Roof Cleaning Cost

How much does it cost to clean a roof?

Over time, a home’s roof is exposed to extreme weather, plants, and other elements, which can lead to a buildup of dirt, chemicals, and debris. Cleaning the roof can remove much of the debris and stop the roof from being weighed down and damaged, which helps the roof last longer and look better.

For this example, we’ll look at the cost of cleaning a standard 1200 square foot roof on a one-story home with a standard 3/4 rafter slope, which averages $250-$300.

Cost breakdown

There is a wide variety of cleaning methods for roofs, many of which depend on the size, location, and type of the roof. The type of cleaning has a big effect on the overall cost of the project:

Type of CleaningProsConsCommon UseCost
Pressure washingFairly quick process

Can damage roof (especially shingles 1)

Doesn’t remove roots of moss or algae

Roofs without moss (only cleaning dirt and debris)$0.15-$0.40 per square foot
Low pressure washing

Gentle

Effective and quick results

More expensive than harsher chemicalsHomes with children and plants$0.30-$0.50 per square foot
Hose and nylon brushEffective in removing dirt and deep stains

Labor intensive

Expensive

Roofs with deep stains and moss$0.70-$1.10 per square foot
Chlorine 2 bleachInexpensive and quick

Can corrode roof pieces and kill plants

Harsh chemical

Homes in remote areas

Quick clean

$0.05-$0.25 per square foot
Sodium hydroxideInexpensive and quick

Harsh chemicals

Corrosive

Homes in remote areas

Quick clean

$0.15-$0.30 per square foot
Pure lemon juice and salt

Natural

Gentle chemicals

Slow to apply and cleanCopper roofs$0.01-$0.15 per square foot


In general, plan to increase the cost by around $0.10 per square foot for each additional story past one story. Roofs that are exceptionally sloped or hard to access can be much harder to clean, which can cause the total price to increase by up to 25%.

In general, prices are fairly similar across all roof materials, although roofs that are more fragile (such as shake 3 shingles 1) can cost slightly more. Not all cleaning methods work well on all types of roof.

Roof typeBest Cleaning MethodReason
Tar and GravelLow pressure washingStops the gravel from moving and being sprayed off the roof
MetalLow pressure washing or lemon juice and saltBoth of them provide gentle results that won’t damage, stain, or scratch the metal
WoodLow pressure washing or hose and nylon brush, depending on the nature of the dirt and grimeLow pressure washing protects the wood while removing small debris, and a hose and nylon brush protects the shingles 1 and is better for deeper grime
TileLow pressure washing or hose and nylon brushBoth remove dirt and grime without damaging the fragile tiles
Asphalt 4Low pressure washingIt can effectively clean the relatively flat and smooth surface effectively

Homes that are in damp areas of located near lots of trees are more susceptible to moss and algae, which can eat away and cause the roof to corrode and become misshapen. To combat moss, the roof needs to be cleaned so that the roots are removed. An anti-moss spray can then be applied. This product normally costs $50-$85, and professionals can spray it for $125-$150. On average, a moss removal spray will protect the roof for six months to one year.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Cleaning gutters averages $0.50-$1.00 per linear foot, or around $90 for an average one-story home with 125-200 feet of gutters.
  • Just like the name states, stain-blocking solution keeps stains from coming back and preserves the look of a recently cleaned roof for longer. The solution costs around $100 to cover the entire roof and can be applied by professionals for around $200-$275 total.
  • After being cleaned, metal roofs can be painted (other roof types should not be painted because it can damage the shingles 1). It costs an average of $2-$3 per square foot to paint a metal roof.
  • In some cases, roof repairs may need to be done before the roof can be cleaned. In other cases, cleaning the roof may bring attention to areas of the roof that need repair. There are a number of reasons that a roof may need to be repaired, including rot, damaged shingles 1 from weather, and sagging from age, but on average it costs $630 to fix a 10’x10’ area of the roof.
  • Using organic roof cleaning solutions instead of bleach and other harsh chemicals can increase total costs by up to 30%.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Although it is possible to clean a roof yourself, professionals have access to stronger cleaning products and tools that make reaching the top of the roof much easier and safer. Professionals are also trained in how to use the chemicals and materials without damaging the roof or putting themselves in danger.
  • Overall, the best time to clean a roof is in the summer months because the roof should be dry and free of dangerous rain or snow. However, if your roof has lots of moss, the best time to clean it and spray is in the fall, winter, or spring, as moss is dormant in the summer and spraying it then would be ineffective.
  • Most roofs come with warranties that last 10-30 years. In some cases, cleaning and minor repairs may be covered under the warranty. Check with your roofing company for specific details.
  • Some roof cleaning companies may offer a discount if you agree to a regular roof cleaning service, such as an annual or semi-annual cleaning.
  • The location of the house also matters. Roofs that are underneath or nearby trees are more susceptible to moss and algae, which means cleaning them might take longer. Similarly, homes near the beach likely have more salt residue. The location can affect the overall price by up to 15%.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.
2 Chlorine: A chemical added to the water in a swimming pool to kill bacteria and microorganisms that can make people sick
3 Shake: A rugged flat piece of wooden construction material with at least one grain-split face, generally made of either redwood or cedar, laid in a series of overlapping rows and used to cover the outside of roofs and walls to protect against weather damage and leaks
4 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads

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

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Alma, GA
-54%
Apopka, FL
+1%
Athens, GA
-9%
Bellevue, WA
+13%
Berryville, AR
-48%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Bothell, WA
-6%
Clovis, CA
-6%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kent, WA
+9%
Los Altos, CA
+41%
Lynnwood, WA
-14%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Miami, FL
+1%
Ocoee, FL
+3%
Opa Locka, FL
-1%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Riverview, FL
-5%
Sebring, FL
-40%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Tampa, FL
-2%

Labor cost in your zip code

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Methodology and sources