Finally Did It–Had The Roof Cleaned! What Do You Think?

Welcome to the 750th Metamorphosis Monday! Two years ago, in June 2021, I shared a post where I mentioned I had noticed the roof on my home was looking kinda dirty. In this older 2012 photo, here’s how the roof looked when it was still relatively new. It was around 5 years old at that time.

 

Looking back at older photos like the one below, I can see now that over the years a bit of staining was starting to appear here and there. It was so gradual, I didn’t even notice back then.

Hanging Wreaths on Exterior Windows, Brick Walkway

 

When the staining hit this level two years ago, that’s when it started to get my attention. I definitely did not like how this looked. I did a bunch of research at that time and learned that back in the day when my roof was installed, roofs were designed with something in the shingles that prohibited the growth of algae, but that protection was only warranted for 10 years. My roof was around 12 years old when I first started noticing the staining. From the research I did, I learned that how fast the streaking occurs depends on where you live. We get a fair amount of rain here in Georgia and the humidity is pretty high during the spring/summer months. So roofs here are more prone to this issue.

 

A couple of years ago when I first blogged about this issue, I got estimates for having the roof cleaned. It’s pretty expensive, but the biggest thing that was holding me back was worrying if my updated landscaping would get damaged during the cleaning process which involves spraying chlorine onto the roof. They don’t use any pressure, it’s not pressure washing, it’s just washing the roof with some mixture that has chlorine in it. The last few years have been a bit crazy, so roof cleaning wasn’t a huge priority, but it was time to get serious and choose a company to clean it.

How to Hang Christmas Wreaths on all Exterior Windows

 

Recently, I got two estimates, one from a company I had contacted two years ago that still has a 5.0 rating after 329 Google reviews, and another company that has a 4.9 rating after 1,125 Google reviews. Both company’s reviews looked great but the company with the 4.9 rating wanted to charge almost twice as much. Plus, I wasn’t impressed with the sales representative who came out to give me an estimate. In the end, I went with the first company, the one I had contacted two years ago when I first noticed the staining.

Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows for Christmas

 

Here’s how it looked after the first cleaning. I was told that it sometimes takes more than one cleaning to fully get the whole roof clean. The owner of the company explained that the cleaning solution kills the algae, causing it to turn brown, so it’s not unusual to see some brown-looking stains remaining on the roof after it’s cleaned. He said the brown stains usually disappear after a couple of rains. but if there are still black areas visible, the roof will need a second cleaning.

Roof Cleaning after one cleaning

 

I was definitely still seeing black areas so I texted photos to the company and they came back out again a few days later to do some additional cleaning. Once again I requested that they cover all my shrubs. The plants were only covered for about 20-30 minutes, so not long enough to do any damage.

Roof Cleaning after first cleaning

 

Here’s how my roof looks right now after its second cleaning–definitely much better, but I think it may need a touch-up here and there. I still see some staining down on the far right end. By the way, you don’t pay for the additional follow-up cleanings, you only pay once and they will clean it as many times as it takes.

Roof after 2nd Cleaning

 

If the roof still looks like this in a day or two, I’ll text these photos to them and ask them to come back out to hit the few remaining spots. The company I used charged $695 for cleaning both sides of the roof, front and back. From what I was told, a lot of people only do the front, which saves a bit on the cost. I want my roof to last for many more years, so I don’t mind paying to keep it looking nice. I think I saw an article online somewhere that said the roofs that are being installed today are designed to stay cleaner even longer than 10 years, so if your house is coming due for a new roof, be sure to ask about that–about how long the roof is warranted against staining.

Roof after its 2nd cleaning

 

It definitely looks a lot better! Just another touch-up in a few spots and I think it will be done. I hope this lasts for a while. If you’re interested, I will keep you posted on how long this cleaning does last. Georgia is a very humid state, so it will be interesting to see just how long it stays clean.

Roof after 2nd Cleaning

 

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Comments

  1. Definitely an improvement overall, and noticeable difference between the two cleanings, Susan! I’d be like you, and likely have them come back for that bit on the far right hand side. I just had my slate roof cleaned in early May, by the guy who works for the company who did my slate roof and copper gutters. I trusted him, and only let him use water because of how picky I was over my plants. He did a great job, and also cleaned my patio and front walk as a bonus. I hope it lasts a long time, and I think it will since the huge tree is gone, as is most of the abutting shrubbery that was there previous to our ownership. Be sure to give us an update on yours.

    • Thanks, Rita! I hate to be so picky but that little bit that’s left is bugging me. I need to go outside and see if last night’s storms washed it away, but I doubt it. Those were some stubborn stains!
      That’s wonderful that they were able to get it clean with only water. Did the guy go up on top of your roof?
      This guy did not, just stood on a tall ladder in the yard. I don’t think asphalt roof companies recommend having anyone walking on the roof so I guess that’s why they do that. With a slate roof, I bet you can walk on it without having to worry. I bet now that the tree is gone, it will stay clean for a long time! Amazing how much the appearance of the roof can affect your home’s curb appeal.

  2. Wow – that is quite a difference…..

  3. SharonFromMichigan says

    Wow, what a difference! Hopefully it will help to extend the life of the shingles. It really makes sense to wash the roof before thinking about replacing it. I know it’s hard to see in pictures, but I thought your roof was originally black (lol). Looks beautiful now!

    • I hope so, too! It’s a 30 year roof so should have another 12-15 years left.
      You know, the stain started appearing slowly, but went fast over the past two years. It did look black after that. Crazy!

  4. franki Parde says

    Looks good!! Alas, it “all” must be done…all that fun for $600+…franki

  5. This roof cleaning I think started in the south because of the rain and high humidity, but it is everywhere now. Now insurance companies are starting to require for you to wash your roof professionally or else they won’t insure your home. I know we have humidity issues here in PA now whereas years and years ago, we didn’t. Now all our roofs look just like yours. Mine is 30 years old though, so not sure if washing it is a good idea or just getting a new roof is the way to go. I am curious though, on how long this washing will last. If it lasts for several years, then the cost is effective. Hopefully it’s not a yearly thing. So I’m looking forward to your update as things progress a long Susan! Hugs, Brenda

    • Really? I hadn’t heard about that. So I guess they feel it does help to make a roof last the time it’s supposed to last. I know, I will not be happy if I have to do this every year. I don’t like having to worry about my landscaping every single year!

  6. Susan,
    we will be looking at having yet another new roof put on soon…This one will be the second time we did this in 46 years…
    Thanks so much for hosting this wonderful party each and every week!! I really appreciate the time and effort that goes into it along with visiting all the links and choosing Features!!! Thank You!! I hope you are having a great week!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

    • Deb, you know, when I had this one put on, I didn’t expect to be here the next time it needed it. lol My roof is a 30 year roof so it should have another 15 years, or somewhere close to that. I wonder if I’ll still be here when it needs it again.
      One nice thing that you have to look forward to (in case this makes it a little less painful) is a lot of the new roofs are sooo much prettier and have more depth than the roofs that were available years ago. Also, I was told that the newer roofs have a longer warranty on how long before they start looking stained.
      XXX

  7. It looks great Susan. Always got useful information from you. I like that you openly let us know the actually cost. It is helpful if we need the similar service in future. Thank you.

  8. Ouch, but it looks brand new! Thanks Susan~

  9. It looks great Susan! Well worth it! Actually the price sounds fantastic to me it would prob ally be more than double out here in California. Have a great day and thanks for hosting. XO- MaryJo

  10. Big difference – looks great ! Your home always looks wonderful, but this makes it look like my favorite compliment when we are out and see a beautiful home …”well maintained”!!!

  11. Wow, Susan. That actually, sounds like a good price to me! A couple of years ago, I got an estimate for just the front of my roof, (because the back is south facing and looks new) and it was just under $1,000! And he didn’t say anything about coming back to do touchups, if necessary. So for a whole roof, that actually sounds pretty decent to me. I’d jump at that. Where I am, it’s hard to find roof cleaners. I wasn’t impressed with the one I spoke to, and he was so booked up, it would have taken a very long time to get him out here. Anyway, I think that was a great thing for you to do because the rest of your house is pretty much flawless. Now the roof looks great too.

    • That’s good to know! If I start seeing it appearing again, I’ll call this guy again right away. Hopefully, I can main it now until it’s time for another roof. Thanks, Pam!

  12. Kathleen says

    I was surprised at the charge. That seems really reasonable for a two-story home and repeat visits if necessary. You have a beautiful home and landscaping.

  13. Tina Reynolds says

    It looks so great! I never imagined how well that would work. Yours is a classically beautiful home, always worth keeping it well loved!

  14. Susan Beldyga says

    It turned out beautiful….just like a new roof. I would have my eye on that right corner also. Love your dormers over the garage….I never noticed them before. You are one ambitious gal….I don’t know how you do all you do!

    • Thanks, Susan! Yeah, I let the owner of the company know today that there are still a few spots…and he said they would get back out to do those. They are probably way behind right now because it’s been raining almost every day.

  15. Lucky is the person who eventually buys your house. Whenever that will be.

  16. What a beautiful home you have and so large. Do you entertain very much? I am a nervous entertainer but I am trying to get better. Some of my friends seem so relaxed at entertaining. I should learn from them. We have had our roof cleaned several times over the years. Once a cleaner killed one of our shrubs in our hedge. He replaced it but it still has not caught up to the rest of the hedge even though it has been years. I am much more careful about who I hire now.

    • I was so worried about that happening since it took me a lot of years to find large boxwood shrubs. The 10 largest shrubs are Green Beauty boxwoods and I purchased them already pretty big so they looked like they had been there forever after just 2-3 years in the ground. If he had killed one, I would never find them again, and if a miracle happened and I did, it would be like you said, nowhere near the size of the others. I’m sorry that happened when you had your roof cleaned. It’s so upsetting, I know. It makes me so nervous having the cleaning done but I knew the roof really needed it. If you have it done again, definitely buy some plastic covers like painters use. It’s probably best to have it done in the fall when it’s cooler so the plants don’t get hot underneath…definitely don’t do it on a really hot day.
      I used to entertain a fair amount but when I started traveling, that slowed down a lot…the you know what happened the last few years…don’t want to say the “C” word. So many of my good friends live far away now so I don’t do as much as I used to–mostly just when family visits. I miss it! I prefer casual get togethers and I think when I start doing those again, I may have them catered and just prepare the desserts or soemthing like that. That way I can just relax. Since I clean my own home, it’s a lot to clean and prepare all the food so I’m toying with catering and just doing some of the cooking instead of all of it. You may want to do that too…just to take some of the stress away.

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