We clean our gutters, we wash our siding—so is the household roof really out of the picture? Do you need to get up there on your hands and knees and scrub it like you would a floor? Would doing so help, because it removes grime, or hinder, because it messes with shingles that should remain stationary?
Indeed, roof washing is a controversial subject, but we at Perfect Exteriors of Monticello are here to help sort it out. Below, we’ll discuss roof hygiene, how to best maintain it, and if it really does involve a conventional “washing” procedure.
The Wishy-Washy Answer
The fact of the matter is that a manual washing can do both—help your roof’s longevity and hinder it. You just have to do it right and at the right time to reap the right results.
Why Wash Your Roof
If you live in an area with a lot of trees, you may notice they don’t just shed their leaves into your yard; your roof takes a load of them, too!
This is more than an aesthetic problem, though, even though it does prevent you from showing off that lovely asphalt roofing or rustic cedar shake roofing. Long story short, leaf piles not only hold in moisture, but they can allow puddles to back up behind them. Both of those things are detrimental to your roof as a whole, as they can cause severe moisture damage as water works its way under your shingles and into the decking below.
And, of course, if you want to rid your roof’s exterior of moss or mold, a good washing can certainly do that when done properly.
The One Thing to Avoid
Roofs are hardy things, but if you wind up washing without watching what you’re doing, you could easily damage it.
The number one rule of thumb: Don’t use a pressure washer! Sure, it can be satisfying watching all that grime drain down, but the strength of the device plus the angle at which you’re probably using it can actually force water underneath your shingles, leading to the very problem you’re trying to prevent.
How to Wash Your Roof Right
Simple: a garden hose, an environmentally friendly cleaner to save your landscaping below, and a safe space (not on the roof itself!) to stand. What type of cleaner you use depends on the roof you have; talk to your home exterior contractor for more information. It’s also wise to talk to that roofer ahead of time before beginning the task, to see if a) it actually needs to be done and b) if it can be done by you, the homeowner, safely.