Our roof is often left unattended until it starts leaking. At that point, there could be several underlying issues that could cost a pretty penny in roof repair costs.

The best way to avoid these issues is through proper roof maintenance—that starts with cleaning your roof.

But how often should you clean your roof? What materials do you need? And when should you hire professionals to do the cleaning? Let’s find out!

Does Your Roof Need To Be Cleaned?

There’s been a long-running debate about roof cleaning. Some swear they never spent a penny on roof cleaning or considered it. Others say they’ve had severe issues with mold and moss.

The truth is that most decide to get their roof clean when problems show up. Your biggest concerns are moss and invasive foliage. These shorten the lifespan of shingles.

Left unattended, moss can cause saturation, ultimately becoming water damage that penetrates through shingles and sheathing. Once that happens, you can get dry rot, mold, and leaking.

Cleaning your roof can help you avoid these issues. You can even clean the roof with the proper equipment and easy access. So, how often should you clean your roof?

How Often Should You Clean Your Roof?

How often you should clean your roof depends on the roofing materials, the climate, and other external factors. Is your roof under a tree? Do you live in rain-prone areas?

But in most cases, you should clean your roof every 1 to 5 years. Here’s a quick rundown of when you should clean your roof based on the roofing material:

  • Asphalt shingles: 1 to 5 years.
  • Metal roofs: 1 to 10 years.
  • Tile roofs: 6 months to 5 years

Ultimately, the best time to clean your roof depends on each case. For example, debris can accelerate wear and tear if your roof is under a tree.

If your roof is constantly under shade, algae and moss grow faster. The shape of your roof also affects how long debris stays.

Let’s say your roof has flat areas and two valleys coming to a point. That’s called a dead valley. Water stays longer, and debris can’t wash away easily. These areas need frequent cleaning.

However, roof cleaning can also damage the roof if done incorrectly. Using the wrong techniques and tools can actually shorten its lifespan. So, should you DIY roof cleaning?

DIY Roof Cleaning Vs. Professional Cleaning

The most obvious benefits of DIY cleaning are the savings, the ability to clean at your convenience, and the hassle of scheduling an appointment.

On the other hand, professional cleaning gives you peace of mind and convenience and ensures a risk-free roof cleaning process.

Let’s examine the materials, equipment, and processes required to clean your roof to help you decide between DIY and professional cleaning.

How to DIY Clean Your Roof

Before attempting a DIY roof cleaning, remember to always prioritize safety. The roof cleaning cost you save won’t be worth it if you injure yourself. Consider these steps, materials, and equipment for DIY roof cleaning.

Step 1: Blowing Debris and Brushing Off Moss

Blow off loose debris using a blower. Lightly brush over heavy moss growth, just enough to knock it off. Heavy brushing can damage your shingles.

Use a medium-bristle brush that’s stiff enough to knock moss loose while soft enough not to remove the grit from asphalt shingles.

After, use the blower again to remove any excess debris and moss. Then, clean out your gutters and downspouts to prevent water from pooling. To help avoid pooling, consider waterproofing your roof.

Step 2: Chemical Washing Roof

Spread zinc sulfate powder along the ridge lines, including the under eaves. The zinc sulfate removes moisture from the moss and kills the roots.

This process turns the moss into a powder that is washed away naturally when it rains. Once it reaches the gutters, it is diluted enough to be harmless to animals and plants.

Don’t use baking powder or laundry powder. These have too many chemicals that can negatively affect your roof.

Step 3: Bleaching the Roof (Optional)

If you want to bleach your roof, you can pump spray, use a foam cannon, or an X-jet after the zinc has been washed away and dried.

Remember, safety should always be your priority. You don’t want to try to clean your roof yourself, fall, and get severely injured.

That’s why it’s always best to hire professionals. Roofing contracts have the equipment and experience required to clean your roof safely and effectively.

Signs That Your Roof Needs Immediate Cleaning

Knowing when your roof needs immediate cleaning is crucial for maintaining longevity and structural integrity. As mentioned, most residential roofs using asphalt shingles need cleaning every 1-5 years.

Call a professional if you notice dark stains, discoloration, or algae growth on your roof. Dirt and algae accumulation are the leading causes of discoloration. If your roof hasn’t been washed after rain, it might be time for a cleaning.

Algae can cause green or black spots on your roof to surface. Professional soft washing can kill algae and prevent immediate recurring growth.

If you installed a new roof and it looks dull after a few years, the cause is likely to be a combination of severe sun exposure, dirt accumulation, and severe weather conditions.

Getting your roof professionally cleaned can restore its color and aesthetically pleasing qualities and help ensure its longevity and structural integrity.

How Often to Clean Different Roof Types

Consistent cleaning is the first step toward future-proofing your roof. How often you clean your roof depends on the roofing material, roof condition, climate, and external factors. Here’s a recap of how often you should clean your roof based on roofing materials:

  • Asphalt shingles: 1 to 5 years.
  • Metal roofs: 1 to 10 years.
  • Tile roofs: 6 months to 5 years.

Roof cleaning costs also depend on how big your roof is, how complex the structure is, and the current condition of your roof. To get a more accurate estimate, contact Trenton Roofing today!

Alex Valentino

Alex Valentino – Vice President

Leading the way for the company’s second generation of family and employee ownership, Alex’s mission is to create lasting relationships built on trust and respect by providing uncompromising workmanship and unparalleled customer service. With a focus on safety and consumer education, Trenton Roofing strives to set the bar for the advancement of the roofing industry and the betterment of our local communities. When he is not working, Alex can be found traveling with his fiancée, watching football or playing a relaxing round of golf with his friends.