If you’re trying to give your house an external makeover but are a bit stuck on those concrete roof tiles – you’re not alone. Many of us have been there before. Concrete roof tiles aren’t always the easiest to clean – not least because they’re normally one of the hardest parts of your house to get to.
If you’re stuck in a similar situation – don’t worry. There are actually a few handy methods to help get that roof looking good as new, quickly and easily. While some of these might need some extra equipment or a bit of help from someone you know, you’ll also be able to see a few options that you can do yourself without too much trouble (as long as you’re careful).
Roof tiles do tend to get dirty quite a lot, because they’re on one of the most exposed parts of your building. Actually, THE most exposed. That means they’re liable to wind damage and the effects of a lot of moisture. The moisture can lead to lichen growth or similar.
A good quality roof tile could last from 30 to 70 years, but if they’re looking old and worn after a couple, you might want to clean them just to spruce up the look of your roof. You might also want to clean them to prevent cracks from extensive wear and tear – preserving credibility of your roof.
First thing’s first with roof cleaning – you need to be careful. There’s one important thing to remember about roofs. They’re normally high up. That means you need to take extra care when you’re getting up there.
If you aren’t confident with ladders – find someone who is. Make sure you’ve got someone sensible to help you and keep a look at, along with holding the base of the ladder (if that’s how you’re getting up there).
You can’t go wrong with a tethered safety harness, either. And goggles.
Trim the trees
Before you start, you might want to clear the area. If you’ve got overhanging trees that come close to the roof, these can get in your way and make the cleaning much harder. Not only that, but nearby tree branches are actually a risk to your roof and could get blown into it in the future, causing more damage.
To bleach or not to bleach
One of the simplest DIY ways to clean your roof is with a bleach and water combination. You can either clean down the tiles by hand if you’ve really got the energy – or stand about 4 feet away and use water pressure.
Try not to use a water blaster
If you can, stand a few feet from the tiles (remember, safety first) – and direct the water at the highest peak of the roof for it to run down. Wash the roof at least twice.
If there are any stubborn bits of dirt or moss that won’t come off with a bit of water pressure – you might have to get down on your hands and knees. Again, be careful – but a bit of scrubbing might be necessary depending on how clean you really want to get your roof.
Here’s a simple way to clean some roof tiles without water pressure
If you’ve got a large build up of moss on your roof but don’t really like the idea of using water pressure (or can’t for some reason) – all is not lost.
Wait for a dry day, and get up there (carefully) with a standard garden trowel. You might actually find that large clumps of moss are easy to flake off and dislodge. While this won’t work for all moss outbreaks, and it’ll need to be particularly dry – it could be just the trick where water isn’t an option. This method can even be better than the water method in some instances, and a quick rinse afterwards could add another touch of cleanliness.
You can then apply some moss treatment to the tiles to help prevent it growing back. There are a few different options available for this, but it’s a good idea whether you’re pressure washing or not. It’ll save you having to come back and do the job again within a couple of years.
One mistake some people make with moss treatment solution is applying it BEFORE they’ve removed the moss. While a ton of the stuff might help get rid of it – it’s not really how you’re supposed to go about cleaning your roof. The solution is normally for preventing moss growing back and getting rid of the last little bits of moss rather than removing huge clumps. Add the moss solution AFTER you’ve done most of the removal.
Some people might claim that moss or algae on your roof means you need a new roof. Don’t listen to these people. They’re probably trying to sell you a new roof. A good roof tile cleaning job might take a day or two, but it can get your roof back to being good as new. You don’t need a new roof just because your roof is dirty.
Even if you come to the conclusion that cleaning the roof yourself isn’t for you – there should be some professional roofers who can do the job for you in your local area. At a fraction of the cost of a new roof. Ask people you know to see if they can recommend someone. Try asking those with the cleanest roofs first.
If you’re trying to sell a home or make it more appealing to visitors, cleaning your roof can be a good idea. You might think it doesn’t have an impact on visitors, but it does. A clean roof could even add value to your home.