Steam cleaning your roof. Sounds like a fancy idea. Steam cleaning, after all, works in so many other areas of life. What soap and water won’t remove alone can usually be tackled by applying superheated steam, right? But when it comes to your roof, are hot water and steam really the best options? Every year we have homeowners contact us asking about special “new” roof cleaning techniques they have heard about and sure enough “steam cleaning” is one we hear about quite a bit.
So what’s the truth about steam cleaning your roof?
Steam Clean Your Roof: The Myth
When homeowners hear about steam cleaning their roof or using hot pressure wash to remove algae and moss from their home, they are usually told that the combination of hot water and steam is more effective than cold water alone. Steam, the myth goes, can more easily remove moss and lichen from your roof and will strip away years of unsightly buildup from your home’s siding. Some companies claim the steam washing will sanitize your roof. It’s all that heat that will cut away oil, grease and gum and grime.
How Steam Cleaning Damages Your Roof
Steam cleaning your roof sounds great, but the truth is that the materials of your roof simply aren’t designed to withstand that kind of heat. Roofing shingles are coated with a protective layer of oils, tar, and asphalt. This layer insulates the shingle from water and erosion, as well as reflects sunlight so as to reduce UV-ray damage.
Your shingles don’t have much trouble with cold water. If they did, then they wouldn’t hold up long under the months and months of rain and snow. Your shingles don’t have much trouble with normal heat temperatures either, as they withstand summer sunlight well year after year.
Extreme heat (read: steam) is a different story.
Steam cleaning will break down and strip away the protective oils on your roof. It will loosen and remove the granules in the asphalt. It will open up fractures in the shingles that will lead to splitting and greater erosion.
None of these things are good for your roof. They’re also not good for the siding on your home, which can be permanently warped by a steam cleaner.
Steam Cleaning and Your Lawn
Many homeowners who hire someone to steam clean their roof are horrified to learn that steam cleaning does more than damage your roof. The hoses that are attached to a steam cleaner obviously carry the steam, and they get superheated as well. Services that don’t care much about the longevity of your roof probably don’t care much about the health of your lawn either, which is why they often roll their hoses out straight across your grass.
You can guess what a superheated hose does to your grass.
Forget Steam: Get Your Roof Cleaned the Right Way
Steam cleaning your roof sounds like a good idea at first, but the reality is quite a bit different than the myth. If you want your roof properly cleaned, then hiring a company like Keeping It Clean is the best way to go.
Our expert team knows exactly how to evaluate the needs of your home, and we employ only highly-skilled technicians and utilize the most advanced power washing and soft washing equipment in the industry. We guarantee that we will safely and effectively remove all moss, algae, lichen, gunk and grime from your roof, rain gutters siding, patio, deck, or dock.
Give us a call or fill out the form below to talk to one of our expert team members today.