You may not think about cleaning your roof often, but it’s an important occasional task. Not only will your roof look better without black streaks or visible debris, but you’ll also help the roofing materials last longer by keeping them clean. We’ve broken down the types of cleaning services available, which roof types they’re best for, and how much each method costs.
Average Roof Cleaning Cost
Roof cleaning costs an average of $0.20–$0.70 per square foot. That means a 1,500-square-foot roof will cost between $300 and $1,050 to clean. The following factors impact where your project will fall within that range.
- Roof size: Larger roofs cost more to clean.
- Cleaning method: Cleaning methods that take longer or require specialty products or equipment will cost more.
- Roof type: Some roofing materials are easier to clean than others. Roofs positioned at a lower angle also cost less.
- Number of stories: The more stories your home has, the more it will cost to clean. This is because your roof is more difficult to reach.
- Labor: The majority of professional roof cleaning costs are spent on labor.
Roof Cleaning Cost by Roof Size
Most professional roof cleaners charge by square foot. This means the final price will be directly proportional to your roof size. Depending on the cleaning method, the project may cost anywhere from $0.05–$0.75 per square foot. Note that your roof size may be slightly larger than your home’s square footage due to overhangs and roof pitch.
|Roof Size in Square Feet||Cost Range|
Cost by Cleaning Method
Cleaning method is an important price factor as well. The below prices include labor and materials for a professional roof cleaning job.
|Cleaning Method||Price per Square Foot|
The simplest, cheapest type of cleaning is accomplished with a leaf blower. If your roof and gutters tend to accumulate loose debris from nearby trees, a blower cleaning will get rid of it. This is often the first step of a deeper clean, as it doesn’t get rid of stains or grime buildup.
Chemical washing targets mold, lichen, and mildew with antifungal and anti-algae cleaning agents. Instead of relying on water pressure, the chemicals work gradually over a few days. These cleaners will kill living organisms but are gentle enough that they’re safe for most roof materials. Again, this method won’t do much for dirt or stains.
This cleaning method involves directing high-pressure water at debris, mold, mildew, and dirt to blast them away. You can apply anywhere from 1,300 to 2,800 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure. Though this method is simple, nontoxic, and highly effective, it’s extremely damaging to most roofing materials, including asphalt shingles and clay tile. You may even void your roof warranty if you have one. High-pressure washing is best used on metal roofs at a low psi setting.
Low-pressure washing is a gentler cleaning process that uses mild water pressure of under 1,000 psi to remove mold and debris. Professional cleaning companies will mix a detergent or other cleaning solution with the water to target stains. This process takes longer and requires more care than high-pressure washing, so it costs more. However, it’s safe to use on most roofing materials.
Soft wash roof cleaning combines low-pressure washing, chemical wash, and manual cleaning. It uses water pressure of no more than 100 psi—around that of an average garden hose—to loosen debris. After that, cleaners use brushes and cleaning products such as bleach to tackle stubborn spots and stains. This is the most labor-intensive roof cleaning method, so it costs the most, but it’s safe for all roof types.
Cost by Roof Type
The material on the surface of your roof will likely determine which cleaning method is best. Materials that need the most care will cost the most to clean.
|Roofing Material||Recommended Cleaning Method||Price Range|
|Asphalt shingles||Soft wash||$0.30–$0.75|
|Clay tiles||Soft wash||$0.30–$0.75|
|Concrete tiles||Soft wash||$0.30–$0.75|
|Metal tiles/panels||High-pressure wash||$0.20–$0.60|
|Slate shingles/tiles||Low-pressure wash||$0.30–$0.70|
|Tar and gravel||Chemical wash||$0.20–$0.30|
|Wood shakes/shingles||Low-pressure wash||$0.30–$0.70|
Roof dimensions or features that make it more time-consuming to clean may also raise the price. For example, steep roofs may require cleaners to use extra safety equipment, which will cost up to $0.15 more per square foot.
Cost by Stories
Houses with more than one story often cost more to clean because of the extra safety equipment and precautions needed. You’ll often be charged $0.10 more per square foot for each additional story.
|Number of Stories||Price Range per Square Foot|
The roof cleaning prices above all apply to professional cleaning jobs. Labor costs make up the bulk of the price. Though most professionals charge by roof size, some may charge per hour, usually $17–$36.
Additional Service Costs and Considerations
Many roof cleaning companies offer extra services on top of a basic cleaning package. If you want a particular additional service, ask whether your roof cleaning company provides it.
|Gutter cleaning||$0.70–$1.30 per linear foot|
|Moss removal||$0.20–$0.70 per square foot|
|Silicone sealant||$1–$5 per square foot|
|Solar panel cleaning||$150–$350|
|Stain prevention||$20–$30 per gallon|
|Zinc oxide treatment||$0.05–$0.15 per square foot|
Moss Removal and Prevention Cost
Moss removal is included in most basic cleanings and costs $0.20–$0.70 per square foot. If moss has been a consistent problem, you can ask the cleaners to apply a special moss prevention treatment for $150–$250.
Stain Removal Cost
What appears to be a stain is often algae or dirt that can be removed with regular cleaning. However, some grime can indeed leave behind stubborn stains that require additional elbow grease to remove. This labor may cost an additional $50–$100. To prevent future stains, the cleaners can apply a stain-blocking solution that usually costs $20–$30 per gallon and covers about 300 square feet of roof surface.
Gutter Cleaning Cost
Keeping your gutters clear lengthens your roof’s life span by preventing water from pooling and causing damage. It also prevents debris buildup from putting extra weight and stress on roof edges. Gutter cleaning is often priced by the length of the gutter system, usually costing $0.70–$1.30 per linear foot.
Roof Coating Cost
Professionals can apply a number of special coatings if local environmental conditions make it difficult to keep your roof clean. Zinc oxide is commonly used to prevent moss and lichen. It can be applied as zinc strips or dusted on as powder, usually costing $0.05–$0.15 per square foot.
Other coatings can increase your roof’s efficiency and life span. For example, silicone sealant prevents water damage and improves energy efficiency. It costs $1–$5 per square foot.
Solar Panel Cleaning Cost
Cleaning solar panels requires different products and equipment from roof cleaning, so you may need to find a specialty service for this. The total price for this job is typically between $150 and $350.
Roof Repair Cost
Professional roof cleaners are in the perfect position to spot roof damage, though you’ll often need to hire a roofing contractor to fix it. Repair costs vary significantly depending on the type of damage, spanning from a few hundred dollars to replace a couple roof shingles to tens of thousands of dollars for total roof replacement. The national average for roof repair is around $1,000.
Signs That You Need to Clean Your Roof
Most of the time, you’ll be able to tell whether your roof needs cleaning simply by noticing any of these signs from ground level.
- Black streaks of dirt or mold
- Excessive bird feces
- Layers of damp leaves
- Lifted roof shingles
- Visible signs of moss, lichens, or algae, particularly in shaded areas
Roof Cleaning Pros and Cons
The average roof needs to be cleaned about once a year. This process obviously keeps your home looking great, but it can also preserve your roof’s structure. Growths likesuch as algae, mold, and moss can weaken and erode your roof’s surface, paving the way for future leaks. Dirt and debris also prevent proper drainage, potentially causing water to pool on the roof and cause damage.
The major drawback to roof cleaning is the price, particularly if you have a large home, a steep roof, or multiple stories. Additionally, cleaning too aggressively can cause damage, strip granules off shingles, and potentially crack roof tiles. You may also risk voiding your roof’s warranty.
How Does Roof Cleaning Work?
You can clean your roof yourself or hire professionals. Either way, you’ll usually need to use a leaf blower to remove loose debris before performing a deeper clean. Depending on your roofing material and the level of grime, you may need to use low to moderate water pressure and cleaning products to remove streaks, growths, and stains. You may also need to go in afterwards with a brush to treat stubborn stains.
Professional vs. DIY
You can clean your roof yourself if you know the risks and take proper safety precautions. However, it’s a messy and time-consuming job, so many homeowners opt to hire professionals. Here’s what you can expect from both options.
Professional Roof Cleaning
Homeowners with particularly steep roofs or a house with multiple stories are often better off hiring a professional roof cleaning service. Pros have access to better equipment and stronger cleaning products, and they’ll know how to get the job done quickly and thoroughly. They’ll also know how to tackle specialty problems such as salt buildup or algae stains. Make sure any roof cleaner you hire is licensed and insured.
DIY Roof Cleaning
You can save money on roof cleaning by doing it yourself—as long as you do it right. This includes taking the appropriate safety measures to work on a roof and using methods that won’t cause damage. Renting a pressure washer will cost $25–$50 for the day, but make sure you know how to use a low-pressure setting. Cleaning solutions and other tools will cost another $40–$50 for a 1,500-square-foot roof. Keep in mind that a damp roof is slippery, and take precautions.
How To Save on Roof Cleaning
Here are some ways to save on roof cleaning, whether you do the job yourself or hire a pro.
- If you hire professionals, look for seasonal or package deals. You may also get a discount by signing up for a regular (e.g., annual) cleaning.
- Cleaning regularly to prevent grime buildup will make each cleaning easier and less expensive.
- If you’re doing the job yourself, research the appropriate cleaning methods for your roof type to avoid causing costly damage.
- Look into treatments and sealants that may reduce how often you need to clean.
Top Roofing Companies
If your roof cleaner discovers damage or you need additional roof services, find reputable roofing companies in your area using our guides below.
Local Roofing Companies Near You
- Birmingham, AL
- Huntsville, AL
- Mesa, AZ
- Phoenix, AZ
- Tucson, AZ
- Fayetteville, AR
- Little Rock, AR
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Diego, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Denver, CO
- Bridgeport, CT
- New Haven, CT
- Washington, DC
- Jacksonville, FL
- Miami, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Athens, GA
- Augusta, GA
- Columbus, GA
- Boise City, ID
- Meridian, ID
- Aurora, IL
- Chicago, IL
- Rockford, IL
- Evansville, IN
- Fort Wayne, IN
- Indianapolis, IN
- Cedar Rapids, IA
- Des Moines, IA
- Kansas City, KS
- Wichita, KS
- Louisville, KY
- Baton Rouge, LA
- New Orleans, LA
- Baltimore, MD
- Columbia, MD
- Germantown, MD
- Boston, MA
- Springfield, MA
- Worcester, MA
- Detroit, MI
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Warren, MI
- Minneapolis, MN
- Rochester, MN
- St Paul, MN
- Jackson, MS
- Kansas City, MO
- Springfield, MO
- St Louis, MO
- Billings, MT
- Lincoln, NE
- Omaha, NE
- Las Vegas, NV
- Reno, NV
- Manchester, NH
- Nashua, NH
- Jersey City, NJ
- Newark, NJ
- Paterson, NJ
- Albuquerque, NM
- Las Cruces, NM
- Buffalo, NY
- New York City, NY
- Rochester, NY
- Charlotte, NC
- Greensboro, NC
- Raleigh, NC
- Cincinnati, OH
- Cleveland, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Tulsa, OK
- Portland, OR
- Salem, OR
- Allentown, PA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Providence, RI
- Charleston, SC
- Columbia, SC
- Sioux Falls, SD
- Knoxville, TN
- Memphis, TN
- Nashville, TN
- Dallas, TX
- Houston, TX
- San Antonio, TX
- Provo, UT
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Chesapeake, VA
- Norfolk, VA
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Seattle, WA
- Spokane, WA
- Tacoma, WA
- Green Bay, WI
- Milwaukee, WI
You can clean your roof yourself if you take safety precautions and use the right methods. Simply blasting your roof with a high-pressure power washer is almost never the right choice. If you don’t have the time or desire to do it yourself, you can hire a professional roof cleaning service to do the job for you. Either way, having a clean roof improves the look of your home and extends your roof’s longevity.
FAQ About Roof Cleaning
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