Your Complete Guide to Roof Washing: Hazards and Best Practices
Roof washing may not be on your priority list for the better part of the year, but it can become necessary at some point in time. There are several factors that may make you want to clean your roof. Energy-efficient roofs are becoming more popular and washing them is necessary to ensure they remain as efficient as possible – algae, soot, dirt, and other residue build-ups could alter the functionality of these roofs.
You may also want to prevent chemical build-up that could damage the roofing membrane, or to prevent the build-up of debris that could form food sources for rodents and birds. Just like any other work at height project, roof washing can be a very dangerous exercise, considering there’s the risk of falling. This guide contains everything you need to know about the hazards and best practices for roof washing. Please read on.
Your insurer may not cover your roof washing if you intend to wash it for aesthetic purposes. However, if washing is necessary to keep the roof as energy efficient as required, the warranty would cover the expenses. Before you begin washing or hiring a professional to do the cleaning, ensure to check the terms of your roof warranty to understand what will and what won’t affect your warranty.
You can consult your manufacturer/installer for requirements or recommendations on how to proceed with the cleaning, including the detergents to use and the type of cleaning brushes to use. Ensure to be more careful when washing since any damage caused could be on you. You may also inquire from your manufacturer/installer if they offer cleaning services.
Are there any regulations that dictate the type of soaps and detergents to be used and how to dispose of the dirty water? You need to check with your local authorities before you begin the exercise. You can obtain consent from the relevant authorities prior.
It’s also important to consider how your washing may affect your surrounding environment. Your actions should be safe for plants and other building structures in your facility, especially if there are any chemicals used.
Most people tend to assume some of the necessary safety precautions, especially those who are hardly familiar with working on the roof. For instance, a worker or homeowner may opt to wash the roof while on the ladder. If this is the case, they may not be able to clean efficiently if they’re to maintain the three points of contact. A ladder may, therefore, not be the better option to use with the cleaning. Instead, you can get on the roof and wash, but ensure to take the necessary precautions.
Proper fall protection, such as fall protection posts, should be in place before you get to the roof to do the cleaning. To prevent any avoidable accidents, ensure to train your workers in the proper use of different fall protection systems.
Also, ensure that only a few personnel are allowed on the roof at any given point to avoid causing too much foot traffic and exceeding the weight capacity of your roof.