Pressure Washing & Roof Tiles: Can It Cause Damages?

It’s almost that time of year- the time when everyone starts getting outside and tackling the home projects they have been putting off. Having your roof cleaned may not be the first thing on your to-do list, but it should definitely make the list. Harmful plants can grow on your roof and cause all sorts of damage. 

How does one clean a roof, anyways? Pressure washing is one popular method, often used for getting dirt and grime off of the outside of a home. It’s also used to clean driveways and sidewalks. Should you pressure wash your roof, or will it cause damage to the tiles? Visit our website for more information about pressure washing roof tiles.

The Importance of a Clean Roof

Chances are, your roof is not one of the parts of your home that you regularly think about keeping clean. Most people don’t hang out on their roofs very often, so they direct their attention towards the areas where they spend their time. However, roof maintenance is vital to the longevity and safety of your home.

When the exterior of a home (including the roof) goes un-cleaned, plants may begin to grow. Certain species such as lichen and moss do not require soil to grow in, unlike most plants. They can eat away at the outside of your house and weaken the roof, potentially causing holes and leaks. Water damage is the last thing you want to deal with!

How Pressure Washing Can Help

Pressure washing is an extremely effective method for cleaning the exterior of a home. The force of the water gives the extra “push” that is sometimes needed to loosen stubborn dirt, moss, and other contaminants. 

There is a slight difference between pressure washing and power washing, though the terms are often used interchangeably. Pressure washing uses water at an ambient temperature, while power washing uses water that has been heated. The average temperature used in power washing varies from company to company, but can be as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Can Pressure Washing Cause Damage?

When looking for pressure washing services near you, you may wonder if using a high-pressure jet of water to clean the outside of your home could cause any damage. Though using high-pressure water is a generally safe and effective cleaning method, it can indeed damage your home if done by someone without the proper experience. Aiming the equipment the wrong way could result in broken windows, damaged plants, and more. 

Can You Pressure Wash a Roof?

With that in mind, you may also be wondering if cleaning a roof this way is a good idea. Most roofs have shingles or tiles attached, which can crack or even break off in the case of severe weather. 

A roof cleaning company will generally use a method called soft cleaning to prevent damage when they clean your roof. They will not use the same strength as they would if they were cleaning the driveway or the siding- instead, they use a low pressure, which is strong enough to loosen dirt and harmful plants but not strong enough to damage the roof. 

How Do I Pressure Wash a Roof Myself?

Using soft cleaning to care for your roof may sound simple, but it can go wrong in a heartbeat if done DIY-style. One twist in the wrong direction on the pressure washer, and you could end up cracking the roof tiles. In addition, doing anything involving water on your roof can be a tricky affair. You don’t want to end up with a clean roof, but a flooded living room. It’s best to call a professional and avoid potential headaches.

How Often Should I Have My Roof Pressure Washed?

Having your roof pressure washed every two to three years can help prevent damage and keep a roof over your head for many years to come. It’s a good idea to have the roof cleaned for the first time within five years of installation, then every two to three years after that. 

In the meantime, having your roof tiles sealed may be a good choice for those with tiled roofs. Tiled roofs can be porous, especially clay roofing tiles, which can make cleaning your roof more complicated. Sealing your roof tiles can help to protect them from water damage. A professional roofing company in your area should be able to take a look at your roof and recommend a sealant that would work well for you.

Caring for Your Roof Between Washes

Taking good care of your roof means caring for it in between washes, too. Always check the roof tiles after a storm, especially if there was hail or strong wind, and call a roofing company if you notice any potential damage. Having your gutters cleaned regularly is vital as well- Bob Vila recommends having this done once in the fall and once in the spring, though if you live in an area surrounded by trees, it may be necessary to have your gutters cleaned more often.