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How to clean roof tiles

30th Oct '20 • By Rohit Mankame

So your roof isn’t looking its best? There are a variety of ways you can clean roof tiles, so which are the right methods and which ones should you avoid?

black roof tiles with water dropsDirt, moss and algae can build up on your roof tiles over time. It is necessary to keep your roof clean and to clean it reasonably frequently in order to preserve the structural integrity of the roof and to ensure that your home and belongings are safe from all weather conditions. There are a variety of ways you can clean roof tiles, so which are the right methods and which ones should you avoid?

The benefits of cleaning your roof are aesthetic value, minimising real damage by discovering any damages early, and extension of the roof’s longevity.

What are the different roof cleaning techniques?

Soft wash

Scraping off the moss, algae and dirt by hand is a basic but reasonably manual way of cleaning roof tiles. Scrape the moss and soil away from the tiles using a tool like a trowel. Alternatively, scrub the soil off with a stiff brush-both methods are a simple and effective way to clean the roof tiles.

After the initial clean, you can use various chemicals such as moss killers, fungicide to get rid of the moss and algae growing on your roof. The initial cleaning ensures that the the chemicals penetrate all the cracks 

When using pesticides to kill moss, try to cover up any surrounding plants and trees. The pesticides are meant to kill living things, not just moss and algae in particular. In addition, make sure that the runoff from the chemical does not go through the drinking water sources. 

man cleaning roof with pressure cleaner

High Pressure Cleaning

Pressure washing is one of the most common means of cleaning roof tiles, but this is something that is commonly debated. It may do more harm than good when using a high-powered pressure washer, since the speed of the water stream will strip the roof tiles' finish. The finish, mostly granular, has been built to wear off progressively over the years, so removing it prematurely will result in the roof tiles getting a much shorter lifetime. Additionally, when using a pressure washer, there is a possibility of flooding the roof / loft room, as the water can penetrate any minor cracks or holes in the roof tiles. 

To get the job done, it is best to hire a professional high pressure cleaner.

What do you need to clean your roof tiles?  

  • Extension cord
  • Non-slip shoes
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • High pressure cleaner
  • Outdoor cleaner with power sprayer
  • Roof guard rails
  • Ladder

Man with workman boots and jeans

What is the three step cleaning process to clean your tiles like a professional?

Step one

The first step is to prepare for cleaning your roof tiles. Have a partner to help make the cleaning process smoother by having them stay on the ground to pass tools and materials up to you. Wear sturdy non-slip shoes, have a safety roof guard rail to hold on to, and only walk where the tiles overlap to ensure you are walking on the strongest part of the roof. 

Step Two

To ensure that chemicals don’t get into your water storage, disconnect your water tanks from the gutters. Then apply anti-moss spray. Give the anti-moss spray ample time to work effectively before taking the next step in the cleaning process.

Pro Tip: When spraying, start on one side and walk backwards always away from where you have sprayed. Walk backwards to make sure you stay on the dry roof tiles.

Step three

Use a high pressure water spray to clean your roof tiles. The pressure washer will remove all moss and dirt to leave your roof looking clean and new. As mentioned previously, make sure to walk backwards away from the pressure washed area to maintain your safety during the cleaning process. You will be doing a physical activity in the sun for a long period of time so don’t forget to wear sun protection lotion and protective eyewear.

Pro Tip: Prime, re-coat and paint the tiles to give them an even cleaner, fresher look if there is any permanent moss or dirt damage. 

Houses with different roof types

How often should you clean your roof?

How often a roof should be washed can depend on your property's location. In general, every two to three years a roof can be cleaned, but you'll know whether the roof looks dusty or has moss or algae growing on it. 

Cleaning the roof shouldn't be a DIY work. To clean deeply soiled roofs or roofs with algae or moss growing on them you should definitely hire a professional roof cleaner. Professionals know how to properly clean roofs because they do it every day and will take the appropriate precautions for safety. provides thousands of users with various businesses from plumbing to carpentry and roof cleaning. Simply search for tradesmen in your area and select the business that best suits your needs. 

If you're needing help finding a roof cleaner for your house, click the link below to receive multiple quotes from professional roof cleaners

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