The roof is so important for the health and curb appeal of your home. But it’s something many people ignore, as it sits up toward the sky, silently protecting home sweet home and your family from the elements. When you finally take a gander at the roof, you might see unsightly moss, algae, and other debris on the shingles.
You bought that power washer years ago, and all it has done is collect dust in the garage since then. So, is it a good idea to fire it up and use it for a bit of roof maintenance? After all, that blast of high-speed water should quickly get rid of the moss and other gunk clinging to the shingles like stubborn barnacles. But we’re here to tell you why it’s not a good idea to power wash the roof.
1. Damage to the Shingles
Sure, blasting away that stubborn algae with a pressure washer will get those shingles looking sparkling clean, but your roof and your wallet will pay for such vanities later.
Asphalt shingles are made with a composite of different materials, but if you’ve ever seen one up close, you’ll notice tiny, rough granules on its surface. These granules wear away over time, while they protect your home from UV rays, wind, rain, and debris. The newer your roof, the more granules the shingles will have. But pressure washing the roof will wear away these crucial granules much faster, pushing your roof into an earlier grave. If your roof is extremely dirty and at the end of its natural lifespan, it’s better to replace the roof.
Think you can just set the pressure washer to “low” and that will fix the problem? Think again. Regular old rain will gradually wear away a roof’s granules. How much more intense is even the lowest setting of a pressure washer, compared to rain? Even at its lowest setting, water from the pressure washer emits will be far too intense for the shingles.
2. It’s Dangerous
There’s got to be a viable, DIY alternative to cleaning the roof, right? Well, there are, but they aren’t safe. You could:
- Grab a ladder and brush off the roof with a broom or a scraper, risking injury on slick, moss-covered shingles.
- Spray the roof with a garden hose.
Slip and falls from ladders are some of the leading causes of homeowner injuries. In extreme cases, falling from the roof can lead to fatal injuries and other dangerous health complications like pneumonia. Also, roofs are not meant to be sprayed with water from the ground up. Spray it with a garden hose, and you’ll force water up under the shingles, damaging the roof components underneath.
3. It’s Possible to Open a Leak
Any penetration on your roof has the possibility to open up and create a stream that leaks into your home. If you have a ridge vent, power fan, cupula or even weathervane, there is a risk that the hole could enlarge and begin damaging your home. Imagine the effects of a powerful stream of water against their foundation and you can quickly realize that your pressure washer could do irreparable damage to your home. We can help ensure that this does not happen!
A Roofer with a Better Option
For the health of your roof, wallet, and yourself, contact a roofing professional for safe and thorough roof maintenance. Learn more about our roof maintenance program by calling RoofPRO, LLC at 410-862-3717, or contact us online.