Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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Is Roof Cleaning Necessary? Benefits, Methods, and More

roof cleaning


As a homeowner, you may wonder if cleaning your roof is really necessary. After all, it’s not something you think about every day. However, neglecting to clean your roof can lead to significant damage and decrease the lifespan of your roof. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of roof cleaning, the methods used, and when it’s time to call a professional.

Roof Cleaning Necessary: The Benefits

There are several benefits to keeping your roof clean. Here are some of the most important ones:

Prevent Damage to Your Roof: Over time, moss, algae, and debris can build up on your roof. This can cause damage to the shingles or other roofing material, leading to leaks and even structural damage. Regular roof cleaning can prevent this buildup and extend the life of your roof.

Increase Energy Efficiency: A dirty roof can absorb more heat from the sun, which can cause your air conditioning to work harder to keep your home cool. By keeping your roof clean, you can save money on your energy bills.

Improve Curb Appeal: A clean roof can improve the overall appearance of your home, which is especially important if you’re looking to sell. It can also prevent potential buyers from being turned off by an unsightly roof.

Roof Cleaning Methods

There are several methods used for cleaning roofs. Here are some of the most common ones:

Chemical Cleaning: Cleaning Chemicals can be applied to your roof to kill moss and algae. This method is effective and less damaging than a pressure washing, but it’s important to use the right cleaning solutions and apply them correctly.

Manual Cleaning: For delicate roofs or areas that can’t be pressure washed, manual cleaning is a good option. This involves using a brush or other tool to scrub away dirt and debris.

Types of Roof Material

Different types of roofing materials require different cleaning methods. For example, asphalt shingles can be cleaned with a pressure washer, while clay or concrete tiles may need a gentler approach. Metal roofs can be easily damaged by pressure washing, so soft washing or hand washing may be a better option. It’s important to know your roof material before choosing a cleaning method.

Damage Your Roof?

If you are not careful, you can damage your roof while cleaning it. Pressure washing, for example, can be too strong for some types of roofing material, causing damage or even removing the shingle granules. Walking on your roof can also cause damage, especially if you step on the wrong spot. It’s essential to be cautious and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your roof.

Moss and Algae

Moss and algae can grow on your roof and cause damage over time. Moss can trap moisture, which can lead to rot and mold growth. Algae can cause discoloration and even weaken the shingles. Regular roof cleaning can prevent moss and algae growth and extend the life of your roof.

Cleaning Solution

When cleaning your roof, it’s essential to use the right cleaning solution. Some cleaning solutions can damage your roof, especially if your roof is made of delicate materials such as slate or tile. Always use a cleaning solution that is specifically designed for your type of roof material. You can purchase these solutions at your local home improvement store, or you can hire a roof cleaning company to do it for you.

When to Call a Professional

While it’s possible to clean your roof yourself, it’s often best to hire a professional. A professional roof cleaning company has the tools and experience to clean your roof safely and effectively. Here are some signs that it’s time to call a professional:

You’re not comfortable working on your roof: Cleaning a roof can be dangerous, especially if you don’t have experience or the right equipment.

Your roof is very dirty: If your roof is covered in moss, algae, or debris, it’s best to call in a professional to handle the cleaning.

Your roof is delicate: Some roofing materials, such as slate or tile, require special care when cleaning. A professional will have the expertise to clean these roofs without causing damage.

You’re not sure what method to use: If you’re not sure how to clean your roof or what method to use, it’s best to call in a professional. They can assess your roof and determine the best cleaning method for your situation.

Roof Replacement vs. Cleaning

If your roof is severely damaged or old, you may be considering a roof replacement. However, cleaning your roof can often be a more affordable and effective option. By cleaning your roof, you can extend its lifespan and avoid costly repairs. Before you decide on a roof replacement, consider having your roof cleaned by a professional.


In conclusion, roof cleaning is a necessary part of home maintenance. Regular roof cleaning can prevent damage, increase energy efficiency, and improve curb appeal. While it’s possible to clean your roof yourself, it’s often best to hire a professional to ensure safe and effective cleaning. By taking care of your roof, you can extend its lifespan and avoid costly repairs.

Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning in Des Moines Iowa
Cedar Shake Roof before & after cleaning

Meet Bruce

50 Years of Experience &
Over 2,000 Shake Roofs Cleaned

Bruce Sullivan has over 50 years of experience in maintaining, cleaning, and restoring cedar shake roofs. Making him one of the top authorities on cedar shake roofs in the US.

Watch the Cedar Shakes Cleaning Process in Action in this video

Play Video about Roof Cleaning How to Remove Moss, Lichen, Fungi from a Cedar Roof Sullivan Roof


What can I say? Bruce and Keith provided an exceptional service, and they are really nice guys too. Found out at the last minute they were in Minneapolis, and they fit me in for a cedar shake roof cleaning the next evening after their regular job was done. Even cleaned up my gutters, small fence, and small deck at no charge. The place looks outstanding! Highly recommended.

Mike Richards

I highly recommend this business. Due to the work performed we are going to get another 10-14 years out of our cedar shake roof. We were told by some roofing companies that the roof should be replaced in 2 years. I lucked out and found Sullivan Roof Cleaning while researching companies that perform this service, and was pleased to learn that the company does work outside of Iowa. If you need your cedar shakes cleaned, go with Sullivan Roof Cleaning.

Eric Oelrich, 
St Cloud, MN

Bruce did a great job cleaning the whole exterior of my house. The roof has new life! It looks practically brand new. All the mold and moss on the roof, on the gutters, under the eaves, completely gone. He exceeded all our expectations. When he tells you what he can do for your house, you can believe and trust him. Great guy, great service.

Stuart Malone
Kansas City, MO


Cedar shakes are organic. Though a resilient material. Being organic they need to be maintained. Over time, like any organic material that are subjected to weather elements, they reach a stage of deterioration. Like UV exposure, moisture and seasonal changes. Which results in moss, mold, mildew, lichen and brown rot fungi. These infestations need to be removed to further preserve the integrity of the cedar shake.
The proper way to clean a cedar shake roof is from a ladder. By spraying a special formulated solution onto the shakes and then rinsed with a garden hose pressure. Best done by a professional cedar shake roof cleaner. Not DIY recommended.
No. Pressure washer will require walking on the shakes, which will harm them, and even at its lowest setting will also damage the shakes.
On average, cedar shakes should be cleaned every 10 ten years. Subjective to the grade of the shakes and the amount of surrounding tree cover.
Avoiding walking on a cedar shake roof, other than for repairs.
Never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe. They expand and contract in rain conditions. Seal will shorten the lifespan, to the point of premature replacement.
Staining has no real preserve value and can also harm the integrity of shakes, as stated, they need to be able to breathe. Also, if the shakes are not properly cleaned staining can seal the deteriorating infestation within the shakes.
Depending on the grade of the shakes and installation, and if maintained properly, 40 to 60 years.


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