Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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The Comprehensive Guide to Tile Roof Cleaning: Maintaining the Beauty and Longevity of Your Roof

tile roof cleaning


Tile roofs are a standout feature in any home, offering both durability and aesthetic charm. However, like all types of roof materials, they require regular maintenance to keep them in top shape. This article will discuss the importance of tile roof cleaning for different types of tiles and how to ensure the longevity of your tile roof.

Recognizing the Importance of Regular Tile Roof Cleaning

Tile roofs are beautiful and resilient, but they aren’t impervious to natural elements. Over time, dirt, moss, lichens, and roof algae can accumulate on your tiles. This not only detracts from your home’s appearance but can also lead to roof damage if left unchecked.

Why Your Tile Roof Needs Cleaning

Regular roof cleaning is an excellent way to keep your tile roof looking its best and functioning optimally. Over time, debris, dirt, moss, and roof algae can accumulate on the tiles. This buildup not only compromises the aesthetic appeal of your home but can also lead to structural issues that may require a roof repair or even roof replacement.

Understanding the Consequences of Neglecting Roof Cleaning

Neglecting roof cleaning when your roof needs it can have severe consequences. The buildup of dirt and algae can compromise the integrity of the tiles, leading to water seepage and potential damage to the underlayment. Over the course of time, this could lead to expensive repairs or even necessitate a total replacement of the roof.

Choosing the Best Cleaning Methods for Your Tile Roof

There are various cleaning methods suitable for tile roofs. The optimal approach for your roof will be determined by the particular circumstances and the nature of the debris or organisms present on it.

Tile Roof Cleaning Solutions

A popular method for tile roof cleaning involves the use of a cleaning solution. These are specially formulated products designed to kill and remove algae, moss, and other debris. Cleaning solution is applied to the roof and allowed to sit for a while before being rinsed off.

This method can effectively clean your tile roof without causing the kind of damage that can occur with more abrasive cleaning techniques. However, it’s essential to ensure that the cleaning solution is suitable for your specific roof material to avoid any potential damage.

Hiring Professional Roof Cleaners: A Worthy Investment

While it might be tempting to try and clean your tile roof yourself, hiring professional roof cleaners often proves to be a wise decision.

The Benefits of Professional Roof Cleaning

Professional roof cleaners bring expert knowledge and experience to the task of cleaning your tile roof. They understand the specific needs of different roof materials and have the right tools and cleaning solutions to clean effectively without causing damage. Additionally, professional roof cleaners are trained to spot potential issues that may need attention. By catching these early, you can often prevent minor problems from becoming major, costly repairs.

The Importance of Regular Roof Maintenance

Once your tile roof is clean, maintaining it should become a regular part of your home care routine.

Keeping Your Tile Roof in Top Condition

Regular inspections can help you identify any potential issues early, allowing for timely roof repair and helping to extend the life of your tile roof. These checks can spot if your roof needs cleaning before the buildup becomes too substantial and causes damage.

Preserving the Life of Your Tile Roof

Regular maintenance and cleaning are key to preserving the life of your tile roof. By keeping your roof clean and addressing any issues promptly, you can help ensure your roof lasts as long as possible, saving you money and hassle in the long run. While tile roof cleaning might seem like a daunting task, it’s an essential part of maintaining your home. By understanding the importance of this task, choosing the right cleaning method, and considering the help of professional roof cleaners, you can help ensure the longevity and beauty of your tile roof.

Ensuring a Safe Cleaning Process

Safety is of paramount importance when it comes to roof cleaning. Roofs can be slippery and dangerous, especially when wet. This is another reason why hiring a professional for your tile roof cleaning is often the best choice.

Minimizing Risks

Professional roof cleaners are trained to work safely at heights and understand the inherent risks involved in the cleaning process. They have the proper equipment to ensure safety and can often complete the job quicker and more efficiently, further reducing the risk of accidents.

Selecting a Professional Roof Cleaner

Given the importance of regular roof cleaning, it’s crucial to choose a professional roof cleaner who is up to the task.

What to Look for

When hiring a professional, look for someone with experience in tile roof cleaning specifically. They should be able to provide references and demonstrate a clear understanding of the best cleaning methods for your roof. Also, ensure they are licensed and insured to protect yourself from any potential liability.

The Long-Term Benefits of Regular Roof Cleaning

Tile roof cleaning might seem like a laborious task, but the benefits far outweigh the effort. Regular cleaning not only keeps your roof looking its best but also contributes significantly to extending its lifespan.

Boosting Curb Appeal

A clean roof enhances your home’s overall aesthetic appeal. It’s often one of the first things people notice about your house. Regular cleaning helps maintain this positive impression.

Avoiding Costly Repairs

Regular roof cleaning can help you avoid costly repairs down the line. By removing damaging substances like moss and algae promptly, you can prevent them from causing long-term damage to your tiles.

Extending the Life of Your Tile Roof

Regular cleaning is one of the best ways to extend the life of your tile roof. By keeping your tiles in the best possible condition, you can help ensure your roof lasts for many years to come.

Can you walk on your roof to clean it?

Walking on your roof to clean it can be risky and should be approached with caution. While it might seem like a straightforward way to remove debris or perform maintenance, it’s important to note that walking on a roof can lead to accidents or damage. Factors such as the type of roofing material, slope, and weather conditions play a crucial role in safety. In many cases, it’s safer to hire professionals with proper equipment and expertise to ensure a thorough and safe cleaning without risking personal injury or roof damage.

Should You Pressure Wash Your Tile Roof?

Pressure-washing tile roofs can be a contentious topic among homeowners and roofing professionals. While pressure washing can effectively remove dirt, debris, and algae buildup, it also comes with some risks. The high-pressure water can dislodge or break tiles, leading to potential water leaks and costly repairs. Moreover, pressure washing may strip away the protective glaze on tiles, reducing their lifespan and overall durability. In some cases, low-pressure cleaning or alternative methods like soft washing might be more suitable for cleaning tile roofs, as they pose less risk of damage. Before deciding to pressure wash your tile roof, it’s essential to consult with a roofing expert to assess the condition of the tiles and determine the safest and most effective cleaning approach.

How Often Should You Schedule Tile Roof Cleaning?

The frequency of scheduling tile roof cleaning largely depends on your specific location and environmental factors. Generally, it is recommended to clean tile roofs every 2 to 3 years. However, areas with heavy rainfall, high humidity, or surrounded by trees may require more frequent cleaning. Regular maintenance not only enhances the roof’s appearance but also prevents the buildup of moss, algae, and debris, which can potentially damage the tiles and compromise the roof’s integrity. Be sure to consult a professional roofing contractor to assess your roof’s condition and determine the optimal cleaning schedule for your tile roof.

Wrapping Up: The Value of Clean Tile Roofs

In conclusion, the importance of regular tile roof cleaning is impossible to overstate. It is not just a cosmetic enhancement, but a necessity for your home’s structural integrity and longevity. Regularly cleaning your tile roof can prevent moss, algae, and debris build-up that could lead to costly repairs or replacements. By adopting a proactive approach to roof maintenance, you can extend the life of your tile roof, preserving the beauty of your home, and ultimately, enhancing its value. As homeowners, we must remember that a clean, well-maintained roof is not just about curb appeal. It’s a clear statement of a house that is cared for, a testament to mindful ownership that pays attention to every detail – from the ground up to the tile roof. So, when your tile roof needs cleaning, act promptly. Engage professionals who know best, and be assured that the little you spend today can save you a lot more tomorrow. After all, a clean roof is a healthy one, which contributes to a comfortable, secure, and beautiful home.

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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