Pressure Washing Your Roof in Charlotte, NC
DO NOT replace your roof yet!
McNeil Pressure Washing LLC was at a house in Ballantyne Country Club to wash the driveway recently, and while on the property, we noticed that the house across from the one we cleaned had tarp on their roof. Our customer, Chad said that the neighbors were having their roof replaced and that they were looking to do the same. I noticed that Chad’s roof had a ton of black streaks and the roof looked cooked. I asked him why they were looking to have the roof replaced. He answered, “because it looks terrible and appears to be in bad shape.” I asked if I could get on the roof and take a look at it and he obliged. I looked and did not notice any curled or torn shingles. I offered to wash his roof and he was surprised that it was even an option. I then explained the following information to him.
- The Potential Danger:
The black streaks in the picture is a bacteria called “Gleoecapsa Magma” that essentially works to destroy the shingles of your roof. Gleoecapsa Magma feeds on moisture and calcium carbonate. One website puts it like this, “The buildup of Gloeocaspa magma on residential properties has led to earlier roof replacements, lowered property resale values, insurance companies canceling policies and increased utility costs as the black stained roofing draws in more heat.”
The bacteria eats away at the protective coating on the roof shingles, which is designed to protect the roof from the sun’s UV rays. Once the coating is successfully removed due to the bacteria, the uv rays heat up the roof shingles much quicker. Try touching your roof during the summer here in Charlotte, Nc. It will burn because it is so hot. The shingles take a beating from the sun, which will weaken them and cause them to crumble at the edges, curl up, be torn and very brittle over some time. This, of course, leads to a leaking roof, causing the need for the roof to be replaced. That is what happened at Chad’s neighbor’s house and they were getting their roof replaced. Sometimes, insurance companies will require you to have your roof washed before they replace it to ensure their money is needed. Lucky for Chad, I was there to help.
- The Solution
After Chad and I discussed the above, he was curious about our process for washing his roof. I went on to explain the following to him:
- We will first set up our equipment and ladders on the side of the home that we are starting on. We want to have everything set up and ready to go when we power the soft wash unit on. An experienced contractor will never use a pressure washer to wash your roof.
- Next, we assess the property to identify where the downspouts lead, if there are any creeks around, type of bushes and trees, flowers and other sensitive things around the home. We will water any and all vegetation to ensure that any overspray of chemicals does not harm it. We also will put tarp over sensitive bushes, flowers and nearby gardens. We put an excess of water at every downspout to keep the ground diluted.
- Once the protection is in place, we get to work. We use our soft wash unit that puts out about 70 psi, which is about equivalent to a garden hose. This ensures no damage due to pressure to your roof. We use this to apply a chemical mix of potent Sodium Hypochlorite and a commercial grade surfactant to allow for maximum cling of chemicals to the roof. We may need to walk the roof to apply the chemical depending on the size, shape and pitch of the roof but it is not always possible or necessary to do so.
- After the entire roof is soaked in the mix we create, we allow it to eat away the organic growth of Gleoecapsa Magma. In almost all cases, we do not rinse the roof. This means that the black streaks will turn brown, signaling that the organics have been destroyed. We allow the eventual rain to wash it all away for two reasons. The longer the chemical sits, the better the result. Also, rinsing too soon can risk the potent chemical to run to the ground still active, and has a better chance at ruining vegetation. After it sits on the roof for a bit of time, it loses its potency and when it rinses to the ground, can cause no harm.
After I explained this process to Chad, he was eager for us to perform this for him. We came back about two days later and completed this project for him with fantastic results. When we complete a roof wash, we schedule a follow up visit, usually about four to six weeks later, to ensure everything was washed away properly and to take our “after” pictures. If there is anything that needs to be addressed, we will spot treat and rinse at that time.
Chad was about to receive a multi thousand dollar quote to possibly have his roof replaced, when all he really needed was a good washing to maintain the health of his roof. He saved thousands using us and our expertise. Always hire an experienced professional to work on your home as you never know what other advice they may have. We are not professional roofers and do not know if your roof needs to be replaced or not, but we can tell you if it needs to be treated.
Additional Information: We are not just a company based in Charlotte. We service all the surrounding cities. Huntersville, Nc. Harrisburg, Nc. Waxhaw, Nc. Concord, Nc. That’s to name a few but we travel up to an hour radius of Charlotte to perform our services. We will also travel a bit further upon request but will have to attach an additional traveling fee in such cases.