Are you wondering how to clean a roof?
If you answered “YES”, than you may now be a perfect candidate for a roof cleaning. So what does that mean? How do you know if someone is going to damage your property? How do you know if they are going to stick to their word? How do you know if the company is going to be safe and not fall off of a ladder? We are going to go over some basics for you to look for, so that your property is protected. So are you wondering how to clean a roof? We are here to help.
How to clean a roof
You must be trained
Well if you are anything like most homeowners, you have little idea about a roof cleaning. Maybe you have had someone get one in the past. Maybe you have had someone knock on your door claiming to be able to clean it, “Yes ma’am, I’ll just jump up there with my power washer and knock that out for $99”. Well you are in luck, because I am about to shed some light on this topic, and tell you how to clean a roof.
The Correct Chemicals to Clean a Roof
I’m going to use the “nasty” word……..BLEACH!!! AAAHHHHH! Yes it’s true. In order for someone to properly clean your roof, they must use bleach (or as we say in the industry SH, which stands for Sodium Hypochlorite). Well kind of. Professional companies actually get MUCH stronger Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach), than what you can purchase at the store. The most powerful “bleach” you can buy is 8.25%, and it is the store brands. If you buy a product like Clorox, you are actually getting less cleaning agent, because they only come in at most 6.25%. Professional exterior cleaners get 12.5%-15% Sodium Hypochlorite, and then dilute that to whatever they are going to be cleaning. You HAVE to use this product to properly clean a roof.
Ok, now before you go running, lets clear up a couple of facts.
- Bleach is used to sanitize hospitals
- Bleach is used to clean and sanitize the inside of cruise ships. (they literally spray the inside with the cleaning chemicals and rinse with fire hoses).
- Bleach is on the safe chemical list because it breaks down in the environment within 48 hours to it’s base, salt.
- Bleach is required by the shingle manufactorers to be applied low pressure on your roof per the GAF roof cleaning specifications.
There is also really really good clinging agents that are purchased to keep runoff to a minimum and also to help the Sodium Hypochlorite stick to the roof, which allows it to do what it is supposed to do.
Check out the GAF recommendations on cleaning a roof ————->
The Correct Process to Clean a Roof
In order to clean a roof properly, you also have to use the correct process. This process includes LOW pressure equipment that specific to roof cleaning. The last thing you want if for someone to fire up a power washer and go up on your roof to clean it.
A typical roof cleaning should not require someone to walk on your roof at all. Safe low pressure equipment is used to gently apply the chemical mixture onto the roof. No rinsing is involved, other than wetting down the plants and delicate areas around the property being cleaned. Keep in mind that a roof cleaner is just killing plants on your roof, without killing the plants around your home. So it is a pretty delicate process. You need to be aware of pH levels of plants and soils, and what you can and cannot do to plants. The last thing you want is for someone to throw plastic over your rose bushes and doing more harm, because those are not greenhouse plants.
How Do I Know If the Company is Safe?
Does the company use OSHA as a standard?
There are many requirements that are set forth for a company that is doing work like this. There are specifications on rope training, ladder training, and equipment knowledge that a company should have before doing this type of work.
There is safety training available to companies that are trained and certified in Roof Cleaning like Veteran Roof Treatment.
One of the places you can check to make sure is here at the UAMCC Training and Certifications.
The UAMCC is a nationally recognized training organization that specializes in training companies in exterior cleaning at the highest standards.
Is the Company Damaging Your Property?
Are they using ladder standoffs so that your gutters are not damaged? Are they properly tying off ladders so that they cannot slip? Are they using the proper ground guides and ground safety to ensure your property is being looked after?
What Does the Equipment Look Like?
The company you are using, what does their equipment look like. This isn’t to bash anyone’s equipment, but let’s be honest, if a company cannot take care of their equipment, how well are they taking care of your property?
Now You Know How to Clean a Roof.
So now you can actually hire a company that has gone through the trouble of getting trained and certified for you the homeowner or business owner. Just remember that getting trained is not a requirement by law. So the companies that have done this are going above and beyond to be true professionals in Exterior Cleaning.
Isn’t your property worth that?