The roof of a house or office building is an area that often gets forgotten about and neglected until it looks really bad. Most people, at that point, call up a professional roofer and get the roof replaced. It’s totally understandable because they think that the damage can’t be reversed. Some roofs DO need replaced, but a lot just need a good cleaning.
Fortunately, if you’re diligent about roof upkeep, you can avoid having to have the roof replaced at all before the expected roof life is up. Having your roof cleaned is the main way that you can keep your shingles from deteriorating or separating prematurely from the underlayment. It’s also a great way to keep your gutters cleaned, which also protect your roof and the underlying structures of your house.
But is power washing safe?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that power washing uses high pressure to clean absolutely everything. While this is true when it comes to defining “power” washing, it’s not true when it comes to cleaning roofs. A pressure washer can be used in a way that promotes gentle cleaning.
When it comes to cleaning with a pressure washer, there are several different methods that most professionals use.
There’s power/pressure washing and then there’s soft washing.
Power washing uses the pressure that comes out of the pressure washer’s nozzle to blast away dirt, debris, and other contaminants. This method is NOT safe for roofs. The pressure that comes out during power washing can be up to 4000psi. This is powerful enough to damage roofs and cause them to have to be replaced.
Soft washing is a process of cleaning surfaces that require a more gentle approach. With soft washing, your power washing company will use a special low pressure nozzle to wash away dirt and debris. First, an environmentally friendly chemical is used to “clean” and loosen up dirt, debris, and other contaminants like mold, mildew, and moss. Then these things are thoroughly washed away with a pressure that is comparable to a garden hose. What’s left is a clean and disinfected roof.
So while “power washing” isn’t a good option for something as delicate as a roof, soft washing is a great option.
Our techs here at EcoTek Power Washing are great with roofs and leave them clean and damage free.