20 Aspirin & Call Me in the Morning -
Top 5 Roof Cleaning Mistakes &
Facts vs. Fiction: This is a list of
the Top Mistakes and Misconceptions by Homeowners and Property
Managers when it comes to Roof Cleaning.
Contractor that does not Have Adequate Experience or Insurance
Manufacturer or ARMA Recommended Cleaning Methods
Manufacturers suggest using Chlorine Bleach, then Chlorine Bleach
is safe for the roof, and a stronger mixture should work even
better - Take 20 Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning
Softwash / ARMA Approved
Methods are Environmentally Safe
Warranties and Roof Cleaning Warranties
Avoid all of these mistakes by Using an
Authorized Roof-A-Cide® Applicator
Hiring a contractor that does not
have adequate experience or insurance:
Roof Cleaning is becoming more common in many areas of the US.
Unfortunately, it is usually being offered by Pressure Washing or
Window Cleaning Companies that have virtually no training,
experience, or qualifications. Everything they know has been gleaned
from questionable websites and through Trial & Error on properties
like yours. And the damaging use of high-strength chlorine bleach
(pool chlorine) is quickly becoming the method of choice for these
Also, while many of these
companies might have General Liability Insurance, most usually don't
have Workers' Compensation Insurance. So if one of their employees
is hurt on your property, you are liable. A common technique used by
these contractors to avoid Workers Comp premiums and confuse
Customers is to claim a Workers' Comp Exemption. This is a loophole
that allows small contractors to forego insurance on themselves as
long as they are Owners of the company. This DOES NOT apply to
employees and it DOES NOT protect the Homeowner or Homeowners'
Association. It simply allows the contractor to work without the
coverage that would be required if they had employees.
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Manufacturer or ARMA Recommended
Roofing Materials Manufacturers offer general guidelines for
cleaning & maintenance, but do not make recommendations on specific
companies or products. Most manufacturers' general guidelines for
cleaning include using very mild solutions of bleach or very light
pressure washing - but almost
all of them have approved alternative methods that do not require
bleach or pressure cleaning and NONE of them recommend the use of
high-strength pool chlorine in the concentrations that are commonly
being used today.
In addition, ARMA is a trade group
that represents Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers. They drafted a
technical bulletin 30 years ago recommending that homeowners use
household bleach to try & lighten roof stains caused by algae.
Today, this is commonly used by contractors as "proof" that roofing
manufactures recommend cleaning with bleach. But ARMA is NOT a
manufacturer and they have nothing to do with Concrete or Clay
Tiles, Stone-Coated Metal, or Slate Roofing systems.
Note: Roof-A-Cide® has been Tested and Approved by the Largest
Actual Manufacturers of every common type of roof - Asphalt,
Concrete Tile, Clay Tile, Stone-Coated Metal, and Slate.
It is also
worth noting that while most Roofing Companies, especially here in
Florida, know that a roof can immediately LOOK clean by spraying it
with a high concentration of Pool Chlorine, you won't find any of
them doing this because they know what it will do to the critical
areas of the roof that are the source of most leaks - such as the
valleys, underlayments, and flashings.
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Since Manufacturers suggest using
chlorine bleach, then chlorine bleach is safe for the roof, and a
stronger mixture should work even better - Take 20 Aspirin and Call
Me in the Morning:
One of the most common sales pitches of companies using
high-strength pool chlorine (aka Softwash, Softwashing, ARMA
Approved, Manufacturer Recommended) for Roof Cleaning is that this
is the ONLY recommended method for cleaning.
This is simply NOT TRUE.
And, more importantly, these contractors are usually using the
chlorine bleach in concentrations that are not safe and not even
close to what Manufacturers suggest. Here in Florida, it is very
common for these contractors to mix 60-70 gallons of pool chlorine
with 30 gallons of water and spray this concoction on your roof.
Note: The typical contractor
using these terms as part of their sales pitch has been
"educated", "trained", or "certified" by the Whack-A-Mole type
websites and organizations that charge them a small fee for Roof
Cleaning Information. They are constantly popping up and shutting
down - giving inexperienced contractors just enough
knowledge to be dangerous.
With this line of thinking, if
your doctor tells you to take 2 aspirin and call back in the
morning, why not take 20? If aspirin is safe and it works, then
taking more of it should work better - right?
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Softwash or ARMA Approved Roof
Cleaning Methods (aka Pool Chlorine) are environmentally safe:
While most Roof Materials Manufacturers do suggest using a very
light solution of chlorine bleach and using a little bleach is
effective without being harmful, most contractors offering Roof
Cleaning using Chlorine Bleach have taken this to an extreme and are
using dangerous concentrations of bleach that are NOT SAFE for the
environment or the roofs.
So in an effort to mislead the
Customer, and at the advice of the Whack-A-Mole "training" websites,
contractors will say that their methods are environmentally safe or
they'll use code words to hide the fact that they're using
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Voiding Roof Warranties and Roof
Roof cleaning is unlikely to void your Manufacturer Warranty unless
it is done in a grossly negligent manner. The more important
warranty to be concerned about is the Workmanship Warranty.
Manufacturer warranties are
assurances of the roofing product and usually not the roofing
system. In most cases, the roofing system is covered by the
Workmanship Warranty of the roofing company and Customers should
consider the Workmanship Warranty as equally, if not more, important
for their roof. This is most likely to be the warranty that comes
into play if you have problems with your roof in the first ten years
after installation. And this will usually be the first warranty that
will be affected by improper roof cleaning.
Roof Cleaning Warranties are
creating the most confusion recently. Roof Cleaning warranties
are generally issued by the company that performs the roof cleaning.
This should be a written guarantee that the roof will stay clean for
a specified period of time and should specifically state what the
recourse and costs are to the Customer in the event that the roof
does not stay clean.
We are seeing more companies
offering very vague and unenforceable Roof Cleaning warranties as a
sales gimmick. With terms like “Lifetime Warranty*” and “5-Year
Limited Warranty*”, these do not provide the Customer with any real
guarantee. Instead, the Customer will pay for a service every 6
months or pay to have the roof cleaned again when stains reappear.
More on Roof Warranties
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We have been working
with Roofing Companies, Roofing Manufacturers, Communities, and
Homeowners for Over 20 Years
and We Can Help You.
If you don't know much about roof cleaning and
would like to learn more,
we have put together some
information for you that
will help you separate fact from
If you're not familiar with Roof-A-Cide and
why it is a much better alternative to Roof Cleaning, you can learn
more about it
you're already familiar with Roof Cleaning and Roof-A-Cide and you
would like to have your roof cleaned & treated,
click here to locate an
Authorized Roof-A-Cide® Applicator or
HERE to request an
"The Treatment is the
Roof Cleaning Basic