Why Do We Clean Our Roofs In SW Florida?


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

Here in Florida with the heat, humidity and rain that is a 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.  That is why on north facing sides of buildings and roofs you will find to be the most dirty. 

Here in Southwest Florida we have 3 types of roofs: metal, cement tile and shingle.  Metal roofs over time 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, I will ask the homeowner to contact the manufacturer before we will come out.  Some metal roofs you can use a bleach product while on others you 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 prior blog we actually shared an article about how insurance companies are beginning to NOT insure home owners 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 weight down the shingles.  Shingle roofs that have damage caused by mold and mildew will become lighter and will 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 SW for homes about $250,000.  Since cement is a porous material mold and mildew will grow on roof tiles.  In a future blog we’ll talk cleaning methods and how long they last.  Mold and mildew on cement roofs is mainly a cosmetic issue.  In another word, it typically won’t cut short the life of your roof to have it there.  It may look horrible and detract from the curb appeal of your home but the tiles won’t fall off because there is mold or mildew on them.  Many of the homes in SW FL are located in different deeded restricted communities that mandate the homeowners keep their property clean so that it doesn’t detract from the overall cleanliness of the community.  Since your roof is such a visible part of your property and Home Owner Associations want to keep home values up, a dirty roof will cause you to get a letter mandating you get it clean within a certain period of time.  How you get your roof clean will go a long way in determining how long it will last.  We’ll talk about that it our next blog.