The national average cost for roof cleaning is $350. Regionally, the price to clean your roof can vary depending on your roof material, roof type, zip code, and the amount of grime, grit, and algae present. Roof cleaning may seem like just one more chore but can actually prolong your roof life, saving you thousands of dollars down the road. Lichen, mold, moss and grime not only look shabby, they lead to moisture buildup which can cause roof damage. Pro roof cleaners use specialized pressure washing equipment and the appropriate cleaning solution for your roof material. Here’s a breakdown of the cost factors associated with cleaning your roof.
What's in this roof cleaning cost guide?
What affects roof cleaning costs?
The factors that affect your cleaning cost include square footage, time (if ever) since your last cleaning, the type of roof cleaning you need, and roof height and pitch. Most roof cleaners will want to see the roof before providing their free estimate to more accurately understand the job. Generally speaking, the more difficult it is for a professional to get a roof clean, the more it will cost.
The size of roof usually directly correlates to how long it will take to clean and, thus, how much it will cost to clean. The larger the roof, the higher the price. Many roof cleaners charge by the square foot, and others charge by the square—a roofing term—which is equal to 100 square feet. In one example, if a home is 3,000 square feet, and the average cost of roof cleaning is $350, the approximate cost per square foot would be 12 cents.
Time since last cleaning
The longer it’s been since a roof was last cleaned or the dirtier it is (for any reason), the longer it will take to clean. The overall cost is likely to be higher. As an example, homes in areas that are exposed to seawater, continuous rain, or high humidity often have higher cleaning rates than homes in moderate climates, because the associated salt, algae, and mold require added care and attention.
Type of cleaning
The type of roof you have can determine the type of cleaning used. Asphalt shingle, ceramic tile, clay tile, concrete tile, slate, tar and gravel, and wood all require different cleaning methods. Be wary of roof cleaning services that use harsh chemicals, because they can erode the integrity of your roof shingles. You should also be very wary of a company using full force (3,000 psi) power washing equipment. The intense pressure can dislodge roofing materials. Not surprisingly, the more complex tne roof is, the longer it will take to clean and the higher the cost. For example, roofs with hip sections—slopes on all four sides—and those with obstructions such as chimneys, trees and decks will cost more to clean. Chemical soft washing (low pressure water washing mixed the appropriate cleaner) and low pressure washing are two of the most common methods of roof cleaning. Hand washing with a hose and nylon brush may also be appropriate depending on your roof’s needs.
Pitch or slope
Roofs with steeper slopes are more dangerous for the cleaners, so safety precautions and staging may have to be added. These conditions will increase labor and overall costs.
The roofs of homes at the beach or in the mountains are affected by weather and atmosphere and can be more dirty than in other areas. Roof cleaners may charge more because it will take longer to clean a roof in these locations. If there’s a lot of salt, moss or algae on a roof, the price will be higher for cleaning because those substances are more stubborn to remove. Additionally, your zip code will impact local costs for labor and your roof cleaning.
The more stories a home has, the more difficult it is for cleaners to maneuver their personnel and equipment to clean a roof effectively. Safety is a concern and reputable companies will require their workers to use harnesses for higher heights. Due to the added precautions necessary, the taller your building, the more expensive your roof cleaning services can be.
Average roof cleaning costs
Nationally, $350 is the average cost for professional roof cleaning. This includes removal of visible and unseen organic growth (such as lichen and algae) from shingles using the appropriate cleaning method for your roof material, as well as removal of storm detritus and fallen leaves. Upon request, many cleaners can apply zinc strips or anti-growth sprays to protect a roof until the next cleaning. These services cost extra. Most cleaners charge under $50 per zinc strip plus installation, for example. Three Thumbtack Pros cited their average job costs for Thumbtack customers as following:
- $100-$300, depending on square footage and roof materials
- $200-$300, depending on square footage and roof materials
- $225-$600, depending on square footage and roof materials
How to save money on roof cleaning
Some roof cleaning companies offer discounts if customers get on a regular cleaning schedule, such as once or twice a year. Some roof cleaning companies also offer to clean gutters, so you may be able to get a discount if you combine the two services. A DIY cleaning solution is not recommended unless you have the proper safety equipment and cleaner for your roof surface. If you plan on DIY power washing, proceed with caution. DIY pressure cleaning can do more harm than good, potentially causing damage to tiles, shingles or shingle granules. Even if you are qualified to use a pressure washer, make sure your roof warranty doesn't require that you use a professional roof cleaning service or risk voiding of the warranty.
How to hire roof cleaners
When hiring a roof cleaning company, always read online reviews and look for positive customer service. Due to the liability involved, hire a company that has the appropriate insurance and provides workers compensation for their employees. Insurance and workers comp keep everyone safe in case of a roof slipping accident. Always ask what roof cleaning methods the company will use on your roof, and verify they will not use high-power pressure washing equipment that can damage your shingles or tiles.
Benefits of professional roof cleaning
- Remove algae. Black streaks on your roof likely mean gloeocapsa magma algae spores have established and are proliferating. Pro cleaning gets rid of the gunk.
- Boost curb appeal. An attractive and clean roof can add to the market value of your home.
- Increase lifespan of your roof. Moisture buildup from organic growth on your roof can lead to mold and roof deterioration. Regular cleaning (every 1-3 years as needed) keeps your roof in good health.
- Prevent leakage. Unchecked organic growth allows moisture to remain trapped under shingles or tiles, leading to mold and the compromise of your roof.
- Roof repairs. A clean roof makes it easy to identify where, if any, areas of the roof need repair.
- Lower cooling costs. If you have solar panels or a cool roof, roof cleaning can help reduce your energy bills.