Roof staining organisms such as algae, lichens and moss feed off the organic material in your roof. Meaning they are simply eating the roof. The common breed of bacteria found on Florida roofs is known as Gloeocapsa Magma. This bacteria travels through the air and finds it's way to your roof, where it clings onto the surface and begins to grow just like a plant. The longer the issue is left untreated, the more damage they will cause.
Property owners often find confusing and conflicting information when searching for roof cleaning services. There's basically three main roof cleaning methods that service providers will try to sell you. We want to educate and help you understand what these methods are and explain which method we use and why.
1. Non- Bleach, Eco-Friendly, Low pressure roof cleaning method
It sounds good right. Well, exactly what is it? It actually could be several things. One method they will use just water from a pressure washer, again it sounds good, but it's still a pressure washer. They'll say it's low pressure, but lets face it if it's enough pressure to remove algae it's enough pressure to cause damages, rinsing your roof with water alone is not going to clean it. This method also does not kill the bacteria and in a few months you'll be back to a dirty roof again.
The 2nd method they may also call shampooing or treating and cleaning with eco-friendly solution. In this process they will be spraying a chelated fertilizer that's used to supply plants with Iron Manganese, Zinc and Copper. They will be using a copper and/or zinc based fertilizer in a highly concentrate form. They spray this on and over time the algae begins to die. Your roof will usually not be clean on the day they provide the treatment and they will most likely try to sell you a quarterly maintenance program in replacement of providing a warranty. These companies will most likely talk badly about the use of bleach and claim their product is environmentally safe. The truth is, these products in the high dosages used are far worse for environment and will also kill your plants, it's killing the algae right? Copper sulfate is considered moderately toxic upon acute oral exposure. The warning signal "DANGER" must appear on the labels of all copper sulfate end-products containing 99% active ingredient in crystalline form per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While I'm not a scientist nor doctor, I would come to the conclusion that copper sulfate is always toxic through oral or skin contact and if you research, it's even used as a means to commit suicide in several countries. These are pesticides and regulated by the state as such. The state of Florida even requires a license to apply these products. While sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is used to make water drinkable and is also used in many of the products we use in our day to day lives.
2. The high-pressure power washing method
Yes some roof cleaning companies use high pressure power washing to attempt to remove roof stains. This method is nothing but damaging to your roof. They will blow off the surface of your shingles or the grouted areas of your tile and more. Some companies will even bring a surface cleaner on the roof that's used for cleaning concrete. This equipment has a metal bar that is spinning under it at high speeds and will cause more damage, breaking tiles and shingles. Defiantly do not allow anyone on your roof using this method.
3. The Soft Wash method
This is our method, the preferred method and our recommendation.
Also the recommended method by roofing manufacturers and ARMA which you can find here, ARMA.
In this method it may be called soft wash and/or chemical cleaning. This method uses sodium hypochlorite (Bleach) mixed with a surfactant that aids in helping it cling to the roof minimizing runoff. So doesn't bleach kill plants you may be asking? Sure it can if not used properly. Chlorine has a huge need for electrons to stabilize its outer ring of electrons. It easily gets the electrons it needs from oxygen. Unfortunately, the microbes that live in the soil have a need for oxygen also. This creates a symbiotic relationship with plants as they need oxygen too. Ok, I lost you right? In simple terms bleach is made from salt and it returns to salt once in the air. Salt absorbs moisture and oxygen and takes it away from your plants which can cause them to wilt or die. To prevent this from accruing plants need to be pre-soaked with water and continuous spraying of water as any runoff is coming from the roof, along with redirecting any runoff from the gutters and/or covering plants as needed, in addition to neutralizing agents which most do not use do to associated cost. This provides the plants and chlorine with the oxygen needed and the bleach turns back into eco-friendly salt. Think of it like putting a handful of salt in your mouth versus gargling with a glass of salt water. Even though this is the preferred and recommended method this does not mean that everyone is doing it correctly. Many companies may be adding additional chemicals, in the mix like trisodium phosphate (TSP) and/or non-tested store bought products, using too high of a concentration, not rinsing, covering or pre-soaking plants and many other things that creates the bad stories you hear about bleach and plants. Hiring a reputable professional is always the key when having any services done.
Gene Can Make Your Old, Dirty Roof ...
Look New Again
Friendly Professionals Trained & Certified in the Art of Professional Roof Cleaning
Servicing: Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River & N. Palm Beach County.
Professional & Trustworthy Roof Cleaning Service
Clean by Gene has more than 20 years experience in the cleaning industry.
Education: Professional memberships and certifications and actively attend conferences and training events through-out the year. This ensures we maintain high industry standards, safety and techniques when cleaning your home or business.
Customer Sanctification is Our Top Priority!
We always go the extra mile to insure our customers are happy. I will personally take ownership in your property and note anything we may find of concern.
•Warranty:Our residential roof cleaning service is guaranteed for 2 years, but may last more than 5 years before cleaning is needed again.
Metal Roof Restoration
2 Year Unconditional Warranty
on all residential
Residential & Commercial
Entire HOA's and Apartment Complexes
About Clean by Gene: We've been in business since 2005, providing roof and exterior cleaning for the Treasure Coast. We are activity involved in our community along with national cleaning organizations throughout the country. We hold certifications and accreditation from other associations and leaders in the industry as well as giving back and sharing knowledge with others. We believe in the statement (Knowledge is Power) and we continuously strive to stay on top of manufacturing's recommendations, industry trends, and OSHA and safety guidelines. Clean by Gene is fully licensed and insured, properly, for residential and commercial work including roofs and chemical use up to 5 stories, in addition to commercial auto and meeting state requirements for workman's compensation.
General Information about Cleaning: The cleaning process and/or restoration service along with products used may vary depending on roof type and task at hand. Basic cleaning will usually be a No Pressure SoftWash application. In this process, a mixture of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and a special surfactant is applied to kill algae (Gloeocapsa Magma). It's this algae that is causing your roof to appear black. This softwash method is the approved method by most manufacturers as well as, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, also known as ARMA.
Before the Cleaning Begins: A complete visual inspection of roof is done to addresses any issues that may become a concern, such as broken tiles, missing grout, loose flashing etc. All gutters must be fully cleaned and flushed along with any debris removed from the valleys. This is an imperative protective step that other companies may not provide. We will start with a walk around your property to note and address any concerns, which may include redirecting or catching gutter runoff, pre-wetting of landscape and/or covering any of the homeowner’s personal property or items (including wood finishes, decks etc.).
Cleaning Your Property: Once the cleaning process begins, an employee will be on the ground to insure any runoff is adequately diluted. To do this, we utilize a buffer tank with up to 600 gallons of water which enables our equipment to deliver at a much higher volume of water than an average garden hose can provide. Fortunately, our equipment allows us to switch from applying chemical and rinsing, applying neutralizing agents, and rinsing your roof and landscape all from the roof via remote control. It is this remote control system that I created myself, that makes us unique. Not everyone is capable of providing this all from the top of the roof. It is now available to others in the business, however, due to the cost, many have not purchased it.
Completed Cleaning: Once Cleaning is done, we provide a two year guarantee. We stand by our service. If you receive a HOA notice within two years of your service, we will provide a free cleaning. Depending on your roof type and the amount of shade you receive, you typically will get 3-5 years before cleaning is required again. We offer this warranty as piece of mind for our customers and an added value for our services. Since 2005 and hundreds of roofs cleaned we are happy to say we have never had to return once to honor this warranty. A tremendous value for our customers.
Our Mission Statement: We know you value your home and landscape. We take all the necessary precautions to ensure no damages will occur, in addition to providing you with a highest level of customer services possible and a cleaning that last.