The Roof Cleaning Process

roof cleaning process

A clean roof will protect it from damage and improve its lifespan. It will also prevent the accumulation of debris, which can clog gutters and cause drainage issues.

The most common Roof Cleaning Sarasota method is a “soft wash”. Be sure to check if the contractor uses bleach-based cleaners, as this can harm surrounding plants and may even kill them.

Debris Removal

The first step in any roof cleaning process is the removal of debris. This may be as simple as blowing off loose dirt, or it could require a manual clean-up using shovels or rakes to remove larger items that are stuck to the surface of the structure. This step is important because it helps to ensure that disaster-damaged materials or vegetation are not placed in a spot where they might pose a threat to people or wildlife, either now or in the future.

This is also a good time to clear away any branches, leaves or other plant matter that have fallen onto the roof. This will make the cleaning process much easier, and it can also prevent tripping hazards for anyone who might be working on or around the home. It is best to do this work in dry conditions, as wet or slippery surfaces can increase the risk of injuries.

Once the debris has been removed, it is a good idea to take this opportunity to inspect the roof for damage or potential issues. The roof cleaner should note any areas that need further attention and determine if any repairs are required. It is also a good idea to take this time to clean the gutters to ensure they are free of any debris that might otherwise interfere with drainage or lead to clogging.

After the inspection and preparation are complete, the cleaner is ready to apply the cleaning solution. This can be done with a garden hose on a low-pressure setting, or a commercial cleaning product that is specially designed for use on roofing materials. The cleaner is left to sit on the surface of the roof for about 15-20 minutes, which gives it time to penetrate and break down contaminants.

Once the waiting time is over, the roof cleaner can rinse the roof using a low-pressure wash to remove all the dirt, grime and other substances that have been removed from the surface of the roof. This final rinse will help to protect the integrity of the roofing materials, and it will also leave the roof looking bright and fresh.

Chemical Application

The roof cleaning process involves applying a chemical solution to kill moss and algae growth. This is often done from a ladder with the use of safety equipment, including sturdy footwear, a harness and non-slip gloves. This step ensures that the chemicals do not cause harm to people or the surrounding environment. It also helps ensure that the solution can bypass runoff recovery systems and not affect local waterways.

Before applying the chemical solution, it is a good idea to pre-treat the areas of moss and algae growth. This helps to loosen the contaminants and makes the cleaning process more efficient. It is also a good idea to apply the solution evenly across the entire roof surface, paying special attention to the heavily affected areas. This is important to prevent a patchwork effect that can result from insufficient treatment.

After the chemical application is complete, it is important to rinse the area thoroughly with clean water. This is to remove any excess cleaning solution and to ensure that the roof is free of contaminant buildup. This will also help to ensure that the moss and algae do not regrow after it has been removed.

Another option for roof cleaning is to spray the surface with a high-powered pressure washer. This method is generally used to remove larger debris and can be more effective than manual scrubbing alone. However, it can be dangerous if not done correctly and can damage the integrity of the roofing materials. It is best left to professionals who have the necessary experience and equipment to ensure ladder safety.

Another popular roof cleaning technique is to use chlorine bleach. This is a safe and effective way to remove stains from the roof and is particularly well-suited for those with a black slate roof. It is important to note, though, that this method will not remove moss or lichen growth, and it may require repeated applications to achieve a clean and unblemished appearance.


A thorough roof cleaning is not just for appearances; it also reveals damaged areas of the roof that can lead to leaks, insect infestation, and even structural damage. A professional can quickly spot areas that need repair, saving homeowners money and preventing future damage.

A clean roof will last longer than one that is covered with moss, lichen, and algae. The bleach solution kills the spores that cause these growths, allowing them to die and wash away with rainfall or with natural sun exposure. A roof that is regularly cleaned with the appropriate chemical solutions can remain moss, mildew, and algae-free for 2 to 3 years, depending on climate conditions and surrounding vegetation.

In this step, the roofing specialist rinses the chemical solution from the roof surface using low pressure water (equivalent to garden hose pressure). The water should be applied evenly and not focused on any one area of the roof, as this can damage or weaken the shingles. This rinsing process should take up to 20 minutes.

This method of cleaning a roof is known as soft washing and is best for asphalt shingle roofing. It uses lower pressure and is more gentle than traditional power washers, preventing unnecessary wear-and-tear to the roof shingles. It is also a safer option for the environment around your home, ensuring that the harsh chemicals do not enter your plumbing system or run off into nearby plants and rivers.

When the roof is completely dry, the roofing contractor may use a leaf blower to remove any remaining debris from the surface of the roof. The gutters should be checked to ensure they are not draining directly into any trees or shrubs. This is because the high concentration of sodium hypochlorite can kill any plants it comes into contact with.

This method of roof cleaning is becoming more popular for both composition and metal roofing materials. It can be used to effectively remove moss, mold, mildew, and algae from aluminum, concrete tile, faux slate, and thick rubber roofs, as well as cleaning the oxidation on some metal roofing systems.

Final Inspection

Before leaving the site, the cleaning crew will do a visual inspection of the roof to ensure that all dirt and debris have been removed. The cleaner will also check for any signs of damage that need to be addressed, like cracked shingles or leaks in the gutters. This is a good time to catch any other issues that may need attention, such as moss growth or algae streaking.

The roof cleaning process can be hazardous, so it is important to follow all safety protocols throughout the cleaning process. This includes wearing gloves and protective eyewear, a mask to shield from the cleaning solution, and non-slip shoes for safety. It is also a good idea to avoid working on the roof in wet or slippery conditions. In addition, it is always a good idea to clear the area around the home of any obstacles or valuables to prevent accidental damage.

The building inspector will perform a final inspection after all permitted work has been completed. This will usually include a walk-through of the entire building to assess whether all aspects of the construction are in compliance with the approved plans and the provisions of the building code, including exits, egress, and life safety.

It is a good idea to prepare for this inspection by providing the inspector with all documentation in advance. This will save them time on site and prevent potential errors that might delay the final inspection. Typically, this will involve preparing a checklist of items that need to be checked by the inspector, along with any documents that might need to be signed or provided.

Once the final inspection has been conducted, the building contractor will need to address any issues that may have been raised. This will usually involve correcting any faults in the work and making sure that all aspects of the construction are in compliance with building codes. This might include resolving issues such as faulty wiring, leaky plumbing, and notches or cuts in the structural frame members that may prevent proper egress or impede fire safety.