Roof Cleaning Questions & Answers

1) What are the reasons to remove moss from the roof?

1. Because it can root itself in to the structure and deteriorate your roof. Watch the show life after people, it shows how moss and lykin are the first organisms that start to break down our structures.

2. You may be selling your house and you want it to look nice. A roof cleaning job done right can bring the roof back to looking brand new.

3. Your insurance requires that you do it.

4. So that your neighbors do not have to look at all that moss on your roof and they will know that you are good at maintenance. Piece of mind.

2) What should I look for when getting my 3 bids for my roof cleaning or roof maintenance job?

Good Question!

1.  Make sure the person or company is licensed with the CCB. The Oregon Contractors Board makes it really easy to check. All you have to do is go to this page, http://www.oregon.gov/CCB/  and type in the contractors CCB# where it says contractor search. It will let you know if they are active or not. Plain and simple, if you hire someone who is not licensed, you take all the responsibility. If they get hurt, there is a good chance you will lose more than just your house. CCB#’s require, that’s right REQUIRE, 1 million in liability and an insurance bond, for more than just your piece of mind.

2.  As a roof cleaner or a roof cleaning company, one must be licensed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture if any kind of treatment application is applied. It does not matter what it is, even if its just hand soap that they claim to kill moss, they would still need the license. A good phone # for the DOA to check a license is 503-986-4550.

3.  If they have employees, they will need to show workers compensation on their employees. If they are operating as a sole proprietor and have no help, then they would not need to have workers compensation.

3) What is the fee for roof cleaning?

I bid at around 95.00/hr plus the cost of treatment with a minimum of 390.00 for moss removal, gutter cleaning and treatment. Steeper roofs are a bit more expensive to work on for obvious reasons. I will give you an exact quote for your roof cleaning job. We charge what it takes to run a fully legal company and will match costs with other companies who are on the same playing field and have all of the necessary legalities that it requires. I notice that other companies are usually partially legal. Always make sure you check if the company has an active CCB and an active workers compensation insurance policy if they have employees working for them. I can send all of my credentials with a single email if you wish to see all of my legalities, which is for your piece of mind.

4) What is your methodology? 

Our method is a combination of brushing/low psi pressure washing technique. Sometimes we will brush the entire roof and sometimes we will use low psi washing. Whichever is best for the shingles and depending on which type of moss that you have. Yes I have heard to that pressure washing is bad for the roof, but if someone knows what they are doing and has had lots and lots of experience like I have, it is fine. Any knuckle head could mess up a roof with just about anything. If you are absolutely sure you want us only using brushes, that’s fine, but keep in mind the brush will not remove stains or black algae and a brush can be abrasive if in the wrong hands.  We have been washing roofs for over ten years, and in my expert opinion with over 1000 roofs washed, the low pressure washing is safer and removes less granules then the brush. We would then want to do regular treatments on the roof to keep the roof moss free moving forward while also keeping the roof sealed up and leak tight.

5) Is gutter cleaning included?

Yes!  Unless you have non functioning gutter guards where we would have to charge extra to remove them, clean the gutters and re install them. A good working gutter guard should keep debris out of the gutter and we would include cleaning the tops of the gutter guards off. A lot of times what we will do if you have guards is put as much time into the guards as we would have had we cleaned out the gutters. So we will take off a few of the guards, make sure the spouts are working and clean above the spouts.

6) What about the debris that comes off the roof?

We clean all hard surfaces, if you want you can leave your yard debris can out for piles of moss. We go around the house with the air blower, pressure washer and broom when we are done and will leave it cleaner then when we got there. However, we are not specialized in landscape and bid does not reflect landscape work. We will do landscape work, via rake the needles that came off of the roof and out of the gutters from the grass, dirt, shrubs, bushes etc. but will charge an extra 65.00/hr. Again, just to be CLEAR, the bid reflects cleaning of hard surfaces.

7) How long do you guarantee moss not to return?

I do not guarantee a specific time for Oregon moss not to return. Companies that do that are usually the start ups because they don’t know how it works yet.  We guarantee our work, so if we say that we will apply 12 gallons of treatment, then we will apply 12 gallons of treatment. I have been doing this for 10 years and have learned that if not treated correctly, northwest moss will come back quickly. I would say that if you treat your roof two times a year you should be good, some houses take more then 2 a year but that’s rare. We are having the best result with 2 treatments per year. Some people only need one treatment every 3 years to keep the moss from growing. The key is to keep an eye on your roof and stay ahead of the problem. If you see green, let me know and I will treat it before it turns to moss. It is the customers responsibility to keep an eye on the roof, checking for any signs of green or moss returning.  A roof will turn green under the edges of the shingles before the moss starts to grow, which is an indication that it needs to be treated.

It is OK to have your roof cleaned and treated any time of year, but the months that are best for doing maintenance or treatment only (after we have cleaned your roof) are March through Early July and Late August through early November. Depending on the weather of course.

FYI: All products work about the same and wash off of the roof at about the same time, so it really doesn’t matter what you use as long as it is a registered moss and algae killer. I have tested most of them and have found Wet and Forget to be the most effective and safe. There are products that can be harmful to your roof so please consult a professional and do some research.

The cost for treatment is 50.00 per 3 gallon tank of mixed treatment applied. Most average size homes take 3 tanks or 9 gallons.

8) Some of our downspouts drain directly into our yard, where we grow tomatoes and strawberries. Does the treatment specifically say it’s OK to be on food producing soil?

I have not seen grass or plant life be effected by our treatment, we use a vinegar based organic with all natural ingredients. We spray down the landscape with water to be extra safe. We keep the sprayer close to the roof, do it on non windy days and use the proper sprayers and conditions. Preventative maintenance treatments 2times a year are going to give you the most bang for your buck.  I have never seen any of our treatment options kill any kind of plant life. People sometimes have an idea about certain things that they may use to prevent and kill moss that could cause damage to the petroleum based asphalt shingles. Things like bleach, or laundry detergent can hurt a composition roof.

9) Can you install zinc strips, and do they work?

Yes, we can install them but do not like to. They install with nails, so now you have more nail holes in your roof which are leak hazards.  Zinc strips are ugly, and they do not work. I can send you photos of how they look after being installed. They would look better if you have them installed while your roof is being installed or if you were to get new ridge caps, you could have the zinc strips laid down first before the ridge is put on. If you really want us to install them, they are 2.00 per foot on a non steep roof and 5.00 per foot on a steep roof.

10) what is your availability to work?

We stay about a week to two weeks booked out usually but can sometimes work you in if you need to get something done in a hurry.

11)  Why do you say free estimates on your site for roof cleaning but you charge for some of your roof leak estimates?

Some leak estimates are free and some are not. If it is plainly obvious, what the cause of the leak is from the external roof, then yes the roof leak estimate is free. The problem with bidding leaks is that sometimes I put in a few hours of work just to find the leak, then I find it, and you pass the info to someone else who can beat my price because they didn’t have to do all the work to find the leak. It happened to me the other day where I put in an hour to find that he needed 70 feet of valley metal and he never called me back, so maybe he called around for the cheapest company to do the valley metal.

I would like a chance to talk to you and maybe we could figure out a bid over the phone based on what you know is going on. I will give a more detailed free bid, but I wont come out and put in free work, to figure out the leak. We have a 100% success rate with fixing leaks  We bill for work that we do and or fixing leak hazards. All work is guaranteed and photos will be sent to your email to prove that we did the work.

I am an honest contractor and want you to understand that a free bid for roof cleaning is a lot easier then bidding for a roof leak. Roof leaks are tough, because we could come out and fix some problems that we see on the roof, but the roof still leaks. We would then need to do more work and fix more problems. We could eventually do a whole tear off of the side that the leak is on, lay down some ice and water shield, tar paper and new shingles. That is the worst case scenario, and my philosophy is to start out small and or cheap for you.  But I’m not going to buy your problem, and we will need to charge for whatever work we end up doing. Most of the time, the leaks are obvious and we are able to fix them the first try, but sometimes it takes 3 or 4 trips out. Some leaks can be very tricky.

I just want to be as honest as possible and if you called me to talk about my methods and ethics with roof leaks then you would know that my intentions are good. Thanks for your time.

12)  If we have gutter guards, is gutter cleaning still included in the bid?

It depends. If you have gutter guards that we have to take off, clean the gutters and re install, you should not have them and they are not working. A regular estimate does not include gutter guard removal and re installation. We will do the work but will charge for the extra work. Please let me know that you have gutter guards before I come over to give an estimate. Thanks.

13)  Why should I have permanent roof tie offs installed on to my steep roof?

The permanent tie offs are for these reasons.

1.  Safety for me and my employees.

2.  So that we do not have to poke holes in your roof and reseal the holes every time we are up there.

3.  Its less wear and tear on your ridge caps.

4.  Its less labor in the long run, because we do not have to set a tie off each time we do work.

5.  Its better for you for liability reasons, it shows that you are responsible and care about the safety of your roofing contractor.

My employees and I are always properly tied off and fully safe. If we do multiple jobs on your roof on a regular basis it is a very good idea to have them.  Permanent tie offs are small and not noticeable They are 100.00 each and install under the ridge. I do not recommend that anyone other then us use the tie offs. We are not responsible for the safety of others who use them as there are a lot more safety factors then just having a tie off. If you absolutely do not want them we can do temporary anchors.

14) Can moss be harmful if left alone?

Yes Because it can root itself in to the structure and deteriorate your roof. Remember the show, Life After People? it would show how moss and lykin are the first organisms that start to break down our structures to pave the way for the larger organisms. Also, it retains water, which you don’t want. Roofs are sloped for water, because you want water off of your roof as fast as possible which is why the steeper roofs last a little longer. Also, it can lift and separate shingles. Some of the more worst case scenarios is that it will root into the structure through the shingles and into the wood. In some instances where the roof is too far gone and you may not need a roof cleaning, then we will do an inspection and be very honest with you regarding whether or not you need a new roof. If you do, I know some really good roofing contractors.