How To Clean Concrete Roof Tiles Like a Professional Roofer

How To Clean Concrete Roof Tiles Like a Professional Roofer

Give your house the makeover it deserves with sparkling concrete tiles that look brand new! So often, homeowners know how to clean the outside of their homes, but concrete tiles present a unique challenge.

In addition, they’re sometimes difficult to clean because they’re hard to get to and can be a bit stubborn. Here, we give you the strategies you need to keep your roof looking fresh!

You can clean your concrete tiles like a professional with the right approach. If you’re feeling stuck right now because you can’t get to your roof or worry about safety, don’t worry. There are some easy methods you can use to get your roof looking good as new in no time.

Depending on your roof, you might need a bit of equipment and help from a friend or neighbor, but there are also ways you can clean concrete roof tiles by yourself. The work is simple enough (as long as you’re careful).

Roof tiles collect dirt relatively quickly because they are completely exposed. One of the reasons siding, stucco, gutters, windows, and other parts of your house look cleaning is because the roof overhang stops rain and dirt from getting to them.

On the other hand, your roof is what sits on top, taking all of the dust, leaves, water, and debris. The wind brings leaves and moisture to exposed tiles until it dries naturally.

Too much moisture can lead to lichen growth and other problems. Dirt is one of the main reasons why most roofs you see are dark colors. With a light-colored roof, it’s much easier to spot dirt, and it negatively impacts your home’s curb appeal. 

One of the main advantages of tile roofs is that they last much longer than traditional, lower-cost roofing materials. Asphalt, for instance, will last anywhere from 10-20 years. With concrete tiles, you get maximum durability and better performance. 

The good news is that minimal maintenance and regularly cleaning your concrete roof tiles will help you get the most years from your roof. With clean tiles, you can:

  • Notice problems early
  • Keep your roof clear of debris
  • Prevent lichen and dirt buildup
  • Respond to any roof issue faster

You don’t have to hire a professional to clean a concrete tile roof. Sure, roofing services offer cleaning solutions, but if you’re up for a weekend DIY project, you can clean concrete tiles to spruce up your house and protect your roof. 

Safety first

How To Clean Concrete Roof Tiles Like a Professional Roofer

Your priority with any home project must be personal safety. When working on your roof, falling or catching yourself on loose nails or gutters are significant concerns. You’ll be working at higher heights, so there’s no room for safety lapses. Take care getting up and down from your roof and move slowly while you’re up there.

Getting on your roof means using a ladder. If you have a ladder that stands on its own securely, great! If not, you can buy one or ask someone to hold the bottom of the ladder when you are on it. A strong base for your ladder is a must.

Here’s a list of things that will keep you safe on your roof:

  • Goggles
  • A sturdy ladder
  • Roof safety harness or some other tether
  • Roofing shoes or shoes with a strong grip
  • Gloves with good grip.

While all of these aren’t required, having the right gear will make you more confident while you’re moving around on your roof. 

Trim Any Trees Near the Roof

Before you even get up on the roof, you need to secure the area. Make sure that the area where you’re placing your ladder is flat and clear of any fallen branches, children’s toys, etc. Also, look up and review the area around your roof to see if any branches will be in the way when you’re up there cleaning. The last thing you want is to have to clean in sections over multiple days because you have to get down and cut some branches. So do that before you even start with the cleaning. On top of keeping safe, clearing branches also prevents them from falling into your roof during the next storm.

Should You Bleach Your Concrete Tiles?

Once you’re on the roof safely, it’s time to clean! Hopefully, you’ve put some thought into what you’re going to do once you’re up there before putting your foot on the ladder. 

A lot of people wonder and will argue over the best cleaning method. However, one of the easiest ways to clean your concrete tile roof is with bleach diluted with water. Here’s how:

  • Buy bleach at any local grocer or home goods store. Ideally, you’ll buy pure bleach or a strong bleach cleaning solution. 
  • Mix the bleach with water. The stronger your bleach is, the more effective it will be. You should still notice a strong smell of bleach coming from the mixture. Mixing it with water makes it go a long way.
  • Either clean the concrete roof tiles by hand or use a pressure washer filled with bleach solution.
  • Remember to wear clothes you don’t care about and use towels you don’t plan on keeping. The bleach will likely stain any fabric it touches.

PRO TIP – you need to be careful with bleach. If you collect rainwater for drinking or on the lawn, then you shouldn’t use bleach. It’s toxic and could pollute your water.

If bleach isn’t an option, you can find a lot of options without bleach. Cleaning may take longer and may not be as effective, but you’ll still see good results on your roof.

Don’t Use TOO Much Water Pressure

How To Clean Concrete Roof Tiles Like a Professional Roofer

If you have a water pressure machine, it will save you time cleaning your roof. You’ll work faster, and you won’t have to be on your hands and knees scrubbing as much.
Just be careful not to shoot the water at close range.

The high pressure could change the colors of your tile irreversibly. Keep the gun about four feet from the surface to be safe. If there is a stubborn area with dirt or moss on it, get a bit closer. If necessary, you can clean those parts by hand.

Tips for How to Clean Concrete Tiles Roof Without a Water Pressure Machine

You don’t have to run out and buy a water pressure pump to clean your roof. Every year, millions of roofs in America are cleaned the old-fashioned way – by hand. 

Of course, the water pressure machine will save you time. You’ll also use it on driveways and sidewalks for years to get good value. If you’re not interested, you still have other options. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make Sure Your Roof Is Dry Wait for the sun to come out and eliminate as much moisture as possible on your roof. A dry roof makes getting rid of moss and dirt much more manageable. You’ll also work more safely up there. 
  • Try Using a Garden Trowel Use a tool, ideally a gardening trowel, to scrape and remove the moss and built-up dirt sections. Remember, you must be careful not to scratch your tiles. 
  • Remove With Water If Possible Before using the trowel, see if you can remove debris by hand or with a hose. If you’ve waited long enough and the moss is dry, the roots will be much easier to remove. 
  • Apply Moss Treatment Afterward Prevent moss outbreaks on your roof by applying a moss treatment once the moss is gone. This will make it harder for moss to grow. 

HINT – The moss solution goes on AFTER removing the moss. It’s not really the stuff meant to get rid of existing moss. The solution prevents moss from growing back.

Some people might claim that moss or algae on your roof means you need a new roof. Don’t listen to them. They’re probably trying to sell you a new roof. A good roof tile cleaning job might take a day or two by yourself or with a friend. After, take a look at your roof and decide whether you need to replace it. You don’t need a new roof just because your roof is dirty.

Even if you conclude 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. They come clean your roof at a fraction of the cost of a new roof. First, ask people you know to see if they can recommend someone and read online reviews. Then, call some companies and ask for a free estimate on cleaning.  

If you’re trying to sell a home or make it more appealing to visitors, cleaning your roof can be good. You might think it doesn’t impact visitors, but it does. A clean roof adds value to your home and improves performance.