Your home may be beautiful inside, but a dirty roof can make your property look dismal from the outside.

A study from the HomeOwners Alliance found that 68% of home buyers thought kerb appeal matters when purchasing a home. According to the same study, a property’s roof condition was one of the most significant features that affected kerb appeal.

Roof debris like moss and dirt can be hard to clean as they accumulate on the tiles. This doesn’t just look bad appearance-wise. Debris can affect a roof’s durability, weakening it as time goes on.

If you want to get your roof cleaned, you may wonder – what is the best way to clean a tile roof?

The best way to clean a tile roof is to opt for a professional roof cleaning service. The Health and Safety Executive claims that a quarter of construction industry deaths are related to roof work.

Hiring a less experienced contractor or cleaning your roof yourself can be extremely dangerous. It’s better to use services like One Stop Solutions which are knowledgeable about the best cleaning products, techniques, and safety concerns while working at an elevated level.

We’ll walk you through cleaning a tile roof in this post, including what you need to know before you begin cleaning a roof.

How Do You Clean Roof Tiles?

As mentioned above, we should stress that you should consider hiring a cleaning specialist to handle roof cleaning.

Other than the safety concerns related to working from a height, roof tiles can be made from various substances that need to be handled carefully.

It’s important to avoid walking on roof tiles as the pressure can lead to tiny cracks inside the tiles. These breaks can grow larger during colder seasons, which affects a roof’s structural integrity.

Skilled cleaning services like One Stop Solutions understand how to service several roof tile materials with a low risk of damage.

Here are the most important things you need to know before cleaning your tile roof.

Safety First

Before you can even start cleaning your roof, you should check to ensure safety procedures have been followed. As we’re working from a significant height, not following safety procedures runs the risk of serious injuries. All our staff are IPAF qualified to work with MEWPS and other working at height systems.

Here are some safety procedures we use before cleaning a tile roof.

  • Check condition of roof before cleaning commences – Mi tower scaffolding or a MEWP if needed
  • Wearing gloves to protect against harsh chemicals
  • Using protective eyewear
  • Installing temporary safety support rails (if needed on commercial projects)
  • Using a harness or safety line for substantial heights

It’s also important to work with another person who can hand you supplies as you work. Working alone involves repeatedly scaling a roof to access equipment, which increases the likelihood of accidents.

Find out what to look for in a roof cleaning contractor with our post on Swansea roof cleaning costs.

Two construction workers wearing protective headwear and high-vis vests.

Not following safety procedures runs the risk of serious injuries.

Detach Water Tanks From Guttering

If your guttering structure is linked to a water storage tank, it needs to be separated before cleaning begins. If they remain linked, roof cleaning products used in the process can leak into your water tank.

It’s also a good idea to clean your guttering during this stage. You can opt to have this done professionally or use a specialist kit to clean from ground level.

Guttering from a property connected to a tile roof.

Guttering structures linked to water storage tanks need to be separated before cleaning begins.

Avoid High-Pressure Washers

High-pressure washers have their advantages but they shouldn’t be used to clean roof tiles.

Roof tiles generally have granular finishes which deteriorate naturally as time goes on. Jet washers with intense pressure can remove these finishes quicker than intended. This leads to weaker roof tiles that won’t protect your home.

High-pressure washers also increase the chance of flooding the attic space, as water can make its way through little spaces within the roof.

If a pressure washer is ever used, it should only be operated at very low pressures and in a downstream direction. Low-pressure steam cleaning is also recommended for render cleaning as this reduces the chance of damage to exterior walls.

Cleaning A Tile Roof

Now let’s get into what the best way to clean a tile roof is. We’d recommend professionally cleaning your roof once every year. This is enough to keep your roof structurally sound and maintain your home’s pristine appearance.

So, how do you clean roof tiles? This depends on whether your roof is affected by moss or general dirt.

Scraping Moss From Roof Tiles

According to Kew Gardens, mosses have tiny hairs which draw water through their threads. Moss takes in moisture, so roof tiles covered with moss will remain damp. If this isn’t addressed, the moisture can travel through a roof and rot its wooden parts. This makes a roof weaker and it may require expensive repairs later.

Moss on roof tiles is best treated with a stiff, compact tool. A roof scraper / brush works well here, as you can scrape moss away without damaging the tiles. It’s harder to scrape away damp moss compared to dry, so avoid this stage during wet weather.

Once the moss is removed, specialist roof cleaning products can help eliminate any remaining plant life. These biocides can prevent moss from growing later, but they should only be used once the moss has been scraped away. This allows the substance to travel into small cracks which can harbour mould and dirt.

Overview of a tile roof partially covered with moss.

If moss isn’t removed, moisture can travel through and rot a roof’s wooden parts.

Cleaning Regular Dirt From Roof Tiles

We’ve covered moss, but what is the best way to clean a tile roof when it’s affected by regular dirt?

Similar to removing moss, you can use a roof scraper / brush to remove dirt from roof tiles. Some cases may involve softwashing with roof cleaning products, while others may require low-pressure steam cleaning.

Cleaning service providers like One Stop Solutions will assess the situation and work out what the best cleaning method for your roof is. The provider should also notify the homeowner of any damaged or weaker roof tiles which need replacing. This may not be visible to the everyday homeowner, so it’s best to go with a professional cleaning service.

We Can Help You

At One Stop Solutions, we can help you with all of your roof cleaning needs within South Wales. Our staff are trained to work safely at elevation and are knowledgeable about the best roof cleaning techniques.

Find out more on our website or call 01792 439179 to discuss your options with a member of our team.

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