Terracotta roof cleaning - the best method

Soft-wash environmentally safe roof cleaning

The best ethical, environmental method for terracotta roof tile cleaning is not the quickest, but its the most effective in the long term is by a soft wash.
In Europe everyone uses this system to get their roofs cleaned. The French have been doing this for 40 years. Why? Because its safe, effective, long lasting and is a low cost, low risk option compared to the alternative.
Forget pressure cleaning as this method is the worst enemy of terracotta roof tiling and uses thousands of litres of water.
Most of the pitched (angled) roofs in France are made from terracotta. Just watch the Tour de France on the TV to see all the beautiful terra cotta roofs.
Some of these roofs are really ancient.
Do you think they let contractors walk all over these roofs to clean them? Of course not. So whats the answer?
Environmentally friendly roof cleaning at low pressure.

0466 312 844

clay tile cleaning
render algae before
An example of render cleaning before showing an algae infestation. Our process, gentle enough for wall render, perfect for terracotta roofs
render cleaning after
An example of render cleaning after using our biocide, residual action will keep this wall looking great

Environmentally friendly roof cleaning - 40 years of use

We've heard a lot about Brexit recently and why the UK is leaving the EU, and how many European laws will need to embedded into the UK legal system that have previously been overseen by the European Parliament.
Some of the most stringent laws in Europe are to do with safety around the home and workplace. Some of the most crazy laws also come out of Europe. However, we can learn a lot from our European friends and one of the areas is chemical legislation, production, application and safety, especially around the home. The reason I mention this is because we use a range of products in Australia for roof cleaning, that have their roots in Europe.
These chemicals have a wide range of uses from anti bacterial and anti viral applications in hospitals for cleaning and sterilisation, right through to an active ingredient in shampoos and hair conditioners.
In Australia we have access to a narrow band of these products that we apply to your roof in commercial high purity grade to kill off algae, fungi, moulds and moss.
Now we know for definite that the EPA has no concerns with these products because they are biodegradable and degrade on contact with organic matter, and are safe in their broken down form in drains and waterways. However the EPA do have great concerns over some unscrupulous roofers who use concentrated bleach (sodium hypochlorite, commonly called hypo) or use acids to do the same job.

Why not pressure clean your terracotta roof

I previously mentioned that high pressure cleaning is one of a terracotta tiled roof's worst enemies.
This is the case because high pressure cleaning:-
  1. Can crack tiles and cause leaks.
  2. You need to walk on the roof to do the job, maybe cracking tiles and causing leaks in the process.
  3. Do damage to ridge cap pointing from the high pressure.
  4. Do damage to flashings from the high pressure.
  5. Erode the surface of the tile.
  6. Opens up the sub surface pores in the clay tile, making it easy for the regrowth of algae, lichens and moss.
  7. Removing all the organic matter in one go can block drains.
  8. Makes a huge amount of mess.
House cleaning safety tips

Application of roof cleaning products

If you just want your roof cleaned, then whats the point of having a contractor walk all over it just to do a so called roof inspection to price it, then a clean. If you have leaks or any other issue then of course tradesmen will have to walk and work on your roof.
If there was a way in which you could clean your roof and not cause any damage then why wouldn't you use it, especially if it was far more cost effective than the alternative.

What we offer is a low risk effective roof cleaning system.
  • No walking on your roof
  • All work done from ground level or top of a ladder only.
  • Low pressure application, no high pressure
  • More cost effective that high pressure cleaning
Using a system of pumps and carbon fibre poles we can clean all of your terracotta roof from the ground level or from a ladder placed at the edge of your roof. The spray force is about the same as a shower spray so no damage.
We spray about 100 -200 litres of product on your roof and nothing like the 5000+ litres used for high pressure cleaning. So this saves a lot of water.

The effect of our product is that some organic matter like algae and moss dies off in a couple of hours. However it may take longer for the lichens to die off. Also lichens have a root system that attacks your tiles, so they take longer to disappear.

The cleaning process is also activated by rain as the biocide has a residual effect. It soaks into the pores of the clay, and we also ensure that during the spraying process the biocide gets into the overlaps between the tiles, so any algae, spores or lichens growing in the overlaps is killed off.

The weather plays a large part in the cleaning process. Rain will soften the lichens, and partly wash them away, the drying process will make them brittle and break off in the wind. So this process will go on for a number of months until all the lichen is removed.
There is no chance of your drains being blocked up by the dead organic matter simply because the removal process is slow.
After the initial application, the residual action of the biocide means that your roof will stay clean for 2-3 years. It could be 4 years before you actually see any re growth. At that point just a top up spray is all that will be required.
Compare this to pressure washing because as soon as the job is finished, spore will land on the roof and will start to grow immediately, and re colonisation will be very fast.

0466 312 844