How Often Should You Clean Your Roof?

Roofing Tips

roof cleaning

South Florida’s tropical climate wreaks havoc on our homes, with the roof taking the biggest beating. Rain, wind, and constant humidity encourage the formation of algae and mold and trap all kinds of grime and dirt on the roof. Unless the roof is cleaned regularly, these issues may cause serious health problems and damage to the roof structure.

All homeowners must schedule a regular roof inspection, maintenance, and cleaning with a professional roofing company. Newer roofs may get away with every two years, but older roofs must be cleaned by a professional (never try DIY roof cleaning) every year.

Why You Should Keep Your Roof Clean

Some Homeowner Associations have made it mandatory to have your roof cleaned regularly (every 1 – 2 years) and have numerous reasons for doing so, including:

Curb Appeal

A clean roof increases your home’s value and enhances the home’s curb appeal. A dirty roof reflects negatively on the surrounding homes and detracts from the true resale value of your home.

Manufacturers Warranty

Although the manufacturer’s warranty covers defective materials, they are unlikely to cover expenses if the fault is due to general neglect. Regular roof cleaning allows you to detect and repair small issues that, left unattended, will progress to large, often expensive problems.

Dirty Roofs Attract Pests

Pests and rodents are attracted to dirty roofs, gutters, and eves. Pests and rodents damage roofing materials and carry numerous diseases harmful to humans and household pets.

Dirty Roofs Absorb Heat

Algae, fungi, and moss that thrive on dirty roofs also absorb and trap heat. This requires your AC to work harder to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. Cut energy costs and have a cool home by keeping your roof clean.

Dirty Roofs Are A Health Risk

Dirty roofs are the perfect environment for algae, mold/fungus, moss, and lichens to flourish. These are all dangerous health risks and also cause major damage to roofing materials in the following ways.


The black stains on a dirty roof are usually caused by algae (Gloeocapsamagma/GM). Algae has the following properties:

  • It grows in shaded areas, requires minimal light, and is blue/green.
  • It feeds off asphalt and limestone, gradually causing roof rot.
  • It is transported by wind and animals and can quickly spread from one roof to another.
  • Exposure to algae can cause serious health issues like:
    • Diarrhea and vomiting
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Skin, eye, and throat infections
    • Severe allergic reactions


Mold is a fungal growth that forms on damp or decaying organic matter. Mold grows very well in places with a lot of moisture, like leaks in roofs, windows, and pipes.

Exposure to mold causes allergic reactions like headaches and fatigue. watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. In severe cases, it can cause difficulty breathing.

Sometimes referred to as mildew, mold easily spreads onto adjacent structures, promotes roof rot, and erodes the asphalt in shingles.


Moss is a plant with a very shallow root system. They require a lot of moisture to survive and are normally found on a shady part of the roof in the groove between shingles. Overhanging branches that provide shade and leaves and debris that trap moisture encourage moss growth.

Moss spores are easily spread from roof to roof via wind and animals. Moss draws food off roofing material, starting with color and etching deeper and deeper, gradually breaking down roofing material. Moss also provides a cover for the very destructive fungus.


A combination of algae and fungus, lichens are plant-like organisms with root-like tentacles. For nourishment, lichens penetrate deep into the shingle’s organic oil base, thereby ruining the shingle. Lichens are very tough to remove and reappear during humidity and rain.

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