Tile roofs are common in the Clearwater-Tampa Bay area. After all, they are the perfect accompaniment to the Spanish architecture that our regional favors for construction. A well-constructed terracotta tile roof can last 100 years and even longer with the proper care. Not only are tile roofing materials durable, but they are also fire resistant.
Many builders are favoring terracotta roof tiles because they are made of natural substance and provide little negative impact on the environment. In addition, they help keep homes cool in our hot and humid climate. Clay roofs require little maintenance. At the same time, however, if you don't perform periodic maintenance on them, you'll shorten the life of the tiles. The key to such maintenance is performing a thorough roof cleaning to remove dirt, mold, algae and other undesirable particles that can build up on the tile surface.
Cleaning Your Terracotta Roofing Tiles
Although cleaning your roof is a chore, failing to do so can cause individual tiles to weaken and eventually form holes. Even if your tile roof doesn't appear dirty, one of the first things that you will notice is that it has begun to lose is gorgeous ruddy color. When your terracotta roof in the Clearwater area becomes dull, that's the time to consider pressure washing it. Properly cleaning roof tiles will allow you to take the necessary steps to protect them and extend the life of the roof that covers your building.
Steps to Cleaning your Roof Tiles
The beauty of cleaning your roof is that the process will allow you to perform an inspection of individual tiles to find those that may be cracked or otherwise damaged due to tropical storms or just plain wear and tear. Even minor damage that is allowed to develop can lead to major problems. Thus, make sure that you inspect the roof first to take care of any problems as well as keep watch on problem areas. After inspection, make sure that you follow these steps.
1. Maintain Safety
Use extreme caution when cleaning terracotta roofing tiles. Cleaning roofing of this type can be dangerous because the tiles can easily become slippery after sprayed with water and cleaning solution. Wear shoes with sole designed to provide good traction. Whenever possible, stand on a secure ladder instead of the roof as the shape of these tiles won't support a person properly. If you have to step on a group of tiles, try to step only on the lower third of each to minimize damage as this area is better supported by the tiles below. Avoid walking on the roof's hips and valleys.
2. Cleaning Dirt, Mold and More
As our climate in Clearwater and surrounding areas is humid, Mold can easily build up on your roof. If you are near the ocean, algae growth may compound the problem. Not only will these substances weaken terracotta roof tiles, but they also interfere with drainage, which can also lead to broken tiles in other areas or even leaks.
The best way to perform roof cleaning is through pressure washing, which means you also need to take care when operating the machinery. Set the pressure washing machine to a low setting, approximately 1,200 PSI so that it won't break the tiles. Also, pay attention to the manufacturer's recommendations on the angle that you should use to clean your roof, which will also avoid breakage.
To clean the roof surface, use a solution of one percent household bleach to water. You can also use a commercial cleaner to help blast away dirt and other undesirable particles. Before using your pressure washer, make sure that you cover vegetation around your building as the runoff with the bleach solution can damage some of the surrounding plants. A good rule of thumb is to wash your tile roofing every to years to avoid particle buildup, however, if you notice growth before then, don't hesitate to perform the cleanup more frequently.
3. Rinse the Roof
Even though the solution you use to clean the terracotta tiles will not damage the roof, it's important to rinse the surface. The simple fact of rinsing off any detergent or cleaning solutions will help preserve the tiles longer and prepare them for sealing and protective measures.
Once you clean your terracotta roof, you should take measures to ensure that the tiles remain protected. Protective measures include sealing the terracotta tiles through primers and sealants. At this point, it's also important to replace any damaged, loose or missing tiles to ensure that the roof is uniform and not otherwise damaged.
Preventing efflorescence, which is the development of white streaks and other light marks, is often common, especially when tiles are now. This occurs when the clay reacts to air and rainwater. To prevent this front happening, buff newly cleaned tiles with clean, dry cloth rags.
A Better Way to Clean Your Terracotta Roof
When you try to clean your terracotta roof tiles, you deal with a lot of unknowns, including the best or the most proper way to clean the surfaces. Undoubtedly, you've performed searches on roof cleaning near me. Why not let an experienced company take care of the job?
Pressure Washing Clearwater is your source for the best pressure washing services for roof tiles, siding and other exterior features. Engaging our services to clean your roof will provide you with not only more time to do the things you love, but also will give you a better job than what you could do on your own. Our professionals know how to safely clean terracotta roofing tiles, which also means they know how to clean them better. Intrigued? You should be.
Contact Pressure Washing Clearwater for details on how we can help you get your terracotta roofing tiles looking like new.
Title image by BSANI / bigstockphoto.com
Ella May + Luna Marie + Amelie Rose Munoz:
We like to help our Dad to promote his pressure washing and window cleaning business in Clearwater and Tampa Bay. Hope you enjoy this blog ;-).
Charlotta Munoz + kids