How to Clean Roof Tiles

Roof Care & Maintenance
how to
How to Clean Roof Tiles

There’s one question that every homeowner will ask themselves at some point – how do I clean my roof tiles? It isn’t an easy question to answer, as it can greatly depend on the dirt or debris you’re dealing with, and what type of roof tiles you have. In most cases, however, homeowners with traditional concrete or slate roof tiles will be trying to tackle moss or algae growth.

Roof Tile Cleaning

In this article, we’ll be sharing some tips on how to clean roof tiles. Before we begin, however, note that you should always read your manufacturer’s guide and consult a roofing professional if appropriate. This is as tiles can be crafted from different materials and feature different coatings, meaning that our tips may not be appropriate for cleaning your roof tiles.

Consider Your Safety

Before you begin giving your roof tiles a spring clean, you must ensure that safety has been strongly considered. A failure to do so could lead to you damaging your roof and injuring yourself. Here are some tips on safety equipment and personal protective equipment to use to avoid these potential dangers.

  • Fit a temporary safety rail
  • Wear sturdy, non-slip safety boots
  • Wear chemical protection gloves
  • Wear wraparound safety glasses

Whilst the above safety equipment is essential whatever the size and pitch of your roof, you may also require a safety line and harness. These are vital on high-pitched roofs where a build-up of moss or algae can make the tiles incredibly slippery. As well as wearing adequate footwear, when working on a tiled roof make sure only to step where tiles overlap, as this is where the tiles are sturdiest.

It is also strongly recommended that you work alongside a friend who can pass materials and equipment up onto the roof. Without someone else to work with, you will have to repeatedly climb on and off the roof. This is when most injuries and accidents occur.

Disconnect Water Tanks and Clear Your Guttering

If you have your guttering system connected to a water storage tank, ensure that it is disconnected before you begin. Otherwise, any chemicals used while cleaning your roof tiles will find their way into your water storage.

You may also wish to clear your guttering system at this point. You can do this at ground level with a gutter brush. If your gutters easily fill with debris due to an overhanging tree, fit a gutter guard.

Remove Moss and Algae

If your roof has a severe build-up of moss or algae, the first step is to gently scrape away the larger pieces. When doing this, it’s important to ensure you don’t damage your roof tiles. You can buy purposely designed roof scrapers for this job and shouldn’t be tempted to use those designed for lawns, as these may damage your roof.

Once the thicker moss and algae is gone, you can use a simple garden sprayer to apply specially formulated moss and algae remover. These chemicals have been designed not only to kill the existing moss and algae but also to prevent future growth. What’s more, their acid-free formula means they won’t damage any coating on your roof tiles.

While applying the anti-moss and algae spray, make sure to work your back backwards from where it’s been applied. This means you won’t step onto a wet, treated tile while cleaning your roof tiles. So, you’re staying safe from slips and falls, but also not undoing your work! Once you’ve applied an initial coat, all you need to do is wait for it to dry.

Cleaning Dirt Off Your Roof Tiles

If you’re just dealing with ordinary dirt and debris, then our all purpose roof cleaner applied using a gentle garden sprayer as described above should work wonders to restore your roof to its former glory.

Many people use pressure washers to clean their roof tiles, however, this can do more harm than good, as the immense pressure from the water could damage your tiles or their coating. This is why we recommend using equipment such as a garden sprayer, or even a low-powered hose along with a gentle brush to carefully and safely clean each roof tile.

Be sure to be particularly aware of your surroundings and consider your footing when washing your tiles. This is the most dangerous part of cleaning your roof tiles, as this is when the roof is at its most slippery. Ensure that you use the recommended safety equipment and have a friend there to help you.

How to Keep Your Roof Tiles Clean

Once you’ve made the effort to clean your roof tiles, it’s important not to let all your hard work go to waste. Here are a few tips on how to keep your roof in top condition.

Clean More Regularly

Naturally, the easiest way to keep your roof tiles clean is by doing it more often. This has plenty of benefits beyond its appearance however, as keeping your roof free from dirt, debris, moss, or algae is important for maintaining its structural integrity. Issues like moss or algae can cause moisture to seep into your roof space, potentially leading to problems such as condensation, rot, or mould.

Keep an Eye on Your Roof

You should regularly inspect your roof tiles for problems such as cracks, broken tiles, or gaps where old tiles have fallen away. This is vital as these nooks and crannies are the ideal breeding ground for moss and algae, which if left unchecked could cause you serious and expensive problems in the long-term.

Install Copper or Zinc Strips

If you experience serious levels of moss, algae, or lichen build-up on your roof tiles, you could consider installing copper or zinc strips along your roof. These strips contain chemicals that are poisonous to plant life, and when it rains, the water absorbs these chemicals, washing away any existing intruders and preventing new moss or algae from growing.

How to Clean Roof Tiles

You now have the answer to that age-old question, how to clean roof tiles? Having now washed your tiles, we do recommend checking that your guttering system is clean and that it has been reconnected to your water tank if necessary. Then you can take a step back and enjoy your reinvigorated roof tiles.

We always recommend speaking to the manufacturer before cleaning your roof tiles. If appropriate, also consult a qualified professional. If you do not feel capable of and comfortable cleaning your roof tiles, then hiring a professional may be the best option for you.

If your roof tiles are beyond saving and damaged, then take a look at our range of roof tiles. They include metal roof tiles, plastic roof tiles, lightweight roof tiles and much more. Roofing Megastore also offer fast delivery across the UK and mega savings all year round.

Please note: This article has been written for information purposes and we therefore take no responsibility for any purchasing decisions you make or processes you follow as a result of reading this article. Whilst we act as a retailer, we are not experts nor qualified in cleaning roof tiles or any other roofing material. We therefore recommend that you refer to your manufacturer's guide and, if appropriate, consult a qualified professional.
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