The roof tiles are exposed to several elements like rain, sun, and snow, along with harsh winds and road dust constantly. Over a period of time, this makes them discolored and ugly. Other than that, moss and mildew also grow on the roof tiles, and, over time, leave stains. It therefore becomes necessary to clean this debris and stains in order to maintain the longevity of the tiles. In the following sections, we will give you certain tips on how to clean these tiles well enough.
First of all, you have to collect certain tools and materials that are required for the cleaning job. It includes a ladder, a garden hose to which a soft brush is attached, a low pressure power washer or a spray bottle, one cup each of household bleach and laundry detergent, one-fourth cup of trisodium phosphate, a bucket, and a gallon of hot water. Make sure that you tie garbage bags, or place empty buckets around each of the downpipes that drains the water from the rain gutters of the roof to the ground--this will ensure that the solution will not come in contact with the plants.
You will require a strong and sturdy ladder to carry out the task. The ladder should be placed on an even ground surface. Make sure you use work boots with non-skid soles to protect yourself on wet and slippery roof surfaces. Use rubber hand gloves and goggles for protection. If the height of the roof is too high, or it is very steep, then you must wear a safety harness.
To prepare the cleaning solution, take a gallon of hot water and add the laundry detergent, bleach, and trisodium phosphate into it--then mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Pour a part of it into the reservoir of the power washer. Handle this solution with care because it is toxic in nature. Spray the solution all over the roof starting from those areas which are the dirtiest. If the stains on certain parts are too stubborn, you can repeat the application of the cleaner. Let it stand over the tiles for half an hour or so.
Next, clean the tiles using a garden hose and a soft brush. Scrub the stains well and then rinse off with water from the garden hose. While spraying water or applying the cleaning solution, make sure to spray from the top of the roofing downwards and not the reverse way. If this is done, then it is likely that the liquid may enter the areas under the roofing shingles and cause extensive damage.
Finally, rinse off the downpipes with plain water. This should be done mainly because the residues of corrosive substances present in the cleaning solution can have a damaging effect on the metals of the pipe. Dispose off the waste from the buckets or garbage bags that were used near the pipes.
Ideally, the roof should be cleaned once every season. But most who do not have a problem of mildew and mold do it once every year. An effective way to control the growth of fungi is to install copper strips on the roof surface which inhibit their growth to a great extent. Other than that, following these cleaning tips will help to increase the life of the tiles.