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Seattle Roof Cleaning Can Be A Mossy Situation

Updated on March 22, 2011


I hate to step on any toes or hurt any feelings but I have to be honest that unless you’re a Seattle roof cleaning contractor then you really haven’t “pushed the envelope” in this industry. This little piece of opinion will of course infuriate the southern roof jocks who see themselves as the end-all be-all of roof stain removal. The truth of the matter, though, is that unless you’ve squished through three-inch deep moss and lichen on a Washington State roof then you haven’t yet danced with the devil.

So what’s so tough about moss, you might be thinking. Well, in a nutshell, it’s a whole different beast than dealing with simple roof algae stains. You chemically clean algae stains and, boom, they’re gone. I’m not saying it’s easy; just saying it’s simple. Moss, on the other hand, will not simply vanish and drip off the roof with the typical sodium hypochlorite application. And wet moss is possibly the most dangerous surface that a human being could walk on. Remember that scene in Christmas Vacation when Chevy Chase goes sledding? You get the picture.

You see, Seattle roof cleaners are often times forced to do what I so often take issue with – use a power washer. Sodium hypochlorite can still work to kill minor moss and lichen which will later rinse away with heavy rain, but for scenarios where the moss is literally inches deep you may have to fire up a pressure cleaner to aid in removing it. This doesn’t mean you can hop up there with a wand and blast away with 3000 PSI. You still have to use it responsibly. I’m talking about 500-1000 PSI max. I’m saying only point the wand from the top of the roof down and never up under the shingles. I'm also saying that you'll have some serious roof cleaner overspray to contend with.  Bring plenty of trash bags because you could end up hauling away a metric ton of moss when you leave.  You might be surprised just how much moss a 2000 square foot roof can hold. 

Oh, and you better bring a whole box of contractor-grade garbage bags because you’re going to be hauling away a couple hundred pounds of moss if it’s one of those Washington roofs that looks more like Shrek’s swamp hut than it does an inhabitable space for humans. Also plan to spend a huge amount of time on the roof if you have to blast the stuff off piece by piece. This work isn’t for pansies, okay? This is extremely time-intensive work and your should be prepared because this isn't your everyday roof cleaning project.  On top of everything else there are only so many days out of the year that you can work because it rains so darn much.  This also makes roof moss removal that much more dangerous because quite often you're dealing with a soggy roof which is very slippery.


As you can see, roof cleaning in Seattle or anywhere in Washington State, for that matter, can be a very dicey proposition. If you have a roof cleaning company down south and think you’re such hot stuff I challenge you to spend a summer up in the northwest and see if you can hack it when you’ve got moss up to your eyeballs and rain like a monsoon.  Washington roof cleaners are the cream of the crop and they get nothing but respect from me.  I'll toss Oregon in there, too, because those dudes get their share of moss, as well.


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