Home Improvements

How to Safely Clean Your Roof

South Africa’s chaotic weather leaves a lot of homes with dirty, washed out looking roofs. But unlike windows and walls, it isn’t easy to even reach it, let alone safely clean your roof!

A lot of people think a dirty roof is just a fact of life, but this isn’t true! Cleaning your roof is an important step in prolonging its lifespan, while also increasing your home’s curb appeal. Roofs are surprisingly delicate, so it’s important that you use the proper cleaning products and methods.

Keep reading to find out how to clean your roof this summer.

Crow sitting on a dirty red tiled roof, with a mountain in the background.

The Dos and Don’ts

Safely cleaning your roof is a fairly straightforward process. But before you get started, there are some dos and dont’s to keep in mind. 

DON’T use a pressure washer

We’ve all seen videos of pressure washers blasting away dirt, discolouration, and grime, but don’t be tempted to use this on your roof! Not only can the pressure of the water damage your roof, it can also loosen screws, shingles, and tiles. All of this leads to your roof deteriorating faster. 

DO use a garden hose

Rather use a garden hose with a sprayer attachment and a mixture of chlorine and water. Just spray the mixture on and wait for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with clear water. It won’t have the same immediate effect, but this is much less damaging to your roof. 

DON’T let cleaning mixture get into plants

Chlorine can be toxic to animals and plants, so make sure you protect the landscape around your roof and keep your pets inside. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the area after you clean the roof to ensure the chlorine can’t harm anything.

Aerial shot of a dirty tiled roof. Read the rest of this article to learn how to safely clean a roof like this.

DO clean from top to bottom 

You also want to make sure to clean your roof from top to bottom. If you do it the other way round, you’ll end up with the dirt from the top running down and re-dirtying the bottom part that you just cleaned! 

DON’T clean on sunny days

You might think it’s best to clean your roof when the sun is out, but this actually causes the cleaning solution to evaporate before it can start working. Rather wait for a cloudy day when the wind isn’t blowing and it won’t rain before you’re done. 

DO make sure you’re safe

Roof safety is extremely important! Before you can even consider cleaning your roof yourself, you have to make sure you can safely walk on the surface. If the slope is too steep to comfortably walk on, or the material is slippery, you should absolutely not attempt to clean it yourself. 

Close up of dark roof tiles that have mould spots on them.

Hiring a Pro

Even if you can’t get onto your roof safely, you’ve still got options. Roofers do this every day, so not only can they tackle the job easily, but they know exactly how to stay safe throughout the process.

Roofing contractors have all the tools and skills needed for any roof-related job, whether that be cleaning, inspecting, or repairing your roof. Even if your roof has a safe slope to it, you might not have a ladder long enough to get there! 

If your house is several stories tall then it gets even more dangerous. The higher up you are, the more the wind will affect you, and the more likely you are to be seriously injured if you fall. You also have to lug all the relevant tools and equipment up and down with you.

All of this is before you even start cleaning. You know how scrubbing floors can be tiring? imagine how hard it is on a roof, especially if it hasn’t been touched in some time.

Save yourself the risk and consider hiring a roofer from the start. 

Aerial shot of dirty roof with red tiles. The slope on this roof would be too steep to safely clean the roof.

Safely Clean Your Roof

If your roof has seen better days, it’s probably time to give it a revamp. Whether that’s redoing parts of it, or simply giving it a good scrub, it’s best to leave it to a professional. 

Professional roofers can safely clean your roof without hassle or risk of injury. You can also rest assured they have the right equipment, and can get the job done efficiently and correctly. 

If you’re in need of a home pro to prep your house for the coming summer months, contact us today.

You’re in good company