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What Happens If You Don't Clean Your Roof?

Your rooftop is undoubtedly one of the most important factors of your home. Not only does it provide you with a roof over your head - literally - but it also provides you with much-needed shelter and even improves your home’s curb appeal.

However, roof cleaning is often overlooked and this can have serious consequences, both in terms of aesthetic appeal and structural integrity.

Let’s look a bit closer at why it's important to keep your roof clean, as well as the best ways to do so.

Roofs require regular cleaning with special equipment

Why you need to clean your roof

When it comes to roof cleaning, most people don't think it's necessary. After all, the dirt and grime that accumulates on your roof aren’t always visible from afar.

However, neglecting to clean your roof can lead to serious problems down the road, including mold growth, algae growth, and wood rot, among others.

Prevent shingle damage with clean roofs

Here are a few things that can happen if you don't clean your roof regularly:

1. Your roof will deteriorate prematurely

Your roof is constantly exposed to the elements, which can take a toll on its condition over time. If you don't regularly clean your roof, the dirt and grime will build up and eventually cause the materials to break down prematurely.

This will not only shorten the lifespan of your roof, but it will also make it more likely that you'll need to replace it sooner than expected.

2. You could void your roof's warranty

Most roofs come with a warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship. However, if you don't maintain your roof properly, you could void this warranty.

In order to keep your warranty valid, be sure to follow the manufacturer's cleaning and maintenance recommendations.

3. Your home's appearance will suffer

A dirty roof is one of the first things people notice when they look at a home from the street. If you're trying to sell your home or just want to keep up its curb appeal, regular roof cleaning is a must. Neglecting to clean your roof will make your home look rundown.

More than just dirt

Your roof faces the elements every day while naturally collecting debris and dirt. Although rain is usually enough to clean your roof of most types of dirt, green areas and dark stains are the result of algae stains, moss, and fungus/lichen.

These are much harder to remove and we'll quickly discuss why.


Moss is a real plant, in contrast to algae and lichens. Because of its thin root system. moss cannot exist without moisture. Less exposed areas retain their moisture longer.

In addition to adding to the amount of shade, overhanging tree branches also leave behind debris that moss uses as nourishment. Similar to algae, moss spores can easily be transported throughout communities by wind and animals.


Gloeocapsa magma, or simply GM, is what is usually referred to as dark stains. In damp, chilly, and shaded sections of the roof, GM is a bacterium that feeds on both limestone and asphalt roofing. In the absence of light, GM takes on a blue-green color.

These algae, which can house different sorts of molds, are more likely to be present on the roof's shadowed areas. This is why some roofs only have one side that is discolored.

According to a survey by ARMA (Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing Association), animals or wind are responsible for the movement of these algal spores.

In communities comprising single-family houses, townhomes, and apartment buildings, these spores can quickly spread between rooftops.


Lichens are fungi that coexist with algae, according to the U.S. Forest Service. They are essentially a fungus and algae hybrid.

The branching growth of these organisms has root-like tendrils that reach deeply into the organic, oil basis of the shingle seeking nutrition.

Lichens are difficult to get off the roof, and humidity and rain can make them grow back.

What happens if you don't keep your roof clean?

If you don't maintain your roof, dirt and debris will accumulate on the surface. This can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Reduced lifespan of the roof

  • Reduced energy efficiency

  • Increased risk of leaks and other roof damage

  • Costly roof replacement

In short, not cleaning your roof can have a significant negative impact on your home. It's important to keep it clean in order to protect your investment.

Pros and cons of routine cleaning

Let's look at a few advantages of having a clean roof:


One of the main advantages of roof and gutter cleaning is that you will increase your roof's lifespan and overall appearance. Having a properly maintained roof will also help increase your property value.

Keeping your roof clean will help to keep your warranty valid. Naturally, routine cleaning also removes damages and averts future problems.


When homeowners don't clean their roofs properly, it can lead to shingle granule removal, which might lead to a loss of UV protection. It will enable moss growing in shaded areas, especially during summer months.

It can also lead to unnecessary harm brought on by pressure washing and using different cleaning agents.

How to clean your roof

If you don't clean your roof, dirt and debris will build up over time. This can lead to algae and moss growth, which can cause issues like wood rot, premature aging, and the overall deterioration of your roof.

In addition, rotting leaves and twigs can clog your gutters, leading to water damage.

So to prevent damage caused by algae or moss, or a costly roof replacement in the future, it's essential to keep your roof clean.

Cleaning it yourself

The idea of getting up on a ladder and cleaning your own roof with a pressure washer may not be so appealing. You’ll need to get the right cleaning solution that can eliminate algae and moss growth and spend hours in the sun cleaning stubborn roof stains.

This often means choosing the right biodegradable chemical cleaner to avoid future growth of algae and moss, ensuring that you look after your roofing materials with proper roof care.

Not exactly a very fun idea.

Also keep in mind that some organisms are quite difficult to remove, like lichen that has root-like tentacles penetrating your roof’s shingles and roof tiles. Mold is also very hard to completely eradicate and most people struggle to completely eliminate black and yellow mold stains.

You’ll have to regularly treat your roof to prevent algae, mold, and mildew from regrowing. Cleaning your roof can be very time-consuming for the average homeowner.

Not to mention the fact that cleaning your roof is very dangerous. In fact, it’s ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So unless you are experienced in roof cleaning, it’s best to call in a professional roof cleaner.

Pressure washing your roof to keep it clean

Professional roof cleaning

Working with a company allows you to have your roof cleaned safely and effectively. Your roof will be professionally cleaned, looking good as new and extending its life.

Whereas some roofs require pressure washing, others may need specialized equipment and that’s why it’s important to work with a professional roof cleaning company.

At Roof Cleaning San Antonio, we are a team of professional cleaners who will ensure that you have a well-maintained roof. We’re also fully insured so you are guaranteed professional, reliable roof cleaning services.

Our team of roof cleaning specialists knows how to work on every type of roof surface and they know how to eliminate algae, bacteria, mold, and mildew effectively. All while avoiding any shingle damage or structural damage to your roof.

They can also get rid of stains on your roof - whether your roof is made of tile, wood, metal, asphalt shingles, slate, or any other roofing materials.

At Roof Cleaning San Antonio we take away the need for DIY projects and expensive repairs. Whether you need routine maintenance to keep your roof clean or want to avoid pressure washing and rather use a biodegradable cleaning solution, we've got you covered.


Having a clean roof is essential to the safety and longevity of your home. Without regular maintenance, dirt and debris can build up on the roof leading to water damage or even structural issues.

You should have your roof professionally inspected at least once a year by an experienced contractor who can identify any potential problems before they become expensive repairs.

They can also note any missing shingles, new algae spores, or wood rot, and ensure that your roof has proper airflow.

When it comes to roof cleaning in San Antonio, we’ve got you covered. Call us today for an estimate!

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