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Safe Application of Roof Cleaning Material


Roof cleaning means access to the roof which equals heights. Being carefull and safe is the first concern for two reasons my own personal health and to prevent damagee when working around a customers house. I was at one customers house and prior to starting the question i was asked was "How much damage is going to happen"? I asked what do you mean and he indicated they had used a power washing contractor and he left behing a mess of brocken branches and plants in the landscaping. I do not work that way. Every ladder is set up carefully and to minimize damage to the landscapeing and to the house. This is all to protect myself and the property I work around.

Acess to the Roof

To clean the roof getting to the roof and working on or around it is always a concern. Some roofs have a slope that is "Walkable" and by this I mean it is safe to walk on the roof based on it's slope and condition of the roofing. These situations require safe access to the roof and then being carefull as you move around to do the work.

Steep roofs require a different approach the ones that are too step to walk on are still able to be cleaned, but the cleaning is done from the roof edge. This way I am on a ladder at the gutter line and use extension poles to place the spray were it is needed to saturate the roof with the cleaning material. I am not balancing on the roof peak and leaning over to control cleaning equipment around the roof. Every one has there approach based on the meathod they have chosen, since the way they clean roof and the equipment they use dictates where the person needs to be during application. I work at the gutter line when the roof is too steep.

Other contractors approach

Many power washing contractors and roof cleaning contracctors hate to climb ladders. This dictates how they work. The solution in this case is to use powerfull pumps and spray from the ground to do the cleaning. In my case a lot of power washing can be done from the ground since the concentration of cleaner is lower and over spray is not as much of a concern. For high places that need to be reached and brushed tall ladders are always on the truck. The same is true for roof cleaning contractors. Many use large volume pumps and flood the roof from the ground. They protect the landscaping by rinseing. Doing this they never get the chance to see up close what is needed on the roof and can not mechanically clean the roof of loose debris and bruch off moss that is clinging to the roof. Others walk the peak of the roof and dangle down cleaning equipment that agitates the roof surface to apply and clean the surface. Every roof cleaning company has there approach no one way is perfect.

Ladder Stabilizers

To be safe all extension ladders that I use have two stabilizer systems. One is the bottom of the ladder they are fitted with adjustable legs. This allows for variations in slope of the ground around the house. Very few homes have flat and level properties here in New England. To keep the ladder straight and vertical these adjustable legs makes every ladder placement easier with out using some kind of blocking to make the adjustment that the ladder could fall of. Or makes the person climbing the ladder trying to adjust for not being vertical or slopped correctly.

The second stablizer on the ladders is the stand off. This U shapped device both keeps the ladder from crushing the gutters it also provides two wider points of contact with the roof. The additional benefit is the ladder is held from not slidding sideways. This grip on the roof also helps hold from slidding out also.

So with a relatively stable work platform working from the ladder I spray the cleaner on the roofs. Clearing any debris from the roof is done with extension poles.

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