How to pressure wash a roof

BISON Santy
BISON Santy

Hello, I am Santy, the funder of bisonclean.com. I have been in cleaning machinery field for more than 5 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to pressure washer from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

Over time, roofs can build up a layer of dirt, moss, algae, etc., which not only detracts from the aesthetics of the home, but can lead to serious damage if left unchecked. It is very important to keep your roof clean and free of dirt, especially during rainy periods. Roofs can quickly attract algae, mold and moss. Instead of being washed away by rain, these fungal growths thrive in rain and can become a serious problem, causing roof damage. A clean and unclogged roof will ensure proper drainage and prevent standing water from causing leaks. Pressure washing is your best bet. Taizhou Bison Machinery Co., Ltd., we are not just a leading manufacturer of high quality pressure washers, we are also committed to providing customers with valuable insights on how our products are used. In this comprehensive guide, walk you through the process of pressure washing your roof.

Importance of Pressure Washing Your Roof

roof pressure washing

Before we delve into the step-by-step process, it’s crucial to understand why pressure cleaning your roof is essential. Roofs are exposed to harsh weather conditions throughout the year and tend to accumulate dirt, debris and organic growth such as moss and algae. Regular pressure washing helps keep your roof looking safe and looking good.

Essential Safety Precautions for Roof Pressure Washing

Safety is your top priority whenever you use a pressure washer, especially for jobs like roof cleaning that require you to ascend heights. So, before explaining how to start pressure cleaning your roof, it’s important for Bison to give you some important safety measures to keep in mind:

  • Wear Protective Gear: Always equip yourself with safety glasses, sturdy non-slip shoes, and gloves. When working on steep roofs, consider wearing a safety harness to prevent falls.
  • Ensure Ladder Safety: Make sure your ladder is robust and securely positioned. Using a ladder stabilizer can provide added safety.
  • Control the Pressure: Avoid over-pressurizing the surface. Excessive pressure can damage roofing materials. It’s advisable to start with a low-pressure setting and adjust as necessary.
  • Handle the Nozzle Properly: Never aim the nozzle at people, animals, or delicate surfaces. The high-pressure water jet can cause injury or damage.

How to Pressure Wash A Roof: 2023 Detailed Guide

pressure washing roof

Step 1: Prepare the Roof

Preparation is the key to effective pressure washing. Start by removing large debris such as branches or leaves from the roof. Then, use a leaf blower or broom to remove smaller debris. Check the roof for any pre-existing damage and address these before pressure washing.However, if you want to remove black mold, you may want to fill the tank with cleaning solution and spray the roof a day in advance to allow the roof to soak.

Step 2: Choose and Attach the Right Nozzle

Pressure washers come equipped with various nozzles, each designed for specific tasks. For roof cleaning, a 40 to 60-degree nozzle is typically recommended. These nozzles provide a wide, gentle spray that cleans effectively without damaging your roofing material.

Step 3: Turn on the pressure washer

When the selected suitable nozzle is connected to the high-pressure cleaner, the high-pressure cleaner can be started. Always start the process on the low pressure setting. If needed, you can gradually increase the pressure as needed, turn up the pressure slowly, do not use more than 1500 PSI. Just keep in mind that our goal is to clean the roof and try not to cause any damage. Never shoot water at the roof, as this will push the water under the shingles and into the interior of your home. If the force isn’t enough to get rid of what needs to be washed, move the wand closer to the roof. 

Step 4: Start Pressure Washing

Now, it’s time to start pressure washing your roof.

  • Wash the roof in sections, top to bottom and sweep side to side in a steady motion. Make your section as wide as you can easily reach by moving the wand back and forth.
  • Always work from the top of the roof down. This ensures that water drains off the roof naturally, preventing water from penetrating beneath the shingles or tiles.
  • Maintain a consistent distance between the nozzle and the roof surface (usually about 8 to 12 inches) to ensure effective cleaning without risking damage to the roofing material.
  • Use a sweeping motion and keep the nozzle moving at all times.
  • Concentrating the spray on one area for too long can cause damage.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry the Roof

After pressure washing, thoroughly rinse the roof using a garden hose. This step removes any residual dirt, debris, or cleaning solution. Allow the roof to dry completely after rinsing.

pressure washing roof 1

Additional Considerations and Recommendations

  • Flat vs. Steep Roofs: Flat roofs are generally easier to pressure wash than steep ones. If you have a steep roof and are unsure about safely completing the job yourself, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional.
  • Roofing Material: Different roofing materials require varying levels of care. For example, metal roofs can withstand higher pressure settings, while tile or wood shingles need a more gentle approach. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations when pressure washing different types of roofs.
  • Specialized Cleaning Solutions: Using specialized roof cleaning solutions can make the task easier and more effective. These products are designed to break down tough grime and organic growths, making them easier to remove with the pressure washer.

If you need to pressure wash your roof and need expert advice on how to choose the best pressure washer, check out our guide!

What roof materials are safe for pressure washing?

When deciding how to achieve a clean roof, start by determining what your roof is made of. Some roofing materials can still be damaged during the pressure cleaning process, causing you unnecessary loss or safety risk. Here are Bison’s recommendations for cleaning some common roofing materials:

Clay roof tiles: The material is durable and clay roof tiles should be cleaned with a pressure washer set at 1200 psi.
Concrete tiles: These roofs are usually flat and are often used in industrial or apartment buildings. They can handle a variety of pressure cleaning setups.
Slate roofs: Slate is another resilient material, but they can be damaged by forceful contact, making them ideal for soft wash techniques.
Metal Roofs: Metal roofs are usually made of pewter alloys and are able to withstand a variety of pressure washing setup levels.
Wood shakes: Similar to asphalt shingles, wood shakes must be cleaned carefully with a low pressure device.

In conclusion, regular roof cleaning is a crucial aspect of home maintenance. While it’s a task that requires careful attention to safety and detail, the benefits are well worth the effort. At Taizhou Bison Machinery Co., Ltd., we’re here to assist you every step of the way.If you need to pressure wash your roof and require expert advice on how to choose the best pressure washer, don’t hesitate to Contact Bison. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we’re committed to providing you with the highest quality products and services.

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