How to Clean a Tile Roof. The Do's and Don'ts

July 26, 2023

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how to clean a tile roof

Ah, the joy of homeownership. While having your own place can be incredibly rewarding, it also comes with some not-so-fun responsibilities - like cleaning your tile roof. Roof cleaning seems daunting, but it doesn't have to be with the right approach.

Are you wondering how to clean a tile roof? It's important to use the right chemicals, water pressure, and to know the current weather report before starting. 

Follow these do's and don'ts, and you'll have that roof looking spick and span in no time.

DO: Check the weather report first.

While storms and high winds can wreak havoc on your roof, calm sunny days are ideal for roof cleaning. You'll want to choose a stretch of sunny, dry days to tackle this task. After all, balancing on a wet, slippery roof doesn't make for a good time (and increases your chances of reenacting the famous slippery bathtub scene from Home Alone!).

DON'T: Attempt to walk directly on the tile.

No matter how sturdy you think those tiles look, walking directly on them is asking for trouble. Instead, invest in some roof jacks - special deck pads designed to safely disperse weight without damaging tiles. Safety first! Alternatively, you can place down some plywood or foam boards to stand on.

how to clean a tile roof

DO: Use the right products.

When it comes to cleaning agents, stick to mild soap and water or specific tile roof cleaners. Avoid acidic or alkaline products that could wear down your tiles. And don't use a pressure washer! The powerful spray can actually cause hidden damage over time. A simple soft bristle scrub brush is the safest bet.

roof cleaning products

DON'T: Forget safety gear.

Cleaning a roof means working at high heights - make sure you've got sturdy shoes with good traction and safety ropes/harnesses. Protective goggles and gloves are also a must to keep cleaning products from harming your eyes and skin. You can never be too safe on the roof!

DO: Start by hosing down the roof.

Before scrubbing, use your garden hose to give the roof a good rinse. This will help dislodge any loose debris or buildup. Start at the top and work down methodically, section by section. Let gravity lend you a hand by flushing grime downward.

DON'T: Let debris clog your gutters.

When rinsing, be mindful of where the water is flowing. Make sure to keep gutters clear so they can do their job. Clogged gutters lead to problematic water buildup and drainage issues. After cleaning, check for and remove any debris. You'll thank yourself next time it pours!

gutter cleaning

DO: Scrub gently but thoroughly.

Easy does it with scrubbing. Use moderate pressure focused on stubborn stained areas. Let the cleaning agents do the heavy lifting instead of excessively scouring. Too much elbow grease can damage the tile surface. Take your time and scrub patiently for best results.

DON'T: Neglect moss and algae.

If you have areas where moss, algae, or mildew tend to grow, use a tile roof cleaner containing zinc or bleach to combat regrowth. These stubborn plant growths will keep returning unless properly eliminated. Give them a good scrub and soak to get rid of them for good.

moss algae mold on roof

DO: Work in sections.

Don't try to tackle the whole roof in one go. It's much easier to work in smaller 3x3 or 4x4 sections. Scrub each section thoroughly before moving ladder and equipment to the next. Going section by section helps prevent missing spots and allows you to check your work.

DON'T: Ignore rusty flashing and vents.

While cleaning the tiles, don't forget other roofing components. Rusty metal flashing, vents, valleys, and gutters also benefit from a good scrub. Use a metal brush and appropriate metal cleaner solution to restore and protect these parts. Prevent further rusting before it becomes a bigger issue.

DO: Double rinse.

When you've covered all sections of the roof with cleaning solution, take one more pass with the hose to rinse everything off. This helps ensure no dirt or cleaning product residue is left behind. Give those freshly cleaned tiles a final flush before calling it done.

DON'T: Attempt roof repairs yourself.

If you notice any damaged, cracked, or missing tiles, it's best to call a professional roofer. Same goes for any serious roofing issues beyond surface-level cleaning - some problems are better left to the experts! Know your DIY limits.

power washing company

There You Have it, Folks

With these dos and don'ts, you can check roof cleaning off your homeowner to-do list! Just remember to work slowly and safely. Before you know it, you'll be relaxing under a pristine roof that looks brand new.

About Tampa Bay Roof Cleaning

Our company has humbly provided the local community over twenty years of dedicated power washing services. Over the years, we've gained many new friends and life-long customers. We hope you'll join our family and receive incredible pressure and soft washing services at your home and business. To learn more, please contact us by calling (813) 295-7443.


What is the best way to clean tile roof?

The best way to clean a tile roof is to use a soft bristle scrub brush and a mild soap and water solution or a tile roof cleaner product. Work in small sections across the roof and scrub gently but thoroughly to remove any stains or buildup. Always rinse the roof thoroughly after scrubbing each area to wash away any residue. For safety, wear non-slip shoes, use roof jacks to disperse weight, and secure yourself with harnesses when working at heights.

Can I clean my own roof tiles?

You can clean your own roof tiles as long as you use caution and the proper equipment - wear non-slip shoes and a harness when working at heights, scrub gently with a soft brush and mild cleaner, and thoroughly rinse the tiles when done. However, it's best to hire a professional roofer for any major roof repairs or issues beyond surface cleaning.

Is it OK to pressure wash a tile roof?

Pressure washing a tile roof is not recommended, as the powerful spray can actually damage and degrade the tile over time. The intense water pressure can dislodge tiles that are not properly sealed or cause cracks and chips in the surface. It's safer to clean a tile roof using a regular garden hose, avoiding high-pressure stream settings. For best results, gently scrub the tiles with a soft bristle brush and a mild cleaner without using excessive water pressure from any hose nozzle. You can also opt for professional soft washing services.

What chemical do you use to clean roof tiles?

For cleaning roof tiles, it's best to use a mild detergent or soap mixed with water or a cleaner made specifically for tile roofs. Avoid using any harsh chemicals like bleaches, acids, or alkaline solutions, as these can deteriorate and damage the tile over time.

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