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November 24, 2020

9 FYIs to Know Before Cleaning Your Own Roof in St. Pete, FL

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If you’re searching for how to clean a roof yourself in St. Petersburg, you’ve come to the right place! Regular roof cleaning keeps shingles and other materials in good condition and looking their best, while also exposing areas needing repairs.

Before you start DIY roof washing of a St. Pete house, check out these 9 quick yet important tips every homeowner should know. This information will ensure you avoid a few common mistakes homeowners often make when power washing their property, and that you make quick work of all the roof washing you need to have done.

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1. Start Roof Washing in St. Petersburg With a Low-Pressure Garden Hose

Roof washing in St. Petersburg with high-pressure washing equipment is often needed for removing algae, thick storm debris, caked-on layers of dirt and sand, and other such residues. However, a low-pressure garden hose easily removes everyday dirt, dust, and lightweight debris, restoring the roof’s appearance and protecting it from damage.

Once you’ve gone over the roof with a  standard garden hose, you can always go back with pressure washing equipment and detergent, if needed. Even if the hose doesn’t provide a thorough clean, it will help remove larger debris pieces, making power washing easier overall, so start with a hose before you begin pressure washing your home’s roof.

2. Where to Start Roof Cleaning on a St. Petersburg Home

When you’re ready to start roof washing your St. Petersburg home, don’t simply climb onto the roof and start cleaning! You’ll want to stand at the peak of the roof and spray the pressure washing nozzle downward, in the same direction shingles face.

This downward cleaning reduces the risk of loosening shingles and helps remove dirt and debris between and under each piece. It also allows dirty water to fall away from the roof, for a more thorough clean.

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3. Work in Small Sections When Roof Washing a St. Pete, FL, Home

Never wash your entire home’s roof and then go back and rinse off cleansers once you’re finished! Dried detergent can leave behind streaks and unsightly stains, as well as a sticky residue. Instead, work in small sections so you can wash and then rinse that area completely, and then move onto another section of the roof.

Working in small sections also ensures you don’t walk on wet tiles or shingles, which are often dangerously slippery. Stay on dry shingles and move to a new area slowly while working, for maximum safety.

4. Not All Power Washing Cleansers Are Alike!

As with soaps and cleansers you use inside your home, not all roof cleaners are alike! Some cleansers are made to kill algae, mold, and other such biological growths, while others dissolve thick dirt, dust, and grime. Others are meant for lightweight cleaning and might not offer the cleaning power needed for severely neglected and overly dirty roofs.

If you’re not sure the right detergent for your needed roof washing in St. Pete, start with something gentle and biodegradable. If that cleaner doesn’t do the job, move up to something stronger and more concentrated, and monitor your cleaning progress as you go.

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5. Weather Conditions Affect St. Pete Power Washing

Obviously a homeowner should avoid St. Petersburg roof washing in rain and high winds, but you might not realize that hot sunlight dries cleaners and detergents quickly, risking stains and residues, as said. It’s also easy to suffer heat stroke when on a roof during a hot summer day! To avoid these risks, wait until more mild weather to schedule your home’s roof washing.

6. How to Manage the Wand When Roof Washing in St. Petersburg

When pressure washing any surface, it’s vital that you keep the wand of your pressure washing equipment at a slight angle, rather than aiming it directly at the surface you’re cleaning. Not only will a slight angle protect roofing shingles from damage but it also loosens dirt and grime more readily as well!

It’s also important that you keep sweeping the pressure washing wand from side to side as you work. Holding it in one spot, even at an angle, can mean literally boring a hole right through shingles and other roofing materials. If you hit a spot with dirt and grime difficult to clean, use a better detergent, not more pressure.

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7. Clean the Gutters After Washing a Roof in St. Pete

Gutters are designed to capture rainwater and other debris from the roof and direct it to downspouts, and away from the home. Washing layers of dirt, sand and silt, dried dust, and storm debris from the roof can easily overwhelm those gutters, leading to clogs and backups.

Clogged gutters allow rainwater to collect in those trenches where it’s then absorbed by roofing materials, risking water damage. Rainwater can also wash over the sides of clogged gutters and down the home’s exterior walls, leaving behind unsightly stains and streaks.

When rainwater washes over gutter sides, it collects around a home’s foundation, increasing the risk of cracks, leaks, spalling, and other such damage. To reduce all these risks and ensure a thorough clean for your home, give the gutters a good spray after roof washing, to ensure they’re clear and clog-free!

8. There Is a Difference in Power Washing Nozzles!

When power washing a roof in St. Petersburg, it’s vital that you choose the right nozzle for the job. Pressure washing nozzles are indicated by color and degree number; a zero-degree nozzle offers a high-pressure, concentrated spray, while a 40-degree nozzle or black soap nozzle offers a wide, low-pressure spray.

Using too much pressure on roof shingles strips granules and can even loosen those tiles. To avoid this risk, start with a low-pressure 40-degree or 25-degree nozzle. If you need a bit more pressure for proper cleaning, switch to a 15-degree nozzle, but avoid using zero-degree nozzles even on tough stains, so you don’t damage shingles and other roofing materials.

roof pressure cleaning

9. When In Doubt, Call a Power Washing Contractor in St. Petersburg!

Roof washing is often far more difficult than homeowners realize and, if not done properly, can mean severe and costly damage to shingles and other materials. Being on a wet roof is also dangerous and especially for someone already struggling with balance issues, joint pain, and other health concerns.

To ensure a thorough job and to keep you safely on the ground, consider calling a power washing company in St. Petersburg for needed roof cleaning. He or she will know the best detergent and nozzle to use, and make quick work of roof washing in St. Petersburg.

A Word From the Local St. Pete Pressure Washers

ProClean Pressure Washing of St. Petersburg is proud to present this information to our readers and especially proud of the work offered by our team of power washing professionals. If you’re still wondering how to clean a roof yourself in St. Petersburg, or are thinking about hiring professionals for your roof cleaning in St. Pete, give us a call!

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