Dec 12, 2018
Roof Cleaning: Why it’s Important
For most people, the home is the single largest investment they will make in their life. So, making sure it’s properly maintained is essential when it comes to protecting this investment.
Your roof is of vital importance to your home. It’s the first line of defense when it comes to the protecting your home against the tough Aussie climate and it’s an integral to drainage and protecting your property from water damage.
It’s also one of the most clearly visible parts of your property, which means the condition of your roof affects the aesthetic appeal and can even affect the value of your property.
So, when it comes to roof maintenance and roof cleaning in Melbourne, you can’t afford to cut corners. Major roof repairs can be very expensive and disruptive to your home life. But with regular cleaning and proper maintenance, you can minimize the need for repairs and keep your roof looking great for decades to come.
When it comes to your roof, there are two main types of cleaning:
- High-pressure cleaning
- Chemical cleaning
Both have their pros and cons (which we’ll get to later) depending on your preferences and type of roofing. But before we get to that, let’s have a look at why roof cleaning is important.
Why roof cleaning is important
Besides keeping your roof looking great, regular roof cleaning is important for a variety of other reasons, from proper drainage around your home to the health and safety of your family.
To remove algae, moss, lichen and fungi
If left unattended, algae, moss, lichen and fungi can start growing on your roof. Once they get a foothold, they can grow prolifically and do some significant damage to your roof. Because they lock in water, they can lead to serious water damage, particular in the joints and roof timbers.
Algae and lichen, in particular, can cause serious staining to roofing materials if allowed to grow unchecked, and this can be very difficult to remove once it’s settled in.
Some of these growths also have invasive tendrils that can start to invade and eat away at some roofing materials, particularly tiles and shingles.
Some insects, birds and other animals feed on these growths, and this can lead to insect infestations and increased bird activity across your roof.
To remove debris
Over time, a range of debris can build up on your roof. This can include leaves and branches, bark and seed pods, tennis balls and children’s toys, bird and other animal droppings. While this may not seem like a huge problem, over time the build-up of this material can cause serious damage to your roofing.
Leaves, branches and other plant matter can cause a few problems. They can build up in gutters and down pipes causing drainage problems like water pooling on your roof or around your house. Piles of accumulated plant matter can also trap moisture, which can cause rot in your roofing and even attract insects.
Bird droppings contain uric acid, which can eat away at roof tiles and shingles. Bird and other animal droppings can also contain fungi and bacteria that can be dangerous to your health if inhaled or ingested. If this material is allowed to accumulate on your roof, you risk it getting into your HVAC systems or ducting and circulating through your house.
For the longevity of your roof
Without regular cleaning, moisture, algae, fungi and other contaminants can start to do real damage to your roofing materials. It doesn’t matter if your roof is metal, concrete, or shingles. Over time, accumulated contaminants will cause damage that will shorten the lifespan of your roofing and lead to expensive repairs.
Pressure cleaning or chemical cleaning?
The two main types of roof cleaning are pressure cleaning and chemical cleaning.
Pressure cleaning involves spraying water pressurised to around 4,000 psi. The high-pressure spray loosens and removes stains, debris, mould and other growths and blasts away the accumulated debris.
Because the process uses only water, and no chemicals, there is no chemical runoff to get into your garden, stormwater or rainwater.
On the downside, pressure cleaning is loud and messy and can take some time to clean the entire roof. Since a lot of material is simply blasted off the roof, the area surrounding the house will usually need to be tidied afterwards and you may need to clean your windows as well.
Because of the high-pressure water spray, this sort of cleaning is great for concrete or metal roofs, by can do damage to tiled or shingled roofs if not carried out carefully.
When it comes to high pressure cleaning in Melbourne, you can hire the equipment and take on the job yourself. However, it is labour-intensive work and can be dangerous since you need to access all parts of your roof. In most cases, you’re best off getting the pros in to handle your roof cleaning. A quality Melbourne roof cleaning company will also make sure you yard is fully cleaned after the roof cleaning, and can even handle the window cleaning for you.
Chemical roof cleaning
As the name suggests, chemical cleaning, or soft washing, relies on chemicals to clean your roof. These chemicals will kill bacteria, algae, mould and other contaminants on your roof, as well as removing stains and discolourations. Chemical cleaning won’t, however, remove the accumulated debris from your roof.
This method of cleaning isn’t as labour-intensive as pressure cleaning and usually isn’t as expensive. However, if not done properly the chemicals can damage your roof and run off into gardens and rainwater.