grown into streaks, the organism has usually been growing for several months and it’s high time to have it removed. If you live in a rainy part of the country, such as the Pacific Northwest, there’s a good chance you’ll find moss growing on your roof at some point. The northern part of your roof, as well as any parts that remain shaded all day, will provide a wet, cool haven for moss to flourish. Unfortunately this water-absorbing moss can damage your shingle roof, leading to rot if not removed. Beyond roof health and function, a clean roof can boost your curb appeal and potentially boost your home’s resale value. The national average for roof cleaning costs ranges between $270 and $350, although prices can be higher depending on how large your roof is, how steep your roof is, and what type of cleaning is necessary. Typically pros use either a pressure wash or chemical wash (made with a concentrated bleach solution) to remove algae, lichen, moss and dirt.
Over time, algae, moss, lichen, dirt and even salt (if you’re near the ocean) can build up on your roof. These buildups can affect the look and function of your roof unless removed. The buildup of organic materials such as moss on a shingle roof can prevent water from sloughing off as it normally would. Trapped water can rot the roof or cause early deterioration of your shingles. Even if you don’t have a shingle roof, moss and lichen absorb water, and that wet material adds weight and stress to your roof — as well as providing a home for insects and other pests, and collecting dirt. For reflective, cool roofs that redirect heat away from the home, algae and moss growths can hamper their ability to deflect the sun, which can affect utility bills. Visually, moss, dirt and algae growths on a roof can have a negative effect on perceived home value and curb appeal. For example, black algae streaks on your roof may cause a potential homebuyer to assume that the roof might need repair or replacement, when it only needs to be cleaned.
There are several reasons why it’s worth it to hire a professional roofer instead of attempting it yourself. The first is safety. Roofing is inherently dangerous, as a fall from a roof could seriously injure or kill you. Roofers have specialized equipment and training to help prevent accidents.
Next is experience. Roofers know how to spot problems (leaks, missing shingles, moss or mold growth, etc.) in your roof that could potentially save you from costly repairs down the road.
And finally, roofers save you time by getting the job done quickly and with a high degree of quality.
Rain gutters, those easily-forgotten trenches that hang off the edge of your roof, protect your roof, walls and foundation from excess rainwater. When they get clogged with leaves, sticks and other wind-blown debris, they can no longer direct water away from your walls and foundation, and may become homes for pests and insects. They also become heavy enough to pull away from the house, preventing proper rainwater drainage and spoiling the appearance of your home. Experts recommend inspecting and cleaning your gutters twice a year, once in spring and once in fall, as part of your regular landscaping schedule. Gutter cleaning and maintenance is a fairly easy DIY job for some homeowners, especially on one-story homes. However, professional gutter cleaners have ladders tall enough to safely reach rain gutters, as well as the necessary tools to clean out the downspouts. Most gutter cleaning professionals can also make any necessary quick repairs.
You can safely use a pressure washer on a number of different surfaces, including your home’s exterior, siding, driveways, rooftops, sidewalks, patios and more.
It can also be used to clean grills, outdoor furniture, cars and trucks, boats, bikes, fences and decks. You can generally clean any hard outdoor walking surface, including asphalt, concrete, brick and pavers with a pressure washer.
However, it’s possible to damage your property — especially wood and vinyl surfaces — if you don’t use the pressure washer correctly. Consider hiring a top-rated pressure washing service near you if you don’t have experience using the equipment and selecting the correct PSI.
The best rule of thumb is to pressure wash your house once per year at minimum. This is largely dependent on your city's weather and climate, however. If you get a lot of rain, wind and storms, you probably need to clean more frequently than once per year. Wetter climates with regular rain and storms can lead to a lot of humidity, buildup and debris, which could also cause mold and mildew.
You should also consider pressure washing your home if you’re planning to repaint your home’s exterior or if you want to boost your home’s curb appeal to prospective buyers.
Contact the best pressure washers near you to schedule regular appointments.
An online search allows you to compare ratings and reviews for the best pressure washing services near you. Look for customer reviews with attached photos, as these showcase the work of the pro. Even better — look for photos of the surfaces and structures you need a pro to clean. This may include before-and-after photos of home exteriors, concrete driveways, sidewalks and more.
Once you’ve decided on a few professionals, request free cost estimates from at least three of them before you make your choice.
Pressure washing a house tends to take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. The larger the house, the longer it will take. It may also take an additional 15 to 30 minutes of setup time and pack time, and some time may be required to switch between applying the cleaning chemicals and rinsing them off.
Ask the best pressure washers near you how long it might take to wash your home's exterior (or other surfaces), and get free estimates.
To find and hire a reputable pro, start by comparing gutter cleaning services in your area online. This may include companies that solely offer gutter cleaning, as well as companies that provide roofing, pressure washing, lawn care or general cleaning services. Read their ratings and customer reviews, paying close attention to any reviews that include photos for evidence of their workmanship.
Next, check to see if the pros you’re considering have the proper credentials (licenses, certifications, insurance, etc.) in your state. Your cleaner should be insured against all work-related injuries and damage.
The final step is to compare quotes and estimates from the pros you’ve selected.
Yes, it’s often worth it to hire a pro to pressure wash your house or other surfaces. The main benefits of hiring a professional pressure washer include the pro’s ability to clean without damaging your home (removing the risk for personal injury) and their ability to spot problems before they occur.
With DIY pressure washing, you can save money and get familiar with your house’s nooks and crannies. However, you run the risk of damaging your siding and your paint, falling off a ladder, hurting yourself with the high-pressure water and not spotting problems that an experienced pro would be able to spot.
Contact the top-rated pressure washing services near you to figure out if hiring a pro is the best option for you.