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.

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