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How to Clean a House Roof

Cleaning a house roof isn’t at the forefront of everyone’s mind when they think “spring cleaning”. As the roof is often not seen, unless you have a loft conversion, it’s crucial that you carry out general maintenance every so often as to not reduce its effectiveness and longevity.

No matter the style of roof that you have; whether it be a pitched roof or a flat roof; made from slate or tiles; it’s vital that you give the roof of your home some TLC. After all, it’s the glue that holds your house together.

In this article, you’ll find a guide on how to clean your roof, along with why you should carry out this maintenance and general cleaning tips.

Is Roof Cleaning a Good Idea?

moss on roof

Yes, cleaning your roof is a good idea, and here’s why:

Aesthetics aren’t the only reason to give your roof a good clean. A clean, moss-free roof does look good, but there are a few things, like moss, that seem relatively harmless but can be a nuisance. Cleaning your roof isn’t just an odd-job, it’s a necessity.

Moss is the killer of roof materials. It obtains so much water that, over time, starts to eat away at your tiles. This results in tiles becoming loose, cracked and even falling off your roof leaving the underneath exposed to the elements.

There are many forms of bacteria that find their way onto the roof of your home. When your tiles start to turn a darker shade, this is because of the bacteria. Over time, the bacteria break down your tiles and eat away at their surface. When your tiles are darker in colour, they allow the heat to penetrate into the building. This then dries out the felt that sits under the tiles and causes it to crack. When you experience heavy rainfall, the water will then seep into these cracks and cause dampness.

When done properly, cleaning your roof won’t damage it. Your roof is extremely durable. The only way you’d cause any damage is if you used the wrong tools. For example, if your tiles are coated in sand, a metal cleaning scraper will scratch the sand off the tile’s surface and it will become susceptible to weather damage. With anything roof related, we’d always advise that you hire a professional company that can safely and correctly make your roof as good as new.

How to Clean a Roof: Step by Step

Cleaning a Roof With a Jet Wash

  1. Start by removing any large debris. We’d advise using a stiff hand brush.
  2. If you’re using chemicals, create a 50:50 solution of water and bleach. If you’re staying clear of chemicals, water will do the job.
  3. Put your solution into your jet wash.
  4. Spray an area of the roof and let it sit for 15-minutes.
  5. Using a brush, scrub the area to remove any bacteria.
  6. If you have any stubborn areas, repeat the above steps.
  7. Using a jet wash that contains clean water, spray the area to remove the chemicals.

It’s important to note that the abrasiveness of a jet wash can cause issues with your roof tiles. The force of the water can remove fines in concrete roofs which vastly reduces its lifespan. The force can also make tiles become loose, and in some cases, make them fall off altogether. While you can easily jet wash a roof, we’d advise using the method below.

Cleaning a Roof Without a Jet Wash

If you don’t have a jet wash, not to worry, they aren’t an essential part of cleaning your home’s roof. In fact, the cheapest method to rid your roof of moss is to do it all manually.

  1. Start by removing any large debris. A stiff hand brush will do the job.
  2. Manually remove as much moss as you can from the tiles.
  3. Using a moss-killer solution, apply it to the entire roof. If this isn’t doable, apply the chemical to the areas where moss was found.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for soak-time.
  5. Using a bucket of clean water, or a hosepipe (if it reaches!) clean away the chemical.

Roof Cleaning Tips

How Long Does Roof Cleaning Last?

This depends on the size of your roof and the severity of the bacteria. If you carry out general maintenance throughout the year, cleaning your roof shouldn’t take up much time.

Roof Cleaning Safety Tips

  • Hiring a professional is a much safer way to have your roof cleaned.
  • Always make sure you have the correct equipment in order to get up and down from your roof.
  • There should always be at least two people when carrying out roof work.
  • Wear safety equipment such as a hi-vis and hard hat.

Cleaning the roof on your house is a vital part of the upkeep of your home’s exterior. Neglecting your roof can cause a world of damage, and this damage is pretty costly. We advise that you carry out general cleaning of your roof every half a year depending on the weather conditions of where you live.

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