If you collect your rain-water, then it’s vitally important that before you clean the roof, you ensure the down-pipes are disconnected (or at minimum, the pipe that flows into your tanks is). Nobody wants leafy matter and dirt finding their way into the family’s drinking water, but lesser known, is the fact that there’s always a chance of paint residue flowing into the tank after cleaning. At Full Circle, after each roof clean, we recommend that our clients leave the down-pipes disconnected from the tank until there’s been a good strong shower to rinse any last paint trace from the guttering. Whilst every effort is made to rinse everything clean, you can’t beat Mother Nature to do that job.
2. Every time you clean your roof there is potential wear and tear
What we always say when it comes to roof cleaning, is that you can leave it too long, but you can also do it prematurely. It may sound strange, but due to the fact each time you pressure clean your roof, regardless of age, there’s a very small amount of wear and tear (or at least the potential of it), so it’s best you clean your roof at longer than expected intervals. Many paint manufacturers recommend cleaning external surfaces every few years to allow the paint to breath. It’s a really great idea to remove from your roof dirt and mould, foliage if there are overhanging trees and to try minimizing all sorts of other factors depending on where you live. In regard to roofs that get dirtier quicker, say more than the common suburban house does, it can be a great idea to do it more regularly. Roof mould can be absolutely detrimental to a roof’s longevity (depending on the style and make of the roof) and without cleaning a dirty roof the paint often degrades much quicker. Houses next to gravel roads, homes under trees and places out in the country or next to beaches are particularly susceptible to requiring thorough cleaning from time to time.
3. Some roofs can be too old to clean without painting afterwards!
Older roofs have spent season upon season being beaten with UV rays from the sun, possible roof mould build-up and other factors depending on where you are located - like salt air and greater moisture levels – all contribute to the breaking down of the paint or pointing (depending on whether your home is tiled or tin). Regardless of the type of roof you have, older roofs when cleaned have a higher chance of wear and tear than younger roofs. Whilst it’s not often that it happens, in our experience with cleaning roofs, if it’s too old and degraded, we recommend that you clean and then paint/ restore the roof immediately after the clean - or else it may become vulnerable to leaks. Like any external aspect of a home, without proper maintenance, your roof will degrade prematurely. Because of the vast range of roof types and quality of construction, no general rule of thumb can be given here, so be sure to let us know if you want to discuss where your roof is at (we work with qualified roofers and painters on all roof rejuvenation projects).
4. There’s roof cleaning and there’s roof cleaning
Safely and gently is the short answer to how a roof should be approached when cleaning it; using a rope and harness set-up for the cleaner, plus a special pressure cleaning jets to protect the roof. Not just any pressure cleaner will do when it comes to cleaning a roof. Either hot water (which is great, but not required) or more commonly used, a cold-water pressure cleaner with a high volume, lower pressure setting is great. The most important part of this set-up is the specific tip used, ensuring a blunt and thorough cleaning action (sometimes referred to gentle-jet) and not a harsh chisel paint scraping experience. An inexperienced pressure cleaner without the proper gear can do quite a lot of damage (to his or herself, or the roof being worked on), so it’s best you ask about a roof cleaner’s technique and check they are fully insured. Australia is becoming a very litigious country, so ensuring a roof cleaner has both personal income insurance in case of a fall and liability insurance in case of any other major accidents, is a prudent step in the right direction during the quoting process.