Is DIY Roof Cleaning Safe?

DIY Roof Cleaning


Roof maintenance is a fundamental part of homeownership, but the question often arises – is it safe to do DIY Roof Cleaning yourself, specifically when it comes to soft washing your roof?

In this article, we will explore the risks associated with DIY soft washing, provide real-life examples from within the USA, and delve into different soft washing methods that people have employed.

Understanding Soft Wash Roof Cleaning

What is Soft Washing?

Soft washing is an alternative cleaning method to pressure washing that utilizes low pressure and specialized soft washing chemical solutions to safely remove mildew, bacteria, algae, and other organic stains from roofs and other building exteriors.

Benefits of Soft Washing

Soft washing extends the lifespan of your roof by eliminating harmful bacteria and algae that can cause premature deterioration. It’s also environmentally friendly and far less potential for damaging surfaces, compared to traditional pressure washing.

DIY Soft Washing Methods

Common DIY Techniques

Technique 1: Low-Pressure Chemical Cleaning

DIY Roof Cleaning involves the use of bleach or sodium hypochlorite combined with a surfactant and/or soap. The cleaning solution is mixed at a predetermined ratio and applied using a low-pressure spray, effectively killing moss, algae, and lichens. Application method is usually a hand pump sprayer or something similar.  For larger square footage applications, a down streaming setup can be used.

Plus/Delta: This is effective in removing tough stains. However, improper handling/use of the application equipment and/or chemical ratios can lead to damage of the roof and/or landscaping. There can also be serious health risks.

Technique 2: Eco-friendly Chemical Application

This technique employs using biodegradable cleaning chemicals that are safer for the environment and the user.

Plus/Delta: Environmentally friendly and safe to use. However, it may not be as effective against stubborn stains and may require multiple applications to initially remove the contaminant. Along with having to the chemical be applied more often.

Real-Life Incidents: The Risks of DIY Soft Washing

Incident 1: Chemical Exposure

A man suffered chemical burns due to mishandling of the cleaning solutions. The chemicals that were used, were incompatible and created a hazardous condition. This highlights the risk of using strong chemicals without proper protection or knowledge.

Incident 2: Slip and Fall Accidents

A homeowner in fell off his roof while trying to soft wash it, resulting in severe injuries. This is an example of the risks of working at heights. And having the knowledge and required equipment to safely execute a roof cleaning.

Plus/Delta Analysis of Each DIY Method

Each method comes with its benefits and drawbacks. Low-pressure chemical cleaning is highly effective but can cause potential harm to the user and the environment. Conversely, eco-friendly soft washing is safer but may require more effort and applications.

Top 5 Most DIYer Ask

  1. Why is my roof still looking dirty after the wash?
  2. Have I damaged my roof shingles?
  3. Are the chemicals harmful to my plants and pets?
  4. How often should I soft wash my roof?
  5. Can I soft wash other parts of my house?

Feedback: What DIYers Wish They Knew

Some DIYers wished they were more aware of the risks associated with chemical handling and the physical dangers of working at height. Others expressed a desire for more information about eco-friendly cleaning options.


DIY soft washing can be a risky endeavor, with potential pitfalls such as chemical exposure and physical injuries. It is crucial to consider these risks and equip yourself with adequate knowledge and safety measures if you decide to go down this path.

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