Your commercial roof is arguably the most important structure of your office space or building. It’s what protects your employees, equipment, and products — and everything else inside. Over time, environmental elements can take their toll on your business’s roof, which can cause all kinds of damage in the long run. Even structural damage.
The best way to help protect your roofing system is through maintenance, which includes regular cleanings. Consider this your step-by-step guide to commercial roof cleaning, in which we’ll explain how to effectively clean your business’s roof and why it’s so important to do so.
Why Commercial Roof Cleaning Is Necessary
Your commercial roof is no different from any other roof, which means it’s not safe from the dirt and debris that will collect on it over time. The same goes for the effect that extreme weather systems and harsh UV rays will have on it.
While natural rainfall is usually enough to wash off loose dirt and debris, it’s not enough to combat fungi or moldy plant spores that turn into:
When you begin to notice black stains (algae), green stains (moss), or black, green, and white speckled stains (lichen), then it’s a sign that you need to have your roof cleaned immediately. Otherwise, these naturally occurring substances will cause severe roof damage, such as shingle deterioration and roof rot that will lead to other issues as well as costly repairs.
Aside from preventing serious roof damage, regular cleanings will also help you with the following:
- 🥶Keeping things cool. Mold and fungi can actually cause your commercial roof to absorb more heat. When your roof starts absorbing more heat, your HVAC system will have to work twice as hard to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. A lack of energy efficiency will lead to inconsistent temperatures and cut your HVAC system’s lifespan down considerably.
- 💸Saving money. By helping to keep your business’s energy efficiency in good standing — without overworking your HVAC system — you’ll be saving money on your monthly electric bill. It’s also less costly to have your roof cleaned once or twice a year than it is to have it repaired or replaced in the long run.
- 🏃Keeping your warranty active. Your roofing system comes with a warranty, but it does not exempt you from neglect. If you fail to keep your roof clean, it could void your warranty early when issues arise. This is because part of the regular cleaning process is to identify any potential issues with your roof.
- 🚫Preventing other costly damages. Roof damage doesn’t just affect your roof. It will also affect the rest of your building. Your commercial roof is meant to protect your business, but when it becomes damaged, everything else inside is fair game to the consequences of water leaks, mold, mildew, and more.
- 🐁Providing pest and rodent protection. A neglected and dirty roof isn’t only appealing to fungal predators — it’s also appealing to wildlife. Debris and rotting wood attract all kinds of pests as it creates a safe place to build nests and hives, which can cause an infestation problem and other damages.
Commercial Roof Cleaning 101
Taking care of your commercial roof cleaning on your own is quite a task, especially if your commercial roof is large and high up. Also, the dirtier the roof surface, the more difficult it will be to clean. However, if your office or business space is small, you may be able to handle the roof cleaning process without an issue.
For basic commercial roof cleaning, you’ll want to follow these steps:
1) Take the Proper Safety Precautions
Before you begin, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the roof cleaning job. Gather protective gear (gloves, goggles, and a hard hat), a ladder, and a harness.
In addition to keeping yourself safe, you’ll also want to keep your commercial roof safe — so no pressure washing shingles and refrain from using bleach.
2) Inspect Your Commercial Roof First
Before you start cleaning, inspect the roof surface. Look for any damages or issues that should be addressed prior to cleaning, such as missing shingles, holes, etc.
If you find any issues, don’t attempt to fix them yourself. Call your local roofing contractor first so they can look at it and come up with a repair plan.
3) Remove Debris
If there are no visible damages, you can go ahead and start clearing away any branches, leaves, twigs, and other debris using a broom. This will make it much easier to clean your commercial roof while preventing any gutter clogs.
4) Mix Your Cleaning Solution
Remember, you want to refrain from using bleach as it can eat away at your shingles and its protective coating. It’s best to use a cleaning solution designed for commercial roofs from your local hardware store. Or, you can create your own cleaning solution using a mixture of water and detergent.
Make sure you follow the instructions on the commercial roof cleaning solutions as the product label specifies. You’ll also want to make sure you have a sizable bucket to mix in.
5) Apply the Solution to Your Commercial Roof
Using a garden sprayer (remember, no pressure washing!), apply the cleaning solution to your roof. Begin at the bottom of your roof and work your way up to its peaks, covering everything — including the gutters and downspouts.
Allow the cleaning solution to sit for 15-30 minutes to work its magic.
6) Scrub and Rinse
Using a scrub brush, scrub the roof to remove any stains and stubborn dirt. Once you’ve scrubbed your commercial roof in its entirety, you can go ahead and rinse it clean.
7) Check Your Work
Once your roof has completely dried, you’ll want to get back up there and inspect for any missed spots or areas that may need a once-over. Repeat the cleaning process as necessary.
Don’t Feel Like Cleaning Your Commercial Roof?
Commercial roof cleaning is a big job. It’s dangerous, time-consuming, and tiring. It also requires a significant amount of elbow grease, which is why it’s a job that’s best left up to the professionals.
Here at Tectum Roof, we have a specially designed maintenance program that’s perfect for the regular upkeep of your commercial roof. Get in touch with us to schedule your commercial roof cleaning appointments today!