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Soft Wash Roof Cleaning

Working on any persons home the first concern is I get great results and that no damage is done to the home. People have all sorts of fears and concerns on what process is going to be used on cleaning the roof. My process is to use absolutely no water pressure on the roof to clean it. I certainly could since I am also a power washing contractor. But to focus the power washing just on what needs to be cleaned spot by spot in my opinion will take off to much roof grit leaving the shingles un-protected. In stead I get rid of all lose material on the roof. Then apply the cleaning solution to kill what ever is on the roof. Since the remaining moss and lichen that may be still on the roof is dead it will break down and fall off over time. I find the soft touch takes longer to show the full results, but saves the shingles and extends there useful life.

20150629 130142 sprayer and gloves smallLow pressure sprayer and glovesSome contractors want instant results so they never have to go back and never have a question about payment right away. In one case I did have to literally blast stuff off the roof but that was exceptional and a long story for another time. The worst thing that can happen is I go back to the job and touch up for what ever reason. This is a good thing. If I went so hard that everything died and fell off or was blown off the price to pay would be wear and tear on the roof.  Instead professorial roof cleaning is a balancing act of the right amount of brushing and labor in the preparation stage then the right dilution of cleaner mixed with the right surfactant produces an new or almost new looking roof that retains as much roof grit as possible.


Spraying the cleaner follows three steps. One figure out how to set up and reach the roof. Two protect anything that can be damaged by the cleaner so in fact nothing is damaged. After cleaning all loose material off the roof the next step is application of the cleaner. Because all loose material is removed first the cleaner gets complete contact with the roof.

No power washer

Many nozzles and attachments are available for power washing, but noting is light enough and effective enough to work around a roof and not damage the roofs surface. There are a number of contractors and different approaches to getting a roof clean. I do not believe there is a combination that is both effective and safe for this particular type of cleaning. The grit on the roof is to protect the shingles but it also can can come off if disturbed too much. Many contractors use aggressive methods so they can show the final results immediately. I feel it is more important to get 90 to 95% results right away and then have the roof look even better over time. This soft touch approach is slower but not as harsh.

Low Pressure Spraying

The technology is fairly low tech. It is a pump up sprayer with a special fan tip that allows for wide coverage on each pass and along the edges held close to the roof the edge can be sprayed with almost nothing going off the roof. This control is key to preventing damage to the landscaping or other things below the roof that is being sprayed. The goal is to wet the roof to saturation just short of run off. At this point adding more cleaner can not be done. Also being able to stop short of run off clean up and protecting the plants below is minimized.

It makes me confident that the job will come out well and no peripheral damage will be created. I have a degree in plant science and certainly do not want any damage to occur to the landscaping and surrounding property. The spray if it does go one the plants is a strong salt that is easily diluted so that it does not hurt the plants.


The final step in the cleaning is to rinse any part of the house and landscaping that needs to be rinsed. The roof is not rinsed. With a couple of rain storms the remaining dead moss and mold gets cleaned off. Some clumps of moss and circles of lichen will have been killed. Over time they will fall off. The key is no run off comes off when the cleaner is active. Sun light combined with drying out the cleaner is de-activated. So later when it rains there is no affect below the roof from the cleaner.


Any questions you may have prior to roof cleaning or to set up roof cleaning please fell free to call me at 203-906-6079 or file out our request for quote form.

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