Bleach for Killing Moss on a Roof

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WHY STORE BOUGHT BLEACH ISN’T STRONG ENOUGH TO KILL MOSS

There is a common misconception that bleach can kill moss. Homeowners go into their local supermarket and pick up a jug, pour it on their roofs and wonder why the moss hasn’t died. This information is faulty because, originally, store bought bleach only contained 6% of its weight as Sodium Hypochlorite [A.K.A Bleach].

6% bleachMIXTURES AREN’T ALWAYS SO CLEAR

There are many faulty ehow recipes on how to mix the bleach. By the time you’re done with even a conservative, 1 part bleach to 3 parts water your mixture isn’t strong enough to kill the moss you were after. Mixing household bleach which originally held 94% of its volume as water with even more water makes for a product that is not potent.

Bleach is about $6 a gallon at this time of writing. It takes about 40 gallons of liquid to properly cover an average homes roof.The roof cleaning costs quickly add up.

Let’s take a look at how easy this can be to screw up, and how difficult it can be for an average consumer to properly and correctly clean his roof:

Original Amount of 6% Bleach

Amount of Water

Strength after Dilution

Gallons of mix required for average 1200 Square foot home

Gallons Total:

1 gallon

33%

4%

40

Bleach: 30 g

   H2O: 10g

You now need a surfactant (something to stop the mix from rapidly flowing into your gutters), Dawn* soap or any surfactant able to mix without causing a reaction to bleach, work well. This is a surfactant that works well with bleach and doesn’t take away from its shelf life.

The mix above is a standard mix roof cleaners use to kill moss. Many times depending on the bleaches shelf life, the mixtures need to be adjusted. Bleach is a very volatile solution that loses its strength quickly and doesn’t handle well with a whole host of surfactants. Mixing the wrong surfactant can be wasteful and leave you with a mixture that doesn’t do what it was supposed to which is to:

  • Kill Moss.
  • Remove Stains.
  • Not Damage the roof it is applied to.

We’ve covered everything except how to get 40 gallons of liquid onto your roof ……. [Continued shortly in: pumps for roof cleaning]

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Black Streaks on Roof

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Chemical Cleaning to Remove Black Streaking from Roofing

Gloeocapsa Magma is the scientific name for those black streaks on your roofing. Gloeocapsa is a form of algae that lives in wet humid climates. These streaks of black are not as evident in the Seattle-Tacoma region due to the majority of roofing material being of dark coloring. If your roofing substrate is light colored, it’s very probable that these stains will be found on your home.

Although, Gloeocapsa Magma is not harmful to roofing, the appearance of a home suffers tremendously. When selling a home the algae stains should be an issue that is dealt with before the home is placed up on the market. These stains are a red flag to potential home owners who may not know exactly what that black stuff is and whether or not it’s harmful to the roofing.

Soft wash roof cleaning with chemicals is a superior method of removing Gloeocapsa. This method of roof cleaning gets rid of these unsightly black streaks while keeping the integrity of the roofing intact. Power washing is not as effective at eliminating Gloeocapsa. It is also very damaging to roofing shingles. Read more here………….

In the picture to the left, a chemical solution is sprayed on the roof. Each chemical in the mix does a certain job. Within 25 minutes, the picture to the right shows the roof stains are almost completely gone. The mix continues to work on the stains and streaks until the next day of rain. After the roofs first shower, the roof is looking its best.

Going from being a white roof covered in black to being a white roof again has strong selling value for a home. Soft Washing is a great way to safely and effectively remove black streaks from your roof in Seattle. Whether your home is up on the market or you just don’t like coming home to a dirty roof, consider chemical cleaning when hiring a roof cleaning contractor.


 

Cost to Clean a Cedar Roof in Seattle

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Cedar Roof Cleaning Cost in Seattle

The cost for a cedar roof cleaning in Seattle for a :  3000 square foot , 2 story, medium roof pitch home, averages between 800-1300 dollars. There are many expenses to cleaning a cedar roof:

  •  Labor
  • Gas for Power washer: 75-85 dollars worth for a 3000 square foot home.
  • Insurance costs
  • Chemicals [oxygen bleach and a revitalizer]

The cost for a cedar roof cleaning quickly adds up for the company performing the task. Cedar roof cleanings require meticulous attention to detail. Every square inch is cleaned for the product to turn out right. The job is very labor intensive and requires a set of skilled eyes and hands.

Cedar roofs are like ice when there is moisture and moss growing on them. A good tool to have is a pair of Korkers©. These shoes with spikes are essential to a cedar roof cleaner in Seattle. The spikes allow the wearer to grab a footing while cleaning the shakes. They do not replace other safety measures such as:

  • Lanyard
  •  Chicken ladders
  • Harness
  •  Rope

There is a lot to pressure washing a cedar roof and the right equipment and experience are necessary when deciding to tackle on the task. Many roof cleaners in Seattle won’t even touch a cedar roof as the liability for something going wrong is too high. Slips-Falls and improper use of a power washer can have serious consequences for the roof cleaner and the roofing substrate.

If you are considering hiring someone to clean your cedar roof always make sure the company’s licensed, bonded and insured. Make sure to ask for references. Cedar roof cleaning is a task that requires many years to master and some of the best roof cleaners won’t try their hands at it.

We provide cedar roof cleaning and oiling to the following cities:

Alderwood- Ames Lake- Arlington -Auburn- Ballard- Bellevue-Belltown-Bothell-Bridle Trails-Brier-Burien-Covington Crossroads -Des Moines-Edgewood-Edmonds-Everett-Evergreen-Fall City-Federal Way-Ferndale-Granite Falls-Hunts Point-Issaquah-Issaquah Highlands-Juanita-Kenmore-Kent-Kingsgate-Kirkland-La Conner-Lake City-Lake Forest Park-Lake Goodwin-Lake Stevens-Lynnwood Madison Park-Magnolia-Maltby-Maple Valley-Marysville-Medina-Mercer Island-Mill Creek-Monroe-Mountlake Terrace-Mukilteo Newcastle-North Bend-Overlake-Parkland-Puyallup-Rainier Valley-Redmond-Renton-Rose Hill-Sammamish-Sand Point-SeaTac Seattle-Sedro-Woolley-Shoreline-Smokey Point-Snohomish-Snoqualmie-Spanaway-Stanwood-Tacoma-Totem Lake-Tukwila -University Place-White Center-Woodinville-Yarrow Point

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning Seattle

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Chemical Roof Cleaning

Soft-washing involves the use of chemicals to clean roofs. This method is employed to lessen the amount of damage caused by power-washing. Power-washing on average removes 3-4 layers of granules per cleaning . A roof is known by its years of life:

  •  A 20 year roof has 20 layers of granules.
  •  A 50 year roof has 50 layers of granules.

The soft-wash method when used properly is far more beneficial to roofing substrate then power-washing. No granule loss happens when chemicals are sprayed on your  roofing. Additional benefits include:

  • The elimination of all moss spores that cause moss to grow in the first place.
  • A much longer lasting finished product; on average the process lasts 2-3 years

ARMA [Asphalt Roof Manufacturers Association] recommends soft-wash cleaning for proper roof maintenance. ARMA is the association that governs the making of asphalt shingle roofing. They are the leaders in the industry in the production and proper cleaning methods of roofing materials.

The difference in the finished look of the product : power-washing versus chemical cleaning is nearly indistinguishable, when the proper chemicals are used. A soft wash roof cleaning company generally use a few standard chemical products:

  • TSP [trisodium phosphate]. Known for its ability to remove algae and rust stains
  • Sodium Hydrochloride 10% or higher: known for its ability to kill moss and clean shingle.
  • Borax Lo: A soap like product known to aggressively kill weeds, spores and moss residual.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol: used when aggressive moss has been growing for long periods of time.
  • Surfactant:  used to slow the mixtures path down to the gutter line.

When mixed properly these chemicals generate a long lasting safe products to roofing material. These chemicals are not readily available to the average consumer and the mixtures of this chemical call for exact amounts for a strong enough product. The procedure of soft wash roof cleaning in Seattle is best left to a professional roof cleaning company.

 

Roof Moss Removal Seattle

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Removing Moss from Roofs

The moss on your roof has been introduced to your substrate by airborne spores that periodically pollinate their surroundings. In high winds these spores travel. Regardless of where it came from we are going to be discussing how it spreads, what damages it causes to roofing materials and the proper way to remove it.

How Moss Grows

Moss spreads thru its spores, it has no vascular system. It is of the plant family Bryophytes. Bryophytes absorb water through their leaves. It receives nutrients by absorbing it through photosynthesis. Since it has no vascular system it must find a damp place to live. Roofing makes a very great abode, as it is one of the dampest places on a home. Seattle has an average of 150-days of rain a year, making Seattle one of the rainiest places in America. The combination of location and environment make roof moss in Seattle, a normal occurrence.

Damage to Roofing

Moss grows in mats 1-3 inches tall. These mats act as a dam and do not allow water to flow freely down your roofing into your gutters. Water begins to pool at portions of your roof affected with moss growth. The shingles underneath aren’t allowed to naturally repel water or breathe.  In a very short amount of time, when left untreated, moss will completely destroy a roof.

Methods of Removal

There are several methods of removal that are practiced by roof cleaning contractors in Seattle:

  • Power washing
  • Manual Scrubbing with a  stiff bristle brush
  • Chemical Treatment

Chemicals to Kill Moss

No method is complete without the use of a biocide after the cleaning has been done. The preferred chemicals to kill moss are:

  • Zinc Powder
  • Copper Powder
  • Sodium Hypochlorite

Roof cleaning contractors in Seattle know that cleaning a roof, without administering of moss inhibiting chemicals is likely to cause moss to return very rapidly. When applying chemicals the manufacturer’s directions for proper application should be observed. Improper application or insufficient use of chemicals when mixing will cause damage to the roofing material or dilution to potency not suitable for killing moss.

Conclusion

Moss is a very destructive force to roofing materials. Proper application of moss killing chemicals can only be administered by an experienced roof cleaner in Seattle. There are several methods of roof cleaning but all must end with the application of moss killing chemicals.

We provide roof moss removal services to the following cities in Washington State:

Alderwood- Ames Lake- Arlington -Auburn- Ballard- Bellevue-Belltown-Bothell-Bridle Trails-Brier-Burien-Covington Crossroads -Des Moines-Edgewood-Edmonds-Everett-Evergreen-Fall City-Federal Way-Ferndale-Granite Falls-Hunts Point-Issaquah-Issaquah Highlands-Juanita-Kenmore-Kent-Kingsgate-Kirkland-La Conner-Lake City-Lake Forest Park-Lake Goodwin-Lake Stevens-Lynnwood Madison Park-Magnolia-Maltby-Maple Valley-Marysville-Medina-Mercer Island-Mill Creek-Monroe-Mountlake Terrace-Mukilteo Newcastle-North Bend-Overlake-Parkland-Puyallup-Rainier Valley-Redmond-Renton-Rose Hill-Sammamish-Sand Point-SeaTac Seattle-Sedro-Woolley-Shoreline-Smokey Point-Snohomish-Snoqualmie-Spanaway-Stanwood-Tacoma-Totem Lake-Tukwila -University Place-White Center-Woodinville-Yarrow Point

Roof Cleaning FAQ

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PWNG ROOF CLEANING FAQ [frequently asked questions]

 

 

 

Why is there still moss on my roof?

Your roof was not power washed, depending on your roof slope we either (a) manually scrubbed large patches with a stiff bristle brush or (b) chemically sprayed your roof and allowed Mother Nature to take its course.

 

How long does it take for the moss to come off my roof?

Dependent on the weather and sunlight conditions 3 days to 3 weeks. Your roof was sprayed with a mixture similar to weed killer. We live in a very moist climate and at times sunlight is infrequent.[i] After spraying your moss it is left moist and wet on your roofing. Its roots are dead immediately. Sunlight dries your moss out and then rain washes it down your gutters. Hoping to be as cautious as possible to your roofing, our process isn’t immediate[ii].

What was sprayed on my roof?

A mixture known as PSAUCE©[iii]. This is the method your shingle manufacturer recommends for roof cleaning. You can see the PDF by clicking here.[iv] We added Borax-Lo[v] that keeps moss from returning.

 

Is this bad for my plants?

 

Yes and No. We’ve taken every precaution to protect your plant life by not over spraying past your gutter line and washing down any plants that were touched with our chemical. Simply put we are at your residence to kill a plant and there is not a green way to do that. If we damage any plant life we will do our best to resolve the situation with you.

 

How long does the process last?

You are covered for one year from the day you hired us[vi]. Many of our customers have reported no moss growth for 2-3 years and as many as 5! The information we have garnered has helped us create a chemical blend that works. There are over 10,000 roofs a year who fail due to moss in our area. Wet and damp moss locks and holds moisture on your roof. Large patches create a dam and the shingles underneath begin curling and swaying. We have done as much as possible to protect your roof from damage during cleaning and have made moss growth very inhospitable. Thank you for choosing us. We look forward to keeping you as a happy customer for years to come.


[i] KOMO NEWS [cites 58 days of Sun a yr.]

[iii] RCIA [Roof Cleaning Institute of America]

[iv] ARMA[American Shingle Manufacturers Association]

[vi] PWNG [refer to your warranty]

Roof Cleaning Bellevue

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Roof Cleaning in Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue has some of the steepest and highest roofs in the area. Roof Cleaning in Bellevue are practiced in an  similar manner to any other roof cleaning in our area , however due to the steepness of the roof slopes, certain safety precautions need to take place. These precautions are:

  • Safety Monitors: One man is constantly looking out for his partner from the ground, while another performs the actual work.
  • Safety Straps in multiple locations: based on our experience  a home in Bellevue requires 3 straps or more. This can drive up the cost on a roof cleaning in Bellevue, by up to $150 dollars as compared to other areas.
  • The volume of cedar roofs is much higher. A big percent of our jobs in the area are cedar shake cleanings. Cedar shake cleanings require safety precautions not found on asphalt shingles.

The residents of Bellevue and the eastside take great care of their homes and are savvy when it comes to making decisions on the right contractors to hire. Based on our professionalism and track record for completing jobs on time and on budget we have received an enormous amount of referrals from the area.  We hope to continue to be able to serve the residents of bellevue and look forward to many more years of visting this great city and its wonderful residents.