Should we clean the whole roof?

Should we clean the whole roof?

Should we clean the whole roof or just enough to make it look good?  It must be that time of year!  We have been getting a lot of requests to clean the roofs on homes that customers are getting prepared to sell.  A common question I get from sellers is should we clean the whole roof? It is a great question and I decided to post a quick blog to answer it.

Anyone who is selling their house is going to put the least amount of money they can into getting it ready for market.  It is the natural thing to do right?  Why put a bunch of money into fixing it up when I am going to be selling it?  There is that fine line of having the house presentable enough to sell, and overspending on unnecessary work. Cleaning your roof is definitely something you need to do because the difference in the appearance is amazing.  It is a very large part of the home and usually the first thing a savvy buyer will notice when pulling up.     I wrote this article  about roof cleaning and curb appeal a couple of years ago.

Selling vs. Staying

When it comes to cleaning the roof, these sellers are asking us to quote cleaning one, maybe two sides.  There is no algae visible on the other sides, so the sellers don’t want to pointlessly spend that money.  It makes perfect sense for a sale home and I generally do not discourage it.  If only one side of the roof is showing visible algae, save some money and clean one side.   Even if the other sides are marginally dirty, it will not be as noticeable.

Clean the whole roof if you are staying

Now, if you are planning on staying in your home and you are getting quotes to have the stains on the roof removed, we are in a different ball game.  The roof algae that is visible, is more developed or mature and has established the black coloring for UV protection.  There is algae all over the roof, and while it may not be visible, it is there still in microscopic amounts.   As an example, you may have a north facing home that is only showing the black roof staining on the front roof. The back faces south and gets full sun, so algae is visible.  The algae on the south side does not flourish like it does on the north side because of the amount of sun the roof is receiving, but it is there.  

Best way to clean the roof

When we wash a roof, we like to hit all sides and pitches.  If a complete roof cleaning is done, you can expect the cleaning to last somewhere in the neighborhood of three years.  it is around this time you start seeing the algae return.  And yes, it is going to return.  If we do a “partial roof cleaning” as we call it, you can expect the algae to return much sooner.  Usually within a year or so.  If you think about it the portion of the roof you did not clean, (i.e. front vs. back) the algae is right there 6 inches away on the other side.  

You will save money in the long run by cleaning the whole roof.  

A final point about selling your home

Remember this.  When selling your home there is always going to be a home inspector hired to do an inspection of the property to evaluate and document potential problems and existing trouble areas.  A good home inspector will generally point out anything that is going to be a problem now or at a later date.  I do notice that the terms “dirty roof” and “algae staining” have become a popular term in these inspection reports.  We deal with many realtors and sellers and getting the roof cleaned is a common recommendation these inspectors make.  

Roof cleaning costs

Is it really cheaper to clean the whole roof?  Short answer is yes.  Most of our time is spent in travel and then the set up and breakdown/cleanup onsite.  The actual spraying of the roof if usually the quickest part of our job.  The hardest part of cleaning a roof is making sure it is meticulously done right.  This requires a lot of attention in the set up beforehand, and the final clean up.  We ensure everything is clean, safe and looking good.  The cost of cleaning your whole roof vs. the cost of cleaning just a portion is not really that big of a difference because of this.  

Lastly, do not expect the same pricing you will get for a house wash.  House washing is nowhere near as dangerous and difficult as washing a roof.  That is why you see so many pressure washing companies and only a handful of roof cleaning companies in our area.  Roof cleaning pricing will be higher than the house washing prices .  If you get a lower price that makes you go hmm, check it out and ask some questions.  It will save you a lot of headache down the road.

Who is Roof Refresh

Roof Refresh is a specialized roof cleaning company that has been serving Raleigh and surrounding areas for well over a decade.  While we still OCCASIONALLY wash homes and driveways, our niche is roof cleaning.  We are the best because we are passionate about good service and making sure the job is done right.     Give us a call or send and email for a free estimate.  





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