5 Essential Steps to Effectively Clean Your Flat Roof
How often do you clean your flat roof? In fact, roof cleaning is never a desired task for most property owners. While most flat roofing materials are claimed to be maintenance-free, a roof that’s hardly cleaned and maintained is more prone to damage and can hardly last long, at least not as expected. Therefore, it’s important that you thoroughly clean your roof regularly. Below are 5 essential steps that you can use to clean your flat roof effectively.
Before you start cleaning your flat roof, you need to prepare correctly. This includes taking precautions for your safety. Make arrangements for the necessary fall protection such as roof edge demarcation and ensure you’re wearing the proper gear that will not damage the roofing membrane. You might need the following items in preparation for the cleaning process: sweeping brush for cleaning the debris and dirt, hand brush for removing debris and dirt on the gutters, and a hose with a spray nozzle attachment for final cleaning. If you’re having any doubts, you can consult a professional to help you through the process.
Sweeping the Roof
Sweeping your roof helps make it squeaky clean. You need to begin by sweeping away any pools of water. You should then clear debris such as mud, twigs, and leaves which tend to accumulate, especially after bad weather. It’s important that you sweep your roof around 3 to 4 times a year or after a season of bad weather.
Brushing the Gutters
You’ll need a hand brush to clean the gutters effectively. A clean gutter is essential to ensure it’s working efficiently and any damage is identified and fixed as soon as possible. You must check your gutters regularly, especially if your property is located near foliage.
Applying the Cleaner
After completing the first three steps, you may notice stubborn marks and stains on the roofing material that are hard to clean. You may need to apply a cleaning solution to clean them. There are different types of cleaners that you can use during cleaning. Sodium hydroxide and chlorine solution are some of the main cleaners used.
Sodium hydroxide is more effective in removing stubborn areas of moss and algae. However, you’ll need to observe its concentration and apply more intensive rinsing to prevent any damage to the roofing material. Chlorine solution, on the other hand, is effective in removing moss and algae in a reduced time period and with less wear and tear of the roofing material, unlike sodium hydroxide. However, chlorine can be toxic and requires the user to put on proper safety equipment.
Washing the Roof
This is the step where you do the actual washing. Although the roof will be looking a lot cleaner at this stage, there might be small remnants of dirt or cleaning solution that need to be removed. If you followed the previous steps thoroughly, you should be able to wash the dirt and stains away with ease using a hose and a spray nozzle attachment. This attachment will help prevent the hose from being too powerful. If you must use a pressure washer, you need to be careful as some roofing materials such as EPDM can hardly withstand high pressures.