Question for guys who don't rinse

I have done exactly two roofs. And they were for a neighbor and a loyal customer in which they insisted I clean their roof. In both cases I rinsed the roof to get the immediate result.

I have the roof cleaning rig, but after an altercation with my insurance co. and an outrageous insurance quote, I decided to hold off of the roof cleaning until I could build up my business, and make sure I could get enough roofs to justify the cost of insurance. Well I have gotten more than enough requests for roof cleaning. And my business is progressing a lot faster than I thought.

So… I was just wondering, When you guys (this includes gals too) Clean a roof without rinsing , how do you get paid? When I applied the roof cleaning mix the black mold/algae turned reddish brown. Does that disappear? Like when you are soft washing a house, the mold and algae seem to disappear if you let it sit a while. I didn’t wait long enough for the roof to know what happens to the mold/algae.

Well that’s question. Do you charge the customer after you apply the mix? or wait until nature and rain finish the job?
Does the roof appear clean or do you still see the reddish mold streaks on the roof?

This is a common issue for those that do not rinse. In some cases there are no gutters which is a problem for rinsing. If there are gutters we use a run off system that I developed to direct the run off. Depending on the degree of algae a good rain will remove that brown color you talk about, though in some cases it will not, again depending on the degree of infestation. Rinsing is always the best result and doesn’t take that long as you can rinse as you go. As to collecting payment, you should be paid at the end of the cleaning. Just explain that the next rain will rinse the roof clean.

When we leave the roof looks about 90% cleaner and customers are usually extremely excited about that but I inform them that during the next couple of rains the roof will actually get cleaner. We have never had any problems with this and they are happy to pay us right then.

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We did 120 roofs this year, along with other projects, and all the black algae are gone before we leave. Moss and Lichen is a completely different story. The M & L will decompose and fall off the roof during the following rains. Depending on how severe the conditions and M & L is we advise customers it can take upward of 6 to 12 weeks before it is all gone. We make follow up calls and or visits to each property and we have not had a complaint or even anyone voice concern.

All payments are due upon completion of work.


Hank! How’s it going?

Howdy Dan.


Good question! I’m just starting roofs this year also. Has there ever been a case where you had to go back and reapply the mix?

Josh Rouse
Carolina Clean

[QUOTE=josh2726;19096]Good question! I’m just starting roofs this year also. Has there ever been a case where you had to go back and reapply the mix?

I’ve never had to return and apply another coat of roof mix.


We occasionally have to go back to hit spots. Definitely get paid same day. Its outlined in payment terms of proposal and so is explanation of the overall roof appearance improving over the next few rains. We always check progress and spot clean where needed.

everything Is gone the day we do the cleaning. The moss and lichen has to be washed with a hose but all the black is gone. We feel that if we were to leave the roof looking dirty after just having a cleaning truck there, the neighbors would surely not call us to clean there home… If the black stains do not disappear then your mix is not strong enough… Also , shop your insurance, roof cleaning insurance is cheap

Yes I was kind of shocked at the price I was quoted. This was after I thought I already had insurance for cleaning roofs. Apparently my agent didn’t understand me, because a few weeks after I had gotten the insurance, the underwriters went on my website and saw roof cleaning and told me they were going to cancel my policy or I needed a separate policy for cleaning roofs. They quoted me a cost of almost 5 times what I was paying! Can someone give me the workers comp code for pressure washing and gutter cleaning. Although I am a one man operation for now, and I’m not required to get it, I am getting requests to see it from customers. Is it worth it for my situation?


Try to get a quote from the Joe Walters Agency in Belle Vernon PA. They handle our line of work. Ask for Darla. If you are doing roof cleaning your going to need a ground technician for many reasons. Homeowners, property managers and facility directors might require you to have workers comp before they engage you in any work. It’s expensive by some standards. I let my accountant handle all that for us.


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I second the JDW suggestion. They have handled my insurance since way before there was a PWRA.

The huge PWRA member discount is just lagniappe!

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I think I found the code for pressure washing it is 9014. I believe the cost is 5.21 per hundred dollars in payroll for 2014.

what did you come up with to help direct run off???

Here is a video of our system, it is at the end of the video: Roof Cleaning: Protect landscape & lawn while roof cleaning | Sullivan Roof Cleaning - YouTube

Also here is a picture:

Here is the link for the run off tubes: RainGuard? Automatic Downspout Extensions - Over 750,000 Sold & Counting!

Here is the link for the downspout extenders: Shop Amerimax 25-1/2-in x 4-in Brown Plastic Flex-a-spout Downspout Extension at

Just contact if you have any other questions.

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Bruce has a great system! Unless somehow you get a small hole in them but other than that they look nice… You can always take 5 seconds and bag the gutters… The 5mill bags work great and last for a lot of jobs

I did that sometime back bag gutters but once you have to rinse as I do with cedar it was overwhelming, to much runoff but now I don’t have the SH issue we still like to run everything off property. Bagging works also. Good point.

Thanks for asking the question. I was wondering the same thing.

So with residential shingle roofs, we hardly rinse and that works. My question is how do you guys normally handle commercial retail roofs regarding rinsing? I havnt done very many comm roofs, but the few we have done i always ended up rinsing a good portion of it. At the time I didnt charge extra for the rinse and i ended up making a game-time decision to rinse it, at least whats in an eye shot. My thinking was these bldgs are filled with professionals, customers, patients, parents, etc that are all gonna notice the roof was cleaned. I wanted instant gratification for marketing reasons, when they come in the next day, i want the wow factor so sell more jobs.

Whats the norm? Does anyone consider it a must to rinse all commercial roofs?