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Question DetailsAsked on 1/19/2015

How much to clean my tile roof?

One story house that was built in 1998.

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1 Answer


Clay tile roofing should not be walked upon unless absolutely necessary for repairs - so while you could probably find a handyman or pressure washing outfit who will do it for a couple hundred $, you might well end up with thousands in tile and water leakage damage as a result. The right way to clean tile roofs, if needed, is with a boom or bucket truck so no foot touches the roof. Hence, more like $500-1000 typical cost depending on how long a reach they need to access all the roof surface.

In some houses without close driveable access to at least one face of the house it could well run significantly more, because the contractor would have to rent a long-reach bucket truck or even a crane to get to the roof. Mission and Mediterranean houses with enclosed patios and courtyards are a particular problem for this, as are Manor houses with patios or verandas all around that prevent close access.

This difficulty in cleaning the roof is one reason why eliminating nearby and overhanging trees is particularly important near this type of roof.

Do NOT buy off on someone saying they can do it from a ladder against the edge of the roof - first, unless it would be resting against a gutter, that is likely to dislodge edge tiles. Secondly, that will involve pressurized water going contrary to the lay of the tiles, forcing water in under the tiles - a very bad thing, especially with tile roofs which commonly do not have real good water barrier underneath. Third, they will not be close enough to the tiles away fromthe ladder to be effective.

Note - you need to be very careful with some types of clay tile - there are basically three types - unfired (sun or air-dried) clay tile, fired clay tile, and vitrified clay tile (which is close to a ceramic). The unfired clay tile, and to lesser extent fired, can be cut and gouged with a pressure washer, so care needs to be taken not to damage the tile.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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