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Tile Roof Being CleanedUnfortunately, when you buy a home you don’t receive an owner’s manual along with it.  You’re home is probably one of the most expensive purchases you will make.  The work that you are considering should not be taken lightly.  The decisions that you make here, can cost you or save you a great deal of money.  Protecting and maintaining the roof that protects you, you’re family and you’re possessions should be a primary concern.  Here is some general information for you regarding your roof, from #1 Roof Cleaning, Inc™.

A Tile roof itself is heavy, very heavy.  Normal Tile roofs weigh around 600 to 900 pounds per square (a 10 X 10 foot section).  Ultra light Tile roofing starts out at around 360 pounds per square.  If you really consider that you may have the equivalent of several Semi-Trucks parked on your roof.  Any problems with your roof would be a serious matter.

Examples of a Tile roof cleaned vs. uncleaned.
Examples of a Tile roof cleaned vs. uncleaned.
Tile roof cleaning example of extreme differences.
Tile roof cleaning example of extreme differences.

A tile roof expands as it heats up during the day and contracts at night when it’s cooler.  Your roof also swells when it rains and shrinks when it’s dry.  So, on a daily or seasonal basis your roof does absorb a lot of natural abuse – expanding and contracting, expansions and contractions.  For example: In this situation…  If your house is near trees, the debris from those trees will settle on your roof acting as a sponge collecting all of that moisture as it sits.  This debris will not allow your roof to dry out. In turn will attract moss in the spaces between the Tile’s themselves will dramatically shorten the life or your roof by destroying the integrity of each individual Tile. 

The moss will first cause several hairline cracks along the thin overlapping sections of the Tile.  Those fractures will develop with the help of the moss into actual missing pieces.  Those missing pieces will allow the weather to enter your roofing or sub-roofing.  In some situations, you may not know the extent of the damage that you will encounter until it’s too late.  Dry rot for example would take a long time to expose with a hefty repair bill to correct the error.


This 39 year old tile roof was cleaned showing damage that was covered by moss and debris Tile roof repairs after cleaning the roof.
This 39 year old tile roof was cleaned showing damage that was covered by moss and debris. Tile roof repairs after cleaning the roof.

Pollution, floating pollens, airborne spores and residual debris are a great food source for moss.  All have the destructive capacity of absorbing and holding water. Shaded areas such as overhanging branches, roofing and walls are all perfect breading grounds for moss to grow.  The Northern facing surfaces of roofing generally get the least amount of the sun and in turn will take longer for moisture or dew to evaporate or run off.  The steeper the roof pitch, the more moss will grow. Moss creates an additional problem with its root system by compounding the deterioration process further causing the tile to pit and crack.  Eventually, your roof will just leak and most likely cause damage inside of your home until its repaired or replaced.

Before and After photo's of a 39 year old Tile roof
Before and After photo's of a 39 year old Tile roof

Wind is really not a problem in the Pacific Northwest, unless the roof is constructed improperly.  Most manufacturers have limits of liability on there products if the wind speed is above 50 +/- knots, before the warranties would expire.  If the Tile strips haven’t sealed properly, the winds could cause rain to be driven and penetrate your roof by blowing water under the roofs each individual Tile piece.  A heavy wind could also blow the rain directly under your valleys, flashing, ridge vents, skylights and siding.  The initial construction of your roof or the quality of the roofing product itself is generally the largest considerations here.  In newer built homes, the Tile roofing will have a sub-roofing which would actually end up being the primary moisture barrier that protects you and your belongings.  The integrity of this sub-roofing is more important than the Tile roofing itself. Making the need for continued maintenance and repairs mandatory.  Considering that you have to protect the rubber membrane under the Tile.

Sun on the other hand is a serious threat to your roof.  The sun and its powerful UV radiation can bake the life right out of your roof.  Consider that on a hot summer’s day the roofs temperature can reach as high as 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  The sun will cause the Tile to become uneven very brittle from the heat. 

Consider this example: Lighter colored Tile roofing will keep the home cooler by helping reflect the light along with the heat in the summer sun, and a lighter roof will also be cooler in the winter.  Conversely, a dark colored Tile roof will be warmer under the summer sun and will also be warmer in the winter.  So if you have an opportunity to pick the color of your next roof… Consider that the color of the Tile roofing that you choose, may save you money in you’re Energy Bills.  Air conditioning in the summer or heat in the winter, depending on where you live may help you choose your next roof color. So, with damage done to your Tile roofing, please keep in mind… Once the Tile’s are cracked – there gone for good and so is the protection that they provide. The Tile’s premature aging process begins from brittleness… to cracks… to major chips… to leaking… to repairs… to replacement…


  • Keeping your roof “free of debris” weather it’s a total cleaning or just a periodic loose debris “Tune-up” will make all of the difference and your roof will last much, much longer.
  • Making sure that all of the leaks and seriously chipped and damaged Tile field pieces are replaced on a “as needed” basis will also make your roof last much, much longer.
  • Keeping people off of your roof. Knowing how to walk on Tile roofing especially when the roof is hot and soft in the summer.  Will be the biggest help.
  • Zinc Strips are a good product for fighting moss growth or regrowth, and its natural. If installed properly to your roof, the rain will wash the metallic zinc compounds down the roof and won’t let the moss to grow. Zinc Strips are 3 inches wide (2 inches exposed to the weather) and as long in length as needed.  The tar used to attach the Zinc Strips should not be exposed to the weather.  If you look at your roof and notice existing galvanized vents and flashings… You might notice that under those galvanized (17% Zinc) products there is no moss growing for several feet. The rain dilutes the Zinc Strips the further down the roof it gets.  The Tile roof will look more like a zebra effect overall. Unfortunately, Zinc Strips are unsightly to a Tile roof and Jet Clean™ discourages this product unless installed properly at the original construction of the roof.
  • Treating your Tile roof for moss is “NOT” a good idea or even an option.  It won’t work and it might cause damage to the Tile surface itself.  A “water base” product will not absorb into your roof and will wash away in time, with the rain.  An “oil base” product will dissolve the Tile underlayment.  Not to mention that the oil based product will actually attract floating pollution and pollens to attach to your roof.  It’s Jet Clean™ opinion, that you would be wasting your money having a Tile roof treated.

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Go to ”Technical Information on Moss and Fungus Defined” (boring alert)

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