Clean Your Roof vs Replace

by | Oct 7, 2022

When it comes to roof maintenance and upkeep, it is difficult to know when to clean your roof, and when to replace. It is not as easy as looking at the carpet and wondering the same thing. With regular cleaning, a roof may last between 20 – 50 years. However, there comes a time when the roof will need to be replaced. How is a homeowner supposed to know which to do: clean or replace? There are a few questions to consider:

  1. How old is my roof? Is it still under warranty?
  2. Is my current roof safe? Have there been leaks or other holes?
  3. How much algae/mold build-up is there and has it penetrated the framing?
  4. Can I afford a new roof at this time? There are several steps involved in replacing a roof and can get very expensive. Just the removal and disposal of the old roof can be costly. New roof costs in Dane County can vary from $6,800 – $13,000 on average.
  5. Is the timing right to replace the roof? A roof replacement is a lengthy process, taking several steps and generating a lot of waste and debris that will need to be hauled away. 


When Should You Clean Your Roof

Signs to look for when it is time to clean our roof include the presence of black streaks on the roof. These are not dirt or soot, but an algae called Gloeocapsa Magma. These are airborne spores that collect on the roof, and can pave the way for lichens, fungus and mold. This algae is also fond of the limestone fillers that are part of many modern asphalt shingles. Fungus and mold growth can lift the shingles away from the backing.

Roof cleaning can also help with other issues that will occur: grime and soot that has collected on the roof over the winter; moss, which holds moisture and can lead to rotting; gutter debris and algae.

For a problem like algae stains and mold growth on the roof, a good soft wash cleaning can extend the life of the roof and is much more economical than roof replacement. The appearance and curb appeal of the roof will be enhanced after years of build-up have been washed away. Removing the growths from the roof help prevent unnecessary damages like loose granules that can cause leaks. You will also avoid potential damages that can come from pressure washing the roof. Pressure washing can damage granules and tear shingles away from the roof.

For a roof that is in the middle of its life, has no structural or leaking issues, but is beginning to show the signs of algae and mold, a good soft washing will revive the appearance of the roof and help prevent damage caused by microorganisms. 


When Should You Replace Your Roof

If you are at the end of the typical lifespan for your roof, or it has sustained visible or structural damage, you may need to consider a roof replacement. 

Installing a new roof has many benefits, including: increasing the value of your home; improving energy efficiency; adding newer technologies (cool and solar roofing); and the peace of mind knowing you have a solid roof over your head for years to come.

Of course, each situation is different and requires consideration of all the elements included above. However, you do not need to be alone in making this decision. Consulting trusted professionals will help any homeowner come to the correct answer. Skyline Softwash experts can visit your home for a free estimate on your roof cleaning. Using drone technology, we can take detailed pictures of your roof, and show you where it should be cleaned or if it is already in good shape. If it does not need cleaning, we’ll tell you! We would also show you any areas that have damage, letting you know it may be time to contact a roof contractor.

Whatever the decision may be, these are some simple guidelines to help along the way. So, whenever you are outside enjoying the Wisconsin weather, maybe take a peak or two at your roof. Any black streaks may be a signal it needs some attention!

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