How debris buildup on roofs and in gutters can cost you a lot of money in damage and repairs.

The trees are shedding and the pollen is falling. They do it every year and in Florida it’s all year, some homeowners are proactive, while some never look up to even notice and some either don’t care or understand the consequences of what piles of leaves and debris on their roof and in their gutters will do.

If you are the proactive type and clean off the debris from your roof and gutters regularly or hire someone to do it then you are ok as long as the crew doing the cleaning is doing it correctly and thorough. I will go over our process at the bottom of this blog.

If you live near, around or under a canopy of oak, pine or camphor trees. Chances are you have debris issues on your roofing system and/or gutter system as well. Camphor trees especially shed a lot of twigs and berry pods that have tacky oils that will cause other debris to stick in valleys and roof surfaces and also cause backups in your downspouts which in time will start to pile up and get compacted to the point that a regular clean out has turned into a more costly extraction.

So I am going to go over what I have seen and noticed from 22 years in the industry. What damages have been caused and ways to prevent it from happening to you.

First, I should go over what debris buildup on your roof especially in the valleys and the damage it can cause if left for prolonged periods of time. As the debris sits at first it is normally dry leaves, pollen pods with a few twigs mixed in, when it rains they become wet and then they dry. That cycle will repeat many times over a years span. In one year the stuff on top is dry, the stuff on the bottom is damp and those leaves usually stay damp, they still hold the shape of the leaf and are a dark brown color. Over a span of five years without touching it, what is underneath the pile at the very bottom has become peet and mud. Kind of like sediment layers with the dry stuff on top. Now it is a perfect place for other plants to root in and grow, a place for bugs, termites and worms to live and for moisture and mildew to really set in. The damage begins and the cost went from an average of 150.00 and up depending on the roof size and pitch for a blow off once a year to possibly thousands of dollars in roof repairs from decking damage caused by wet rot and the only thing that kept water from making its way all the way through was the mud layer sealing the little pin holes under the shingles or tile underlayment. So blaming the guy who finally removed the debris for a causing a leaky roof is probably not the case.

Roof debris should be done regularly, once a year is normal under normal circumstances and some cases as much as quarterly under severe circumstances where trees canopy the entire house. Having a licensed and insured company with experience do the work unless you are comfortable doing it yourself. Make sure you trim away any branches that are close to touching the roof, remove hanging moss that you can reach, start at the top and work your way down. Check any vents like dryer vents for any lint blockage as well. It is pretty self explanatory, just be careful.

Gutters especially are vulnerable to serious damage as I have seen gutters that were full to the top with 6 inches of mud with a thin layer of dry leaves on top. Gutters are made to handle some weight. The weight from a situation like that adds hundreds sometimes thousands of pounds depending on the width and length and is literally pulling the gutters away from the fascia along with causing sagging that causes water to pool up away from the downspouts to sit in the low spots normally found in the center of the span and render them useless. Downspouts when blocked up at turns will almost always have to be detached, debris extracted and reinstalled. I have even seen a few times on 2 story houses where there is literally mud packed downspouts from the roof line to the ground. There are instances that the cause was even from the gutter installer using a 3 inch screw or screws to fasten sections together. When I detach and reinstall I use aluminum or copper rivets depending what material the gutter is made of. I also add mesh boxes at the tops of downspouts to prevent sticks and twigs from falling in and getting stuck causing another inevitable clog and pile up. Gutters that stay full of debris for prolonged periods will have a shorter lifespan as the sediment, loose granules, acidity from the leaves and moisture will eventually eat its way through and create thin spots and pinholes in the aluminum or copper. Copper gutters hold up a lot longer with sitting debris but still should be cleaned often.

Make sure you keep gutters cleaned out and free of debris once a year minimum in some cases quarterly depending on the amount of trees over or close to your home. There are remedies that you can use to keep debris out of gutters. Some work most do not. The best ones I have found that work best are: Mill Finished Aluminum gutter guards (product code SCGG5 from they do not collapse in or have openings where debris will find it’s way in and are durable and long lasting. They also make it easy to blow off debris that collects on top. The “Gutter Helmet” though a good concept and idea with the liquid adhesion theory I have found many times where so much debris still gets in the gutters by rolling over with the flow of water and eventually they get full too. The gutter helmet then needs to be removed to clean the debris out and is costly for removal, inspection and reinstall. Other ideas like the black foam inserts and the galvanized screen mesh tend to get debris pieces that get stuck to the guards and make the cleaning more time consuming and the mesh guards rust and cave in. Vinyl guards just avoid those all together, they start warping within a year and wind blows them out easily.

Our roof and gutter debris cleaning processes are either basic blow off and out, tidy up the ground area and bag debris. To full service debris removal, inspection, extraction, disassemble, repair and clean up. On the more severe cases we will first blow off the roof debris and clear valleys, crickets behind chimneys and box vents. We will inspect and clear dryer vents that exhaust on the roof. We will remove any screens on the vents and replace once clear. Then we will blow out the gutters and downspouts by pointing the blower down the top end of the downspouts and there is always a ground guy to confirm if the downspout is clear or if it is blocked up. Once done up top and if there is one or more blocked downspouts we will determine where the blockage is and how far up or down the debris is that is blocking the downspouts which will determine whether we can use one of our snake out tools or if we will have to disassemble and detach the downspout from the system, clear it and reinstall it with new fasteners. In those cases we will install screens at the top end of the gutter where the downspout meets to prevent another blockage. We will rake up and bag all the debris and blow and tidy up any leftover small debris like dust and small particles from AC tops, window sills, tops of shrubs, driveways and walkways and other flat surfaces. We have never left a mess behind and never will. If there are any span sections of gutter that are not level and have low spots or need simple to complex adjustments, leaky corners or seams we will do the repairs and give an exact estimate of cost before we proceed and if you choose to get a few other estimates from other contractors feel free to do so. Just remember we know exactly what is needed then and there and have the experience, equipment and knowledge to do the job right the first time and work that will last. Once you see our results that is our full on work ethic with all we do. SoftWash Roof cleaning and full service gutter cleaning is our main specialization we have perfected over 22 years as well as all other exterior cleaning services we provide.

Tropical Roof and Exterior Cleaning Systems is an A+ and 5 star rated company and has been for 2 decades. I am present at every single job to ensure that my expectations exceed your expectations. This is why we have the best clients and best reputation the Orlando market has ever had. That is why you never see our advertisements in publications, magazines, the Google AD section or flyers in your driveway or on your front  door from us. We do not need to advertise, our work and results along with our impeccable reputation and great and friendly staff who all must carry a good attitude, outlook at life, respect to everyone, polite and personable, clean background and above all good work ethic. We never rush jobs and never will, the way we do things is a lot different than anyone else in every way. It is comparable to maximum OCD overload habitually and instinctively.

Thank you for reading! – Jeffrey H. Worth President Tropical Roof and Exterior Cleaning Systems, LLC.

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Before you act, think logically before you agree to hire a “Roof Cleaner”

Again and again I see it keep happening over and over and over again. It makes me cringe…

21 years in this industry and 16 years as the owner and founder of Tropical Roof and Exterior Cleaning Systems. I still always see homes we quoted for homeowners who scoffed at our prices, shopped for the lowest price and then getting their roof cleaned by someone who has not the slightest clue what they are even doing or should not even be doing the work at all. Like one case last week while doing work at a long time repeat client of ours and the ones who highly recommended and highly suggested that they use us home. I sat and watched a guy using an orbital tip aka turbo nozzle at maximum psi (4200) that is only to be used for stripping off old paint, etching concrete before applying epoxy or coatings, removing dried concrete spills… pretty much the last resort tip if all else fails, to give an example this tip can literally cut right through a cinderblock in about 20 minutes, not a hole but cut it in half. This guy was using it to clean a DECRA aka metal tile roof with a granular surface and is a fantastic, long lasting and very good looking roofing material with a very long warranty, however the warranty is not valid if the roof has been cleaned using high pressure methods and to be technical all roofing materials have the same warranty point, if the roofing material was cleaned using any type of high pressure the warranty will be voided. Don’t think that roof inspectors or adjusters for those companies won’t know that the roof was pressure washed. It is evident in every way by just glancing at it without even putting up a ladder. Anything over 100 psi is considered high pressure and even the “No bleach so called Eco Friendly” cleaning companies state that the psi they use is safe. But it is still at a minimum of 1500 psi. I just don’t get how or understand to this day why people choose to either risk hiring a Jack of all trades to save a little money or hire some new magic cleaning product company that charges five to ten times more than us.

One fact I came up with is that they have been burned by some guy, guys or a company that did the work, got paid and killed their landscape and grass damaged the exteriors paint and left a disaster behind with zero response from them to fix their mistakes.

Once bitten twice shy. Luckily many of those bitten know better than to fall for the “plant safe” snake oil products or another El Cheapo to do the job. Many times they called us first to begin with but due to our cost they hired the lower price guy and paid for it badly, then used us and realized why our prices are what they are and afterwards usually compliment us on how much more thorough and detailed we are as well as how easy I made it look even though they know only someone with my experience can do that and in a quarter of the time than the last ones that hacked up the job. No we do not gouge nor do we see a million dollar home and charge more assuming they will pay more because they have the money. It is quite the opposite actually. We charge every single client the same price which is based off of size, type and pitch of roof times whatever the per square foot rate is for each. If you have a 1000 sqft shingle roof it is going to cost 170.00 if you have a 10,000 sqft shingle roof it is going to cost 1700.00 if you have a 1000 sqft tile roof it is going to cost 250.00 and 10,000 sqft tile roof it is going to cost 2,500 and if you have a 1000 sqft clay or terracotta roof it is going to cost 350.00 and the same type of roof at 10,000 sqft is going to cost 3,500 dollars. Ofcourse we offer new customer discounts and group discounts as well as our fully gutter and French drained home discount. We rinse every roof guttered or not, we offer our 2 year unlimited unconditional warranty on all roofs except flip homes, roofs with storm damage, roofs with canopies of trees above the roof and flat roofs with poor drainage.

A lot of requests for estimates from our website 75% of requests are for roof cleaning quotes. If I could make this business to where the only thing I clean is roofs I would. But the fact is I am really good at anything and everything I do, especially cleaning homes and commercial properties. So over the years of building Tropical to where it stands today,  I have cleaned anything and everything aside from roofs from screen enclosures and decks of all types and sizes to patio furniture to homeowners boats and RV’s to elaborate home exteriors to the most basic 4 sided structure to entire communities, flat surfaces, boat docks, statues and so on.

Being really good at something is one thing, being really good on top of being completely transparent, honest, thorough, habitually OCD never cutting corners or shortcuts no matter the circumstances and fixing mistakes that can occur right away is a whole different breed of really good. That is who I am. I never sugar coat or lie or push to make a sale I also will not give myself away and drop the price either. I know what my work, expertise, skill, knowledge and quality is worth and I also know what my competitors are worth. I see right through the tactics and ways they swoon potential customers into what they are providing or selling. I see the work they do all over town and wonder how or even if they got paid for the sloppy work they do or did. I know what the truth is and just nod my head and feel for those unlucky people who actually fall victim to those shady and not so good people or even companies. I know who the bad guys and good guys are, yet I never badmouth the bad guys. I just let things take their course and do the work I have on my books and mind my own.

Ok, to the point now. The time has come to get the most important part of your home cleaned. When you are reading information on roof cleaning on company websites that offer that service these are the ones I highly advise to avoid. Critically first avoid the ones who claim to use no chemicals whatsoever, that is another way of them saying that they will be coming to pressure wash your roof. Second, avoid using companies that state pet and plant safe products used, for one if it cannot hurt your plants then it will definitely not kill and remove the black and green stuff growing on your roof and guess what, they too will be firing up the big guns and putting a good 1500 to 4200 psi on your roof. I have used and tested EVERY SINGLE NEW PRODUCT THAT HAS EVER COME TO MARKET, none worked without the use of high pressure or what they assume is (1500) psi low pressure. A rain shower removes a little bit of granules from a shingle roof, 1500 psi on a basic fan tip can cut through a 2×4 after about 20 minutes so 1500 psi to anyone with common sense should know that is not low pressure. Third, be weary of those who state low pressure roof cleaning. That could mean way too many things. Fourth, avoid anyone who requires a deposit for any residential 1 day cleaning job, any company that asks for one usually does bad work or has a bad reputation that may be revealed after the fact so that way you are locked in and cannot back out. AVOID COMPANIES WHO ASK FOR A DEPOSIT! on residential jobs. We only require deposits on commercial jobs that exceed a scope of work that has a duration of over 2 days and or over $10,000 and that is only to cover the cost of labor, fuel, chemical, materials and rentals for boom lifts if needed. If the commercial project has agreed and signed to pay upon completion no deposit is required. Just a signature.

Above where I mentioned, if it cannot kill plants then it will not kill what is growing on your roof. Yes, the chemical we use “can” kill plants and grass and yes I have had it happen on my watch before. 21 years and average of 700 roofs a year it happens, with me you have a better chance at winning the Powerball 3 weeks in a row than having plant damage. 16 years in business 9 plant damages is probably a record in the industry. I fixed them all even if it cost more than the job itself and was unavoidable like a French drain system that all routed to 1 unknown location until after the roof was cleaned and rinsed and was all concentrated at the roots of 10 foot tall portocarpus trees 250 feet away from the house and cost me 2k dollars out of pocket and hours of my time finding the right size and breed and the homeowner telling me to not worry about it. I was raised differently and I also know that pay it forward and what goes around comes around is true. I also know that repeat business is gained guaranteed only by doing 100% not 99% word of mouth spreads fast if it is good and faster if it is bad. Why do you think 90% of roof cleaning companies only last a few years at best unless they pay fortunes for advertising in every publication and search engines just to keep new customers coming since they can keep repeats and even they too will run out of customers and sink eventually unless they stop putting profit margins first and customer service last.

A lot of good roof cleaners here in Orlando, but there are way more bad ones ten fold. So before you act, think logically before you hire a “roof cleaner” and please no matter how much you think you can DIY your roof with some box store product like spray and regret. Save yourself time, money and most importantly your safety and call someone who does it every single day. Call me 407-951-3634

Thanks for reading – Jeffrey H Worth President Tropical Roof and Exterior Cleaning Systems

The truth about “roof cleaning” from a true 20+ year veteran of the industry.

It is amazing how fast time goes by, in 21 years I have cleaned multi millions of square feet of surfaces, 80% of those surfaces have been roofs.

Since I was 17 years old after graduating early and leaving my job at Pizza Hut, I have been in the exterior cleaning industry ever since. I started at a large roof and exterior cleaning company, worked my way up quickly, got my “doctorate” in every aspect of roof and exterior cleaning, I learned everything to do and most important what not to do. I personally have cleaned countless commercial and residential structures and surfaces of all types, sizes, heights, scenarios from exteriors on buildings over 10 floors, to repelling off the Grand Floridian at Disney World doing section cleaning and balcony wash downs, to every water park and theme park ride and attraction in Orlando, malls, automotive dealerships, churches, huge college and professional sports stadiums, apartment complexes, townhomes, the beautiful masterpiece homes of the elite of the elite who reside in the Orlando area or have one of their homes here. I have cleaned the tiny home nation style 150 sqft home to the 20,000 plus sqft mansions scattered all over Windermere and Winter Park to the nice quiet spreads all over Central Florida’s rural areas. I clean more stuff that most others will not touch or cannot clean. I can clean anything you put in front of me, I love putting the proof in the pudding.

My impeccable record over 21 years, my solid reputation and customer service, my inability to do poor quality work even if I tried my inability to take advantage of anyone for anything has even the best of the other roof and exterior cleaning companies referring me highly to customers of theirs when they cannot get to them. I have had people call me and say they will only use me! no matter the price, and will wait weeks even months to get on my schedule and no I do not over price those people just because I can. Trust and reputation added with second nature good work ethic and customer service go a long way. Well, many times the referrals go with me and foolishly sometimes they choose the other route by hiring the cheap option, the inexperienced off duty firefighter who already has a good salary and does it for side cash or the new guy with the flashy name like BLASTAWAY or HYDROWAVE SOLUTIONS (both names I made up but you get the idea) who has 40 ratings on google all 4 to 5 stars and who has been in business a whole 4 months (I do my research on every new cleaning company that pops up on my radar) (THANK YOU SUNBIZ!) who had all his family and friends give ratings and on top of that, they will use numerous i.p. addresses while they can strike and put another false self generated review while paying google ads or adsense top dollar to get them above everyone else or is just a third level marketer with a degree in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or is just good with web design and development but cannot clean a plate in a sink correctly. That is what “we” the handful of great roof and exterior cleaning companies in Florida have to now deal with. The internet has become a melting pot of misinformation, horrible products that are the definition of ripoff gimmicks, new pop up hack companies with zero experience and not just the roof cleaning and pressure washing industry but just about everything else out there. Personally, I do not know how they can live with a clear conscious by capitalizing and preying on consumers who want a certain service or service provider but they do not know where to start or look. For every misinformed or clueless person there is always a snake trying to sell them the oils they secrete. All they care about is money, money and more money. Obviously, we are in business to make a living, save for the future and give the best to our next generation. We are also in the business to make sure we can serve as many people as we can not for maximum profits but for me, it is to provide services that are high quality, will have long lasting results, no mess or issues,  and leave the customer impressed and happy with peace of mind. It doesn’t matter if I do a job for free for those who truly are in need (I do them all the time) mainly single mothers, elderly, disabled veterans, terminally ill. The ONES WHO NEED HELP. I do as good of a job for them at no cost as I do on every other job that pays full price. I spare no expense, I do not cut any corners, it is not in my nature to. OCD?? Maybe so, I am a perfectionist and always have been my whole life. How do you think I have been in business as long as I have been with all the success I have had and spend nothing on advertising? Referrals and repeats are our staple and not even the best salesman with the finest sales pitch can take a customer from me. Most of my 1700 clients who are repeats of over 5 times out of the 7000 clients I have in quickbooks have been screwed over by so many tradesmen and other service providers that when I first sat down and educated them on who I am and what I do they are so gun shy that they seem skeptical until the work is completed and yes those are the ones who watch you knowingly or unknowingly the entire time. After that, they never worry about a thing when I come back or my guys come to do the work. I have a list of 1 or 2 of each of who I know for a fact that they are the best contractors for each specialty trade from roofers, painters, carpenters, electricians etc. who take pride in their work and do high quality work or I would not even consider referring because it is also my reputation on the line and if I send a googan then it can come back to me. If I refer someone, they are all you need. No shopping around taking that gamble, we know where that leads to…. It is just plain common sense, if someone who you know well highly recommends someone, it is probably wise to just stop there and use that someone and not worry so much about cost. Because for every 100 shady contractors there is 1 good one.

So right now I am going to give you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth….. about roof cleaning.
I make it look easy, almost too easy but that easiness comes from my experience. It is like muscle memory and habitual repetitiveness. Like a pro golfers swing, I can clean a roof faster and better than others. If it takes my closest competitor 5 hours to clean a 10k sqft barrel tile roof, it will take me 2 hours to spray and rinse the same roof. My job will have no plant damages and no spots missed, no issues down the road unlike the other guy who has all the landscape smothered cooking in plastic, applying a cheap lower grade brand of bleach that has to be applied several times to get the results he was looking for because of his lack of experience he sadly does not know the difference between high quality and low quality bleach (YES THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT BRANDS AND RAW PERCENTAGES) and not long after he leaves and gets paid the damage starts showing up like an unwanted guest. I use 12.5% Allied Universal Brand which is the cleanest and best quality you can get, it costs more per gallon but at the end of the year it costs 55% less than if I would have wasted money on the cheaper .65 cent per gallon garbage from Odyssey or Brenntag that is only 8.5% to 10.5% max and leaves a nasty residue and has a way higher sodium content and less active cleaning ingredients.


The metal roof you see in the picture above took 4 hours to clean. The roof is 14,000 square feet mostly non walkable and it was moldy. The photo below took 1 hour to clean, most guys would consider it borderline non walkable. To me it is easy to walk and I will walk it, you may think it took longer but if you look at the shadow on the roof you can see where it was when we started at 8:00 a.m. and finished at 9:00 a.m. the right side of the home faces east and was cleaned in March of 2016. Now there are some factors that help with the time it takes to clean certain roofs. These factors are mainly; the type of roof, outside temperature, wind conditions, how dirty the roof is, gutters or no gutters, the homes water pressure, the walkability of the roof and the amount of landscape that needs to be taken care of.

Types of roofs that clean the fastest: Concrete Tile (Flat and Barrel) Standard 3 Tab, Standard Architectural and Painted Metal.

Types of roofs that are time consuming and use more product: Clay/Terracotta, Slate, any painted or coated tile roof, bare metal, Decra (metal that looks like tile), membrane and asbestos roofs.

The color of the roof also plays a role in how fast or slow it cleans. For instance red, light and dark brown, brown, orange, calico, dark and light green, dark grey or black all clean up with usually 1 light even application. The lighter colors usually clean up slower especially white shingle or light grey which will need 1 light application and then a quick walk and touch up application before rinsing.

The porosity of the tiles will also play a role in time consumption. Some tile roofs are smoother and some are rough, now if the roof it too smooth like a terracotta roof or a painted roof which has no porosity the solution does not have a place to set and dwell and just rolls off and dries unless it is overcast or you apply a light spray and then hit the area 4 to 5 times more lightly until the mold has been killed and is no longer black. These roofs are also very slippery due to the lack of porosity when they are wet with mildew present, once the mildew and the film from the dead mildew has been rinsed off it is usually safe to walk wet or dry.

Concrete tile and shingle roofs are porous and that helps with the dwell time to let the solution do its job. Here is an up close slideshow of mildew on a white shingle roof and concrete tile roof before and after the treatment and rinse.

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No type of pressure was used just a spray on and rinse off with a water hose softwash process. You can see there is no damage or granule loss and there is zero evidence of any leftover mildew so the process lasts for years unlike damaging pressure washing and these photos are why all roofing manufacturers only recommend using bleach based cleaning products to clean and then rinse using a garden hose not a pressure washer and our process does not void your warranty, it actually prolongs the lifespan of the roof as well.

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You may have also had your roof cleaned before by a company using the same process, the run off you may have noticed was very heavy. That is a clear sign of an inexperienced roof cleaner up on your roof. We call it the “flood technique” however when I spray a roof, my mix is so precise and I only use high quality products. I call my technique “The No Drip” as you can see below there are no heavy runs from the light even application I have perfected over the years. And it cleans in one application almost every time.



Is it the chemical or human error that damaged the landscape?

Starting a business can be a lot to bear and in the beginning it involves years of dedication, sacrifice, hard times, hard work, stress and the list goes on. Only those who can handle it, have good work ethic and attitude and those who are driven will succeed, those who thought they would get rich quick or think it happens over night or the ones who count the chicks before they hatch will almost most definitely fail or give up.

It took me roughly 6 years of working by myself from 5 a.m. to way past dark without a break except the drive between stops 7 days a week, driving over 150 plus miles one way to do a single cleaning job in Ft. Pierce, working myself to absolute exhaustion, soaking wet or freezing cold or in heat that can kill most people, bitten by every kind of bee, wasp, spider, ant that is found in Florida, living from week to week and sometimes having no money except the money to cover the costs of owning a business and personal bills but not enough for a good meal or even a beer, but never once did I even consider throwing in the towel. I had worked too hard for too long and I saw the results and each year that passed my client list grew, it went from my very 1st job the Fanskas in Titusville at 1 to now over 5000 in a 13 year span. Needless to say I am very good at what I do and there are only less than a handful in Florida who I can say come close. Remember, I did not start Tropical Roof and Exterior Cleaning Systems by buying equipment, asking questions and learning along the way. I actually worked for at the time, the largest, original and most well known, non pressure roof and exterior cleaning companies in the United States. I started there when I was only 17 years old, no I did not drop out I graduated early and was bound for a career as a Navy Corpsman and then in the medical field as a civilian. That was my families dream for me, not mine. I cannot stand being indoors and worse I cannot stand hospitals or office environments. I do love fishing however and competing in both Bass and Saltwater tournaments and my goal was and still is becoming a national touring bass pro, the local thing I have achieved. It has been a dream of mine since I was 3 and my dad was my inspiration who ignited that passion in me.

I am married now for 14 years and have two children and now that they are both at the age to where they are independent enough to where I can afford to leave out of state for a few weeks at a time I will be back at it for the 2020 season and on.

Before TileAfter TileTropical New Rig Beforetropical new rig after

Lets get back to the topic. I started in this industry with no experience like everyone in this industry has. Working for that company that once was 30 trucks strong and growing fast and opening locations left and right until the holes in that ship started becoming more and more evident gave me a doctorate in the industry. I learned a lot, perfected my own techniques, became more confident walking on roofs no matter the pitch or size, clay, asbestos, slate, concrete tile or shingle. It became and still is second nature, the 3 years I worked there I went from assistant tech to spray tech to lead tech to senior tech in less than 12 months. I was awarded tech of the year 3 years consecutively until my departure when that company was whittled down to 4 trucks and 1 location and a very bad reputation, mainly for massacring almost every landscape on almost every job. I say almost because my crew was the only crew that had minimal to no plant damage, zero complaints and no touch ups. I did have a few when I first led a crew and I learned very fast to take my time and take pride in my work. When I started, all the techs there were good workers and in the end it was almost a labor pool. I remember picking up guys at the “Right Hand Man” staffing just so I had a ground guy. It was really sad to see what once was to what is and the man who created it watched it slowly fall apart. BTW on a good note: that guy is still a good and close friend of mine who is still in the industry he just thought outside the box and is now a builder and supplier for the guys who are in the service industry.

The most important lesson and thing I learned there was not what or how to do the work, all that depends on the individuals will to learn and succeed. I learned A LOT of what not to do and who to avoid. I am certain that is why I have not grown Tropical to anymore than 1 truck, it is hard to find good workers. I can and have the call and sales volume and capacity to run 3 or 4 trucks full time from September to Mid June before the Summer doldrums hit and majority of the population is more concerned about having summer fun, taking family vacations and spending time with the kids rather than worry about what the roof or pool deck looks like. Every single summer since I remember has been slow, that is when the cheapskates and low ballers become customer and service provider. The guys who are not the type to lowball bids become lowballers themselves for a little bit to keep income flowing. I KNOW……. I DID IT TOO!!! You have to do what it takes to survive and grow and the same goes for your business. I have not lowballed a job since 2009 or 2010, I don’t have to. My work is so impeccable and perfect every single time, most who get my info from a friend, neighbor, associate, other cleaning company or just see my work hire me regardless of the cost. No, I do not overprice anything ever, I factor in and price everything accordingly. Most of my clients are mine because they are or should I say were gun shy of even the thought of getting their roof cleaned because the last 3 or 4 who did it killed plants and damaged something never to be heard from again after the check has cleared. I admit I have had on very very very rare occasions had damages like a broken water spigot, sprinkler head, accent night lighting, roof tiles, spotting on clothes and furniture etc. The difference they see between me and the other companies is either I have it fixed properly before they even notice or within 1 day depending on what it is. Plants too, I have had 11 plant damages since Jade became Tropical in 2006. Over 9,000 roof cleanings alone not counting all the exteriors, screen enclosure and pool decks, driveway and sidewalks and every other project we have done to 11 plant damage claims. All 11 claims were corrected within 48 hours of the call from the customer, and I don’t pussyfoot around and toss a 2 gallon plant where a 15 gallon plant was and tell you to wait for it to grow. I find the twin or the closest one to it and I plant it properly. I have spent according to quickbooks $1,101.67 since 2006 on plants. The one that added to it that made the number was a topiary right at the corner of the house where the seam had a slow drip that we missed or started leaking after we left. Yep, a 500.00 plant on a 700.00 job. Yep, I found the match that was shaped just like it and I got a discount on it too. 8 Foot tall spiral topiary. It was not my fault but it was my responsibility. The gutter had a bunch of crud sealing the seam where the leak was, our solution slowly broke down that crud and the residual found its way through, dripped and toasted it. Topiaries and Italian Cypress are a roof cleaners worst enemy if they are not experienced or know what to look out for. Covering any plants with tarps, plastic or sheets is absolutely prohibited and forbidden by me and is not recommended what so ever. Remember the things I learned about what not to do? Yeah, that was one of them. I stopped using plastic at that company (they did not know for a while) and that is part of why I never had plant damages. Water is all you need, oh and a good ground guy with a good attitude and work ethic to use it. No fertilizer or neutralizer or any of the hocus pocus crap others may feed you to add to the bill or the sale. So yeah my secret is out of the bag!! But!! Anyone can spray water, very very few can do it the right way, there is just a certain way to do it and no other way and my guys have it down.

So where the question at the header states ” Is it the chemical or human error that damaged the landscape?”

It is always the human error.

I get asked daily from potential clients – ” Can or will your solutions kill my plants and grass?” I always reply with; my solution is the same as all those who clean roofs properly but MY solution isn’t going to hurt anything. They ask why? I tell them we know exactly what we are doing. I say the chemical can in the wrong hands. So it is always human error due to lack of either experience or just plain lack of work ethic.

What to expect from the lowest price from a collection of bids for the most part? Poor quality for sure, some or all plants burned and if they didn’t burn up the yard they burned up the life and warranty on the roof, no response from them when you repeatedly call them with concerns or questions about the damage. Those guys are just cowards and bad for the industry.

I have said it for years and it is actually an old cliché ” YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR” especially in all service trades. You have a cheap plumber, expect leaks and issues. Cheap electrician, expect a fire. Cheap tree guys, expect damages to your property. Cheap used car, it is gonna have issues. Cheap meal, McDs not Seasons 52 and expect a tummy ache or high cholesterol. Cheap car wash, spots missed. Cheap roof cleaners, horrible results and an endless nightmare. It never works to save money by being a cheapskate when it comes to specialty services like some I mentioned above, you’ll spend way more in the end on top of the stress and aggravation. Just pay the median cost after you confirm the one you want to hire is good at what they do (NOT BY GOOGLE REVIEWS) because 95% of the reviews on newbies are fake reviews. But by referrals or references that you get or by credible review sites online. I have had my listing on Google since 2006 and I have had 31 reviews all 5 star and all authentic. I lost 21 of them because Google decided to delete my listing page from not maintaining it for 10 years because I really did not need to update it. I do not advertise I do not need to.

Don’t get burned …….. they are out there and they are good talkers but bad walkers. Remember in every market 90% of them are crooks or pop tarts. I say pop tarts or pop starts because they get in and get out quick. They didn’t factor in all the other things that are involved in roof cleaning, poor guys thought it was a spray, collect money and go. There are 100 more steps than that, and too many different scenarios for every job that the 5% like me only know.

Thanks for reading, and remember… it’s never the chemicals fault.

AND DO NOT EVER LET THIS (see below) HAPPEN TO YOUR PLANTS OR TO YOUR ROOF! The yellow buffer looking thing you see is for non painted flat surfaces like driveway and sidewalks, not roofs. The plastic over the plants is now an oven cooking the plants while the roof is being cleaned, you cannot water, keep cool and hydrate plants that are suffocating under a tarp or plastic sheets.

Importance of keeping your gutters cleaned regularly.

You are at home or at your business, you hear the rumbling of thunder off in the distance and the sky starts to darken as the clouds start rolling in. The rain starts, it gets heavier and heavier. You look outside just to see a torrent of water cascading off your roofs edge. You think to yourself I have gutters and I may have had them cleaned before….. you think a bit and realize it has been a year maybe 2 years?? or more.

The importance of keeping your gutters clean and free of any debris is not just important, it is almost critical. When your gutters get overwhelmed with water from a clogged downspout or they are packed to the max with leaves or pine needles or other debris. Just the weight alone is enough to separate the gutters from your fascia. I see it all the time, not only do I see separation I also see where they are unbalanced from all the weight accumulating to one section and sometimes it is opposite of where the downspouts are located. When that occurs and water runs over the edge it starts to cause staining and oxidation (the grey streaks you see that scrubbing does not remove) from the constant runoff water that is mixed with the acidity of the leaves, the metal from the aluminum gutters and foreign materials i.e. pieces of mortar or tiles if you have a tile roof or granules and roofing nails if you have a shingle roof.

It is important to also keep debris from accumulating on the roofs tiles or shingles and critical to keep valleys free of heavy debris build up. Debris in valleys causes water to pool up and go over the flashing during heavy rains and cause water damage to the decking especially on roofs built prior to the new standards set after the trifecta of Hurricanes in 2004. A lot of homeowners with tile roofs that have leaks are usually caused by blocked up valleys or piles of leaves in dead valleys that they cannot see from the ground and prevents proper channeling of rainwater.

These are some of the things that I notice when doing a full service gutter cleaning. Leaves that have sat in the gutter for so long that there are sediment layers. The top layer is dry leaves and twigs, under that there are damp leaves, under that there are leaves that are starting to decay, under that there are leaves that have decayed and finally the bottom layer is just straight mud and water. That is from just 1 year of leaves in gutters that are underneath heavy trees, especially oaks. What happens to the gutters? The acid from the leaves will cause the aluminum to start pitting and after time leaking. A gutter run or span by itself will cost a bit but not much to replace. Now a gutter that needs to be replaced that is in between a screen enclosure and a roof becomes a construction project and will cost thousands to rebuild. You cannot patch gutters for a permanent fix, it is just a band aid and will leak again before you know it.

Another cause of shortening the lifespan of your gutters is roofing granules from a few ways. Your house may not have a tree for miles nearby, but you notice pin holes on the bottom of your gutters. You can see light through them! You are baffled… That is caused from excess granules in the gutters sloshing around during wind and rains and acts almost like sandpaper or a slow speed sandblast. Over time the holes will appear. When a new shingle roof is built and you have gutters, the roofing contractor will usually have his/her guys blow out the granules inside the gutters after the build is complete. After that you are on your own, new shingles will still have loose granules for a few rains until the loose granules have all pretty much come down. So after a month or so it is a good idea to get up there and either rinse or blow out what is there or call a reputable company to do so. Another way granules build up heavily, is from a shingle roof that has unfortunately been pressure washed and the same heavy accumulation I notice a lot is from roofs that have met their lifespans or have been severely weathered by storms or hail. I have seen on a few occasions gutters with granules that are 2 to 6 inches deep!

Clogged downspouts are another problem I see more than usual. Maybe all but 1 are flowing good but all it takes is 1 that is backed up and a torrent of rain to cause damage. Downspouts almost always have 90 degree turns going towards the vertical walls against the house and are strapped to the walls and another 90 that connects to a run that goes down into either a French drain or another 90 that directs water away from the house. Some installers will use self tapping screws and others rivets. Rivets in my opinion are a better option as they do not stick out inside the pipes too far to where they catch sticks or twigs with a few leaves on them that cause the beginning of the pile up. Some may pile up at the top, some midway and some at the bottom turns. When this happens the water will build up and weigh down the verticals and stress the fasteners that in turn will loosen the system away from the house and after time the damage is done and you will need to replace or repair.

Here is a run down on my process on gutter cleaning. All of our gutter cleanings are full service clean out, inspect and clean up and bag all debris.

First, I will look to see if there is minor or major debris on the roof itself which can add to the total cost depending on the severity of the debris. If it is minimal and only takes 20 minutes or less to blow down there is no added cost. If it is heavy and will add more time to the initial job then I will charge accordingly. I will blow everything down to the edge and then start on the side of the house where the wind is blowing into or if there is no or very light winds I will just start in the back on one side and work my way around. I use a handheld blower instead of a backpack blower. I use an Echo PB250 now and have always used Echo blowers for their reliability and easy maintenance for over 20 years. Backpack blowers are unsafe and can cause you to lose your balance on pitchy roofs and are not a good idea to wear when climbing a ladder especially a 32 or 40 foot. Most cases I just hold the blower in one hand and walk up, if I am using my 32 or 40 I will bring up my 100′ long paracord with a d-ring tied to both ends and either connect it to my blower and climb up or drop one end down and have one of my guys clip it on for me and will pull it up and lower it the same way for refueling or when I am done.

If there is a gutter between a roof and pool enclosure I always start there and have my guys on the ground with water hoses (to quickly rinse off any muddy spray from heavily packed gutters before it dries), blowers, wide rakes and 3 mil Heavy Duty 50 gallon bags so when I proceed after that area is finished they can start to tidy up the mess and rinse off the outside of the gutters. I will work my around and as I get to each downspout I will point the blower into it and have one of my guys on the ground let me know if the air is flowing good or not if I cannot see the end of the downspout. If there is a blockage I will make note and take care of it after I have finished the whole gutter system and any others that are blocked.

Blocked downspouts can be caused by several ways. The most common is just a few inches of debris in one of the turns either at the top or bottom. Depending on how packed will determine if I have to remove the turns or entire downspout from the gutter or just a simple few taps to dislodge whatever is blocking the way. After I have cleared all the downspouts and debris has been picked up I will go around with a water hose that has a brass Y-valve with a sweeper nozzle aka a stream tip and I will flush out and rinse any mud or crud that the blower did not get and check the flow pattern and direction to make sure the water flows to and not away from the downspouts as well as look for any dips or low areas where water pools up. I will let the homeowner know if there are any issues that need to be addressed and I will offer to adjust and fix any for an additional fee if it is a major fix and will take time to correct it. If it is minimal and only a slight quick adjustment I usually do it for free.

We do 2 things with the debris we can take it with us and dispose it at no cost (if it is 1 or 2 bags) or we can in most cases put it on the curb for the yard waste to collect. Especially when there are several bags filled to the top that weigh up to and over 100 pounds. On one home we literally had 89 (50 Gallon 3 mil bags) filled to the tops.

Now you may ask: How often should I have my gutters cleaned?

It depends on the surroundings, if your home is tucked underneath trees like pine, oak, camphor, maple or any other tree that sheds a lot then I recommend every 3 to 4 months. If you have neighbors with those same trees I would say 1 to 2 times a year. When you get a chance to, during a heavy rain try and look at the flow of the downspouts and check for any spilling over on the main horizontal runs and address them pretty quickly.

What else could happen with gutters that are not flowing as they should? Well, you can get wet rot to the fascia, water backing up over the flashing into the house or porch, you can also create a perfect place for subterranean termites to get moisture for their mud tubes they build while they snack on wood that is behind the stucco, also a gutter that is clogged can cause rain water to pour over the ends or corners and cause erosion in the direct spot where the water lands.

What is the cost? The cost varies from several factors like: Type of roof, height, amount of debris, is there plants and trees growing in the gutters, the length span of the system, space between the roof and gutter (accessibility) (YES I have seen gutters with less than an inch of space with a splash guard) very very time consuming any blockage that needs extraction and other factors. The cost starts at our minimum fee of 250.00 and goes up. Some may charge less, I have seen the work they do too and it shows with the price because I am there after the next rainstorm finishing and fixing their work.

We only do work one way. High quality, correctly and we do not mislead or lie to make more money. Some are in business to make more money. I started my business also to earn a good living but what sparked me into it was seeing all the horror stories and  absolutely terrible contractors of all trades ripping off homeowners and other entities. I took care of homeowners when I worked for someone else before I started Tropical Roof and Exterior and I took my work ethic away from that sinking ship and built my own ship that is water tight and the wind in our sails is strong.


Thanks for reading,  Jeffrey H Worth President of Tropical Roof and Exterior Cleaning Systems and USCG Licensed Nautical Captain and owner of 1197FISHINGADVENTURES

2019 is here, and so are a lot of newbie start-ups. So just be careful who you choose.

So again, it has been a bit since I posted my last blog.  We have been very blessed to have the great clients we have had for 2 decades as well as all the new clients just from 2018. We now have over 4800 clients who use us and refuse to use anyone else because they have been burned by pretty much every other cleaning company. What I do not understand is, how some of them are still in business and then I came to the conclusion that those burn and turn cleaning companies spend as much in advertising as John Morgan does. And 20 years as a business owner I have learned one simple fact. Those who advertise the most have the least amount of repeat business and do mediocre work with the only goal of sell it, clean it, collect payment and ignore the concerns or complaints, I know almost all of them but I will not be the one to call them out. So they have to keep on putting out ads to keep business rolling in. We have not advertised in nearly 8 years. Not 1 dime spent on it. We get so many referrals from so many people, businesses, several roofing companies, even a few other cleaning companies like ours refer us to do jobs that are beyond their capability or they do not do roofs. We are “THE” company that does not leave you hanging, we are always transparent, we never lie or deceive to get a sale ever… nor will we ever. If a consumer does not like our price or chooses another company then that is their right. Never have I called and pushed one person in 20 years, no reason to. I cannot stand a pushy salesperson and don’t care much for solicitors. So I treat everyone the way I prefer to be treated. A lot of times, they call us next go round anyways because the last company left a disaster or broke all the promises they made to get the job in the first place. It is so common, especially in an unregulated easy to start but hard to stay in “business” business like roof cleaning and pressure washing to get a so called “professional” who has been doing it for a few months or even weeks at your home for you to only find out that they have absolutely no clue what they are doing. I see them every day come and go. They get in and poof they are gone with a trail of destruction left in their path, ruining for the ones who have been here and that really know what they are doing. Most common cause, it is always the price. Not everyone goes with the lowest, those people understand fully: you get what you pay for!

Do not get me wrong, the goal in any business is to make it profitable and make a living with it. However, I was taught by father a General Contractor and Co-Founder of CMS (Computerized Monitoring Systems) a sub station for monitoring security systems in Longwood, longtime family friend Glenn Brazier (former CEO and founder of C&A systems) an alarm company and my Uncle Rick who is the Founder and CEO of St.Worth Container Corporation in Ontario California of over 37 years. This is what they told me and what I base my business ethic off of. If you are in business to just make money you have already set your self up for failure and most likely a lot of headache and legal troubles. Look at some of the biggest schemes in our modern day. Enron, Samuel Israel, Marc Dreier, Kenneth Lay, Scott Rothstein, Tom Petters, Bernie Ebbers and most infamous Madoff. Those may be huge examples but when you run a business and greed becomes your creed then it is over before it began and maybe they have remorse but I doubt it. There are so many small businesses who deceive the consumers by telling them one thing and delivering another, getting the payment… then… getting the call to come fix the issues but no response. A lot of them are just a few hundred dollars and people will dismiss it and move on, but on jobs that involve a lot more capital. Well that is where all the stress and legal stuff starts that could have been avoided by due diligence and reading the fine print.

In the roof and exterior cleaning industry there has been in the last I would safely say 10 years, tons of misleading and deceiving information and products. The most pushed is how bleach based cleaning is not good and does not work as well as it kills all your plants and destroys roofs and other surfaces, yet since it’s discovery in 1774 and its recognition as an element in 1808 and in 1910 it became a commercially and widely used biodegradable cleaning product. To this day it is still used to clean, disinfect and sanitize all over the world. Can it kill plants? Yes, if it is applied or used by someone with little to no experience. You will know who those are, the tell tale signs are usually ones that first pull out rolls of plastic and tarps to cover plants even with a ground guy. The problem with plastic covering all your landscape is the minute it is put on the clock starts ticking on the heat and suffocation of those plants and worse it gives the guys who are cleaning a false sense of security so they put down less water and they do not rinse the roofs off thoroughly or even rinse them at all. In 1998 I stopped covering plants and what do ya know!! No more damages, I am not saying I have not had a few over the years but I can say plastic would have not prevented it from happening. French drained gutters that lead to nowhere anyone knows, plants that are near death before we got there and one time we were in the middle of a cleaning job and the areas water pressure shut off due to a busted water main. There are thousands of scenarios and I know them all by instinct from the decades of experience and the thousands of roofs I have cleaned, I have done it all, seen it all and there is nothing out there that I cannot do. I do not even know a roof cleaner out there that can even compare to what I know and do. I have been told by so many that I am the best they have ever seen, I have had articles written on me and have been awarded from corporations, municipalities, cities and other sources for the work I have preformed for them over the years without the slightest issue.

So, back to the promise breakers and cleaning fakers. There are so many WOM products out there. WOM is short for waste of money, stuff you hear on the radio ads, or in infomercials or on some new cleaning company that is “ECO FRIENDLY” when in reality they are eco friendly because all they use is either cold or hot water which factually cleans nothing. I mean do you clean a car without soap? Laundry with just water? Dishes with no detergent? Oh boy! Shower with no soap? C’mon, if you by into the guys who only use hot water then you might as well give the money away and have them do nothing at all because in a few weeks or at best months it will all be worse than it was before. Then there are the Roof A Cide or Roof B Clean jokers out there spraying what they call safe but realistically a toxic, carcinogenic, no smell poison called copper sulfate. Look it up. It bioaccumulates and causes cancer in people and lab rats. To top it off, it does not kill the mildew so it has to be blasted off with high pressure to get a clean result. So your roof is now pitted and destroyed and you have a toxic chemical that is in your yard indefinitely. I tried it before, I have tried every single new product that has come out and none of them worked to safely, without using damaging amounts of pressure to get results that were not even acceptable to even the shadiest contractor. If there was a new product out there that worked as good as sodium hypochlorite then I would use it, but why change to something when what we have been using works perfectly and when used by the right contractor you will not get damaged plants or paint or any kind of mess left behind.

When you are looking to hire a company to clean your property, use a company that has a true good reputation and if someone refers us to you or refers any company to you then use them and STOP SHOPPING AROUND for the best price. You will save yourself A LOT of headache and trouble by not trying to save a few bucks. Look up the business on to see just how old the company is, and if you cannot find them there then avoid using them. They are not even legally allowed to work as a business.

If you are into using someone that knows exactly what they are doing, someone who is transparent with everything, someone who actually will take care of you in the event that a mistake is made and quickly call Tropical Roof and Exterior Cleaning Systems. 407-951-3634 or visit us at

I know it may have been a bit of a rant, but I am tired of hearing about so many home and business owners getting burned by what it seems to be like every single other company out there. Start taking pride in your work and step up your work ethic guys, I can’t clean every single house out there.

Thanks for reading my ranty post!

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Paver Driveways and Paver Pool Decks: Before you sign the contract, consider this.

Over the past decade paver driveways and paver pool decks have become pretty popular. Especially on custom homes and many new subdivisions, making them standard for driveways opposed to concrete. A lot of homeowners see other homes with them, they look fancy and are relatively affordable and decide to get them to replace concrete.

They are great looking and make an average looking home stand out, or a standard pool area look like a vacation oasis. They have many different colors, patterns and designs and are a good substitute for concrete. But! They are very high maintenance. Unlike a concrete driveway that has 2 or 3 joints on average, pavers have hundreds if not thousands of joints depending on the size of the driveway. Those joints create a hot bed for weeds and for heavy mold to build up in a rope like fashion, as we like to refer to the mold as rope.

Concrete driveways and paver driveways will at one point need to be cleaned. The price difference for a standard concrete vs a paver driveway can vary from a 25% to a 50% difference in cost. The pavers are always going to cost more to clean them because they are more time consuming, depending on the extent of weeds in between the pavers and how much mold rope is in the joints. A standard surface cleaner running off of a 6000 psi machine cannot even get all the weeds out and hand picking them is the only option after the wash is completed. Chemically cleaning them, aka softwashing will get the pavers clean just as good but you will still have to do some hand picking as well. The softwash will kill all the mold, mildew and algae, it will also soften up certain weeds and dissolve them for an easy rinse and will last 10 times longer than pressure washing. Using a pressure washer with a wand and a turbo nozzle, fan tip or orbital on pavers will also clean them, but it will blow all the joint sand out creating deeper crevices for pollen, dirt and other debris to settle in the cracks creating the perfect growing grounds for weeds and mold, not to mention that high pressure also pits and fades the pavers as well as the cleaning will only last a few months at best as water is usually the only thing used. Without a cleaning solution containing bleach and algaecide applied afterwards the mold spore is still there, it will in a short time grow back thicker and darker and after repeated cleanings using high pressure techniques it will literally destroy the top layer of pavers to the point that there is nothing that can be done to restore them except for a complete demo and installation of new pavers.

Weather, UV rays and heavy rain by itself will cause erosion, factor in mildew breaking down the material they are made of and you will more than likely regret getting them a year or two later. See, paver stones look good when they are brand new, shiny and solid. They almost look indestructible. Pavers are actually made out of concrete that has a pigment color added during the production of them, some are of very high quality while majority are not.

There are products and techniques out there that will preserve them and there are companies who specialize in paver restoration, sanding and sealing. But just like the roof cleaning and pressure washing industry, paver sealing is unregulated and anyone with a pump sprayer and a can of Thompsons water sealer can seal pavers, but only a handful can and will do it the correct way. There are a lot of clowns, jacks of all trades, handymen out there that will give you a great price and do the job, the first few months, weeks or even days after they may look perfect. Then the white spots show up, the sealer fades or starts peeling or chipping off and the guy who promised you the same results as the guy with the higher price and knowhow is no longer in business or they just ignore your concerns and calls. I see it all the time and hear about it from my customers who decided the guy I referred was too high in price and went with the lowest bid only to have to now pay to have the guy I referred originally to strip, resand and reseal the pavers all over again to get the results they were looking for saving absolutely no money.

Another problem with paver driveways, walkways and pool decks. They are not all built or installed correctly. The coping always shifts due to foot or vehicle traffic, water erosion, poor installation. Dips and low spots start showing up in areas all over, causing standing water to collect and trip hazards. It is caused by poor grading. The ones who are actually installing the pavers are 9 out of 10 just employees getting 10 to 15 per hour by bosses or owners pushing them to be fast so they can move on to the next job and they can care less about the long term quality of the install, that the owner expects them to do so when looking for a company who installs pavers make sure you do your research first.

So what is there to consider before getting pretty pavers: First, the cost of having them cleaned annually because of how porous they are they will get moldy once a year, especially if they are not properly sealed. Second, having them sanded and sealed every 2 years, no matter how good of a job or the quality of the products used they will always need to be stripped, new joint sand put in and new sealer applied. Third, repairs are inevitable with pavers, they separate, get low spots, break, get up rooted by tree roots and many other issues will arise. Fourth, all the weeds and mold in the joints will always be a player when you have pavers.

Simply put, if you want to spend lets say on an average sized pool deck or 4 car driveway 300.00 per year cleaning them if done properly, 2500.00 every 2 years to have them refinished if done properly, 500.00 in repairs done every 5 years if done properly you are looking at spending roughly 1650.00 average per year just to have a paver driveway after the cost of installation. If you have the desire and you do not mind spending money on a parking pad, pavers are the right thing for you. They are beautiful and nice to have, but just like anything nice and to keep it nice is going to mean paying to maintain them.

As for the same sized driveway made of concrete or pool deck with texture and cool deck coating. Annual cost to clean, around 150.00 to 175.00, no high pressure required just a treat and rinse, no sanding or sealing required and sealing is not recommended for concrete surfaces as it will in time make the surface look blotchy and it will be slippery if it is wet. Repairs are usually only if tree roots bust through or push up on the slab. And if you ask me, I think concrete looks ways better as long as it is kept clean and pool decks look better with a textured cool deck. No weeds, no mold rope very low maintenance, no brainer if you want to save money or are on a budget.

Two great alternatives I have seen over the years and I always recommend to my clients over concrete pavers is one, stamped concrete. It has the classy pattern look, you can tough coat them any color and there are no joints for weeds and mold to grow, plus they are very low maintenance. The other is real travertine, get the kind that is smooth and not rough or very pitted. Make sure they underlay it and grade it properly if not doing veneer over an existing slab or deck.

I clean around 100 or more paver driveways and pool decks a year alone, majority of my clients always say they regret getting pavers and a few have even had the pavers taken out and went back to traditional cool deck pool decks or concrete driveways. They all pretty much said that they were tired of dealing with them. Hence the nickname for pavers “stones of regret”.

Hope this helps you if you are planning of getting pavers, not all companies who install them do shoddy work and pavers can and will add curb appeal and value to your home as long as they are kept maintained and installed properly.

Thanks for reading!


Skylight cleaning, why some roof cleaning companies do not clean them?

I notice a lot of things, I am very observant when looking around while working whether I am driving or up on a roof. I have noticed several times that the roof next door was cleaned, no big deal. Except the skylights are still black and moldy. You have to be kidding right? No I am not kidding. That is just a lazy slacker move from some hack.

If I am on a roof and the skylights are up there, which they will be if the home has them then it is part of the roof cleaning, just like the fascia or drip edge. They are part of the roof system and should be cleaned along with the roofing material.

When hiring a roof cleaning contractor and you have skylights, ask them if they clean them, or just have them clean them. It adds no extra time to the job and makes for a beautiful finish. The reason I think some guys do not clean them, is that they don’t rinse the roof off. If you spray chemical on the glass and leave it, it leaves a white salty sparkly haze. The over spray gets on the skylights and the mildew hides it from the inside so you the homeowner are none the wiser. If they had to rinse the skylights then that means they would have to do the whole section of roof that the skylight is on. What happens if they rinse just a section? It will leave a clearly visible area that does not have chemical residue and will look different from the rest of the field until it rains and these guys want to get the check and head out after going over the roof with the homeowner post inspection.

So just food for thought, if you have them. Make them clean them while they are up there and remember, always rinse the roof or it is not a roof cleaning it is then just a chemical application.

One thing I want to add to this blog, I am going to post 2 photos below. These are the biggest DO NOT LET ANYONE DO to your roof scenes. Surface cleaners are for driveways and sidewalks not roofs and high pressure wand fan tips are for…. well nothing. They are obsolete with the technology and products we have available today. Softwashing roofs is the only way and the right way. One guy has a rain suit on, no boots and slowly removing half the granules and ended the life of that shingle roof. The other is wearing shorts, tennis shoes and taking off the top layer of color and coating and pitting the tile roof for an even faster and more dense mildew regrowth and causing water intrusion. If you see this, DO NOT HIRE or you will be paying for costly repairs or a new roof.

Thanks for reading!


check out my website at roof cleaning, roof cleaning orlando, florida roof cleaning, orlando pressure washing, orlando pressure cleaning for more information


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Why is covering landscape with plastic more damaging than not covering?

I was thinking the other day I forgot a very important topic, it has actually been lingering in my head for the past 5 or 6 years to write this. Well, tonight I will give you a clear and thorough explaination why covering landscape with plastic causes more damage than you may think.

If you know me, you know I clean A LOT of roofs, around 600 residential roofs a year on average myself with my full time helper. Every single day I pull my rig out, there are at least 2 or 3 or more roofs scheduled. Big, small, pitchy, flat, covered in piles of leaves, some are mild, some are not even moldy at all and some…. well some are so black that we try and guess the original color before I spray it. Roof cleaning is second nature to me, there is not a roof I cannot clean, I actually have roof cleaning contractors contact me from all over the globe for advise. They see me on forums, and hear about my simplistic system and technique. 10k sqft barrel tile roof, 2 hours max. Others 2 days!! I have it down to an absolute science without a doubt.

Well, back to the topic. Of those 600 roofs per year, I have maybe 1 or 2 plant issues and these issues are almost every single time unavoidable no matter what. Like for instance, French drained gutter systems on a 8 to 10 thousand sqft tile roof that all collect in 1 area at the roots of a hedgeline or in the middle of the yard of St. Augustine grass during a dry period without adequet rain. There is the home with horrible water pressure and weak neglected landscape, the shrubs that were already dead before we got there (I take photos of all of it for my records before I even mix my tanks) or one of my favorites – THE ROOF NEXT DOOR GETS CLEANED AND THOSE GUYS KILLED BOTH HOMES PLANTS. Yes, it has happened and I was able to prove and explain and win my side of the issue. Well, to say that I have not used 1 inch of plastic to cover plants since 2001 after using plastic for 3 years before with nearly zero plant damages that is the honest truth. I use plastic for a few reasons, mostly to protect coi ponds or stained wood and that is pretty much it.

Why do I not use plastic then? Prior to 2001 when safe non pressure roof cleaning was becoming the new thing and pressure washing roofs was proven to be highly damaging to all roof types. The chemical was known to burn or even kill plants and grass, so the best solution at the time was simple, buy rolls of plastic and cover everything up that should solve it, right? Well, not exactly. I was still getting plant damages, actually more plant damages than before. So, we tried using fertilizers, plant enhancers, miracle grow yada yada yada….. Still same issues, I was about to jump ship and do something else for a living, I hate complaints and confrontation. I really hated paying for and replacing all those plants and areas of grass too.

Revelation!! or my oh my gosh moment.. Sometime in 2001 right after 9/11 I was cleaning a tile roof in the Longwood Markham Woods area close to home. It was around December and the air temp was in the 60’s sunny and a light breeze. As I was finishing up, my helper and I were doing our usual rinsing off the plastic and pulling it off the landscape. One row of azeleas was the moment, as I pulled off the plastic I felt this burst of humid heat hit me in the face like opening an oven. Remember it is 60 out and for Florida, that is a cool crisp day, but under that plastic is had to be 120 to 140 degrees maybe. Then I thought, you know, I am going to come back later and look at these plants. Two days go by and I go back to that house and drive by, the whole shrub line was smoked, not a single green leaf. All the leaves were brown from top to bottom front to back. That is when it hit me, covering the landscape with plastic is the culprit. I knew in my heart it was. So the following week after that I decided to not cover anymore, I put down more water and rinsed 6 feet up the roof on roofs without gutters and plants in the direct drip line. Just like that, no more plant damages or atleast 90% of the time no damages. The company I worked for insisted I still need to cover plants, I of course didn’t listen. But! I had successfully become the only tech out of them all with no plant damage and 3 consecutive employee of the years were mine before I went off and took the jump to start my own business.

I always get asked if I cover plants, I just simply say no and I explain why. After I clean their roof and they see no damages to anything the words spreads fast and I get whole neighborhoods on lockdown.

BELOW IS A BIG NO NO!! This is the way you cook plants.


Now, why does plastic kill plants? Simple, it cooks them and it gives the cleaning techs a false sense of security. The reason it cooks or suffocates them is because it only takes 10 to 15 minutes in the Florida sun even if it is 50 degrees outside to make the temperature under the plastic to double or even triple. Plants have to breathe too, just imagine if you were wrapped in plastic but you still could breathe and it was sunny and 50 degrees outside. You know you will start sweating within a minute or two and after 10 you will probably be close to passing out if you have not already and someone is doing chest compressions on you. Plants, they are living organisms too. Greenhouse effect on them is no good.

Over the years I have found out these tips and tricks that work. First, don’t spray hot mixes you don’t need to no matter how black the roof is. Some roof cleaning guys think that it works faster, it doesn’t. The hotter the mix the faster it dries up and cannot dwell long enough to effectively kill the mildew and it takes more to dilute. The lighter but not too light works better, too light you will be there all day cleaning 1 roof chasing brown spots and cussing like a sailor. The more water in the mix, the better the spread and it will not dry up as quickly. Stay away from surfactants as well, it sticks to the plants (as in the name surfactant) and does nothing to help clean the roof what so ever, have not used it in ages. Just algaecide and fungicide bleach and water. I use normally a stern 50/50 mix give or take, it almost always cleans up in one coat. Another tip, do not flood the roof or spray heavy, just a nice light even coat. The less chemical you put down, the easier it is to dilute it to absolute nothing. Stay away from air compressed setups and roller pumps. I prefer shurflo 12 volt pumps, 20 years and millions of square foot of roof can’t be wrong, and they are highly reliable and efficient, easy to swap and last about 24 months as long as you flush them out everyday.

Second tip, THINK!! If you just sprayed a 2500 sqft shingle roof with 25 gallons of 50% mix while your ground guy is down there rinsing drip and overspray, then you rinse the roof off until everything coming off of it goes from brown to crystal clear then you are 100% good. If you just finished rinsing and you see any yellow or brownish color coming off onto to drip edge, you did not rinse good enough. Note: most plants can withstand the chemical on the for over 30 minutes if the mix isn’t a hot one except for certain plants like azeleas, hibiscus, bougainvillea, impatiens, flowers like impatiens and most of all the one and only topiaries which I assume cannot withstand any kind of cleaner for more than a few seconds, so I keep my ground guy focused on them if they are present.

Third, make sure you have a ground guy that his or her only task while you are spraying is keeping everything rinsed off til the drip stops. AND PLEASE do not use those lame multi setting water wands that give you 8 options, they do not put out adequate water pressure. Use only brass y-valves and make it rain on the plants, get in the spray zone and soak them. If the roof is guttered then their job is a lot easier, they are just getting light overspray, that is if the spray tech knows how to edge in a roof without a banana whama 6 foot wand with a bend on the end LOL. I use a 12″ wand always have and always will, most versitile and you get better coverage with a wide fan tip opposed to a narrow fan or even worse a flood technique stream tip.

Fourth, rinse off the roof when you are done. Don’t depend on the rain unless the rain is pouring down and you are phsically there watching it.  The thing to remember is that you have to keep in mind how much chemical you used and to put down enough water to ensure that what you sprayed is diluted down to the consistancy of water. For example if you take 1 gallon of 50% and you put down 25 gallons of water then the mix is so diluted it is impossible to kill any plants.

Guttered roofs, always bag the downspouts if they are not French drained, most French drains go down deep enough that it will not effect any landscape whatsoever.

I hope this information helps you understand more why you should not and whoever you hire to clean your roof should not use plastic or tarps to cover plants. Remember this, Rookies and Newbies as well as big companies use plastic, so that is if there is plant damage they will just tell you that it is not their responsibility since they did infact cover them. I have a plant guarantee that in the event there is damage, I will personally pay or come out and replace them no questions asked. I have done that 4 or 5 times since I have been in business out of the thousands of roofs I have cleaned.

check out my website at roof cleaning, roof cleaning orlando, florida roof cleaning, orlando pressure washing, orlando pressure cleaning for more information.
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Roof cleaning, after 20 years what I have experienced and learned.

I have officially been in this industry for over 20 years, my how time does fly! Seems like not so long ago I was just a water guy helping lead techs at the company I earned my bachelors degree in roof cleaning at, now I hold a doctorate in roof cleaning and exterior cleaning if there ever was one as well as have my own practice since 2001 lol.

When I was a kid, I was always taught. If you have no clue what you are doing, learn how to or find another path. I mastered roof cleaning at the age of 18 and there is not a roof I have been on that I was not able to clean successfully. To give you a rough idea on the number of roofs I have cleaned since I started, 25,000 or more myself. Over 100 million sqft of just roofing from 12/12 pitch shingle to flat membrane roofs, Brazilian clay, Italian Glazed, Large and Small profile barrel tile, 3 tab shingle, flat concrete tile, cedar shake, slate, metal, architectural and now some solar panel roofs as they are starting to show up on the radars in the roofing and roof cleaning industry. I learned how to before starting my business instead of jumping the gun and using people’s homes as testing grounds, I see a lot of newbie cleaners on social media forums getting the worst advise and buying the worst equipment every day falling for the greed of suppliers and chemical gurus. I am going to go over some of the stuff I have seen lately and over the past 2 decades. If you are a new roof cleaning business owner and have been duped into these products I am not bashing you for buying into those, only advise I give is good advise and I could not do a bad job if I tried. That is why I am so successful in this business without spending 1 cent on advertising and I never try and push a sale when a cheap shopper looking for the lowest price and not the best quality, because I always know my schedule will be full and the weeks end revenue is better than most companies running 5 trucks week after week. It is just me and my helper Ben who has been with me for 6 years now and my wife Danelle who does all sales and book keeping.

I guess if I was to start on a topic it would have to be cleaning products. This one is simple, the only product that works effectively, efficiently, safely, safe on plants (only if the person applying it knows what they are doing) and will prevent the roof from regrowth of mildew and algae without damaging the roof, longer than any other product out there that has ever existed and will ever exist unless of course someone like Elon Musk invents some new product through space age technology is bleach based aka chlorine based products.

I know some of you may be thinking “OH MY” chlorine!! that is some harsh stuff!! Well by itself it is pretty harsh, but when you know how to mix it into the correct water/chlorine ratio which should never exceed 50/50 on 95% of all roofing materials then you factor in the low amount that is applied plus the amount of water used to rinse the roof off, the chlorine becomes more like water. There are a lot of roof cleaning companies who spray hot, don’t rinse roofs and tell you to wait for rain who massacre landscape and grass every single day without a care in the world. The gypsys is what we call them. Those are the ones who give roof cleaners a bad name and they are the ones who possess people into either destroying thier roof by using high pressure or gimmick so called ” alternative roof cleaning products ” that I know for a fact do not work at all, are overpriced, need to be blasted off using a pressure washer which totally defies the whole concept of cleaning a roof without destroying it, to make it even worse. The roof will be back to black in 6 months, so another roof beat down is due and usually by then a shingle roof is smoked and a tile roof is so pitted and faded that it is doomed or will need serious repairs soon after.

The number one product I hear more homeowners say they tried and failed and at $30.00 a gallon is “spray and forget” or as we in the industry call it “pray and forget” or “Buy and Regret”. To coat a 2000 sqft shingle roof with S & F you will need about 35 gallons which will equal $1050.00 plus your time and safety and the roof will still look black or you can hire an experienced highly trained roof cleaner for around $500.00 you do the math.  Another one that I have tried, btw…. I have tried and tested every single product that exists on this planet over the last 2 decades in the hopes that there is a better alternative to bleach that cleans safely without scrubbing or using 4000 pounds of pressure to clean it.  So this one is one of the most laughable products I have ever witnessed, I have been to a product demonstration for it and when I watched them apply it and then proceed to fan tip it off with a pressure washer I pretty much rolled my eyes as granules from the shingles were pelting everything and everyone within 100 feet of the tip of that wand I literally got in my truck and drove home, it was not a waste of time because I learned that it too did not work and for the price they tried to tell me I would need to fork over to be an applicator of this product was around $30,000 plus renewals and I had to pay for the product at $15 or $25 per gallon for cheap useless for roof cleaning, copper sulfate which is also highly toxic and scentless full of carcinogens. This product is called Roof A Cide, we in the industry call consumers who have used roof cleaners who apply it “roof a cide victims” and from the many homeowners I have met who have used it absolutely hated it, and the roof of thier home has a weird feel to it and a weird pattern of granule loss and regrowth pattern. That process is also so over priced that a 2000 sqft shingle roof will cost you 3000 dollars with a promise of a bogus warranty with paragraphs of fine print, pretty much they take you for your money.

Here is list of what does not work at all for roof cleaning without the use of high damaging pressure. Roof shampoo, wet and forget, roof a cide, spray and forget, OX cleaners, and simix.

Best advise is to use a company preferrably one who is an independant roof cleaning contractor that uses bleach based products, why do I recommend independant roof cleaners is that it is usually the owner of the business and usually in that case they will do a far superior job than a company who sends out random short term employees. Lets face it, roof cleaning a dangerous, dirty and sometimes a not so fun job and for a person who is paid 15.00 per hour or less to do it will not take as much pride as someone whos reputation is on the line and who is definately paid a lot more.

Next topic is looking at a paticular company to hire, ones that spend thousands a month on advertising usually cannot keep a customer. I have well over a few thousand customers that use me over and over for cleaning everything from roofs, exteriors, screen enclosures, driveways and sidewalks, walls, fences etc… Repeat and referral business is us, we do have a website and signs on our rigs and trucks but I get maybe 2 jobs a year from the signs, I get another 250 to 300 from word of mouth. I kept my business small for all these years with the ability to grow and run several rigs, but like the old saying is the bigger they get the lower the quality gets no matter how hard or how you try. A good roof cleaning tech is a diamond in the rough. They are so hard to find that in 20 years I found 1, yes 1 that I could trust to go out and do a good job without stressing that he is goofing off or botching my jobs. Unfortunately he has had knee and shoulder problems from sports when he was younger and needed a more laid back job that is less physically intensive so I was back to full time lead with a ground guy.

Now a multi truck company is not a sign that they do bad work, 2 good friends of mine own multi truck cleaning businesses. Josh Snider who owns Semper Fi Pressure washing and Ryan Wilkins who owns beacon roof cleaning both run tight ships and do extremely fantastic work as well as keep good techs on board. I have tried to hire and grow once and had 2 rigs running with a 3rd on plan but I guess I am a worry wart and in 2008 business got ambushed by the economy and I was back to 1 truck full time and 1 on standby, also I wanted to make sure at the time my guys had steady work. The task of keeping up with everything from employees, trucks, scheduling, sales, payroll, taxes, overhead, insurance, workers comp etc…. you know the good stuff… the stuff that keeps it flowing correctly was so costly that I was making less, working more with 3 rigs than I do with 1 rig, and I don’t mind going out and doing the work at all, as a matter of fact I absolutely love cleaning roofs, gutters and exteriors but driveways and screen enclosures not so much but I still am too good at it that it affords me to live the life I live, put my kids in private school, no debt, good insurance, I get to fish all over the world on some of the finest boats, I am a licensed USCG Master Captain and a professional tournament angler salt and freshwater. My main focus is and always has been my wife and kids, so I went back to 1 rig and work a schedule to my liking so that I can spend more time with them and more time on the water without the thought in the back of my mind, are my guys going to show up on Monday? Are they doing the job like I would? There were too many questions in my head to be stress free and I had to make it to where I was stress free or at least live with a lot less of it.

Now for the equipment I use, my system has been perfected over the years. I have it down to a science to where my cleaning rig is so dependable that it cannot leave me stranded on a job to where I cannot finish it. It cannot and does not leak, it is easily fixed, there are no unnecessary gauges, lights, switches and only has 2 valves for sending and 2 valves for flushing. I have used this same set up for the last 8 years and every single job is done without a hitch. I have cleaned apartment complexes with 40 buildings just me and my helper in 7 days with it. I have cleaned entire shopping plazas, malls, 8 story buildings with it, I built the rig myself so in all I am about $10,000 in it including all the hoses, replacement and spare parts, tools, 2 machines, 2 pumps, wands, ladders, safety gear etc…

I see guys spending 30, 40, 50 grand and up on a new rig that does nothing but break all the time, leaks chemical and costs them money and time, delays on jobs, reschedules all the things that you do not want that make you lose on revenue. I see it all the time on forums, buying expensive products that are useless or not needed, using high output pumps that break every other month and these pumps pour out so much chemical it is overkill and the ground guy cannot even keep up, hot water setups for jobs that only require cold water setups. I have never used a hot water setup in 20 years. They are for cleaning vent hoods in kitchens, heavy grease, gas stations, auto shops not for cleaning residential or commercial exterior jobs during the day. I see guys using surface cleaners on painted pool decks or worse on roofs. The stuff I see out there makes me shake my head and wonder how long they will be around before I see their equipment on craigslist or the social media classifieds sales. Yeah, I am guilty of pondering buying those rigs and parting them out to the right guys I know who may need a hot water set up or extra hose reels or even using them to start a side business cleaning grease traps in kitchens.

Lastly, when you see or choose a company to clean your home and they claim they have done it for so long and did x amount of jobs look at their website or even better social media page for photos, I clean A LOT of roofs. If you go to my facebook page and look at the before and after photos you can view a few thousand alone.

Check credentials, insurance, license and references from people in your own community so you can know better and have peace of mind. Like I have always said, there are a lot of good cleaning guys out there but there are 10 times more shady ones as it is an unregulated industry. Anyone can buy the equipment, not everyone knows how to do it correctly. They are looking for a quick buck on the side so consider doing your research first.


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