Most Portland homeowners never clean their roofs. Moreover, they don’t even think of it. The vast majority of homeowners in Portland, like homeowners everywhere, don’t know that roof cleaning is something they should schedule, along with gutter cleaning, chimney cleaning and furnace tune-ups. So why should they add roof cleaning to the already long list of home maintenance chores?


Why Clean Your Roof?

The big reason to clean the roof is that it will make it last longer. Believe it or not, the buildup of dust and dirt that naturally settles on a roof can provide a welcoming home for insects, mold and mildew. Especially in shady areas and damp climates, a dirty roof can become covered with moss, lichen and algae. Any roof will break down eventually, but you can prolong its life by removing substances that speed up deterioration.

The other big reason to clean your roof is that it looks better. A nice clean roof makes your house stand out. Especially if it is a light color, your roof will look new after cleaning removes the dark stains that are so visible on light gray or tan roofs. If you are putting the house up for sale, having the roof cleaned will improve curb appeal and assure prospective buyers that your home has been well-maintained.

Finding a Roof Cleaning Specialist

Roofing contractors are likely to tell you that you don’t need a cleaning but should buy an entirely new roof. It makes sense, because they are in the business of installing new roofs. Why would they want to turn business away? Rather than using a company that only installs roofs, you should look for a specialist who focuses on roof cleaning such as All Surface Cleaning Company serving Portland, Tigard and Vancouver.

Never try to do roof cleaning yourself; you could be seriously injured. Leave it to the pros. The results will be better and you will be safer.

There are a few things you should check on before contracting with a roof cleaner. The most important is to find out how the roof cleaner proposes to perform the work. Will the company use a power washer?

The Downside of Pressure Washing When Roof Cleaning

Using a power washer to clean an asphalt roof can actually reduce your roof’s lifespan, not lengthen it. It will remove the ceramic granules embedded in the surface, making the shingles break down more quickly. In most instances, power washing your roof will void your warranty. If power washing is the first or only step, you need to find another roof cleaner. Don’t be fooled by nice photos showing how great your roof will look after pressure washing. This is temporary.

Watch Out for Chemicals That Break Down Tar

In addition to avoiding power washing as a roof cleaning method whenever possible, you need to ask your cleaning contractor about the chemicals in the cleaning solution. Certain chemicals, such as potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, will dissolve the tar and asphalt of the roof, voiding the warranty. These chemicals will also damage the landscaping below. There are other effective and safe roof cleaning substances recommended by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers’ Association; be sure your contractor uses them.

The Consequences of Improper Roof Cleaning

Contractors may not admit to using harsh chemicals because many people don’t want them running into their flower beds. They may be vague about the circumstances under which they undertake pressure washing to clean a roof. Unfortunately, you may not see the evidence of pressure washing or harsh chemical use right away. But eventually you will notice dead or damaged yard plants and trees. Improper roof cleaning can leave the roots of the moss and algae that were supposed to be removed still in place. This will allow them to return very quickly, wiping out the benefit of roof cleaning.

The Importance of a Reliable Roof Cleaner

You want a company that will be around if you have problems or questions. You want a roof cleaner with a commitment to safety, both yours and your neighbors’ as well as the company’s workers. Ideally, you want someone who could provide you with other maintenance services such as deck cleaning, siding pressure washing, or gutter cleaning. You want a contractor who will describe in detail exactly what you are getting for your money. Of course, you want some who is licensed, bonded and properly insured.

Ask Around and Do Your Research to Get the Best Roof Cleaner

The best way to find this sort of roof cleaner is to ask trusted friends and family if they have had a good experience with any roof cleaner or seek out company reviews on third-party internet review sites. If a company doesn’t have any reviews online, you may wish to try another company.

Call All Surface Cleaning for a Free Roof Cleaning Estimate

Our team of friendly roof-cleaning professionals welcome your call and questions. We know that you may have many questions; if you are like most Portland homeowners, you have never hired a roof-cleaning professional before. For a home visit and free estimate, call (503) 590-9274. Or you may contact us online.