Why Do We Clean Our Roofs in Southwest Florida?

Over the next coming months, I am going to attempt to answer many of the common questions people have about roof cleaning in Southwest Florida. Today, we’re going to attempt to answer a question many people (especially those who are from other states that didn’t have to deal with the thought of roof cleaning) have about why we even clean roofs.

A Petri Dish for Mold & Mildew

With the heat, humidity, and rain that is part of our daily existence, we are a perfect “petri dish” for mold and mildew to grow. We have all the essential ingredients and, as a result, any shaded surface that retains water and dirt will become black with mold and mildew in a very short amount of time. The more porous the surface (such as concrete), the faster the growth. This is why the north-facing sides of buildings and roofs are found to be the dirtiest.

3 Types of Roofs in Southwest Florida

Here in Southwest Florida, we have three types of roofs: metal, cement tile, and shingle. Over time, metal roofs will get dirty, especially on the north-facing side, and need to be cleaned with the appropriate solution recommended by the manufacturer. When someone with a metal roof calls our company, we always ask the homeowner to contact the manufacturer before we will come out. Some metal roofs can be cleaned with a bleach product, while others cannot. Research is always best, but the issue is normally cosmetic since the mold and mildew really can’t harm the metal.

Shingle roofs are a different story. In a previous blog, we shared an article about how insurance companies are beginning to cancel policies of homeowners that don’t keep their roofs clean. The reason is that mold and mildew will eat the limestone that is used in the manufacturing process to weigh down the shingles. Shingle roofs that have damaged caused by mold and mildew will become lighter and even begin to curl on the edges. So, the issue with this type of roof goes well beyond cosmetics. Cleaning is essential to getting the most life out of your roof.

Cement roof tiles are the predominate roof of choice here in Southwest Florida for homes about $250,000. Since cement is a porous material, mold and mildew will grow on roof tiles. In a future blog, we will talk about different cleaning methods and how long they last. Having black mold and mildew on your roof looks horrible and will detract from the curb appeal of your home.

HOA-Mandated Cleanings

Many of the homes in Southwest Florida are located in different deeded restricted communities that mandate the homeowners keep their property clean. This way, they won’t detract from the overall cleanliness of the community. Since your roof is such a visible part of your property and Homeowner Associations (HOAs) want to keep home values up, a dirty roof will cause you to get a letter mandating you get it cleaned within a certain period of time.

Remember: how you get your roof clean will go a long way in determining how long it will last. We’ll talk about that in our next blog.