How to Clean Slate Roofing

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Are you tired of looking up at what used to be an immaculate representation of engineering greatness, only to be left disappointed? Do you want to treat your slate roof to a well deserved clean? In this article we will give you a clear plan of action to restore your roof to its former glory.

Regular maintenance of your roof is key to ensuring that you maximise its life expectancy and maintain is value. Having a filthy roof leads to premature deterioration of the structural integrity, the colour and the general aesthetic. Depending on the state of your slate, cleaning can range from simply removing a few leaves and twigs to hiring a professional to completely restore your roof.

So how do I get started?

Before throwing buckets of cleaning product your roof, identify what condition your slate roofing is in:

  • Is there a build up of dead leaves?
  • Has your beautiful slate roof become a moss farm?
  • Single out key elements that need to be addressed and go through them one by one.
  • It’s also a great idea to get a professional to inspect it. Having an expert eye to point out potential issues means you are better equipped to tackle the job at hand.

Working around slate roofing requires an element of finesse. Slate shingles aren’t designed to absorb a lot of pressure, and as such can crack and break. For example, walking on the tiles while cleaning them can easily be too much pressure for them to handle. Often the damage from excess pressure can remain hidden until thoroughly inspected by a professional, or when the roof begins to leak.  

High volumes of water shot out with strong velocity from a pressure washer or pressure cleaner can also break the tiles. To clean the tiles, use a ¼ of a cup household cleaner mixed with 3.5 litres of water while gently scrubbing them. Put on some rubber gloves and go through the gutter, removing debris. Keep an eye out for any slate fragments while cleaning the gutter, because this could mean that some of your shingles have broken or delaminated. Again, make sure not to apply to much pressure.

Once you have finished scrubbing the tiles, gently wash it away with a low pressure garden hose. Water that finds its way up and under slates can cause significant damage, including leaks. So be gentle and avoid using unnecessarily harsh chemicals.

How to Clean Slate Roofing | NSW Slate Roofing

What if I have Synthetic Slates?

On many different types of roofs, moss can accrue over time. This is also true for Synthetic slates. This is due to the moss being a type of fungi that thrives on an alkaline based substrate. Whilst the moss usually is only present on the upper surface level of the slates, it has a tenancy overtime to harm the substrate as it produces a type of acid.

After cleaning synthetic slates, it’s important to follow up with a protective coat. This is especially important if over time, the original coat has deteriorated. Failing to do this gives moss and fungi a change to grow in symbiosis with the slates. Preventative measures make sure that down the road, costly repairs and expenses aren’t necessary.

Clean Roof, Clear Mind

Maintenance takes work, but it is worth it. A Slate roof that is well maintained and kept clean will outlive the (roofer?) who installed it. To ensure your roof holds its value aesthetically, structurally and financially, regularly clean the roof and clear the gutters.

With over 30 years of experience, we have installed and repaired an innumerable amount of roofs.  If you would like our professional opinion, simply contact us online or give us a ring on 1300 102 908. We are happy to help!

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