Roof cleaning cost guide

Roof cleaning implies removing any kind of dirt, soot, and grime, as well as different decomposers such as moss, mildew, algae, lichen, and fungus from your roof which inevitably build up on it over the time. Roof cleaning also successfully tackles with roof oxidation on metal roofs. Due to different weather conditions and pollutions which your roof is constantly exposed to, it’s recommended to carry out roof cleaning once in a few years on regular basis. Professional roof cleaners can cope with this process really fast for the average price $625-825 depending on the roof size and house location, its surface material, equipment applied and severity of dirtiness. In general, you may expect to be charged about $15-$30 per square foot depending on the cleaning company you choose. Cleaning gutters are often (not always) included in the roof cleaning cost so you can cut corners on it. If not, expect to pay $0.50-$1.00 per linear foot.

Here you will learn about:

How do I know that my roof actually needs cleaning?

There is a dozen of inside and outside signs indicating that your roof is now in trouble and needs thorough cleaning but, first, take a closer look at your roof and answer at least these few questions:

  • Do you see any noticeable black streaks on it?
  • Do you notice any roof sagging?
  • Is one side of your roof darker than the other?
  • What about mold and mildew inside your house?
  • Have you already experienced roof leaks?
  • If you answer at least one of these questions positively that means you have some vegetation or deterioration process thriving on and that you actually need roof cleaning.

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    How cleaning can benefit my roof?

    Lifespan. Though in general, the lifespan of any roof depends on multiple factors including the type of roofing, the climate you live, the angle of roof slope, and the like, by conducting roof cleaning, you obviously extend the life expectancy of your roof for some few years. Besides, proper maintenance reduce homeowner’s expenses on roof repair or its complete replacement at a later date.

    Saving on energy bills. The darker the color of your roof, the more sunlight it absorbs and thus the more heat it collects inside the house. After the removal of debris, moss and all the black streaks, your roof will reflect more light and consequently, make the inside of your house cooler and air - fresher and less moldy.

    Curb appeal. No need to mention that every homeowner is proud of the impeccable look of their house and yard, and the roof is its indispensable part. Keep it tidy then with regular cleaning and thus avoid ugly black splotches and stains.

    What cleaning methods are applied to the roofs?

    Roof cleaning method is chosen based on the type of roof you have.

    Non-pressure or chemical roof cleaning use chlorine bleach or sodium hydroxide (lye) for cleaning. This cleaning method is much popular when it comes to asphalt roof cleaning solutions. Non-pressure or chemical roof cleaning should be conducted every 6-12 months.

    Caution: Be aware of the poisonous effect the chemical has on your flowers and shrubs in the garden underneath the roof. It’s highly recommended to cover them with the tarpaulin or any other waterproof cloth and rinse the roof after washing with a bleach solution.

    High-pressure roof cleaning pressurizes water on the surface that needs to be cleaned. This method is often applied to ceramic or concrete roofing.

    Caution: just like the non-pressure cleaning, high-pressure method is harsh and can cause serious damage to your exterior and garden plants with the only difference that it does not use any chemicals.

    Low-pressure roof cleaning is the eco-friendly roof cleaning which uses a special roof cleanser as a cleaning solution that does not damage the roof surface. Low-pressure roof cleaning suits best for the fiberglass and asphalt shingles. It does not require any brushes and scrubs. This type of cleaning has a long-lasting effect compared to bleach or high-pressure roof cleaning. Low-pressure roof cleaning is recommended to conduct every 12-24 months.

    In some cases, professional roof cleaners recommend combining different types of cleaning to maximize the result. Anyway, your roof cleaning company will recommend you the most suitable roof clean method when making an estimate.

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    Today the variety of roofings are enormous and depending on what you expect from the roof determines the roofing type you choose. The roof cleaning methods also vary from one roofing to another and that influence the cleaning costs directly. The most common roofing materials are the following:

    Asphalt/fiberglass roofing may be in different colors and is considered to be one of the cheapest and most widespread roofing covers, especially in North America; should be chemically cleaned.

    Wood shingles and shake roofing are made of any durable and dimensionally stable wooden materials, most often of cedar or redwood. It also exists in various combinations with artificial materials including rubber or the like. Wood shingles are of multiple colors and forms just like the asphalt or fiberglass shingles. Highly inflammable; are recommended to be power washed.

    Metal roofing is made from different metal pieces. This is one of the most resilient roofs; should be power washed.

    Clay/ceramic/concrete tile roofing is extremely durable, especially in cold climate; they are cleaned by the combination of power washing and non-pressure washing.

    Slate is one of the most common roofing ever. Non-pressure cleaning suits best for it.


    Let us assume, you had your roof cleaned and drew a deep breath. But there is a high possibility of algae regrowth. The algae regrowth should be expected within a year. No matter how thorough the roof cleaning has been conducted, the algae regrowth can be triggered off by different factors mentioned above. But you have a chance to slow this process down by installing zinc or copper strips on the roof ridge.

    You can also use stain-blocking solutions and prolong the lifespan of your roof without algae for some three years or so. The service may cost approximately $200-$275 total.

    Protective sealants and coatings are used to save the look of your roof and to prevent the formation of different microorganisms on it. Common measure applied to clay roofing.

    If you have a metal roof and you want to have it painted, be ready to pay about $2-3 per square foot.

    Your roof cleaning company should provide you with the information about any other extra works you’d better carry out on your roof to extend its service for some more years.


    You definitely can conduct roof cleaning on your own on condition that you use proper equipment, cleaning solutions, and follow the safety rules. You also have to know the cleaning methods applied to different roof types.

    What you have to remember.

    Safety. Do you remember when was the last time you had your roof inspected? You have to be sure that you can actually step foot on the roof without the risk of falling down and injuring yourself. Don’t also forget that your safety harness, stable ladder, and convenient footwear to conduct any work on the roof. Take also into account, that there are roof materials you’d better not walk on at all, for instance, tile roofs.

    Quality. Apart from safety, you have to remember that even if you carry out roof cleaning on your own, you may not do it thoroughly that can lead to algae and moss regrowth, for instance. Besides, the improper use of detergents can cause the damage of roof shingles, chimneys, gutters, and other roof components.

    Warranty. Improper maintenance of the roof void the manufacturer’s warranty that’s why think twice about what and how you apply on your roof.

    Time. The roof cleaners spend at least 3-4 hours on the average roof cleaning process. Are you sure you can do it faster or at least for the same time lapse?

    Environmental issues. When cleaning the roof, you will definitely use different cleaning solutions and detergents which will run off your roof into the garden where you have beautiful flowers, probably fruit trees, and shrubs. If you use strong chemicals, they will obviously damage these beautiful plants. Besides, different states have different laws allowing or restricting the use of these or those chemicals. This information requires further investigation.

    Bottom line

    Consider first all the costs, time, safety concerns, environmental issues and risks you take when carrying out the roof cleaning on your own and decide if the game is worth the candle or is it better to call professional roof cleaners to do their job.

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