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Should I clean my roof? And how often?

The roof of your home is one of the most important structures on your property. It protects you and your family from inclement weather, keeps out unwanted intruders, and keeps your property cool during the summer and warm during cold winter months. So when it starts to look dirty, it can be easy to want the whole thing replaced. But does it really need to be cleaned, or could it just be a simple roof repair job? This guide will help you understand how often your roof should get cleaned (and what signs mean that an extensive cleaning is required).

Signs That Your Roof Needs Cleaned.

As your roof ages and gets dirty, it’s important to understand that cleaning it too regularly could actually damage the shingles. Roof cleaning should be left up to professionals who specialize in this type of work.

So how often should you clean your roof? It depends on a lot of factors, but here are some key signs that you should clean your roof:

  1. Moss on your Roof

  2. Algae (black streaks) has formed on your shingles

  3. Piles of leaves or debris stuck on your roof or gutters

  4. Your roof is covered with dirt or animal droppings

While these aesthetic issues can easily be ignored, if left to sit for too long, they can lead to further damage to your roof. For example, bird droppings are highly acidic and eat away most types of roofing materials. While this may not seem like a big deal when you first notice them, over time it eats away at the tar-based material that holds your shingles onto your roof.

Sitting leaves and sticks in roof valleys will damage your roofing materials. The closed roof valley creates a “dam” that doesn’t allow water to drain to gutters, causing debris to pile up underneath your roofing material. It also becomes a problem when debris is left on your roof for too long because it becomes saturated and places stress on the roof tile or shingle.

How Often Should Your Roof Be Cleaned?

The most common thing homeowners ask me about is how often they should get their roof cleaned. As a roof cleaning professional and a homeowner myself, I know the signs to look for, and I recommend getting your roof cleaned at least once every year, but ideally twice if possible. You can also get it cleaned every two years or even three years if you have a smaller roof or if you don't live in an area of the country that gets a lot of rain. 

The main reason it’s recommended is to keep your roof clear of debris to avoid the problems we talked about in the last section. If you don’t know what kind of debris might be on your roof, consider contacting a local roofing contractor for an inspection. They’ll likely perform a yearly inspection that includes clearing off all the gutters and removing dangerous materials from your roof.


Should I Clean My Roof Myself?

Self-tutorial videos online give homeowners the impression that they can clean their roofs without professional help. While this is possible, it's vital to clean the roof correctly and not make any mistakes that could damage it. While pressure washing is a great tool for cleaning many areas of your home, such as driveways, decks, and patios, you shouldn’t use it on your roof. This can damage your shingles and blow off the protective granules. You should also consider how you handle heights and your comfort level on a ladder. Safety is important, so it’s a good idea to contact professional help to clean your roof. While you can do it yourself, it’s safer, cheaper and easier to call a professional.

Hire a Good and Trusted Roofing Contractor to Clean Your Roof.

Most homeowners aren’t sure whether they should clean their own roof or hire a professional for the job. And even if you do choose to clean your own roof, it’s important to know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you could cause more damage than good. That’s why it’s so critical to hire a reputable roofing contractor with experience cleaning roofs if you don’t want to risk causing damage yourself.

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