Cleaning a roof sounds like a tough task, and the truth is, there are no real short cuts. While there are roof cleaning detergents, none of them will make a massive difference to its appearance. A pressure washer helps, but there are better ways that are safer, cost less and can produce better results.
In order to clean a roof, you must understand the safety aspects of working at height. In this article, we’ll look at some methods you can use and the pitfalls to avoid as you work.
The DIY roof cleaning process
When working with water on a roof, we recommend that you use a ladder that cannot conduct electricity. If the roof is steep, consider a harness that will anchor you in case you slip.
As far as the actual cleaning goes, the best way to remove moss and grime is good old bleach, which can be purchased from any supermarket for a few pence per bottle. Mix with water in equal parts, and apply to the roof using a large spray canister.
Leave for 15 minutes, rinse with a hose (or buckets of water), and repeat.
For tough roof marks, you may need to add slightly more bleach and slightly less water for the second rinse.
If you’re concerned that roof cleaning solution is going to run straight off the tiles without cleaning them, you could mix a cup of washing liquid into it, which will improve its viscosity. This helps the bleach to cling for longer, giving it more chance to soak into algae and mud.
Hazards of washing a roof
We briefly mentioned pressure washer machines in the introduction, but we recommend you avoid them if possible. Jet wash machines can ‘kick back’ when the trigger is pulled, so this could be more hazardous than it sounds – particularly if you don’t have a harness.
Additionally, cleaning solutions are obviously going to run off a roof as they are poured, so take care to clear the floor below and make sure pets and children are safely inside.
Not only can homemade detergents make skin and eyes sore, they could also make the ground slippery, particularly if you’ve added washing up liquid to the mix.
After the job is done
Once the roof is clean and you’re back on safe ground, use your hose to rinse all of the bleach solution away. It’s wise to wear a mask and goggles when you do this, as you’re likely to be encountering a fair amount of bleach.
Make sure the area is completely clean before anyone is allowed to walk around outside, and ensure any left over cleaning mix is stored out of each of children.
DIY roof cleaning is a risky business, and if you’re not confident, it’s best left to the pros. Allow South Thames Roofing to clean your roof and carry out a full inspection at the same time, so you have a clear idea of what’s going on at roof level – including any roof leaks that could cost you dear.