Why Roof Washing Should Be on Your Spring Cleaning List

February 27, 2024

Extend the Life of Your Roof With Roof Washing

Most homeowners don’t think much about their roofs unless something bad happens, such as a leak, windstorm, meteorite strike, or some other catastrophe.

It’s a mistake, however, to ignore your home’s roof. Like any other component of your home, the roof is a system that requires regular maintenance.

One of the best things you can do for your roof is to have it washed periodically. In this article, we explore what roof washing is, how it’s done, and its benefits to your home–and your pocketbook.

Why Does My Roof Need Washing?

Your first thought upon hearing the term “roof washing” might be: “My roof gets washed every time it rains, right?”

Not really. Think about it: If you just stood outside in the rain in lieu of taking a shower, you wouldn’t get very clean, would you?

It’s the same thing with your roof. The first rain after a dry spell might rinse off some dust and light debris, but a thorough cleaning requires a more targeted approach.

The reason is the different substances that can build up on your roof over time that rainwater won’t remove, such as accumulations of stuck-on dirt. Algae and moss can grow on surfaces that get wet frequently but are shaded from the sun by trees or other obstacles. In the fall and winter,  decaying leaves can cause mildew or mold buildup.

If left unattended, these issues can end up causing structural damage to the shingles or tiles, the plywood underneath them, or even the roof trusses holding everything up. Depending on the extent of the damage, issues such as dry rot can cost thousands of dollars to repair or make it difficult to sell your home.

How Is Roof Washing Done?

The exact treatments included in a roof washing job may vary according to the roof’s design, materials, and condition. However, the basic steps are as follows:

  • Removal of loose debris, such as leaves, seeds (such as acorns), and sticks.
  • Inspection to identify damaged or missing shingles, tiles, flashing, or seals around roof penetrations, and to determine the type and amount of dirt or other material to be removed.
  • Soft-wash pressure cleaning, which uses a low-pressure stream of water and special detergents to remove dirt, algae, and stains without damaging the roofing material.
  • High-pressure water washing to remove more stubborn materials; the exact pressure varies according to the roofing material to prevent damage.
  • Gutter cleaning to ensure runoff from your roof has an unobstructed path away from your home.

What Are the Benefits?

Periodic roof washing confers several benefits, including:

  • Preventive maintenance: As mentioned previously, removing dirt, moss, algae, and other contaminants from your roof can prevent these materials from damaging various roof components.
    • Identifying minor issues before they become big problems: Having your roof cleaned by skilled professionals means they can find small problems, such as missing or damaged shingles, before they cause major, expensive problems.
  • Roof longevity: Regular washings can extend the life of your roof, which means more time between expensive re-roofing of your home.
  • Curb appeal: A clean roof beautifies your home. If you’ve never had your roof washed, you will be amazed at what a difference it makes to your home’s appearance.
  • Increased property value: Because your home looks better than comparable homes whose roofs have not been cared for, it will command a higher price from interested buyers–often much more than the cost of washing the roof.

When Should I Have My Roof Washed?

Roof washing can be done any time the weather permits. A roof washing every year can be part of your “spring cleaning” routine, but it should be done any time you see moss, algae, or other contaminants on your roof.

Can I Do It Myself?

Because working on a roof (in particular, a wet roof) can be dangerous, roof washing is best left to professionals who have the skill, equipment, training, and experience to do it properly and safely.

Serving all of Maryland and the District of Columbia, Keenwick is a professional power washing company specializing in roof washing, complete residential power washing, and residential and commercial window washing. Our skilled professionals know what tools, treatments,  and environmentally safe detergents are needed to address your particular roof-cleaning situation.

Don’t let your dirty roof lead to bigger problems down the road. Contact Keenwick today to discuss our roof washing and other services and to schedule an appointment for a free estimate.