Average 2 Story Roof Wash: No Ladder?

I would like to ensure I’m able to wash 8 out of 10, 2 story roofs. Will a soft wash set up reach the peak of a 2 story roof (without a ladder)? If not, how high of a ladder is required (if it can be done at all)?


  1. Every 2 story home is different.
  2. 1 Story height height is 0- 10 feet, 2 Story height is 0- 20 feet (from the ground).
  3. The roof slope and the distance to the peak of the roof contributes to the added distance required.
  4. An Assumption: The 2 story house is 22’ * 42’.

What Soft wash set up is required to soft wash a 2 story roof?
If ladder also required, how high does ladder need to be?

Greatly appreciate your guidance! (You can tell I’m wanting the longest reaching soft wash set up and only the minimum height of ladder needed.)

Thank you,

Andrew….the search button is a very powerful tool. If I was you I would type in what you want to know, so you can locate a thread that will be of help. This forum has about all you want or need to know……much success!

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30 foot ladder
12v, 24v, air diaphragm, booster pump or gas agriculture pump………research them all and go from there……

I’ve got a 20’, 28’ and 32’ ladder. Don’t bother with a 28’, won’t be enough unless you always have flat land. Remember, any ladder you get, you’ve also got the slope of ladder plus you can’t stand on the top rung. I never use my 28’. Use the 20’ the most, but you need at least a 32 if not more. Anything much over a 24’ is a pain to handle by yourself if you’ve got a standoff on it, unless you’re a real he-man, lol.


Depending on what your topography/grade of land around the homes, you may be just fine with a 24’ or 32’. Keep in mind that if you don’t use the ladder stabilizer arms at the top of the ladder, you’ll likely be standing under the eves on a lot of the homes.

A 24’ ladder got me up to this roof line, leaning against the roof.

But not this one

And aluminum ladders are MUCH easier to handle/maneuver compared to their fiberglass counterparts!


Most roofs I don’t need any more than a 16’ ladder to access. I typically put the ladder on the front walkway by the front door and go up there then just move about the roof as needed. However, my terrain is considerably different than most I would guess. Nothing unusual about seeing a “single story” home here with a 40’ drop from the roof in the backyard. I’ve turned down a couple that gave me the heebie jeebies just looking at the drop in the back from the ground lol

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If I may add, if you’re new to roof washes or just washing in general, might want to stick to 1 story houses until you can gain some solid experience.

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Thank you Kentucky, research underway!

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Racer, thank you! 32 foot seems to be the consensus. Ladder required! Understood… Appreciate your feedback…

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Stabilizer arms at the top, good to know! Aluminum - yes… Some daunting pics. lol

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Absolutely makes sense to access from front driveway area or path of least resistance and move from there… And that’s the majority of roofs? Food for thought for me. I’ll kind of quantify that in my area… I hate to say no to too many folks. Or to just stay with 1 story customers…

Thank you for the guidance. How does that appear to customers, only doing first story jobs. How would the market receive that? Specializing in 1 story buildings… I like the idea in theory. Just wonder how I would be perceived and how to bets word smith that to potential clients. Is that done?

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That’s not the point. If you’re new to this, you’ll want to get some basic ‘practice’ first before going bigger with complicated two story houses.

When you started driving, did you hop in a Porsche 993 and burn up the Nurburgring?

The likelihood of royally messing something up on roof washes is extremely high. You’re using 4%+ SH which can


What % would you guess that you even use a 32’ ladder? I realize it varies from company to company, but we don’t have many, if any, buildings around here above 3 stories, and even that is rare. I think the vast majority of “taller” structures around here would fit in 2-2.5 stories category. Most of the commercial is 1-2 stories and residential is 1 to 2 stories with a rare 2 stories and partially exposed basement.

No, but I would have loved to as a stupid 16 yo kid lol.


I’ll begin with 1 story structures in order to push through the learning and best practices curve. This is a targeted approach for me, using known contacts (I have a large pool from which to choose).

But as I begin to market broadly, I wondered how that might be best messaged - if I still didn’t want to support 2 story roof cleanings.

Kidding, but I would love to be 16 again- with a Porsche (to your point, I wouldn’t trust me though). lol

Very best- Andrew

That’s the majority of roofs in my area. I’m in the Ozark mountains so houses are quite literally built onto mountainsides. They will build them to be basically street level at the front of the house but the backyards are essentially just dropoffs into valleys. Biggest ladder I carry is 32’ and that doesn’t come close to reaching the roof line on most of the houses I wash.

In addition to stabilizing arms at the top,

Get yourself a leveler. Werner makes an awesome one, there isn’t any slope that I feel uncomfortable on, and you can switch them from side to side depending on which way the slope runs.

$200 is well worth the piece of mind that the 2x4 or rock you jammed under it isn’t going to slip out.

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I feel personally attacked.

If you’re accessing the roof, about any pump system will do you fine. Sure added reach is still nice, but you’re washing downward from the top then, so get what you like. We carry a 24 & a 32 on every truck, and keep a 40 in the shop for those oddities that it’s needed (which is almost never for roof washing, just the occasional 3+story dropoff the back when doing a gutter cleanout…

I agree the 32’ is needed. If you want to access the roof of a full 2-story, you’ll need that at a minimum bc:

  1. it doesn’t measure a full 32’
  2. you have to account for the needed angle to use it safely
  3. you’ll want it to extend a couple feet beyond the gutter usually
  4. stabilizers are your friend
  5. @Racer said 32’ and you really don’t need to research far beyond anything he says definitively (maybe that should have been #1 :rofl: )