Is It Ok To Pressure Wash Roof Tiles?
Homeowners can use pressure washers for a wide variety of tasks because to its versatility. They are able to peel potatoes, clean driveways and sidewalks, and even prepare the exterior of homes for painting. Be aware, though, that attempting to clean a dirty roof with your trusty pressure washer is definitely not the best option if you are staring up at the grime-covered surface and wondering if you can get rid of it.
You Need To Know About Pressure Cleaning
Will cleaning it with pressure cause any damage to your roof? The majority of individuals are afraid that the pressure that is used to clean clay and concrete roof tiles is too powerful, which could potentially harm the shingles or cause them to become loose.
However, despite the fact that this is a serious risk, the only way for this to occur is if an unskilled person attempts to pressure clean the roof on their own. When done correctly, pressure cleaning calls for some prior experience in addition to specific instruction. The following is essential information you need to know about using a pressure washer to clean clay and concrete roof tiles.
Pressure Cleaning Increases The Life Of Your Roof
The majority of individuals are under the impression that the only issue is the unsightly appearance of mould, algae, and moss. The reality, however, is that these little plants are capable of causing significant harm to your roof. They have the ability to chew away at the base of the tiles, which will cause them to become loose.
They will also make the tiles on your roof more susceptible to damage from water. However, if you have your property professionally pressure cleaned on a regular basis, you should be able to keep the development under control. You won't just save money, but you'll also avoid the hassle of having to replace your roof too soon.
Pressure Cleaning Increases Your House Value
The roof is the first thing people notice about a house's appearance. People who see the property might assume that it is an older model because of the roof's discoloration. However, you may prevent this from happening by having a pressure washer clean your roof before you put your house up for sale.
Keep in mind that a dirty roof has black stains all over it, and algae gives a negative impression of the home. In addition, the cost of replacing a roof is a significant investment that the vast majority of buyers are unwilling to commit.
Pressure Cleaning Reduces Energy Costs
As a result of their dark colour, the symptoms of mould, fungus, and algae that appear on a roof typically absorb more heat. Due to the presence of some of these symptoms, temperatures remain higher than usual, which prevents the reflecting granules from performing their function.
During the warm seasons, the workload of the air conditioner is increased according to the rising temperature on the roof. According to the findings of a number of studies, if you do not take care of your roof, your monthly electricity cost might increase by as much as several dollars every year.
Pressure Cleaning Will Save You A Lot Of Money
When you compare the low cost of pressure cleaning to the costs of repairing and replacing a roof that is damaged and dirty, it is easy to estimate how much money you will save. Keep in mind that you will not only save your energy expenditures but also boost the value of your home and extend the life of your roof tiles.
Why You Should Not Pressure Wash Your Roof
The highly pressurised water jets that are produced by pressure washers can be utilised to remove dirt from a variety of surfaces. When used on surfaces that are strong enough to withstand the level of water pressure used in this type of cleaning, it yields satisfactory results.
But despite the fact that asphalt shingles can withstand significant amounts of precipitation, the concentrated stream of water that comes from a pressure washer is in a league of its own. Simply said, unless you set your pressure washer to a low setting, which is significantly less effective, cleaning your roof with a pressure washer is likely to cause more damage than it is worth fixing.
The force of the water will cause harm to more than just the shingles, too. There is a significant potential that the jet of your pressure washer could break through the adhesive bond that is holding your shingles together, or that it could seep into the fabric underlayment of your roof and do harm to it. In addition to this, pressure washers have a tendency to shoot sediment into the air, which means that any dirt that you do manage to scrape off your shingles will probably end up falling back down onto another part of your roof.
On top of everything else, the majority of pressure washers were just not designed to be used for roofing work. If you try to carry your pressure washer up a ladder, you run the risk of sustaining significant injuries to yourself. Once it is in place, there is no assurance that the weight of the machine will not cause harm to the shingles on your roof.
In the short term, power washing may be effective in removing algae and mould from your tile roof. However, in the long term, it may cause problems such as the following:
- etching designs into the ceramic surface of the tile
- destroying sealants as well as underlayments
- making the tiles more permeable to air and water
A tile roof's useful life can be severely shortened by a number of factors, including high-pressure and harsh chemical systems. In general, pressure washing your tile roof can create damage that cannot be repaired, particularly if it is performed by individuals who are not properly educated. Companies that specialise in pressure cleaning do not have the necessary education, licencing, or certification to operate on or repair any roof. You should try to avoid hiring someone to clean your roof and then paying someone else to fix the damage that the cleaner created.
We DO NOT advocate using high pressure to clean your tile roof for the following five reasons:
- Void the warranty provided by the tile manufacturer. Any pressure greater than 1,200 psi has the potential to damage your roof beyond repair.
- causes damage to the underlayment of the roof This increases the likelihood that there may be leaks in the system.
- Loosens waterproofing flashings. Flashings that are not securely fastened will allow water to seep inside.
- Etches tile surface. When a tile has been etched, it creates deeper crevices in the tile, which makes it more conducive to the growth of algae.
- Alters the appearance of the roof's colour. Even after washing it, the appearance of your roof will begin to become less appealing.
How A Soft Wash Benefits Your Roof
The gentle wash tile roof cleaning procedure thoroughly cleans your roof without subjecting it to extreme pressure. As a result, the warranty on your roof will be preserved, and the roof's life expectancy will be increased.
The following are some of the benefits that can be obtained with using soft wash:
- Your guarantee from the tile manufacturer has not been voided.
- The underlayment of your roof will not sustain any harm.
- The waterproofing flashings have been left in place, which prevents water from entering the structure.
- Because your tiles won't be engraved, it will be more difficult for algae to develop.
- The colour of your roof won't become less vibrant or alter.
Alternative Ways To Clean A Roof
The potential for the water jets from a pressure washer to cause harm to your shingles is not the primary reason you should avoid using a pressure washer to clean your roof. It's only that there are other approaches that are superior and more efficient.
If your roof is coated in debris such as leaves, moss, and dirt, you might try using a leaf blower to clean the roof. Do they have stains caused by mould on the roof? The unsightly black streaks can then be removed by using a garden spray nozzle in conjunction with certain non-hazardous cleaning agents. After you have done that to your shingles, they should appear just as nice as they did on the day that they were fastened into place.
The majority of the time, however, a roof that appears dirty is not an indication that it needs to be cleaned; rather, it is an indication that it needs to be replaced. The technique of repairing a few shingles is easy enough that any do-it-yourselfer who is comfortable working at heights may undertake it. However, completely removing a roof and then replacing all of the shingles on it is a far more involved task that should be left to the professionals.
Cleaning Roofs With Uncommon Shingles
The recommendations made above are applicable to roofs that are covered in asphalt shingles. It is possible that using a power washer to clean the shingles on your roof is a safer option if your roof is covered in a less common form of shingle. When it comes to cleaning a roof made of clay tiles, the house guide suggests that homeowners make use of a pressure washer with 1200 psi of setting.
If your roof does include unique shingles, you should conduct additional research and contact the manufacturer to find out exactly what kind of cleaning procedures they recommend for your roof.
Can Pressure Wash Damage Roof Tiles?
The proper method is required in order to successfully clean roof tiles using a pressure washer. Before you start pressure washing your roof, it is essential to have a clear understanding of exactly what you are going to be doing. This is true whether you want to remove moss that has built up on your roof or just give it a thorough cleaning. If it is done correctly, it will not cause any damage to your roof; but, if it is done incorrectly, it could have major ramifications for your roofing.
It is essential that you do not allow moss and algae to accumulate on your roof, especially because doing so could result in leaks. Because you do not want to cause harm to your roof unless it is absolutely necessary, we always advise approaching pressure washing with caution and possibly leaving it to a professional if you are unclear how to proceed.
Getting The Right Pressure
If you intend to perform the task of pressure washing your roof by yourself, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that the pressure of your washer must not be set too high. The primary reason for this is that prolonged exposure to high pressure can cause the surface of your roof tiles to get damaged. Your roof's life expectancy may be dramatically shortened as a result of this, and you may find yourself in the position of having to pay for a replacement roof much sooner than you had anticipated.
Choosing Your Detergent
When it comes to washing your roof, we recommend that you begin by applying a high-quality detergent because this will make it simpler to remove any moss or dirt that has accumulated on the roof. After that, proceed to the next step of washing your roof. In addition, the detergent serves as an effective foundation for cleaning the roof, and as a result, you won't have to use a particularly high level of pressure when washing the roof.
The Pressure Washing Process
After you have applied the detergent to the roof, it is recommended that you spray the roof clean with a low pressure so as not to do any damage to the shingles. To begin, you will need to double check that the nozzle on your pressure washer is set correctly and that you have located a spot on your roof that is both secure and free of standing water. Because wet roofing tiles can be so treacherous, this measure will assist to lessen the likelihood that someone will sustain an injury.
It is imperative that you spray water in a downward direction towards the gutters of your roof in order to prevent water from becoming trapped beneath the tiles. When spraying the roof, it would be helpful if you also held the pressure washer at an appropriate distance from the roof so that you do not cause any harm to the tiles.
How To Clean Roof Tiles
Your roof tiles may become covered in grime, moss, and algae after a period of time. It is imperative that you keep your roof clean and that you clean it on a relatively regular basis if you want to preserve the structural integrity of the roof and guarantee that your home and valuables are safe from all types of weather. There are a few different approaches of cleaning roof tiles; however, which ones are the most effective, and which ones should be avoided?
At Roofing Superstore, we are always available to offer assistance and guidance, and as part of that commitment, we have compiled this brief guide to explain why it is necessary to clean roof tiles, how to clean roof tiles, and how to avoid the accumulation of dirt, moss, and lichen on roof tiles.
Why Clean Roof Tiles?
Moisture Related Issues
If dirt, moss, and algae are allowed to remain on roof tiles without being removed, this can have a number of adverse effects. To begin, moss readily consumes water, which results in an increase in the weight of the roof, which in turn causes the roof to become stressed and allows moisture to penetrate the roof space.
Roof tiles do not dry out in the sun because the moss, mud, and lichen that grow on them function as a barrier, preventing moisture from evaporating from the tiles and instead allowing it to seep into the roof. This can cause major harm to essential components of the roof structure, such as rotting the timber rafters, which will result in damage over a longer period of time. In addition, moisture can cause fractures and breaks in the tiles on your roof, which can be very dangerous.
Damage To Structural Bonds
Moss thrives on cement, and as a result, it frequently colonises the link that connects ridge tiles, apex tiles, and the roof itself. Sadly, growth in certain areas can cause severe damage by straining and weakening linkages that are essential to the structure of the roof.
The accumulation of moss, algae, and dirt on roof tiles can also lead to an overheated attic and roof space. This is because covering the roof tiles with these substances prevents heat from escaping from the structure. This not only makes the environment in which one lives or works unpleasant, but it also has the potential to result in high energy bills due to the increased need for ventilation and air conditioning.
The accumulation of moss, algae, or dirt on your roof tiles can also cause obstructions in the drainage system along your roofline, which can lead to water damage. The accumulation of moss and other materials can obstruct the guttering that extends along the tiling of the roof. This results in water running down the sides of the structure, which can cause unattractive markings and dampness within the walls of the house.
How To Clean Roof Tiles
Using A Pressure Washer – Not Recommended
There is a lot of debate over whether or not using pressure to clean roof tiles is one of the most effective ways to clean them, despite the fact that this is one of the most used procedures. In addition, utilising a pressure washer with a high level of power could do more harm than good because the force of the water stream might strip the finish off of the roof tiles.
A premature removal of the finish, which is often granular and has been engineered to gradually wear off over the years, can result in a substantially shorter lifespan for the roof tiles. This is because the finish was designed to wear off over the years gradually. When using a pressure washer, there is an additional risk of flooding the roof or the loft space since the water will penetrate any minor cracks or holes in the roof tiles. This might cause the roof to become unstable.
It is for these reasons that many manufacturers of tiles do not encourage using pressure washers on their goods; also, utilising such a method to clean roof tiles may void any guarantees that may have been provided.
Using A Trowel Or Stiff Brush
The removal of moss, algae, and grime from roof tiles can be done by hand using a technique that is both straightforward and relatively labor-intensive: scraping. Remove the moss and grime that has accumulated on the tiles by scrubbing them with a tool such as a trowel. It is preferable for the day to be as dry as possible because moist conditions cause moss and other debris to become adhered to the tiles. You may also use a brush with a lot of bristles to scrape the dirt off, and either way, cleaning your roof tiles is going to be a quick and simple process.
There are a few different chemical remedies that have been created to assist in the cleaning of roof tiles that have moss and algae growth on them. A spray can be used to apply moss killers, fungicides, and anti-moss treatments to roof tiles in order to eradicate any plant life that may have taken root there.
However, this step shouldn't be taken until after the tiles on the roof have been scraped using a trowel or a stiff brush. This will guarantee that the chemical gets into all of the cracks and crevices, which is exactly where mould, algae, and other types of dirt tend to accumulate.
When applying chemicals that kill moss, it is important to remember to protect the plants and grass that are nearby. Moss killing chemicals are designed to kill all living creatures, not only moss and algae in particular. In addition to this, you should make certain that any runoff from the chemical does not enter any sources of drinking water.
How To Prevent Build-Up Of Dirt And Moss On Roof Tiles
Once the roof tiles have been cleaned, we always recommend employing a number of preventative procedures that will help to keep the roof clean, safe, and structurally sound after the first cleaning has been completed.
Regularly Clean Roof Tiles
To begin, it is essential to clean roof tiles on a routine basis, removing any buildup of grime, lichen, algae, or moss that may have occurred. If you do this on a regular basis, you will prevent significant accumulations of dirt and moss, and moisture will be able to escape the roof area easily. This will ensure that there is no threat to the structural integrity of the roof, and the roof will also have a more aesthetically pleasant appearance.
Inspect, Fix And Maintain The Roof
Be sure to have your roof inspected and maintained on a regular basis, and any broken tiles or sections of the roof should be replaced or repaired as soon as feasible. If you do this, there won't be any cracks or holes in your roof tiles where dirt and moss can accumulate, which will make it easier to maintain your roof tiles clean.
Install Copper Or Zinc Strips
You may prevent moss and lichen from growing on your roof by installing copper or zinc strips in a grid pattern across the surface of the roof.
When it rains, water runs down the roof and picks up chemicals from the copper or zinc strips that are fastened to the edge of the roof tiles. This prevents the growth of any organisms such as moss or lichen, which would otherwise be able to grow on the roof. As a result of the presence of these compounds, which are toxic to plant life, whatever moss and lichen that may already exist will perish, and there will be no new plant life that can grow there because the environment is toxic.
How Often Should You Pressure Wash Your Roof?
When it comes to washing your roof, less is more because an excessive amount of water has the potential to damage the tiles. As a result, it is strongly suggested that you carry out this procedure no more frequently than once or twice every calendar year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Tiles
With the right pressure (not too strong, but not too weak) and a good cleaning solution, almost any roof can be cleaned safely and effectively with a pressure washer.
Using too much pressure when washing a roof can loosen the granules on shingles, causing those tiles to become thin and brittle. You can even loosen old and loose shingles or blow shingles right off a roof with too much pressure from a power washer!
High-pressure and harsh chemical systems can also drastically reduce the useful life of your tile roof. Overall, pressure washing your tile roof can cause irreparable damage to your roof, especially when done by untrained persons.
Steam cleaning is completely safe to do on roofs and roof tiles and shingles. It is one of the most effective roof cleaning methods out there.
To avoid expensive repairs, moss should be removed from your roof tiles quickly if it covers a significant area of your roof. Avoid pressure washing your roof to remove moss, as this could cause damage to the tiles and lead to the drenching of your roof interior.