No Pressure: What is Soft Wash Roof Cleaning?

August 14, 2023

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what is soft wash roof cleaning

Is your roof looking a little grimy? Pressure washing is a good way to remedy the problem. However, soft washing is a better option as it protects the integrity of roofing materials.

Soft wash roof cleaning is a low-pressure cleaning method that uses biodegradable chemicals instead of high-pressure water to remove dirt, mold, mildew, and other debris from roofs. It’s an effective and eco-friendly alternative to power washing roofs

Here’s what you need to know about soft wash roof cleaning.

How Does Soft Wash Roof Cleaning Work?

Soft wash roof cleaning relies on specially formulated cleaning solutions rather than brute force water pressure to clean roofs. Here are the basic steps:


The first step is to thoroughly inspect the roof to identify any problem areas or particularly dirty spots. This allows the cleaner to assess the overall condition of the roof and determine the best cleaning solutions and techniques to use.


A biodegradable pre-treatment solution is then applied evenly across the roof surface. This pre-treatment solution helps to break down dirt, mold, mildew, and algae.

Low-Pressure Rinsing

Next, the roof is rinsed using a garden hose and low-pressure nozzle. The rinse water activates the pre-treatment solution and lifts away loosened dirt and debris.

Spot Treatment

Any remaining trouble spots or areas of stubborn buildup are treated with targeted cleaning solutions after the initial rinse. Professionals assess the roof and apply specialized spot treatments as needed. The spot treatment phase ensures no part of the roof is missed. Stubborn grime and biofilm are eliminated through targeted scrubbing and specialty cleaning solutions.


The roof is given a final rinse to wash away any last dirt or cleaning solution residues. The low-pressure rinse protects roof shingles from damage.


The roof is allowed to completely air dry. Drying time depends on the size of the roof and weather conditions.

That’s the basic soft wash roof cleaning process. It’s a gentle cleaning method that effectively restores roofs using specially designed eco-friendly cleaners rather than intense high-pressure blasting.

roof soft washing in Palm Harbor

Benefits of Soft Wash Roof Cleaning

Soft wash roof cleaning has several benefits that make it a great option for residential and commercial roofs:

  • Safe for Roofing Materials – High-pressure power washing can damage shingles, tiles, metal panels, and other roofing materials. Soft washing avoids that risk.
  • Environmentally-Friendly – The cleaning solutions used are biodegradable and won’t harm plants or grass. No toxic runoff ends up in storm drains or waterways.
  • Preserves Roof – Harsh power washing can shorten the lifespan of a roof. Soft washing cleans deeply but gently to extend the life of the roof.
  • Cost-Effective – Not having to rent or buy pressure wash equipment saves money. Soft wash is also faster than power washing.
  • Aesthetic Appeal – Roofs look like new again after soft washing. Curb appeal is restored.
  • Mold and Mildew Control – The cleaning process removes mold, mildew, algae, and fungal growth. This helps control future growth.

For roof cleaning that gets great results without risking damage, soft washing is the best choice.

how long does pressure washing take

When to Use Soft Wash Roof Cleaning

Soft wash roof cleaning is suitable for most roof types and styles. Here are some guidelines on when to choose soft washing:

  • Asphalt and composite shingle roofs – Excellent application as soft washing won’t damage shingles.
  • Tile or slate roofs – Soft washing is safe for these delicate roofing materials.
  • Metal roofs – Effective for cleaning and removing chalky oxidation. Won’t scratch or dull metal.
  • Low-sloped roofs – Debris is easily removed from flat or gently sloping roofs.
  • Heavily soiled roofs – Soft washing can tackle thick layers of dirt, mold, and environmental stains.
  • Aged roofs – Use soft washing to refresh older roofs and improve their appearance.
  • Preparing for roof repairs or recoating – Soft washing thoroughly cleans prior to repair work or recoating.

As long as there is no peeling paint or major damage, soft washing is a good choice for cleaning most roof types and conditions.

cleaning roof with soft washing palm harbor

How Often to Soft Wash a Roof

How frequently you should soft wash a roof depends on several factors:

  • Roof Age – Older roofs will need more frequent cleaning. More debris accumulates, and mold/mildew growth increases.
  • Roof Type – Certain roofing materials, like asphalt shingles, are more prone to buildup from leaves, pine needles, and other debris than metal or tile roofs.
  • Environmental Factors – Exposure to pollution, soot, sap, and dirt means roofs get dirty faster. Proximity to highways, industrial areas, or dense trees impacts cleaning frequency.
  • Climate Conditions – Hot, humid, rainy environments promote mold and algae growth, requiring more roof cleaning. Dry climates may allow longer intervals.
  • Aesthetics – Some homeowners want their roofs pristine at all times. Others don’t mind some grime buildup. Aesthetic preference affects cleaning schedules.

For many homeowners, soft washing roofs every 1-3 years is reasonable. Roof cleaning professionals can assess conditions and recommend the ideal cleaning intervals.

DIY Soft Wash Roof Cleaning vs. Hiring a Pro

You can absolutely soft wash your own roof to save money. However, roof cleaning does require caution and the right equipment. Here’s an overview of DIY soft roof washing vs. hiring a professional company.

DIY Soft Roof Washing


  • More affordable option
  • You control the schedule


  • Steep or multi-story roofs are unsafe for DIY
  • Lack of experience increases risk of roof damage
  • Requires purchasing or renting equipment
  • Very time-consuming

Hiring a Professional Soft Roof Cleaning Company


  • Roofing experts handle the entire job safely
  • Right equipment, tools, solutions ready to go
  • Faster cleaning of large/complex roofs
  • Often more cost-effective for big jobs
  • Reduced risk of roof damage


For most homes, hiring professional soft wash roof cleaners is the best option. Their expertise, efficiency, and equipment make for fast and outstanding results.

what is soft wash roof cleaning

Signs Your Roof Needs Soft Washing

Don’t wait until your roof is covered in thick layers of gunk to clean it! Here are some signs that indicate it’s time for soft roof washing:

  • Dark streaks and stains down roof edges or panels
  • Green, brown, or black spots from algae and mold growth
  • Pine needles, leaves, moss accumulation
  • Gutters overflowing with debris
  • Visible dirt layer that dulls roof color
  • Chalky oxidation on metal roofing
  • Reduced drainage from clogged gutters and drains
  • Roof just looks notably dirty compared to other homes

Schedule soft roof washing when you notice these early warning signs of roof dirtiness. Don’t allow mold, debris, and stains to build up.

cleaning a roof


Soft wash roof cleaning is a smart way to thoroughly clean roofs while protecting roofing materials. Using special biodegradable solutions and low-pressure rinsing, soft washing removes dirt, mold, mildew, and other gunk without risking damage from intense pressure washing. It’s fast, safe, eco-friendly, and effective for all common roof types. Pay attention to signs like algae spots and stained edges, so you know when it’s time to freshen up your roof with a soft wash.

About ProClean Pressure Washing Palm Harbor

ProClean Pressure Washing Palm Harbor is dedicated to top-notch exterior cleaning services for residential and commercial customers. With over two decades of experience, the team guarantees 100% customer satisfaction. Call (727) 361-9331 for a FREE estimate.


Is it good to soft wash your roof?

Soft washing your roof is an excellent cleaning method because it effectively removes dirt, mold, and mildew without damaging roofing materials. Soft washing is gentler than power washing, making it a safer option for all roof types, including asphalt shingles or metal roofing. Soft roof washing improves aesthetics and curbs appeal by restoring roofs to a like-new appearance. Yes, soft washing is highly recommended as a safe, green way to clean and extend the life of your roof.

What chemical is used to soft wash roofs?

Soft washing roofs relies on using specially formulated chemical cleaners rather than just water pressure. Common active ingredients in roof soft washing solutions include sodium hypochlorite, potassium hydroxide, and sodium metasilicate. These cleaning agents work to break down and dissolve mold, mildew, dirt, and other roof stains and debris. The chemicals used for soft-wash roof cleaning are biodegradable rather than toxic, like bleach or acid-based cleaners. Soft wash professionals choose the right mix of cleaning solutions based on the roofing material and the types of buildup needing removal. Overall, soft-wash roof cleaners contain milder and safer ingredients compared to many household cleaners, making them better for roof surfaces and the environment.

Should I pressure wash or soft wash my roof?

Pressure washing uses intense, high-pressure water to blast away dirt and debris from roofs. In contrast, soft washing relies on specially formulated chemical cleaners and low-pressure rinsing. Pressure washing risks damaging shingles or metal roofing and shortening the roof’s lifespan. Soft washing is a gentler method that thoroughly cleans without harming roofing materials. Unless there is extreme roof buildup requiring intense pressure, soft washing is the safer choice over high-pressure washing for effectively cleaning roofs while preserving them.

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