Roof is important for curb appeal


HOUSTON – Improving your curb appeal goes beyond just the curb. Making your home look more appealing can start from the roof down.

Black smudges and dark streaks running down roofs are more than just dirt and grime. They can be any number of unattractive leftovers from mother nature.

Roof-cleaning contractor, Michael Spiczenski, said the dark stuff is just a clue to what could be happening underneath.

"Most people see that black algae streaking and what that black algae streaking is actually the dead cells that are on top of the live cells. It's called geo capsule magnels is the name of the algae that is on there," said Spiczenski, a professional roof cleaning contractor.

"If you see algae or moss streaking on your roof, removing that can make your house look a lot better," said Angie Hicks, who created the website Angie's List.

Hicks told Local 2 whether the gunk on the roof is just an eyesore or causing real damage is debatable. What isn't controversial is getting rid of it makes a home look better.

"When talking to potential companies about cleaning your roof, things you want to be careful of are anyone that considers pressure washing or abrasive detergents in order to clean the roof," Hicks said.

Before you make the call or even decide to climb that ladder yourself, Hicks said you need to check your warranty.

"Because they could potentially damage your roof or void your warranty," Hicks said.

Roof cleaning can cost anywhere from $350 to $1,000, but Hicks said the inherent danger in this particular household chore can make the investment worth it.

Spiczenski said using professional equipment is not only more effective but can be safer than a home owner climbing up and down a ladder to get around on a soapy roof.

"We use a solution that we put on the roof that's called a soft wash. We spray it from the gutter line and we have an air compressor on our truck which run the pumps that we utilize. They are called off-low pumps. We are able to shoot 50 feet from the ladder on the roof itself," Spiczenski said.

Hicks has one other note.

"Keep in mind, if your roof is old or in need of repair, that's the first thing you should be doing before you step to cleaning it," Hicks said.

So, before making the call to the cleaning service, make one to have a home inspector come out and check your roof. Something Hicks said every homeowner should be doing every two to three years anyway.

Angie's Hit List for Hiring a Roof Cleaner:

  • Cleaning method process: The contractor should explain in detail the equipment and the cleansers they use. Will the products damage your roof material, lawn or plants? Are their products environmentally safe? Steer clear of any company that insists on using high pressure washing or abrasive cleaners -- both which can damage your roof and possibly void your roof's warranty.
  • Ask about insurance: Any type of roof work is dangerous, and roof cleaning is no exception. Ask the contractor for proof of insurance/workers' compensation before hiring.
  • Inquire about costs: Roof cleaning costs can range from $350 to $1,200. The price depends on various factors including the size, shape, pitch, an infestation of the roof.
  • Is there a warranty? Ask the company about a warranty/guarantee? What steps will the company take if the algae/moss streaking reappears after a certain amount of time?
  • Ask for references: A reputable company will provide references of past clients and a portfolio of before/after work.
  • Don't ignore repairs: If your roof is in need of repairs or replacement, it doesn't make sense to invest in a cleaning. If you're not sure, have a home inspector check out your roof before you do anything. Have your roof professionally inspected every two to three years.