One of the easiest ways to tell if a roof is likely to need some maintenance in the next few years is to find a roof covered in moss & algae.
Once algae and moss begin to grow on a roof, it doesn’t take long to get out of control. The roots of the algae will take hold in any weakness in the roof tile. As the roots grow longer, cracks will begin to appear in the roof tiles.
The slates or tiles on the roof will become damaged or loose, and they will need replacing. Moss and algae depend on rainwater to survive. When it rains, these plants act like sponges, and they’ll soak up as much water as possible. It’s only a matter of time before the rainwater seeps through the cracks in your roof and causes water damage.
When roof moss gets out of hand, it will begin to roll down your roof and fill up your gutters with moss. Once the gutters are full of moss from the roof, the rainwater will overflow. The water from overflowing gutters will splash on the floor below and cause damp.
The cost of cleaning a roof will depend on the size of the property, roof access, and cleaning method. The average roof cleaning costs are between £5 and £12 per square metre. Sealing the roof after cleaning would cost extra. The cost of sealing a roof after cleaning can be anywhere between £25 and £40 per square metre.
Keeping on top of moss and algae growing on your roof will stop it from building up too much and causing problems. Regular roof maintenance will allow you to carry out minor roof repairs before they get out of hand. Hiring a reputable roofer to carry out routine maintenance would give you peace of mind.
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What Does Roof Cleaning Involve?
There are generally two ways to clean a roof.
· Blasting moss and algae off a roof with a pressure washer is the most widely used roof cleaning method. Apart from being quite messy, it can cause damage to some types of roof tiles. Cleaning a roof with a pressure washer isn’t suitable for all types of roofs.
· Manually scraping and brushing moss off a roof is a much safer option of roof cleaning.
Whichever method of roof cleaning you choose, there will be some preparation work to do. Organising roof access and covering the plants with plastic sheeting will need to be taken care of before work can begin.
Once the roof is clean, you will have the option of having the roof sprayed with a moss killer. Applying a moss killer will prevent the moss from regrowing.
How Much Does Roof Cleaning Cost?
There are many tasks involved in cleaning the debris off a roof. The easiest way to better understand roof cleaning prices is to break the job down into separate tasks and find out how much each one costs.
Below you will find each separate task that is required for roof cleaning:
The roof cleaning company will carry out a roof inspection before work begins. The roof inspection will record details such as the type of roof covering on the roof and how much moss has to be removed. The initial roof inspection will also make a note of any crumbling mortar and existing cracks in the roof tiles. Information about roof access, safety equipment, and risk assessment will be in the roof inspection report.
The first step is to assess the roof for any missing or damaged roof tiles. If any roof tiles are missing or damaged, they will have to be replaced before the pressure washing begins. Now the roof is ready to be pressure washed. The person pressure washing the roof should start at the top of the roof (the ridge) and work their way down. Roof cleaning should be carried out from top to bottom, not the other way around. If a roof is cleaned starting from the bottom and working upward, the water can get under the tiles and into the loft.
Once the roof is clean, you may want to apply a moss killer onto the roof to stop the moss regrowing.
The cost of having a roof cleaned can vary between £600 – £1100. The cost of having a roof cleaned will depend on the size of your property and its location. The time it takes to pressure wash a roof is approximately 1 to 2 days. The time it takes to complete the job will depend on the roof's size and how many repairs are required.
Manual Roof Scraping
If you do not want to power wash your roof, you can use a good quality biocide, a roof scraper, and a yard brush. The first step is to spray the biocide onto the roof and leave it for as long as the manufacturer recommends. Once the recommended time has elapsed, the moss can be scraped and brushed off the roof.
Once the roof is clear of moss, the roof can be inspected for any damaged or missing roof tiles. If the roof needs a minor roof repair, now would be the best time to have it repaired. The next step would be to make sure all of the gutters and downpipes are clear of moss.
Once the roof is clean and repairs have been taken care of, you have the choice of applying a roof sealant to finish off.
You should expect to pay somewhere between £600-£1500 for manual roof cleaning. The job will take approximately 2 to 3 days, dependent upon your roof's size and the number of repairs required.
Soft Wash Roof Cleaning
Another way of cleaning a roof is the soft wash method. Soft washing a roof involves mixing water with a biodegradable chemical solution and spraying it on the roof. Once the mixture has been applied, the solution will eat away at the dirt and break it down.
Once the roof cleaner has applied the mixture, he will have to wait a while to let the solution do its job before rinsing it off. Soft wash roof cleaning is one of the safest roof cleaning methods because there's no risk of water getting under a roof tile or slate.
Application of Roof Sealant
Once the roof is clean, you will have the option of applying a roof sealant. The roof will need to be dry before applying the sealant. A paintbrush can be used to brush the sealant onto the edge of the roof tiles. The sealant can be sprayed on the rest of the roof. It may take two coats of roof sealant to get the best results.
The cost of having a roof jet washed and having a sealant applied is likely to cost somewhere between £1200 and £2500. Accurate roof cleaning prices will depend on the size of the property. Roof cleaning usually takes 1 to 2 days, and applying sealants usually takes an extra day.
Conservatory Roof Cleaning
It doesn't take long before a conservatory roof is covered in green algae. It's not likely that you will see moss on a conservatory roof. A conservatory roof is made of plastic, and there is nowhere for the moss to fix its roots. Conservatory roof cleaning can be done in a few different ways. The first way is to use a pressure washer. Starting at the top of the roof, point the pressure washer downwards and blast off the muck and algae. Always clean a conservatory roof from top to bottom when using a pressure washer. Never point the pressure washer up because the water can find its way inside the conservatory. The second way to clean a conservatory roof is by using soapy water and an extendable brush. Scrub all of the algae away until the roof is clear. Hose down to finish.
The cost of conservatory roof cleaning varies between £50 -£150 depending on the roof's size.
Staying safe when working at heights should be the number one priority. The person or company you choose must have the correct safety equipment. A safety harness, ladder, and access platform are required to carry out the safe cleaning of a roof.
A few things to take into consideration
Every roof cleaning job needs to consider the following bullet points:
· Roof height
· Size of the roof and the property
· Roof accessibility
· Amount of moss on the roof
· Amount of roof repairs needed
· Type of roof
The time it takes to complete the job is likely to affect the final roof cleaning cost. Cleaning a roof with a jet washer is much quicker than scraping off the moss. However, scraping moss off a roof eliminates the risk of high pressured water finding its way into the roof space. Where you live can also affect the cost of having a roof cleaned. If you live in or around London, roof cleaning costs are likely to be more expensive than the rest of the country.
How Long Does it Take to Clean a Roof?
The amount of time it takes to clean a roof will depend on:
· amount of moss and lichen that needs to be removed
· accessibility of your roof
· size of your roof
An experienced roof cleaning company will tell you how much the job will cost and how long it is going to take.
Should I Clean my Own Roof?
It would be best if you did not attempt to clean your own roof unless you have experience working at heights and have the correct safety equipment.
Although the job isn't too difficult, the job's height makes it too dangerous for the typical DIY enthusiast.
Professional roof cleaning companies only hire experienced tradesmen to carry out the work. Hospitals are full of people who fall off roofs and ladders.
How to Avoid Bad Tradesmen
Choosing a legitimate company to clean your roof can be like stepping on to a minefield. You want to hire a company that has the knowledge, experience, and safety equipment to do the job properly.
The last thing you want is to hire a rogue trader. Rogue traders are notorious for cutting corners. If you choose the wrong company, you could end up hiring a rogue trader who will do a poor job and overcharge you.
Once you give a rogue trader your money, you will probably never see them again. Especially if something is wrong with your roof.
Unfortunately, pressure washing a roof is a service that rogue tradesmen seem to gravitate towards.
If you want to avoid hiring someone who is not a professional, please read the following advice.
· If you receive a quote and it's too good to be true, it usually is. If you get a much lower quote than the other quotes you have received, be very wary. Ask yourself, how is it possible they can charge much lower than the other companies?
· Read reviews. Any decent roof cleaning company should have a few reviews you to read. Reading reviews from previous customers will give you an idea about the level of service you can expect.
· Ask friends, family, and neighbours if they can recommend any professional roof cleaners. If one of your neighbours has recently had their roof cleaned, don't be afraid to ask if they would recommend them to you.
· Get quotes from a reliable source. Websites such as the roofing Association only deal with professionals in their trade.
If you follow these steps, your roof will be pristine clean in no time. It's a great feeling when you can step back and look at your home with pride.
Roof Cleaning Cost FAQ
Is it Safe to Pressure Wash a Roof?
It is relatively safe to use a pressure washer on a tiled roof as long as the tradesmen had proper training. More care needs to be taken when pressure washing a slate roof because slate is more delicate. Pressure washing a slate roof should be done at a much lower pressure than a tiled roof.
Does Moss Growing on the Roof Cause Problems?
Yes! Once moss gets a hold on your roof, its roots will cause tiles to crack, slates to become loose, and mortar to crumble. Regular roof moss removal will keep your roof slates & tiles in good condition. If you live in a terraced house, there's a good chance your neighbour's roof needs cleaning too. A professional roof cleaner might offer you a cheaper price for cleaning two roofs at the same time.
Is it Okay for me to Clean my Own Roof?
You should only attempt to clean your own roof if you know what you are doing. You must have the correct safety equipment. DIY enthusiasts with the proper access & safety equipment should be able to clean their own roofs.
If you're considering cleaning your roof just to save some money, don't take the risk. It isn't worth it. If you fall, you could be seriously injured or, worse, dead. Hiring a professional roof cleaner will make sure the work is done safely. If you live in a semi detached house or a terraced house, you could split the cleaning bill with your neighbour? That way, you both get a clean roof, which will probably work out cheaper.
Can I Use Vinegar to Kill Moss on a Roof?
Vinegar will kill roof moss. After all, vinegar is acidic, and it will kill whatever vegetation it lands on. Once the vinegar has been sprayed onto the moss, leave it to soak for at least 10 minutes. After 10 minutes has passed, scraping the moss off the roof will be much easier. Make sure you cover the plants on the ground below with plastic sheeting. The plastic sheeting will protect the plants from falling moss soaked in vinegar.
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Having your roof cleaned will transform the look of your home and fill you with a sense of pride. If you’re curious about how much roof cleaning costs, enter your details into this contact form. You will have quotes from professional roof cleaners in no time.