Cleaning Tile Roof Using a Pressure Washer

Victor Hayes - The ExpertBy
Power Equipment Expert
Ultimate Washer Inc.
Last Updated: 2013-05-09

If you're a pressure washing professional looking for a new revenue stream and you don't offer roof cleaning, you may want to turn your attention skyward and reconsider. Cleaning tile roof is an often overlooked business opportunity for pressure washing contractors. With so many tools now available to make roof cleaning easier, there are few reasons to not consider roof washing as an added market to help your business grow.

Roofs are made of many materials and the use of clay roof tiles is growing in popularity. Think of the South eastern United States or areas of Spain, Greece, Boca Raton or the Carribean. No matter where the home is, homeowners are pretty much the same. They never think of their roof as something that needs cleaning, only repair. What this means is that as a contractor, the most important (and challenging) job you have is to educate potential clients about the need to safely clean roofs.

Why should I clean my roof?

Home owners are more concerned about leaks and if a roof isn't leaking, it's out of sight, out of mind. The caveat of course is if you ignore something, nature will take its course and eventually, no matter what the material, it will begin to break down. When roofing material isn't cleaned, it allows for the buildup of organic life forms which, if not removed, will eventually compromise the integrity of the roof. I don't know about you, but I would rather clean a roof once or twice a year rather than replace one. A roof is part of your investment and needs to be taken care of.

What can I use to clean a tile roof?

There are different attachments and biodegradable cleaners that can be used effectively in a three step process.

  1. Use a biodegradable cleaning compound
  2. Wash the surface with a pressure washer
  3. Use a hand held wand to detail any remaining areas


Cleaning Tile Roof

If the pressure washing contractor uses the method effectively, the roof should not need to be re-cleaned for approximately two years.

Many roof cleaning contractors prefer using a non-bleach method rather than the harsher bleaching method. These contractors use hot water or steam to successfully clean the roof in conjunction with a wand or pressure washer surface cleaners.

A rotary surface cleaner specifically designed to clean a roof allows operators to clean broader areas much more quickly. A contractor stands on the crown of a roof and lowers the surface cleaner down, then pulls it back up. Because the width of the cleaning area can be up to 25", the roof can be cleaned must faster than using a pressure washer with a yellow nozzle.

Always observe proper safety procedures when cleaning a roof and if you have employees, you must follow regulations created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA provides details on the components of both systems and employers are advised to look into applicable regulations.

Overall, pressure washing contractors, particularly those living in humid areas, can find ample work cleaning roofs. If you haven't considered offering this service, you may want to consider branching out and reaching a new customer base.


The publisher of these pages is in no way responsible for any damage caused to you, your pressure washer, anyone else, your property, or anyone else's property by trying to implement or by successfully implementing the above-mentioned performance and services.


  1. How to Pressure Wash Your Roof — Ask the Builder
  2. How to Clean Your Tile Roof — Canyon State Roofing