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triangle

Is roof cleaning a con and what's the best way to do it?



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triangle

Spoke to a couple of builders and a roofer and they don't get the recent fashion of roof cleaning.   When I explained I'd seen metal roof scrapers at the show they said it wasn't a good idea as the metal would scrape the sand off the top of the tiles. Walking about up there could break a tile and the moss holds tiles together anyway.    Also, if it was so important people would have done it years ago not just recently...

 

Anyway, I told my mate I'd done this softwashing course and then I get a call from this property management guy asking if the two of us would clean roofs and that he'd heard I'd done a course on softwashing.   I guess if you can make money from it it might be good. 

 

So, how do you guys clean roofs?  And can you clean them without using chemicals? 

Edited by triangle

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Part Timer

Just go on the "other" add on cleaning services section and there are pages of info regarding roof cleaning

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Pjj

If you have just done a softwashing course you should know exactly how to do it , who did your training ? The reason you clean a roof is to stop the bacteria that forms on it gradually breaking down the tiles especially concrete tiles , also most roof tiles are a litish colour to reflect heat ,as the roof becomes contaminated with licken moss and bacteria it goes a darker colour increasing the heat transfer to the loft space which in turn dries out the mineral felt under the tiles which then crackes  up allowing water ingress . Roof cleaning is far more popular in America but it is a rapidly expanding buisness all over Europe in a few years I think it will be just as common to have your roof cleaned hear as it is there , it’s also a very well paid job . We don’t do many roofs at the moment but do lots of render wash downs and it’s getting busier every year ,I think it is the way ahead although it is quite a controversial subject with a lot of people 

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P4dstar
4 hours ago, triangle said:

Also, if it was so important people would have done it years ago not just recently...

I've no idea how old you are but if you're over the age of 30 you will more than likely remember the Thatcher government warnings about acid rain. The acid rain was created by the amount of factories in our country back then. As factories and industry have closed the acid rain has all but gone. This used to keep moss a litchen growth down.

 

4 hours ago, triangle said:

So, how do you guys clean roofs?  And can you clean them without using chemicals? 

I don't clean roofs but it is in my plans. You scrape the excess moss from the roof and then apply biocide which clears moss and litchens over time. I've heard this theory that they hold the tile together but there appears to be no credible evidence for this anywhere that i've seen.

 

With regards to cleaning chemical free this is what roofing companies do. I was cleaning a huge office block the other week and they had a roofing company out scraping the moss off. I asked the guy in charge of the project if they were going to treat it and he said no, they're gonna scrape it annually. This will have easily been a 15K roof so I can see why they would rather come back annually than treat it and return in 3 years time.

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triangle
Posted (edited)
On 28/02/2019 at 23:09, P4dstar said:

I've no idea how old you are but if you're over the age of 30 you will more than likely remember the Thatcher government warnings about acid rain. The acid rain was created by the amount of factories in our country back then. As factories and industry have closed the acid rain has all but gone. This used to keep moss a litchen growth down.

 

I don't clean roofs but it is in my plans. You scrape the excess moss from the roof and then apply biocide which clears moss and litchens over time. I've heard this theory that they hold the tile together but there appears to be no credible evidence for this anywhere that i've seen.

 

With regards to cleaning chemical free this is what roofing companies do. I was cleaning a huge office block the other week and they had a roofing company out scraping the moss off. I asked the guy in charge of the project if they were going to treat it and he said no, they're gonna scrape it annually. This will have easily been a 15K roof so I can see why they would rather come back annually than treat it and return in 3 years time.

Could you do it off a tower with a scraper taped to a pole or would you have to go up on a ladder?   Might just scrape it off without necessarily putting on biocide 

 

The one I used on a pole was this flexi thing plasters use taped on.   Has anyone used the metal ones shaped for each tile?  I saw them at the show

Edited by triangle

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P4dstar
11 minutes ago, triangle said:

Could you do it off a tower with a scraper taped to a pole or would you have to go up on a ladder?   Might just scrape it off without necessarily putting on biocide 

 

The one I used on a pole was this flexi thing plasters use taped on.   Has anyone used the metal ones shaped for each tile?  I saw them at the show

 

Give this guy a watch, tends to make good roof cleaning videos.

 

The issue you will get with chemical free cleaning is the baked on stuff ain't gonna come off without the chemicals and they don't cost a huge amount.

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Incheck
9 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

 

Give this guy a watch, tends to make good roof cleaning videos.

 

The issue you will get with chemical free cleaning is the baked on stuff ain't gonna come off without the chemicals and they don't cost a huge amount.

Do you know what that hose attachment is he’s using? It looks like a x-hose but not quite the same. Ive got the benz nozzles for wfp but the flow rate on them is somewhat dissapointing i’ve found, not sure if it’s because i’m using a backpack. I’ve hardly used them Tbh. 

Not that i do roof cleaning at the moment anyway, sticking to my comfort zone!

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P4dstar
11 hours ago, Incheck said:

Do you know what that hose attachment is he’s using? It looks like a x-hose but not quite the same. Ive got the benz nozzles for wfp but the flow rate on them is somewhat dissapointing i’ve found, not sure if it’s because i’m using a backpack. I’ve hardly used them Tbh. 

Not that i do roof cleaning at the moment anyway, sticking to my comfort zone!

Pretty sure he said in one of his videos it is one of these;

 

https://www.da-components.com/product/da-applicator-with-nozzle-for-biocide-application/

 

Difficulty with roof cleaning is it takes away from our every day rounds, difficult to fit in I mean.

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scottish cleaning service

I've been asked to do a roof clean with my power washer. The customer wants it done this way. Clear the gutters and clean the conny roof also. I am asking 2 days wages and they seem ok with it. Its a 5 bed detached which is not that old. If it works out well then I may get more in the estate. Should be doing it in a few weeks.

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P4dstar
6 minutes ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I've been asked to do a roof clean with my power washer. The customer wants it done this way. Clear the gutters and clean the conny roof also. I am asking 2 days wages and they seem ok with it. Its a 5 bed detached which is not that old. If it works out well then I may get more in the estate. Should be doing it in a few weeks.

I think you already know this but pressure washing a roof is a bad idea. As a professional insured tradesman with the relevant insurance and licenses you really ought to advise people this and turn down the job mate.

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scottish cleaning service

I will only be gently PW the moss off of it. I have discussed all the other options and they are happy with it. I will be doing it from the ridge down, I will let you all know how it goes.

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P4dstar
9 minutes ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I will only be gently PW the moss off of it. I have discussed all the other options and they are happy with it. I will be doing it from the ridge down, I will let you all know how it goes.

With respect mate I don't care how it goes, nothing is going to make me think that's a good idea. That said enough people do it, I think I shared the picture of the guy round here who does it. Each to their own, good luck with it mate.

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scottish cleaning service

I did my own bungalow which had slates Paddy because I was selling it. Roof came up great and was a big selling point. This tile roof is 20yrs old and I believe it will come up great and add money when they sell it. Tiles are meant to be changed every 30yrs but no one does it because they usually try and get double that life span. The estate is full of 5 bed detached houses so I'm looking to impress all the neighbours.

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P4dstar
1 minute ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I did my own bungalow which had slates Paddy because I was selling it. Roof came up great and was a big selling point. This tile roof is 20yrs old and I believe it will come up great and add money when they sell it. Tiles are meant to be changed every 30yrs but no one does it because they usually try and get double that life span. The estate is full of 5 bed detached houses so I'm looking to impress all the neighbours.

Still not selling it to me mate. I don't doubt that pressure washing a roof looks great. I just doubt that it's safe.

 

I wonder sometimes if you say these things for a reaction.

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Incheck
1 hour ago, P4dstar said:

Pretty sure he said in one of his videos it is one of these;

 

https://www.da-components.com/product/da-applicator-with-nozzle-for-biocide-application/

 

Difficulty with roof cleaning is it takes away from our every day rounds, difficult to fit in I mean.

The other one i was on about fella, looks like spray hose (silver lance type thing) 

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scottish cleaning service
How do you clean concrete roof tiles?
Clean the roof tiles with a high pressure water spray. Give the anti-moss spray time to do its job, and then use the high pressure cleaner to wash the tiles down. This will remove all the moss and lichen as well as any built up dirt.

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P4dstar
8 minutes ago, Incheck said:

The other one i was on about fella, looks like spray hose (silver lance type thing) 

Oh yeah, never noticed that thing. It looks like something connected to the end of a pressure washer. I guess you could just plug a backpack filled with mixture up to the pressure washer and use that. I don't think there is any need for actual pressure to be fair though as biocide works over time not on the day so to speak 🤷‍♂️

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Incheck
5 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

Oh yeah, never noticed that thing. It looks like something connected to the end of a pressure washer. I guess you could just plug a backpack filled with mixture up to the pressure washer and use that. I don't think there is any need for actual pressure to be fair though as biocide works over time not on the day so to speak 🤷‍♂️

Yeah i currently use a backpack for hypo on drives fella. Flow rate is terrible though. Some peoples lances seem to just slosh it about. Maybe they use those softwash clever injectors i dont know. Its one of the biggest pet peeves of “how to” videos. People show you how to do it but very rarely run through all of the different bits of kit they use, which is half the battle.

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P4dstar
38 minutes ago, Incheck said:

Yeah i currently use a backpack for hypo on drives fella. Flow rate is terrible though. Some peoples lances seem to just slosh it about. Maybe they use those softwash clever injectors i dont know. Its one of the biggest pet peeves of “how to” videos. People show you how to do it but very rarely run through all of the different bits of kit they use, which is half the battle.

Agreed mate. Would be worth commenting on his video, he would probably reply.

 

I found this, very similar...

https://www.powerwash.com/suttner-st-53-dual-lance-pressure-washer-wand.html

 

It's from a US site but i'm sure they would ship to the UK. I've used them before to find the name of a device and just bought it on eBay, bit of a reference if that makes sense.

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triangle
Posted (edited)
On 02/03/2019 at 07:51, P4dstar said:

 

Give this guy a watch, tends to make good roof cleaning videos.

 

The issue you will get with chemical free cleaning is the baked on stuff ain't gonna come off without the chemicals and they don't cost a huge amount.

 

He's spraying that all over the place wearing a short sleeved t shirt.  You gotta to wear the right PPE and keep it off your body. 

Edited by triangle

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triangle
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I did my own bungalow which had slates Paddy because I was selling it. Roof came up great and was a big selling point. This tile roof is 20yrs old and I believe it will come up great and add money when they sell it. Tiles are meant to be changed every 30yrs but no one does it because they usually try and get double that life span. The estate is full of 5 bed detached houses so I'm looking to impress all the neighbours.

I've seen people do this.   I guess as long as you spray from the ridge downwards you won't get any any water between tiles.  Is it safe sitting on on a roof ridge with a pressure washer, what if you slip? 

 

 

Im just not comfortable spraying chemicals on roofs, I just think it'll get on your body.    If was to use a tower (mitower is £75 to hire)and Marshall scrapper, would that without chemicals do a good enough job for a customer?  Possibly get on roof ladder as well 

Edited by triangle

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P4dstar
5 minutes ago, triangle said:

 

He's spraying that all over the place wearing a short sleeved t shirt.  You gotta to wear the right PPE and keep it off your body. 

You're probably right mate. I also believe you're meant to have a spraying qualification to use stuff like this, reckon most people who do it ain't got it.

1 minute ago, triangle said:

If was to use a tower and Marshall scrapper, would that do a good enough job for a customer? 

This is what roofers round here do, they do that because they will get repeat business IMO. A roof scraped needs to be done again in 12-18 months, if you treat it with biocide it will last for 3-5 years. The hard work is scraping the moss, the easy bit is spraying it and probably allows you to charge much more.

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Iron Giant
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, P4dstar said:

Still not selling it to me mate. I don't doubt that pressure washing a roof looks great. I just doubt that it's safe.

 

 

 


I was walking through the village this morning and saw a young lad pressure washing a roof, a shop roof on a cat ladder no other safety equipment no cordoning off of the footpath below with other shops open for business one wrong move and he would have possibly ended up dead at worst or seriously injured spending the rest of his life a cripple not sure which would be worse for him and his family , but dam right stupid that's for certain 

Edited by Iron Giant

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triangle
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

You're probably right mate. I also believe you're meant to have a spraying qualification to use stuff like this, reckon most people who do it ain't got it.

Biocide like hypo is dangerous for our bodies  I've used hypo on patios and walls. Wore wellies, a £10 chemical suit, gloves and chemical mask for the wall job.  Maybe I am over the top and worrying too much but at height and our feet off the ground it's harder to operate with this PPE on.

 

    This property maintenance who said he'd find me and my friend work cleaning roofs and we'll have a meeting, I'll tell him we'll scrape the moss off only.  That we only use chemicals with our feet on the floor 

Edited by triangle

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P4dstar
7 minutes ago, Iron Giant said:


I was walking through the village this morning and saw a young lad pressure washing a roof, a shop roof on a cat ladder no other safety equipment no cordoning off of the footpath below with other shops open for business one wrong move and he would have possibly ended up dead at worst or seriously injured spending the rest of his life a cripple not sure which would be worse for him and his family , but dam right stupid that's for certain 

I reckon we just remove all the warning labels and let evolution take over mate. Give it a few years we would be shut of people like that 😂

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