The roof of your house protects you from the elements. In the bargain, it also bears the brunt of the weather outside. The result is a bruised and battered roof that is further plagued by issues like lichen, moss, dirt and other corrosive stuff. This is where roof cleaning steps in. Not only is it the best way to remove moss from the roof but also gets rid of accumulated dirt.
In this post, we are going to have a look at what roof cleaning involves, why is it needed and how can you find a quality and affordable roof cleaning service. Some of these tips will prove useful regardless of whether you clean the roof on your own or hire a roof cleaning service to do it.
What is roof cleaning?
Roof cleaning is a process used to remove mould, mildew, lichen, algae and moss from the roofs of buildings. Certain types of roofing materials are more vulnerable to these growths than others. For instance, roofing tiles are most susceptible to moss and lichen growth and coincidentally, a lot of British homes use them as roofing material.
There are two tile roof cleaning methods in use today.
- The first is an old-style method where you manually scrub the dirt and growth that has accumulated over time. This is done using a scraper and a brush. Obviously, this method is more labour-intensive.
- The second method involves using a pressure washer for the same purpose. Goes without saying that pressure washing roof tiles is more effective than manual scrubbing and results in a cleaner roof. Commercial roofing contractors that offer roof cleaning mostly prefer pressure washing over manual scrubbing. The method can be used for almost all roof types. However, the aftermath of a pressure wash is often messier as the dirt and the water get strewn about. Additionally, there are also certain roofing materials that get damaged by a high-pressure wash.
No matter which method you choose, there is some degree of preparation that needs to be done. Examples include organising a safe and accessible path to your roof and adequately covering things that might get damaged because of the cleaning process.
There are also a couple of post-cleaning tasks that are recommended by roof cleaning experts. For instance, you can opt to spray your roof with a chemical that keeps the moss from growing back. You can also pick any of the several coating and sealants available in the market for achieving the same result. Talk to roofing contractors for more information on choosing the right product to treat your roof with.
Why should I go for roof cleaning?
Is roof cleaning necessary? The simple answer is no. That said, the real reason is more nuanced. Problems in your roof because of dirt and moss are rare and materialise only if the build-up is severe. This means your roofing does not face an immediate threat from these factors.
However, there is a significant aesthetic benefit to roof cleaning that most homeowners are oblivious to. In fact, many underestimate the difference a clean roof makes to a home’s overall appearance. A good quality roof cleaning service can make your roof look brand new, which is fantastic when you consider the cost of getting your entire roof redone. It’s also a nice feeling to have a roof that was gradually getting dirtier and older look full of life again.
If you are still sceptical, do a quick web search for examples of roof cleaning before and after. That will surely power-wash away all your doubts.
How much will roof cleaning cost me?
The exact roof cleaning and coating cost that you will incur depends upon several factors. For starters, roof cleaning prices in the UK vary from city to city and neighbourhood to neighbourhood. So, hiring roof cleaning contractors in London is considerably more expensive compared to smaller towns. But that is the case with hiring almost any type of trade in London.
After factoring in metrics like cost of living and competition levels, you can expect to shell out anywhere between £500 to £1500 for roof cleaning in London. A one-person roof cleaning service will obviously cost lower. The roof cleaning cost comes down progressively as you go South or the Midlands. In these places, you can even hire a small company to breathe new life into your roof for as low as £350. In the North, the costs are even lower and let you get your roof cleaned for £300 or less.
However, these costs estimates are for small or one-man roof cleaning contractors only. Expect to pay more for mid-sized and large companies. There are also other factors that influence the price you pay for roof cleaning. These include,
- The size of your roof. This is why certain companies offer a roof cleaning cost on per square foot
- Ease of access to your roof
- Your roof’s state of repair
- The degree of dirt and moss build-up
- Type of your roof
- Type of roof cleaning you need, i.e. manual scraping or power washing
- How do I select a roof cleaning service?
Notwithstanding the price ranges outlined above, there is a good chance you could run into services offering roof cleaning services for a really low price. When faced with such a situation, remember the adage ‘if something is too good to be true, it probably is’.
High-quality roof cleaning does not come cheap. However, you can aim for a lower price by getting quotes from multiple roof cleaning services. Quotes from three different companies should be enough to help you with making an appropriate choice. Be aware though that the company is well within its rights to alter the quote after a hands-on inspection of your roofing and its current condition.
How much time does roof cleaning take?
This is yet another aspect that is influenced by multiple factors. They include,
- The amount of dirt, lichen and moss that have accumulated on your roof over time
- The degree of difficulty (or ease) in accessing your roof and working up there
- The shape and size of your roof
Can I clean the roof on my own?
As explained above, cleaning your roof is like cleaning any other part of your home. However, where it differs is that you are required to work at a height that, for all intents and purposes, is unsafe. Unlike other jobs, roof cleaning is not complicated and doesn’t need a bevy of roof cleaning equipment either. But the fact that it needs to be done at an unsafe height is what makes roof cleaning DIY a risky proposition. Even if the height is not an issue for you, the threat of slipping because of the moss or lichen cannot be dismissed. And when you fall from that height (20 feet or more), you can get seriously injured.
Professional roof cleaning services, on the other hand, employ people who have extensive experience in working at heights and are well-versed with the precautions that need to be taken while cleaning your roof. There is also the small matter of professional services employing roof cleaning chemicals and other roof tile cleaning products. Considering these things, handing over the task to a roof cleaning service does seem like the better, and safer, choice.
But how do I avoid a bad roof cleaning contractor?
There is always the threat of ending up with a contractor or service that overcharges, does a haphazard job of cleaning your roof, or worse, even damages your dirty but intact roofing.
So how does one avoid the dodgy ones when searching for a roof cleaning service? You can judge a roof cleaning service on the below factors before taking a final call.
- Avoid those who quote unbelievably low. You already know the ballpark cost for roof cleaning. If a quote undercuts the average by a large margin, that is your cue for looking at another provider.
- Check online reviews. A simple search for ‘roofing cleaning companies near me’ will get you tens of companies offering the service in your vicinity. A good company will have enough online reviews and by asking for a quote, you can ensure you select a competent and affordable roof cleaning contractor.
- Ask your friends, colleagues and neighbours for recommendations. For the latter, a quick stroll around your neighbourhood can help identify the houses that have recently had their roofs cleaned.
These steps can help you choose a service that restores your roof back to its clean and pristine best. A spotless roof makes your home look younger and more attractive. It can help you make a great first impression on potential buyers if you are looking to make a sale. Even if not, the experience of driving or walking into a home with a gleaming and flawless roof will bring a smile to your face, every single time.