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Roof Washing - Don't Call A Handyman

Updated on March 22, 2011

Let me make this point right up front and unequivocally about the home improvement project of roof washing – it should not be done by your local handyman!  I know he may be great at painting your bedroom, tiling your kitchen floor, or maybe even power washing your deck, but if you value your roof at all you will find someone who is a qualified specialist to handle roof cleaning.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking that I’m overreacting and that it can’t be that difficult, but I can assure you that if you leave the washing of your roof to an amateur then disaster can result.  This is because most people think that the way to clean a roof is with a power washer.  People, washing a roof with high pressure is just asking for trouble. 

I’ve seen situations where water actually squeezed in near skylights and damaged paint and furniture indoors because high pressure was used by a complete hack.  I’ve seen other situations where some yahoo roof cleaner was up on somebody’s roof and using nothing but 3000 PSI and his courage to clean a roof.  Guess what happen?  If you go outside and look at the ground and surrounding patios afterward you’ll see thousand of shingle granules all over the place!  Now you don’t have to be a genius to know that this is bad news.  The shingle granules do more than just add color to your shingles.  They are vital in repelling light and UV rays away from your roof which extend its life and keeps your home cooler in the summer months for less money.

If you’ve ever held a conventional asphalt shingle then you know how flimsy and fragile they are.  Why on earth would you ever want to take a power washer to them?  New roofs are so insanely expensive that I just don’t know why somebody would play with fire like that.  If you want to hire a handyman for other power washing jobs like concrete and wood then fine.  Just know that roofs are a completely different animal and you better know what you’re doing or find a professional roof washer who does.

A roof wash should be done with chemical cleaning only, period.  If you’re looking at a prospective roof washer’s website and you see the words “non-pressure methods” then you know you’ve found the right guy.  This is somebody who respects his customers and has taken the time to learn his craft appropriately. 


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