How Much Does it Cost to Have a Roof Cleaned? (Pricing Guide)

April 9, 2021

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How much does it cost to have a roof cleaned? Whatever the answer for your structure, it’s vital you schedule this work regularly! Roof washing removes damaging dirt, storm debris, and air pollution residues, protecting shingles and tiles while ensuring your home or business looks its best.

Roof cleaning costs typically average between $0.20 and $0.60 per square foot, and pressure washing contractors might add to these charges for stains, sloped roofs, obstructions, and other special details and features. Some power washing companies might also reduce roof washing costs if you add other services at the same time, such as gutter cleaning.

While roof cleaning costs are a sound investment for a home, it’s helpful to understand those expected costs including any fees added on for special services. You can then better negotiate those costs with a power washing contractor near you, and ensure you budget for them properly as well.

It’s also helpful for homeowners to realize why homes need regular power washing and why this job is best left to the pros. This will ensure your home is always in tiptop shape, from the roof to the sidewalk and everywhere in between!

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Roof Cleaned?

close up of gray roof tiles requiring cleaning

While only a pressure washing contractor near you can offer an exact quote for cleaning your home’s roof, note some additional information about how this cost is often calculated overall.

  • Low end or average costs of $0.20 to $0.60 per square foot are typically for homes with standard shingles and flat or A-framed roofs.
  • Additional stories might add another $0.10 per square foot.
  • Contractors might add $0.15 per square foot for, especially steep roofs.
  • Extremely difficult stains and buildups, such as salt, dried soot, or moss, might mean an additional $100 to $700 for your entire roof. This charge is often higher for first-time cleaning, as it requires added work to loosen and remove those residues.
  • After cleaning away moss, mold, algae, and other contaminants, a roof washing contractor might recommend adding a treatment that helps block those residues from returning. This might cost an additional $100 to $200.
  • The longer you go without needed power washing, the more difficult it becomes to clean away storm debris and thick dirt and mud. In turn, a power washing contractor might charge more for an especially filthy roof or one with set-in stains and thick layers of debris.
  • Salt, sand, and other gritty debris might require added work, to remove these materials from all the nooks and crannies of a home’s roof. Homes in coastal regions, desert areas, or other locations where sand and silt are common might need added work, so a roof cleaning contractor in those regions might charge more than national averages.

Roof Cleaning Costs By Material

cleaning orange roof shingles

Some roofing materials are easier to clean than others, so your roofing contractor might adjust pricing according to your roof’s material. Note how pricing might be adjusted according to your home’s roofing materials.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are soft and covered in granules that discourage standing water on the home’s roof. Because of their composition and surface, a roof washing contractor needs added caution when cleaning asphalt shingles. Soft wash power washing ensures a gentle yet thorough clean, although soft wash systems are usually priced competitively with high-pressure cleaning.

Clay and ceramic tile

While clay and ceramic tile are not soft like asphalt shingles, they are not meant to withstand high pressure washing or the weight of someone walking on them! Clay is also somewhat porous, so high-pressure cleaning can damage its surface. Because a roofing contractor might need to use added caution when accessing clay and ceramic tile, he or she might charge a slight bit more than when cleaning asphalt shingles.

Metal panels or tiles

Metal is more durable than clay and ceramic and isn’t soft like asphalt shingles, so your roof cleaning contractor might not add any fees for standard metal roof cleaning. However, stains are often more difficult to clean off a metal surface, so you might face some added costs for removing oil, rust and corrosion, and other such marks from a metal roof.

Wood shake roofs

As with asphalt shingles, wood shake roofing is also soft and can blow off the roof under high pressure. A roof washing contractor might charge more for, especially filthy wood roofs, as they need delicate cleaning processes without harsh scrubbing.

How Much Does It Cost to Have Moss Removed From Your Roof?

Cleaning moss from a roof is vital, as moss buildup separates tiles and shingles from a roof’s surface while also trapping heat. This trapped heat also causes roof damage and can spike utility bills during summer months. However, as moss is often difficult to clean properly, you might end up paying extra to have it removed from a structure’s roof.

On average, cleaning moss from a roof might cost $0.20 and $0.70 per square foot, or $200 to $700 for most residential homes. This charge might be added to standard roof washing charges, or your power washing contractor might increase their overall charges just slightly in order to compensate for having to clean moss.

Moss Growth Doesn't Necessarily Mean Old Roof

Too often, homeowners assume that moss on a roof is only an issue for older homes, or that older homes are more likely to see moss, mold, mildew, and algae growing along the roof. However, note that moss grows in cool, damp areas; if your home has moss on the roof, this is probably a result of shade and moisture, not the roof’s age!

Overgrown tree branches are a common culprit when it comes to moss on a home’s roof; these block sunlight that would otherwise kill growing moss as well as mold spores and other contaminants. Damp debris clinging to a roof can also lead to moss growth.

To reduce mold growth, trim back those overgrown branches as needed. You can also thin them out a bit if you don’t want to prune them completely, to allow for sunlight and fresh air. Regular roof power washing also kills mold, mildew, algae, and moss as it starts to grow, keeping it from spreading across a roof’s surface.

Should You Get Your Roof Cleaned?

water coming down the roof from pressure washing

Before you decide that roof cleaning costs aren’t worth it, consider some advantages of regular roof cleaning and what happens if you neglect having a structure’s roof cleaned as needed.

  • Wet storm debris including leaves, moss, and twigs hold dampness next to shingles and tiles, which can weaken them and lead to cracking and other damage.
  • Soot and air pollution residues might dry out shingles and tiles, also causing them to crack and split!
  • Dirt, storm debris, mold, and algae work their way between shingles and tiles, loosening them and increasing the risk of losing them during a storm or high winds.
  • Roofs and exterior walls hold pollen, dust, mold, and other irritants that are especially bothersome to people with allergies, asthma, and similar health concerns. Regular roof and exterior pressure washing can mean cleaner outdoor air and easier breathing!
  • The sooner you clean away oil, air pollution residues, and other such debris, the less likely it is that they will stain roof surfaces permanently.
  • Roof washing can reveal areas needing repairs, such as damaged shingles and tiles or bent and otherwise worn flashing.
  • A dirty roof can actually make your entire home or commercial structure look rundown and dingy, while a clean roof can restore shingle and tile color and improve curb appeal instantly.

Roof cleaning is also especially helpful for properties when you couple it with gutter cleaning! Gutters capture rainwater and melting snow and ice and then direct that water to nearby downspouts, which allow that water to run away from the home, to a nearby street or drain.

When gutters are clogged, rainwater and melting snow wash over their sides and run down exterior walls, then collect in the soil surrounding your home. This can lead to water stains as well as damaged brick, siding, and foundation concrete. To reduce this risk, consider gutter cleaning along with regular roof washing for your home or business!

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Roof?

dirty roof

Most homeowners would do well to schedule roof cleaning every other year or every three years at most. However, it might be beneficial to schedule this work more often for your home, if the roof should get especially filthy throughout the year.

As an example, if your house is located near a busy highway or airport, you might notice thick layers of soot and air pollution residues on the roof building up before too long! Annual power washing can clean those away and ensure the roof is clean and pristine.

If there are lots of mature trees on your property, you might also notice that your home’s roof is consistently covered in leaves, moss, seeds, twigs, and other such debris. Homes and businesses near the beach are also typically covered in sand, silt, and other gritty debris! If this describes your house, schedule roof washing as often as needed to remove that damaging debris and keep the roof clean.

How Do I Clean My Roof Myself?

A homeowner should never clean their home’s roof on their own! There are several reasons why this work should be left to a professional, not the least of which is your safety. Check out what is meant by that and why you want to call a power washing contractor near you for all the roof washing you need to have done.

  • Being on a roof is dangerous even for experienced roofers! Trying to walk on a roof wet with cleaning materials and rinse water is even more treacherous, and can mean falls and serious injury.
  • Improper power washing techniques risk lifting shingles and tiles from the roof or stripping granules from shingles.
  • Not rinsing quickly enough or leaving detergent on roof surfaces allows those cleansers to dry out, which can leave sticky residues on roof surfaces.
  • A pressure washing contractor is trained and skilled on reaching all those nooks and crannies of a roof, including eaves, trenches, corners, and other areas a homeowner might overlook.

A homeowner should also remember that a power washing contractor will have liability insurance, to cover the cost of repairs in the rare case that he or she damages your property. However, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover the cost of repairs if you damage your property yourself! If you were to blow some shingles off the roof, split or crack shingles or tiles, or otherwise damage your home during DIY pressure washing, you would probably need to pay for needed fixes out of your own pocket.

How Long Does It Take to Clean a Roof?

Roof pressure washing is rarely an all-day job, and many contractors work with at least one or two assistants, to make quick work of cleaning a roof. Most crews will take between 2 and 5 hours to clean an average-sized roof; expect a bit more time for an especially filthy roof or for tackling thick moss or algae. A contractor might also need an extra hour or two if you’ve decided to have the gutters cleaned along with the roof!

Can You Be Home During Roof Washing?

power washing a red roof

Roof washing can be noisy, although usually no more bothersome than the sound of going through a car wash. Also, some homeowners might be bothered by cleanser smells, although these aren’t typically overpowering and they do dissipate quickly. Other than the noise and odors, there is usually no reason why a homeowner can’t be home during roof washing.

However, if you do decide to stay home during this work, ensure that you stay away from where the contractors are working, and that you keep children and pets away as well. Remember that a power washing contractor will be using long hoses, ladders, and other such equipment during their work, so you want to stay some distance away, for their safety and yours. If you’re worried about the work disrupting your schedule, or have concerns over the cost to have a roof cleaned, don’t hesitate to talk to a roof washing contractor near you.

At Fort Myers Pressure Washing Services, we hope we’ve answered the question of how much does it cost to have a roof cleaned. If you’re in the Fort Myers area and need roof cleaning, give us a call! We have over 20 years of industry experience and provide a full catalog of pressure washing services, all guaranteed to last. To find out more or get started with your FREE quote, call us today.


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