How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Roof?

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(Water blasting a 1,500-square-foot roof)

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How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Roof?

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Reviewed by Sophia Fennessy. Written by

The roof of any home is continuously exposed to the open air and elements. Therefore, dirt and debris may build up over time, along with marks, stains, mold, and moss. As time goes on, this accumulation of dirt and plant life can lead to serious damage, which is why it is important to have your roof professionally cleaned regularly.

The national average cost to clean a roof is between $450 and $700, with a typical homeowner paying an average of $612 for a pressure wash of a 1,500-square-foot roof.

Cost to Clean a Roof

Roof Cleaning Costs
National average cost$612
Average range$450-$700
Minimum cost$173
Maximum cost$1,326

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Roof Cleaning Cost by Project Range

Chemical clean of a 200-square-foot roof
Average Cost
Water blasting a 1,500-square-foot roof
Soft washing a 1,500-square-foot roof

Roof Cleaning Cost Per Square Foot

Many roof cleaning contractors charge per square foot for a roof cleaning project, so the bigger your roof is, the higher the cleaning costs. In general, expect to pay anywhere from $0.10 and $0.60 per square foot for professional roof cleaning, but the exact price depends on various factors like your location, cleaning company, and type of cleaning.

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Roof Cleaning Prices by Method

When it comes to roof cleaning, there is more than one way it can be done. Roof cleaners use various methods and adjust their approach, depending on the roof’s condition and cleanliness. For example, a roof covered in moss may require a different cleaning method than one that is just a little dirty. The table below shows various roof cleaning methods and average costs:

Roof Cleaning Cost Chart

Roof Cleaning Cost Chart

Roof Cleaning MethodAverage Cost
Roof Blow$0.05-$0.10 per sq.ft.
Zinc Oxide Application$0.05-$0.15 per sq.ft.
Chemical Wash$0.20-$0.30 per sq.ft.
High Pressure$0.20-$0.70 per sq.ft.
Low Pressure$0.30-$0.70 per sq.ft.
Soft Wash$0.30-$0.75 per sq.ft.

Roof Blow Cost

This is the simplest kind of roof cleaning, where a leaf blower or other blowing device is used to blow away any leaves or debris that may have settled on the roof’s surface. It is a good option for general cleaning on homes with lots of trees nearby, but it will not be very effective against stubborn marks or moss. The average cost for a roof blow is $0.05 to $0.10 per square foot.

Zinc Oxide Application Cost

Zinc oxide application is a popular choice on roofs that are prone to growing moss and algae. Zinc is a toxic substance for moss and lichens, preventing them from growing in the first place. Professionals can even apply zinc strips to your roof or dust it with a zinc oxide powder. It is a good choice for very rainy areas where moss grows more easily, but the strips need to be replaced every few years. The average cost for zinc oxide application ranges from $0.05 to $0.15 per square foot.

Chemical Wash Cost

A chemical wash, also known as a non-pressure wash, involves a chemical cleaning solution sprayed onto the roof. The solution may be lye or sodium hydroxide and will kill lichens and algae. Usually, it does not pose much risk to your roof, but the chemicals can damage weak tiles. So, the roof should be thoroughly checked over for weakness before starting this cleaning. It also will not clear away debris, so it is best-suited for mossy roofs. The average cost of a chemical wash is between $0.20 and $0.30 per square foot, making it one of the cheapest options.

Pressure Wash Cost

Pressure washing is the most popular and common form of roof cleaning. It involves using a pressure washer to blast the roof with high-pressure water, getting rid of debris, dirt, stains, and some moss and algae. On the downside, the high-pressure nature of this cleaning method can potentially damage any weak roof tiles or shingles you might have. And, it will not kill moss at the core, so a chemical-based clean may be needed if your roof has a lot of plant life on it. The average cost for this cleaning is between $0.20 and $0.70 per square foot.

Low-pressure Roof Cleaning Cost

A low-pressure roof cleaning is similar to a pressure wash, but it uses gentle chemicals. This cleaning method is more gentle while also being more thorough. It kills moss and algae and rinses away dirt and debris. It will not be quite as effective on stubborn marks and stains, but it is a good choice for an all-over roof clean and will not pose much risk to your roof’s structural integrity. The average cost for low-pressure roof cleaning is between $0.30 and $0.70 per square foot.

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning Cost

The soft wash technique is becoming more popular with homeowners around the world due to its in-depth approach. It is quite similar to a low-pressure clean, using both chemicals and low-pressure rinsing to get results. For a typical soft wash, a diluted bleach solution is first applied to the roof, killing any moss, lichens, or algae, as well as cleaning the roof of bacteria and killing most everything in sight. Then, the roof is rinsed off with water. The average cost for a soft wash roof cleaning ranges from $0.30 to $0.75 per square foot.

Roof Cleaning Cost by Material

Roofs come in a wide range of materials, including metal, wood, and asphalt shingles, and the right form of roof cleaning varies depending on the material. The table below shows the best form of cleaning for each roof, along with average costs:

Roof Cleaning Prices Chart

Roof Cleaning Prices Chart

Type of RoofBest MethodAverage Cost
RubberChemical Wash$0.20-$0.30 per sq.ft.
Tar and GravelChemical Wash$0.20-$0.30 per sq.ft.
WoodLow Pressure$0.30-$0.70 per sq.ft.
SlateLow Pressure$0.30-$0.70 per sq.ft.
MetalPressure Wash$0.20-$0.70 per sq.ft.
Asphalt ShinglesSoft Wash$0.30-$0.75 per sq.ft.
ConcreteSoft Wash$0.30-$0.75 per sq.ft.
TileSoft Wash$0.30-$0.75 per sq.ft.

Rubber Roof Cleaning Cost

Rubber roofs are not very prone to developing moss and lichens, but they can get dirty and stained. So, a simple chemical wash with diluted bleach is usually the best option. This will clear away the marks and leave the rubber membrane looking as good as new, at an average cost of $0.20 to $0.30 a square foot.

Tar and Gravel Roof Cleaning Cost

A tar and gravel roof is also best-suited to a chemical wash that rids moldy spots and mildew patches. Professionals often favor the use of bleach on tar and gravel roofs, and a typical chemical wash costs between $0.20 and $0.30 per square foot.

Wood Roof Cleaning Cost

One of the issues with a wooden roof is that it does not always stand up well to high-pressure blasts of water. The best option is a low-pressure wash that will not risk damaging the roof but still provides a thorough clean. Professionals use specially selected chemical solutions that are gentle to the wood and tough on moss. The average cost ranges from $0.30 to $0.70 a square foot.

Slate Roof Cleaning Cost

With a slate roof, the tiles are quite heavy and sturdy, but a low-pressure wash is still best because individual tiles can easily become dislodged when exposed to high-pressure blasts. The average cost for a low-pressure wash of a slate roof is between $0.30 and $0.70 per square foot.

Cost of Cleaning a Metal Roof

Metal roofs are very strong and resistant, so they can withstand the high-powered blast of a pressure wash. This should remove dirt and debris, as well as ridding your roof of most moss and lichens. The average cost for this kind of metal roof cleaning is between $0.20 and $0.70 a square foot.

Cost to Clean Roof Asphalt Shingles

If you have an asphalt shingle roof, a soft wash is the best option. Asphalt shingles are soft and malleable, so they must be handled with care. A high-pressure wash will usually cause problems. A soft wash cleans the roof without risking damage to the tiles, costing around $0.30 to $0.75 per square foot.

Concrete Roof Cleaning Cost

For a concrete roof, a soft wash is a good choice. Concrete roofs are typically used in wet and rainy places where lots of moss and lichens grow, so you need a chemical solution to get rid of them. Expect to pay between $0.30 and $0.75 a square foot for this cleaning.

Tile Roof Cleaning Cost

Whether you have ceramic or clay tiles, these roofs are delicate and do not stand up well to high-pressure cleanings. The best option is a soft wash that provides a thorough yet gentle clean. The total price for this roof cleaning is between $0.30 and $0.75 per square foot.

Professional Roof Cleaning Man Working

Factors Affecting the Cost to Clean a Roof

Various factors impact the cost of cleaning your roof, starting with its size. Naturally, larger roofs require more time to clean on average, so professionals usually charge per square foot. Expect to pay a higher price if you have a larger-than-average roof.

Another factor impacting the roof cleaning cost is your location and the surrounding environment. If you live in a rainy area, there is a higher chance of algae and moss growing on your roof, so it may require more regular cleaning.

Those who live by the beach may also find that their roof may be regularly damaged by the salty air and needs to be cleaned more often. If you live in an area with lots of trees nearby, leaves and debris are more likely to build up on your roof, which also leads to the need for more frequent cleaning.

The labor costs also vary from one state to another, depending on the general economy and average income in each area. For example, the cost of cleaning a roof in California is different from cleaning a roof in Idaho.

There is also the roofing material to consider. Some materials like wood or tile need to be treated with more delicate care and attention than others.

Roof Moss Removal Cost

Moss is one of the biggest issues for homeowners to worry about on their roofs. It might look harmless in small quantities, but it can grow fast and cause serious damage, adding moisture to your roof that can cause tiles to degrade. It can also potentially grow over into the gutters and block them. Moss even absorbs heat, which can affect how much you spend on energy bills throughout the year. Most forms of roof cleaning incorporate moss removal, such as chemical cleans and soft washes. This means you usually will not pay anything extra for moss removal, as long as you choose the right kind of cleaning. This costs between $0.20 and $0.70 per square foot.

When Should Roof Moss Be Removed

When it comes to moss removal, the sooner, the better. Many experts say that as soon as moss is spotted on a roof in any quantity, call a professional. Others say that tiny amounts of moss are not too urgent, but the longer you leave moss, the more it will grow, especially in rainy areas. It is best to act fast and minimize the risk.

Roof Moss Treatment Cost

Most professional roof cleaners clean moss off the roof during the cleaning process, either through low-pressure cleaning, soft washing, or chemical cleaning. They may also offer to apply a special treatment to prevent the moss from coming back again. This can be a good choice because it minimizes the necessity for repeated cleans in the years ahead. Even though it has an initial cost of about $150 to $250, it can save you money in the long term.

Roof Cleaning and Coating Cost

Some cleaners offer to coat your roof, which provides it with an added layer of protection against the elements and may save money due to fewer cleanings. Coating a roof makes it waterproof, and some coatings make it flame-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and heat-reflective. With all these advantages, a coated roof can last several years longer than a non-coated one. The cost of coating a roof depends on the coating type you choose, ranging from $0.50 up to $5 per square foot.

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Enhancements and Improvement Costs

Stain-blocking Solution

This chemical solution may be applied after the roof has been cleaned to protect the surface against future stains, minimizing the need for future cleans. You can buy a stain-blocking solution or ask your cleaner to provide it, paying about $20 to $30 per gallon. A single gallon covers about 200 - 300 square feet of roof surface.

Roof Painting

Painting a roof can be a good way to prevent the build-up of moss in the future, as well as adding an extra layer of heat insulation to reduce your heating costs throughout the year. The costs for this vary depending on your roof type and size, but prices usually range from $1 to $3 per square foot.

Gutter Cleaning Cost

When cleaning your roof, some companies may also offer to clean your gutters, and if you combine these services, you may be able to negotiate a good discount. Separately, the average cost for gutter cleaning is about $150, but you might work it down to $100 or less by talking with your cleaner.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • If you can find a good-quality roof cleaning company, it is worth sticking with them. Many companies offer discounts for repeat customers.
  • If you notice black streaks on your roof that have been around for a few years or moss that has grown several inches tall, the shingles may be seriously damaged underneath and could require replacing. This is why it is vital to act fast when you see any stains or moss on the roof.
  • If you accidentally get any paint on your roof shingles that needs to be removed, use a regular latex paint stripper and wet rag to quickly wipe it away. If you wait too long and the paint dries, the job can be more difficult, and it may be simpler to replace the affected shingles.
  • The best time to clean a roof is during the summer because the dry and clear conditions make the job easier. However, if you live in a rainy area and have a lot of moss on your roof, you may need to wait to clean it until either the fall, winter, or spring because moss goes dormant during the summer months and is much harder to get rid of.
  • You can clean a roof on your own, but professionals have access to much more effective cleaning products than you can buy in your local hardware store. They also have experience dealing with moss, stains, and more, so it is usually best to call in a pro.
  • Before scheduling a roof cleaning, check the details of your warranty. Most roofs come with warranties of up to 30 years, and professional cleaning may be covered as a part of the policy.
  • You can choose to power wash a roof, and high-pressure washing can be a good choice for getting rid of debris and leaves. But be careful because some materials are not suitable for power washing, like wood and tile.
  • A well-cleaned and properly maintained roof can increase your home’s market value.


  • How much does it cost to clean moss off a roof?

Cleaning moss from a roof usually costs between $0.20 and $0.70 per square foot, depending on the type and amount of cleaning needed.

  • Can I pressure wash my metal roof?

Yes, metal roofs are usually more than strong enough to withstand pressure washing.

  • What is the best time of year to remove moss from the roof?

Moss goes dormant during the summer and then comes alive during the other seasons. So, the best time to remove it is usually during spring or fall.

  • Can you power wash a roof?

It is possible to power wash a roof, as long as your roof is made from a strong enough material to withstand the pressure, such as metal.

  • How often do tile roofs need to be cleaned?

A typical tile roof should be cleaned once a year, on average, but if you live in a place where your roof is exposed to more debris or corrosion, more regular cleaning may be needed.

  • Can I use chlorine to clean my roof?

Yes, a chlorine solution can be used on a roof. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association recommends a 50/50 solution of water and pool chlorine for clearing away algae and lichens.

  • Do you have to clean solar panels on your roof?

This depends on your location. Rainwater usually washes most dirt and debris off solar panels throughout the year, but if you live somewhere with low amounts of rain, solar panels will need to be cleaned regularly. Dirty and stained panels may not produce as much energy as clean ones, so it is wise to check on your panels occasionally to ensure that they are stain-free.

Cost to clean a roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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Cost to clean a roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources