Roof Wash or Roof Treatment
This is the question that is driving a significant change in thinking to how we treat the cleaning of our roofs.
The recent trend to cleaning roofs is to use high pressure water blasting techniques to mechanically remove mould and algae build up on the roof surface. Hours of pressure washing using large volumes of water at pressures above 2000 psi.
The down side to these techniques are many, such as the obvious safety issues associated with operator falls, damage to pointing and capping, breaking tiles, water damage when inexperienced operators shoot water under the tile lip into the ceiling cavity just to name a few. Add to this the loss of colour and integrity of the tile surface and the ability to contain run off of discoloured water from the cleaning process into the local storm water system.
In recent years there has been a need to seek alternative thinking and analyze exactly what is going on, on the roof surface. What exactly is that dirt build up that discolours the roof and how in such an exposed environment does it continue to exist when continually washed with plentiful rain, wind, or harsh drying sun.
The answer lies in that the roof is an excellent environment for mould and Cyanobacteria, Gloeocapsa Magma (Algae) to propagate. Due to the constant warm environment and moisture that exist in the roof cavity of every home, these organisms flourish particularly in warm humid climates such as those experienced in Queensland Australia.
This having been identified has lead the roof cleaning industry to re-evaluate the process of cleaning roofs and so is born the idea of “Softwashing”. Treating the fungal growth on the exterior roof surface more as a herbicide/fungicide issue as to a dirt and grime removal process.By identifying suitable chemicals to destroy these growth allows the operator to take a much more controlled and gentle approach to the cleaning of the roof. Being able to apply safe biodegradable products to the roof surface and allow nature to do the rest.
The decreased exposure to operator safety and the significantly reduced impact on the roofing system when operators using high pressure water blasting equipment are removed is nearly reason enough. In addition to these very sound reasons the integrity of each and every tile, pointing and capping and colour is preserved. No volumes of discoloured water staining facias and gutter, stormawater downpipes and streets or running into our precious water systems.
Often these applications can be done without the operator putting foot on the roof. With the right equipment and understanding of the chemistry required, what was once a full day’s work can be reduced to a matter of hours. Pressure washing roofs runs at an indicative cost of $2.50 per square meter. The average modest homes cover 200 to 300 Sq mtr and this is for a low set home with a gentle pitch. Multi story and architecturally designed homes become difficult and expensive quickly.
There are valid reasons to have the roof pressure washed such as a pre-painting clean. The removal of colour and tile integrity is often required to create a suitable surface for new membrane or paint to be applied. However from a maintenance and aesthetics standpoint there is growing evidence to consider an alternative approach. Whilst many home owners have a concern about the use of chemicals around the home, and rightly so, is why contracting a professional that understands the chemistry and applying only what is required in each situation is key. Similar to the application of pesticide or herbicide to homes or gardens and in fact applied with similar equipment and methodology.
Softwash techniques do not only apply to roofs. Complete house washing , paths, driveways and a variety of substrates respond well to these methods. Particularly surfaces that require a more gentle approach such as timber, foam, hebbel or vinyl cladding.
So next time you consider cleaning the exterior of your property be it the roof, fences, paths, decks or the whole house why not call Excess Cleaning the Exterior Cleaning Specialist.