roof cleaning

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What is the cost of roof cleaning?

The cost of roof cleaning very much depends on the type of roof, the size of the roof and the condition of the roof. In general, you can expect to pay £300 - £600 for a professional roof cleaning company to clean your roof. Two key factors in cost are location, a clean only or clean and seal. 

Roof Coating costs vary in the much same way based on the location of the property and roof size.  The average cost of coating a roof on a property in the UK is between £1,500 and £2,000.  The final price will depend upon similar factors to roof cleaning such as the size of the roof, what it is made from and your postcode. 

Last Updated: October 2022

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What are the factors which affect the cost of roof cleaning in the UK?

The figures given are just to provide a guide, each property has unique features which can affect the final cost and these include:-

  • The size of the roof and the number of pitches
  • The access – if it is difficult then it can increase the length of time taken to do the work and the labour charge
  • The current condition of the roof and whether there is a large accumulation of moss and dirt – this also impacts the time taken and labour charge
  • The type of roof in terms of design
  • The method of cleaning used whether manual scraping which can be time-consuming or power washing
  • Where you live
  • The size of the company you use

How is the roof cleaned?

Professional companies will use a mixture of bespoke tools to manually get rid of the dirt plus pressure washing which can help loosen debris and also provide a final rinse after manual cleaning.  It is always important to employ a reputable firm as using strong pressure washers indiscriminately can actually damage roofing tiles and slates. 

Whilst pressure washers are undoubtedly quicker, always ensure you use professional contractors and be wary of quotes that appear unusually cheap as this can indicate a very fast job that will not be good for the health and condition of your roof.  Damage caused can be hard to spot sometimes unless you have access to the roof yourself and it may not be until some weeks or months have passed that you realise tiles or flashings were damaged during the cleaning process.

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Why clean a roof?

Over time, dirt moss and algae can accumulate on roof tiles particularly if your house is surrounded by trees.  Roofs need to be cleaned surprisingly regularly to help retain their structural integrity.

Algae, fungus, moss and lichen can build up over time eventually causing bacteria to rot away the roof structure and leading to damage to the framework below which is not always visible. Moss in particular is like a sponge and will concentrate water in pockets on the roof ultimately leading to deterioration. Looking after your roof will not only keep your home warm and watertight but will also protect your investment and minimise costly repair bills and a clean roof is very aesthetically pleasing.

What are coatings and sealants?

Roof coatings and sealants are either coloured or clear solutions that are applied to the roof to help seal the tiles or slates usually after they have been cleaned.  Mostly coatings and sealants are used for aesthetic reasons with different shades and colours offered which can alter and enhance the appearance of the roof.  However, some products are used post-cleaning to help protect the roof and strengthen its integrity.  This can help slow down leaks and mould growth as well as the build up of moisture which can destroy the roof’s membranes over time.

A roof coating is generally thicker than paint; it has elastomeric properties that produce a thick film that seals cracks between the flashings, gutters and tiles.  Roof coatings protect the materials from the degradation caused by UV rays from the sun, lying snow, strong wind and water from rainfall.

What are the different types of roof coating?

Roof coatings are specifically manufactured to suit different types of roof materials.  Your roofing specialist will choose the most suitable product to match your roof’s surface.

Acrylic – acrylic offers wonderful properties for roofs including moisture resistance, weather impact resistance, flexibility and oxygen permeability.  Acrylic is also elastomeric with excellent reflective properties to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays. An acrylic coating is often recommended for sloping roofs and is usually one of the most economically priced roof coatings

Silicone – silicone is also a great waterproofing agent and acts as a sealant against both water and air penetration and helps to maintain the roof’s temperature at a constant average.  Silicone coating is more expensive than alternative products but it is not usually necessary to apply a primer as the silicone is thick enough to protect the roof without any additional layers

Asphalt – asphalt coatings tend to be used on roof surfaces that already feature tar or asphalt so popularly, flat roofs.  Asphalt is reflective against the sun’s UV rays and has high water adaptability

Polyurethane – this substance tends to be used on roofs that have high foot traffic so flat roofs usually as the coating protects the surface from abrasive damage

How long can a roof coating last?

No roof coating can last forever but any quality roof coating expertly applied will significantly extend the lifespan of the roof by protecting it thus also protecting the householder’s pocket from costly repairs and a full roof replacement sooner than planned.  On average, most roof coatings will last ten years and their longevity is based partly on where the property is located and the prevailing weather.

When are coatings and sealants usually applied?

Roof cleaning and coating costs in the UK are not cheap even on a small house so it is important to maximise your investment and do the work at the right time of year.  Applying coatings or sealants in cold weather is not usually recommended as they may not cure properly, effectively wasting your money. It is better to do this work in the warmer months.

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Are there any hidden roof cleaning costs?

When budgeting for roof cleaning and coating costs in the UK it is important to remember that once the contractor has access to your roof, he may find damage or defects which were not visible from the ground.  For this reason, it is always worth having your roof inspected on an annual basis to check its integrity and so you don’t have any nasty surprises.  This can be done when the gutters are cleared or when the roof is cleaned.  And when you find a company to clean and seal the roof, only accept a quotation if they have come out and looked at the property first so you can be sure their estimate accurately reflects the condition of the roof at that time.

How can you reduce the maintenance costs associated with cleaning and coating a roof?

Coating products should last anywhere between five and ten years so most householders wouldn’t expect this to be an annual cost.  However, keeping the roof clean and free of dirt and debris can be quite a regular expense.  The temptation is to leave it but the accumulated dirt will only take longer to remove when you do have the roof cleaned and end up costing you more in the long run.  There are some simple steps you can take to help protect your roof from dirt and damage and these include:-

  •         Remove trees that overhang the roof and cause leaf drop, moss and sticky sap residue which all accumulate on the surface and can also cause potential damage from branches.  There are planning rules which surround the removal of any tree so you will need to check this first with your local council.  If you cannot remove a tree or trees then keep the branches trimmed back regularly
  •         Have your roof inspected after storms or bad weather events so that repairs that are not that easy to see from the ground don’t go unmissed
  •         Discuss with your contractor the option of using a different or cheaper roof coating but just remember that coatings are specific to the roofing material so he will only be able to recommend products on this basis

How to get the best price

How to get the best roof cleaning and coating cost in the UK is totally dependent on finding the right company to do the job. 

Always obtain three or four estimates as you are much more likely to

  1. a) Find the right person
  2. b) Find the best price

The best price is not always the cheapest.  By obtaining three or four quotes, you will get a much better feel of the average prices in your area.  A rock bottom rate will stand out and there could be a good reason for that.

Make sure the quotes are comparable i.e. they are fully inclusive so you are comparing like with like.

How to find a good roofing contractor

Try and get a personal recommendation from a friend, neighbour or colleague – you might even see a company working in your road or in the neighbourhood so you can ask the householder yourself about the work.

Local community forums can be a good place to research on social media as most people are usually happy to recommend someone they know.

A contractor should come and out and inspect the job before they quote; whilst there will undoubtedly be an average or standard rate for cleaning and coating work, there could be issues specific to your roof which will alter the price.  Don’t accept a quotation that has not followed a site visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you save money and clean a roof yourself?

Cleaning a single storey roof is probably quite possible for most householders but in the main, most full height roofs are inaccessible without professional ladders and equipment plus there are all the attendant risks of working at height.  The actual job isn’t particularly complicated and doesn’t usually require professional equipment but the deterrent for most homeowners is safe roof access.

Do you need planning permission if you change the colour of your roof?

Some roof coatings are purely cosmetic and designed to change the aesthetic appearance of the roof.  This is not usually a problem providing the colour is within the normal range for a roof.  If however you have a listed property and/or a property is situated within a conservation area then there may be restrictions on altering the appearance of the roof in this way.

Can coating a roof save a roof in poor repair?

Generally, a roof that is in a poor state of repair will not be improved with a coating as these products cannot make up for roof materials that are damaged, beyond their useful life or just no longer weatherproof or watertight.

Do I need to have the roof cleaned before it is coated?

It is sensible to clean the roof first because if it is covered in a layer of dirt, dust and debris then it will be difficult to apply the coating properly and it will probably end up being ineffective and just a waste of money.

I have a new roof, why should it need coating?

It is a common assumption that roof coatings and sealants are for older roofs but in fact, your roofing contractor may recommend a sealant when he has finished the new roof on your house.  A sealant or coating can help make the roof more energy efficient and preserve its integrity.

The cost of roof cleaning and coating will vary across the UK but for many people, it is an essential part of their household maintenance and a good way of preserving a very important part of their home.

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