ROOF-CLEANER SERVICES & CLEANERS FOR ROOFS FOR THE REMOVAL OF MOSS FROM ROOF-TILES.
If you are planning to clean your roof in the UK, the first thing that you’ll want to know is the amount you’ll pay for the services. However, that would be hard to tell because a professional has to access the roof to quote a price. But the good news is that with this breakdown of average cost roof cleaning UK, you should be able to get a rough idea of the amount you’ll pay upfront.
Pressure Cleaning Roof Tiles
Is It Safe To Pressure Clean Roof Tiles?
There is a lot of bad press across the internet regarding cleaning roof-tiles with high pressure jet washers. Some of it is justified because the operator who caused the bad experience had not been trained in the correct way to use the machine and in many cases has had very little experience of operating such a machine at a height, often without the correct safety systems in place.
Before I talk about my 25 years experience of using this method personally and training teams and teams of men to use them correctly as well, I want to speak a little bit about the tiles themselves.
Concrete roof-tiles attract the most moss and other detritus onto their surfaces. I write about this in another post here. According to the UK's Building Research Establishment (BRE) a concrete roof-tile is typically guaranteed for 30 years, with a life expectancy of 60 years, but...probably decades longer as well.
Whenever any surface is going to be painted, be it an interior wall, an exterior wall, a floor or a ceiling - for the best finish possible, the preparation must be exemplary! How many times have you heard that! Therefore, given that the roof has previously been checked 100% for cracked, misaligned or missing roof-tiles including being aware of missing bedding or pointing mortar and the biocide/algicide has been applied - then the best possible way to rid the roof-tiles, the valleys, the laps and the face of the tiles from moss, lichen. algae and dirt is by pressure washing. There is of course a particular way to do this which includes controlling the water flow from the nozzle according to the condition of the substrate that you're working with.
It is never a "right, full bore, let's get this done!" approach, unfortunately, it is by the un-trained and inexperienced - back to the negative reviews at the top of this post.
Pressure washing a concrete tiled roof is probably the equivalent of 3-5 years exposure to the natural elements - nothing really but rest assured, they have been thoroughly and deeply cleaned.
Roof-Tile Cleaning In The UK
In 1995, I started my roof-tile cleaning, repairing and sealing Company in the UK. Three years later and with 13 vans covering half of the UK, Dulux came to see me, wanting to supply my 1,250 litres of coatings that I was using each week. I wasn't interested for two reasons. The first, they were not prepared to recreate the formula that a paint chemist had designed for me - I didn't want a white label of Weathershield. And the second, I didn't want an Old English Sheepdog on my tins. I had my own Brand.
My pressure cleaning machine suppliers together with my airless spray unit suppliers would train my new operators on the job after they had taught them the theory of application and use in my warehouse.
The then electricity companies, MEB and Seeboard were putting my marketing literature into every one of their bills that they sent out by post. (remember those days!) Thousands of them.
More than one general roofing contractor complained to the Office Of Fair Trading and The Advertising Standards Agency about the content of my marketing material - stating that "concrete roof-tiles do not become somewhat porous after they lose their initial polymer coating after a few years" - the OFT & the ASA agreed with me and some of the roofing contractors came and worked for me. On my 5 Google Business Listings, I mention the word - Original - I was - the booming business of roof-cleaning and how it is done today, did not exist in 1995. I spawned an Industry. Here's how it came about...
Roof Cleaning & Colouring in Sydney, Australia
...I was invited to work with a roofing contractor to help him increase his market share of the booming, very competitive but regular business of roof-tile cleaning and colouring (sealing) on a three year contract - 1992, 1993 and 1994. I could not believe the size of this concept when I got to the Northern Beaches of Sydney, let alone the other suburbs and areas. In fact I called my parents after a while and asked them if they had any moss on their roof-tiles. I'll never forget my Dad's answer, "Bloody 'ell son, we've got a carpet up there!" I was delighted! I told him that i'd be sending some products by courier over to him and to go and find a paint chemist, I'll send a formula over as well, one that will suit the UK climate.
There was not one Company that didn't use a pressure washer to prepare the roof-tiles for painting (sealing and coating) - not one. What I liked about the crews that I was working with was that they had a method, a process and the tools for every type of job. Out in the Western Suburbs there was a lot of "carpets" on the roof. In these cases, the guy's would sweep the roof-tile moss down first, vigorously and the moss from the roof-tiles would be funneled into an ex-sand-bag.
It made cleaning up at the end of the day a hell of a lot quicker. As good as the roof looked after sweeping the moss from it and in some cases scraping the moss from certain areas - the pressure washer was fired up. These guys were amazing to watch - true professionals, they would control the force of the water-jet depending on the condition of the substrate they were working with. Although most of the roofs had lost their original colour, they sparkled, they really had been well prepared. Water entry, never happened that I was aware of. "Broken tiles?" I hear you say - never, far too nimble and they knew exactly where to stand.
Don't Try To Re-Invent The Wheel.
Here we are in 2020 and my approach to roof-tile cleaning, roof-moss removal and roof-tile painting is still based on my three years in Sydney, working alongside true professionals who really took a pride in what they were doing. It was not unusual to gain another three or four jobs in the same road as the neighbours watched the transformation from a dull, tired looking and moss-laden roof into a "good as new roof" very often with a bespoke colour finish.
Please don't hesitate to contact us for your free roof-tile cleaning and roof painting quotation. If you have a couple of minutes, take a look at this video to give you a better understanding of what we do expertly.
Why Does Moss Grow On My Roof Tiles?
I started my roof cleaning business in the UK back in 1995. I hadn't really thought much about why moss, lichen, algae and other detritus would grow, sometimes prolifically, on roof tiles. However, I had spent the previous three years living and working in Sydney, Australia, helping a roofing contractor increase his market share of roof tile restoration (cleaning, repairing and applying protective water-based polymer coatings) in a booming and very competitive market. I learnt a lot. The benefits of the process are both practical and visually striking.
In the UK as I had noticed in Sydney, the first signs of moss or lichen growing on roof tiles was beneath television aerials and it was surrounded by bird droppings. This was always more so on concrete roof tiles with a rough surface. the original protective coatings are eroded pretty quickly by the elements. The rough surface stops the nutrients in the bird droppings from being washed away and helps the moss and lichens get underway in their symbiotic relationship with your roof tiles! Never being far away from the sea in Sydney, I learnt that the combination of acid rain and the alkaline content of a concrete roof tile caused a slightly salty solution which also feeds moss and lichen. You'll also find moss and lichen growing more prevalentley on the shaded, hidden or North facing aspect of your roof.
Moss and lichen will also grow on slates and clay tiles but they prefer concrete roof tiles. Another factor causing the invasion of moss and lichens upon your roof tiles is our improvement in air-quality in the UK. Lichen is particularly resilient to whatever conditions are thrown at it, but it struggles against heavily polluted air contamination.
Will The Moss On My Roof Tiles Cause Leaks?
You'll notice that the yellow or orange "dots" of lichen will grow on the exposed surfaces whilst moss, because it doesn't have any roots and therefore can't infuse water, survives by growing in the sheltered sections of your roof. If you take a look at the image above, you'll notice that the moss is growing on the front face of the tile and the water channels. As the rainwater runs through and over the moss, the dirt is filtered out and eventually what can be best described as a dam is formed. Given time, the over-spill from the backed-up water can find its way onto the underlay beneath your roof tiles and eventually into your loft space.
During the winter period, the water that the moss has retained will freeze and thaw. This cycle can fracture or split concrete roof tiles, when this happens, the gap will also become another home for the moss to thrive.
How Can I Remove The Moss From My Roof Tiles?
You can do it yourself. There is a myriad of products and suggestions available all over the internet. All I would suggest is that before you attempt to climb onto your roof tiles and then move about on it - please ensure that you're not alone and that you have help. You must ensure that you have a very smart safety system in place, do not risk your life just to save some money by not using a professional, insured and very competent roof-cleaning Company. Just remember that as with block-paved driveways and patios that are just cleaned but without water-based protective polymer coatings sprayed on to extend their life - you'll probably be repeating the cleaning process every three to five years, as the moss starts to make its return. You can put up with that on a driveway or a patio, with both feet on the ground, but a roof....?
And yes I'm biased, of course I am but for the last 25 years, I have seen the roof tile cleaning and roof-tile coating business flourish. What I have written about in this post are the practical reasons for clearing moss, lichen and all the other detritus from your roof-tiles. This would also include free-flowing guttering at last, enabling the rainwater to exit without interruptions into the down pipes.
The visual transformation of a property that has had its roof professionally cleaned, repaired where necessary and then (in our case) luxurious clear or colour pigmented protective coatings applied, is something to witness. The "kerb" appeal is instant and the perceived value of your home has just been justifiably increased.
Click here and enjoy this short video to learn more.
Thank you for reading this far,
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