How Often Can I Pressure Clean My Tile Roof?
The environment in Miami is humid and warm, which supports the growth of algae and moss. Tree sap and dirt are also found on dirty roofs. Far from being solely an aesthetic problem, accumulation of these substances can damage the tiles and underlying membrane. Learn more about keeping your tile roof clean and the threats posed by frequent and overly vigorous cleaning.
Pressure washing a tile roof requires a few tools and much skill to avoid damage. Even with the humidity in southern Florida, pressure cleaning more often than once every two years is inadvisable. Just like high wind speed and driving rain, even a gentle pressure washing places excess wear and tear on the tiles and roof membrane.
For home owners going it alone, required tools include a ladder, garden hose with brush attachment and pressure washer. Detergent, trisodium phosphate and bleach are all mixed into a bucket of hot water prior to loading the washer reservoir. A gentle washing is preferable, and areas with heavy soiling will need an extra pass.
Allow the mixture to sit on the roof no longer than one hour before using the hose and brush to remove it completely. Finish by washing gutters and spouts out with clean water. Use a barrel or other container to save valuable plants from run-off toxins.
Two major safety considerations apply in cleaning a tile roof. Tile is extremely slick when wet, so it’s best to wear thick-sole shoes with a deep tread. Depending on the individual’s skill and slope of the roof, a safety harness is also a good idea.
The tile must also be protected. Learn more about walking on a tile roof before making the attempt. A broken tile is an unnecessary expense, and it can lead to costly damage to the membrane.
Pressure washing is best with non-porous, ceramic tile. A variety of products are available for porous tiles, and these should be followed by application of sealant. It’s better to contact a professional roofer in Miami rather than experimenting yourself on an expensive tile system!