DIY Roof Cleaning: Safety Tips, Potential Hazards, and Choosing the Right Cleaner

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When your roof has gone dirty, the appearance of your whole house can be affected, losing a lot of its beauty and causing it to look older than it actually is. The roof may also weaken because thick moss may lead to decaying, which is a word you’d never like to be associated with your abode.

So, when your roof already needs a good cleaning, it’s best to rely on a trusted roof cleaning company instead of doing it yourself. But sometimes, due to some circumstances, we can be left with no other choice but take the DIY route.

Here are some tips to help you ensure your safety and choose the right cleaner:

1. Get the Required Tools and Equipment

To protect yourself while going up and down the ladder, wear a full-body harness, including a helmet, for extra safety. For your cleaning tools, prepare a garden hose, garden spray nozzle, and a supplemental water pump.

2. Inspect the Roof

In some cases, the moss accumulation can be so severe that cleaning alone won’t save it, but only a replacement. So before proceeding with the washing, find out how thick the moss greens are already; when they have reached the point of nearly hiding all your shingles, then you already need a new roof.

3. Know the Safety Hazards

cleaning the roof

Before beginning your project, see if you’re well-conditioned to handle the hazards first. If you’re applying the cleaning product while perched on a ladder, you can’t hold on to anything because your hands will be full with a hose and cleaner, so you’d need fall protection, such as a harness.

Fall hazards exist in both sloped and flat roofs, so if you don’t have adequate safety equipment, the cleaning project may best wait until you can call in pros.

Environmental concerns exist as well. Some areas require only eco-friendly cleaning products, so find out if your moss killer will be approved. And if you have a garden, the moss killer’s run-off may harm it, so you may need to provide protection for your grass and shrubs, too.

4. Find the Right Moss Killer

If the moss spread is still manageable, consider between two moss killing products: dry moss powder and liquid moss killer. Dry moss powder needs to be sprinkled on the roof in multiple lines parallel to the ridges, spacing them around 2-4 feet apart. You have to wait for the next rainfall to wash away the powder, and the moss should be removed after a week or so. However, you may need to wait for several more rain showers for the powder to be washed away entirely.

Liquid moss killer, on the other hand, comes with a container that you can attach to your garden hose. You may no longer go up the roof with product, but that’s if your garden hose has enough water pressure to reach your roof’s ridges.

If you need to go up the roof, soak the shingles starting at the bottom row, working up to the peak. Keep hosing until you see runoff.

Afterwards, rinse off the moss killer with your garden hose and spray nozzle, using slow and even strokes. If the moss is a bit too severe for your garden hose, you may need a specialized rinsing tool.

5. Prevent Regrowth

The moss can return after just a year, depending on the weather conditions. Slow down their regrowth by installing zinc or copper strips along the entire ridge, or by spraying the roof with a stain-blocking solution.

Proper roof maintenance is highly important. The next time the moss grows back, spare yourself from the hassle and just call the pros.


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