Category Archives: Roof Cleaning

Cedar Roof General Maintenance

 

Cedar_Roof_Restoration_Bellevue

 

cedar roofs are unique

 

There are important factors to consider when planning on doing maintenance for a cedar roof. Cedar roofing requires very particular methods on upkeep that you wouldn’t need to consider on asphalt, tile and other roofing types.

When making decisions on the right service plan, it is crucial to understand how cedar roofs age, how they weather and why shingles buckle,crack and cup. Questions to ask yourself during the deciding phase of the right plan for your cedar roof are:

What is General / Preventative Maintenance ?

If your roof is still in good shape general / preventative maintenance can keep it in that condition. Preventative maintenance at PW&G consists of:

  • An inspection that covers all areas of the roof. Specifically areas where water intrusion is common.[1]
  • A blow off of debris. It is important to keep cedar roofing free from pine needles and leaves as these can seriously damage roofing.
  • Spraying an organic chemical compound to kill any moss and its root system.[2]
  • A check of the gutter system along the roofline and a thorough cleaning when necessary. 

These services can prevent many of the issues that cause cedar roofing to fail. Cracked, cupped and warped boards all start with excess moisture, preventing cedar from breathing. From its installation method and throughout its life cycle cedar must be able to dry off and release excess moisture.

Anything that prevents cedar from breathing is the primary culprit in the majority of all cedar roof failures. In our opinion culprit number 2 would be the excess stress cedar must go through to release that excess moisture and it’s why we are firm proponents of oiling cedar roofs to prolong their lives. 

In summary we have created this short post to help you in making an informed decision about the correct maintenance program for your cedar roof. We hope you have many years of life left in your cedar roofing, as many of these types of roofs are beginning to disappear as a roofing option all throughout Western Washington and the nation. We believe the maintenance required to keep a cedar roof in top shape is a fair exchange for the insulation benefits, the beauty and the appeal cedar roofs give a home.

Reference and Informational Material


 

[1] System components checked during an inspection are: The ridge caps, the field or body of the roof , connections to vent pipes and vent hoods , skylights and areas around chimneys.

[2] Our Preferred Chemical Application for Moss Control 

[3] A really great video by the guys at roof to deck on the care and appeal of cedar roofing. 

[4] The Cedar Bureaus Maintenance Program Manual 

[5] Why Wood Roofs Weather 

[6] How Cedar Roofs are Installed Diagram 

[7] Our Take on Why Cedar Needs Oiling

[8] In All Fairness. Why Cedar Roofs Don’t Need Oiling PDF . You Decide

[9] After the Quest. Decisions on Wood Appearance

 

Index


Roof Cleaning Safety

ROOF CLEANING SAFETY | THE BASICS OF FALL HAZARD

safety-iconSafety is a serious concern when cleaning roofs. Seattle is home to some of the steepest pitch roofs in the nation. When we are doing homes that have heavy moss growth like in the video above , we take every precaution to safely perform the task.In this post we are going to be discussing some of our methods and the tools we use.

Cleaning steep roofs accounts for about 50% of all the jobs PWNG does. We take great pride in having been in business the last 4 years without any safety issues arising. A lot of these techniques were brought into the company by my brother and partner Anthony Saldi.

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COMMON SAFETY TOOLS OF THE ROOF CLEANER 

checklistAnthonys earlier work experience consisted of bridge building and tower installation. Anthony came to PWNG with 15 years experience working safely from heights that at times were 100 feet in the air. He is our lead safety director and our weekly safety meeting coordinator.

The right tools of the trade are indispensable to correctly and safely cleaning steep roofs, never attempt to use a safety device you haven’t been properly trained on. Here are some devices we keep in our arsenal:

 

  • LADDER HOOKS: These hang over the peak of a roof and allow close up cleaning.
  • TOWER HOOKS: When cleaning steep roofs you must have 2 points of attachment. These tower hooks when connected to your Safety Harness help stabilize the user. They also stop the user from accidentally falling anymore than the length of the tower hooks which is typically 18 inches.
  • HARNESSES: Obviously you can’t work that high off the ground without having some sort of fall protection. When considering what brand or style of harness to buy , always think about how the harness is going to be used. All our harnesses come with D-ring hooks installed in the back,front and around the belt loop area. We have many places to attach ourselves to when working high off the ground.
  • CARABINERS AND ROPE GRABS: We have found it quite difficult to clean roofs facing down. The method we developed is to use approved D-ring hooks mounted to 5/8 rope grabs to repel downwards as we are cleaning. 
  • LADDER LEVELERS: A must have tool of the trade for dealing with uneven surfaces. 

 There are many other tools available for working off heights. We have found a method that works for us. Never attempt to learn how to use your safety devices before being properly trained on their setup and usage. The simple mistake of attaching a rope grab incorrectly can cause a very serious injury.

 

Roof Maintenance Tips

 

Dead Moss On Roof Seattle

MOSS IS A SERIOUS ROOF KILLER 

pdf iconOver 10,000 roofs are replaced per year due to water intrusion, in the Seattle area.Lack of Seattle Roof Moss Removal is a major contributing factor to the number of roof replacements.Homes with infrequent sunlight or under foliage are the most prone to moss growth.

Moss is very destructive to roofing. Large patches of moss trapping moisture in 1-3 inch mats create water dams.Those dams then begin pushing water underneath roofing substrate. The roofing material is never left to dry out.

 

 METHODS OF MOSS CONTROL | THE DEBATE 

You can speak to any 2 roof cleaners in the country and the proper method for roof cleaning and moss control is always up for debate. There are standard methods of moss control practiced around the country these methods are:

  • Power washing to remove moss.
  • The use of zinc strips.
  • Chemical treatment.

OUR METHOD OF MOSS CONTROL 

click here for our price listChemical treatment, also called soft wash roof cleaning, in our opinion, is the most effective means of moss control. Using the right chemicals, completely kills all moss spores and prevents new moss from rebuilding. Most soft wash roof cleaner’s offer warranties of 1-5 years.

Soft wash roof cleaners are secure in offering these warranties because they know that it took years for this moss to grow on your roof and it will take years for it to grow back, provided the right chemicals are used in strong enough doses. We make Seattle Roof Moss Removal Last!

The decision on what method is the right method for Seattle Roof Moss Removal is always up for debate. PWNG uses the chemical soft washing method to soundly control moss. We stand by our service and offer a 1-year warranty with every Seattle Roof Moss Removal. We look forward to any comments or questions our readers might have and we welcome an open discussion on roof cleaning.

 

cedar roof restoration Redmond

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Cedar Roof Restoration Redmond

We recently completed a cedar roof restoration  Redmond, WA that offered us some very unique challenges. The pitch of the roof was a 9/12, one of the hardest pitches to clean.Safety was a serious concern and complying with industry rules on being harnessed off offered us some problems on quickly and safely restoring this roof.

Safety Issues

Here’s a list of some challenges cleaning steep cedar roofs offer that normal pitch roofs don’t:

  • Cedar is extremely slippery when wet.
  • Not enough safety straps or straps in the wrong area.
  • Power washing the normal way ( facing down is largely ineffective).

So meeting these challenges head on we come up with a customized safe solution to this cedar roof restoration Redmond, here’s how we dealt with the above issues:

Problem Solution
Cedar slippery when wet.  Korkers, shoes with spikes.
Not enough safety Straps. Installed double D-ring straps where needed.
Power washing downwards was ineffective.  Used a rock climbers belt along with safety harness.

The roof turned out perfectly and the job went flawlessly when planning was made a priority. In total  this cedar roof restoration Redmond was done on time, on budget and most importantly done safely.

Restoring a cedar roof offers some challenges that normal roofs do not especially when the roof has a steep pitch. These types of jobs aren’t the type you learn on as you go. To date we have safely, and properly restored over 60 cedar roofs.

 Cedar Roof Restoration Redmond

If you’re seeking a cedar roof restoration Redmond or surrounding give us a call or check out our blog for tips and tricks on how to perform the task correctly and safely. In some of our previous posts such as cedar roof restoration bellevue and installing roof anchors properly we discussed the intricacies of doing cedar roof restoration and safety. The job of cedar roof restoration is best left to an expert .

 

 

Installing Roof Anchors

Rope grab connected to a Tower Hook.

Ryan F. from PWNG Restoring a Cedar Roof Using D-rings and Rope Grabs


better safe than sorry png

When working on roofs safety is always a serious concern. Osha has listed 6858 fall related deaths between 1992 and 2010. I’m going to throw out a number right quick and I am asking you to repeat it with me. 360. 360.

That is the number of fatalities this year will have from fall related injuries. Yes thats right. The year isnt even over and we can tally the number of people who wont be coming home to a loved one, a child or spouse.

 never get up on a roof without the proper safety equipment and never try installing something you aren’t familiar with. 

The leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (64.2%) the construction worker deaths in 2015, BLS reports.

Roof anchors are part of any roof cleaner’s arsenal. Without knowing how to install them properly you can cause leaks in a home and very real injuries to the person hooking off. In this post we will be addressing how to safely, quickly and correctly install a permanent double-d roof anchor.  The procedure consists of 4 steps:

  1. Finding a roof rafter
  2. Removing the shingles.
  3. Installing the roof anchor
  4. Replacing the roof shingles.

PICK WHERE YOU WANT TO INSTALL ROOF ANCHOR 

For a roof anchor to do its job it must be installed into a roof rafter. Finding a roof rafter without tearing off a large area of shingles can be tricky. We use (2) methods to find a rafter:

  1. Knocking: This can be something only someone with experience can do, if you have a good ear you can hear the difference in the banging of your hammer off of the roof shingles. Find a spot that doesn’t sound hollow and mark the area.
  2. Follow the roof rafter from the soffit area. This method works better with someone on the ground directing the person installing roof anchor to a general area they should begin removing the shingles.

REMOVE THE SHINGLES 

Depending on what type of roofing you are removing different tools are used. For cedar roofs a Dasco shingle ripper is a great tool to have.  Carefully remove the shingles and set them aside for after the installation of the roof anchor.

INSTALL THE ANCHOR 

After the shingles have been removed and you are down to the level of roofing paper, install the roof anchor with the provided screws or nails. We prefer to use a double D-ring roof anchor to allow its use on both sides of the roof.  Make sure to nail or screw directly into the roof ridge.

REPLACE THE SHINGLES 

Once you’ve installed the roof anchor, replace the roofing shingles you previously removed. Henrys 208 roof caulking is our choice for filling holes, caused by removing the shingles. Make sure everything is replaced correctly and there are no intrusions into the roofing area that can cause a leak.

When working on roofs safety is always a serious concern, never get up on a roof without the proper safety equipment and never try installing something you aren’t familiar with. Carefully read the instructions on your roofing anchors and follow our guideline for the best practices to use when installing roof anchors.


Algae Resistant Shingles: An effective way of moss and algae control.

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Many homeowners have had their roof fall victim to unsightly algae and moss . This is a common occurrence in areas that experience high levels of humidity. Aside from high humidity, algae can also be carried to your roof through airborne spores. Seattle is located in the national danger zone for roof moss and lichen. Fortunately, today’s homeowner has the option to choose algae resistant shingles, also known as AR shingles, to avoid this problem.

The History of Algae Resistant Shingles

Algae resistant shingles date back to the 1980’s when roofing materials were produced that contained alternative kinds of mineral granules, such as:

  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Galvanized Metal Powder

When AR shingles were first produced in the 1980’s, they were considered to be a premium option in roofing materials. By the 1990’s, algae resistance became a standard option and was available in most brands of shingles.

How Do Algae Resistant Shingles Work?

AR shingles work by using copper that is included in the roofing granules that make up the shingles. The copper is not noticeable to the eye; however, it will keep algae from being able to survive on the surface of your roof. The copper or zinc materials found in AR roofing materials also respond to rain which activate the algae fighting action. Moisture generally works to help promote the growth of algae, but with these special shingles, it helps to further protect the roof.

AR shingles tend to be more expensive initially, but when considering the cost of having to have the algae removed from your roof on a yearly basis, they are well worth the initial investment and will help to protect your roof for many years to come.

How Effective Are Algae Resistant Shingles?

Some brands of algae resistant shingles can help keep your roof free from unwanted moss and algae for up to 20 years. Products containing copper have been reported to be ten times more effective than zinc at keeping algae at bay. The copper is generally time released and will work to resist algae and moss build-up over a long period of time.

It is also important to note that adding some type of copper ridge or hip shingle containing copper will not work on an existing roof system that already has live algae or moss present. It will not kill the algae, but rather works to provide resistance to it before it starts.

No one wants to think of fungus taking over their roof, causing damage as well as ugly staining. In choosing algae resistant products when replacing a roof, you may be spending more money upfront, but for the protection and peace of mind that comes with it, it’s worth it.

Shoes for Walking on Cedar Roofing

Shoes for walking cedar roof

HOW NOT TO SLIP ON A CEDAR ROOF

Korkers are a good tool to add to any roof cleaners arsenal. They are shoes with spikes that grab ahold of extremely slippery cedar shakes. Cedar shakes are like ice when they are wet and it’s a GUARANTEE that a cleaner will be headed for a long fall without some measure of safety. I would venture to say that walking a cedar roof is nearly impossible even in dry conditions!

Although korkers are a necessity for safely cleaning cedar roofs they do not take the place of necessary safety devices for fall protection such as:

  • Lanyards
  • Safety harness
  • Roof hooks
  • Chicken ladders
  • Safety engineered rope

Cedar Roof Oiling is it Necessary?

curled-cedar-shake-graphic-illustration

pdf-flatThere is a big debate on the benefits of oiling a cedar roof. A comprehensive and great research paper was written by OSU students, referenced in EC1271, September 1988. Their exhaustive research neither discounted nor encouraged oiling of cedar roofs. As stated in EC1271, originally Cedars mass only contained 3% of its weight in oil. With such a small percentage of its weight to begin with being oil, the debate on replenishing is faulty.

We are not stating that the oils should be replenished. We are advocating oiling a roof in Seattle to prevent rapid expansion and contraction caused by UV rays and rainwater. The stress of shrinking and enlarging cause wood to crack, it is our belief, that oiling a roof stops the expansion and contraction from causing damage to the shingle. The oil allows natural contraction to happen without stressing the wood it is applied to.

OUR PREFERRED PRODUCT | WHY WE USE CHEVRON SHAKE OIL

chevronChevron shingle oil is a superior product for oiling cedar roofs it is of low velocity and transparent. The application doesn’t change the appearance of wood; instead it gives the wood a wet look.

Although higher in price than other cedar oils, the history and its long-established reputation among wood restoration experts make it possibly, the best choice for oiling a cedar roof or fence. 

There are many benefits of Chevron Shingle Oil such as:

  •  Its established reputation.
  •  Its ability to mix well with solvents.
  •  Its lasts when applied: many homeowners have said their oil treatment lasts 5 years or longer.
  • It’s easy to apply. A backpack sprayer with a round tip or flat-headed tip work great. There is no need for paint sprayers.
  •  Its ability to be mixed with stain.

When deciding to oil your roof, it should be done from the day it was installed. The ability to repair a cedar roof once the damage has been done is nonexistent. Maintenance is major issue for wood roofs. There are ways to treat cedar for moss that differ greatly from the way we would treat a composition roof. On average a 1200 square foot roof area costs from $16,000-25,000 dollars, according to homewyse. Yearly maintenance can run you about $400. When deciding to buy a home with a cedar roof or having it installed, budgeting for maintenance should be the first thing you do. The unexpected result of not maintaining your roof, can seriously hinder your economic circumstances.


Tile Roof Cleaning in Seattle

tile roof

 

SOFTWASHING |  THE ALTERNATIVE TO PRESSURE

Soft Wash IconThe chemical blend for soft washing works extremely well on tile roofs. The chemicals used for tile roof wash each have a certain function; TSP: used to remove rust like stains and dark streaks from tile roofs. Surfactants: used to stop the free flow of the chemical wash. Without surfactants the mixture would rapidly flow down to your gutter and not allow the mix enough time to work. 12.5% Sodium Hypochlorite: This high concentrated bleach is mixed down to 4-6% of its original strength. The Sodium Hypochlorite kills moss, removes stains and brightens tile roofs.

OUR ARGUMENT FOR SOFT WASHING TILE ROOFS

Tile roof cleaning in Seattle are accomplished in many ways but we believe our method is superior for the following reasons:

  • Our mixtures work fast for Tile roof cleaning in Seattle. We don’t spend hours and hours blowing-scraping and pressure washing roofs. Being less  labor intensive allows us to pass the savings on to our customers. On average we charge 20% less than our competitors.
  • The chemical mix is designed for tile roofs. This chemical mix is used with great results all thru the Southeastern region of the United States. Tile Roofs are common in the Southeastern region.
  • Our mix is safer than pressure washing. Pressure washing can do detrimental damage to a roof. Tile roofs are no different. If the spray of water is shot upwards into the tiles lap, water damage is sure to happen.

SAFETY AND TILE ROOFS 

checklistWhen Tile roof cleaning in Seattle, safety is a paramount concern. Tile roofs are extremely slippery when wet. Without proper training serious injuries can happen. PWNG is always safety conscious and we come  ready to reach the steepest peaks. 

The amount of dangers when cleaning tile roofs in Seattle can not be overstated. This is a job a homeowner should not try to do, without proper training. We spend over a 100 hours a year training . Tile roofs present us with the biggest challenge and are the trickiest to clean. If you are considering hiring a tile roof cleaner in Seattle, we would love to answer any questions you may have. 

 

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning Seattle

Dead Moss On Roof Soft Wash

 

soft-wash-roof-cleaning-SeattleSoft-wash roof cleaning Seattle involves the use of chemicals to clean roofs. This method of cleaning is employed to lessen the amount of damage caused by power-washing.The soft-washing roof cleaning method when used properly is far more beneficial to roofing substrate then power-washing. No granule loss happens when chemicals are sprayed on your  roofing.

ARMA [Asphalt Roof Manufacturers Association] recommends soft-wash cleaning for proper roof maintenance. ARMA is the association that governs the making of asphalt shingle roofing. They are the leaders in the industry in the production and proper cleaning methods of asphalt roofing materials.

Their bulletin listed below clearly states that the recommended method of roof cleaning is the soft wash method. This governing body of asphalt shingle manufacturers has issued its recommended method. This is the method of roof cleaning we follow. 

THE RIGHT CHEMICALS MAKES OR BREAKS A SOFT WASH 

Chemicals Used in Pressure WashingChemicals are the key to soft wash roof cleaning in Seattle. There are a few standard chemical mixes that roof cleaners have used to great success all over the country. There are also store-bought and pre mixed chemicals available that remove the stigma of user error.

There are some pretty good products available out there, but we have preferred to mix and use our own blends. This has given us great control in when to mix a stronger batch. A stronger mix is sometimes required to remove stubborn grime, dirt and stains.  Obviously, experience is key in choosing the right ratios. 

WHY EXPERIENCE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS

soft wash iconWhen mixed properly these chemicals generate a long-lasting safe products to roofing material. These chemicals are not readily available to the average consumer and the mixtures of this chemical call for exact amounts for a strong enough product.

The procedure of soft wash roof cleaning in Seattle is best left to a professional roof cleaning company. There are many hazards associated with cleaning roofs. OSHA listed 291 fatal falls on the job in 2013. This number is by far the highest segment of fatal accidents in construction.  We are always safety cautious and come fully prepared with all the tools necessary in a roof cleaners safety arsenal.