If you live in North Caldwell New Jersey and you have a dirty roof, you now have the option of a roof soft wash over a roof pressure wash. Thompson Roof Cleaning and Power Washing has been servicing New Jersey since 1996. We clean all types of residential roofs like asphalt shingle, cedar and slate roofs. We also clean commercial roofs like rubber roofs and EPDM rubber roofing. Common sense will tell you that pressure washing is not a recommended cleaning procedure for a roofing shingle. All of the stains on the roof are living organisms. This is like an infection of the roof. Anything short of complete sterilization will allow the stain to return quickly.
We clean roofs by applying a detergent that contains a small amount of sodium hypochlorite. Sodium hypochlorite is the same product used in swimming pools to keep them clean and algae free. It is also used in gym pools and saunas. The local township adds small amounts to our drinking tap water to keep the water free of viruses and parasites. Most people have ingested more sodium hypochlorite than they know.
Now we’re not saying it’s safe to drink the solution we are spraying on the roof. Our point is that we are using a safe yet effective sterilizing product that is commonly used in for cleaning schools and hospitals. Nobody likes the thought of spraying chemicals around the home. We get that. We use sodium hypochlorite for 3 reasons: When sodium hypochlorite dries it turns back to its original state which is sodium chloride (common table salt). The 2nd reason is that roof shingle manufacturers like Timberline, GAF recommend using this product. It can be found on their website. The 3rd and main reason we use it because it works. Using “Earth Friendly” products to clean stains from the roof will not work. Mold, algae and moss are living organisms of the Earth. Using earth friendly detergents will help lift some staining but it will not sterilize the roof. If you do not kill the mold you did not solve the problem.
Black staining is a single cell bacterium called Gloeocapsa Magma. This ancient line of cyanobacteria has been around for millions of years. They attach to the roof and start to multiply. As the growth gains momentum it will start to grow exponentially. The stain will appear to accelerate. These spores actually start attaching to the roof the same day its installed. They cannot communicate and do not choose where to land. The spores land everywhere but will grow faster on the shady sides of the roof. These shady areas are a bit cooler and retain more moisture. In the summer even with no rain the morning dew can linger on a north side until 10-11AM. These moist conditions are ideal for roof algae.
Moss is a bit of a different creature. Moss will grow in moist areas. They can grow in clumps especially where there’s a lot of tree overhang. Most moss can blow right off. Some moss may develop a root system into the roofing shingle. These root systems slowly tear apart the shingle. The process is very slow but it is certain. Allowing moss to fester on the roof will insure premature decay of the shingles.
Lichen is the worst of all organisms that stain the roof. Lichen is considered a super fungus comprising of a fungus and algae. Lichen feed on the limestone in the roofing shingle. They eat right through the granules down to the membrane of the roof. It is difficult to know if the lichen had caused damage until it has fully rinsed away. In many cases lichen will leave small crates on the roof. They look like scars similar to asteroid craters on the moon. Lichen should not be scraped or pressure washed.
Cedar roofs are soft washed using a low pressure detergent wash. The detergent is much milder that is for asphalt shingle. Cedar roofs are always rinsed after treatment as opposed to asphalt shingle roofs that are not rinsed.
Slate roofs require a stronger detergent and we add extra surfactant so it clings to the slate shingle. We do want a water soap to come running immediately down to the gutter. Slate roofs are never walked on. The detergent is calibrated to get the job done the first time.
Thank you for finding our North Caldwell New Jersey Roof Cleaning page. If you have any further question or concerns about our roof cleaning process, please feel free to give us a call at (732) 726-9261