How Much Does Roof Cleaning Cost?

Most homeowners pay between $374 and $606 to have their roofs cleaned.

Roof cleaning, like other roofing projects, is a job for professionals, not homeowners. When you hire a professional roof cleaner, expect to spend between $374 and $606 for a national average cost of $490

How big is your roof? What material is you roof made of? These factors and others will decide your exact roof cleaning cost. Typical prices range from $0.15 to $0.68 per square foot

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How much does roof cleaning cost?

water running down tiled roof
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  • National average cost: $490
  • Typical price range: $374 – $606
  • Extreme low end: $200
  • Extreme high end: $1,000

For a typical roof cleaning job, you’ll most likely pay somewhere in the range of $374 to $606. But keep in mind, some cleaning methods take more time and work, so they cost more. 

Depending on your roof’s needs, you might end up spending as much as $1,000. If your roof is small, simple, and doesn’t require in-depth cleaning, you can expect to save money and spend closer to the low end of $200.

Roof Cleaning Cost by Home Size

Roof size is the biggest indicator of what your roof cleaning budget will look like. The larger the roof, the longer it will take to clean, and the more you’ll owe a professional roof cleaner in hourly labor rates. 

Don’t know the size of your roof? You can estimate it pretty closely based on your home’s square footage. The formula to figure out approximate roof size is:

  • 1.5 x square footage of home = Square footage of roof

Once you have a ballpark estimate of your roof’s size, you can calculate the total cost of roof cleaning using the typical range of $0.15 to $0.68 per square foot or the average rate of $0.41 per square foot.

The table below shows the typical cost range of several common roof sizes. 

HOME SIZEAPPROXIMATE ROOF SIZEAVERAGE COST TO CLEAN ROOF (based on per-square-foot cost range)
1,000 square feet1,500 square feet$225 – $1,020
1,500 square feet2,250 square feet$338 – $1,530
2,000 square feet3,000 square feet$450 – $2,040
2,500 square feet3,750 square feet$563 – $2,550
3,000 square feet4,500 square feet$675 – $3,060

Other Cost Factors

What kind of roof do you have? What type of cleaning does the roof need? How many stories is your home, and how high is the roof off the ground?

If you want a clearer idea of what your budget should look like, you’ll need to consider all of this information, not just the size of the roof. We’ll go into detail about these additional cost factors now. 

Cleaning method

man on ladder power washing roof
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There’s more than one way to clean a roof, and each method has a different cost. The best way to clean your roof will depend on the material and the type of buildup you need to remove. 

For example, a flat rubber roof will need a different type of cleaning than asphalt shingles. And a roof with a thick layer of lichen or moss will have different needs than one with just dirt, leaves, and other loose debris. 

So, what are your options? We’ll go over some of the most common roof cleaning methods. 

CLEANING METHODAVERAGE COST
Chemical wash$0.20 – $0.30 per square foot
High-pressure wash$0.20 – $0.70 per square foot
Low-pressure wash$0.30 – $0.70 per square foot
Soft wash$0.30 – $0.75 per square foot

Chemical wash

If your roof’s main problem is moss, algae, or lichen, a chemical wash may be the most effective and affordable option for you at around $0.20 to $0.30 per square foot. The chemicals will kill off living growths. 

Chemical washes don’t involve a pressurized stream of water, which can be both a pro and a con. That intense pressure can damage some roofing materials, but chemical washes are gentle enough for pretty much any roof.

On the other hand, without that pressure, you likely won’t remove leaves, twigs, or caked-on dirt.

High-pressure wash

Power washing with a high-pressure stream of water takes nothing more than a standard pressure washer. At about $0.20 to $0.70 per square foot, it’s cheaper than some more complicated methods. Plus, the powerful stream blasts off all kinds of dirt and muck.

But power is a double-edged sword. Along with dirt, the high-pressure stream can forcibly remove or damage shingles. So, standard pressure washing isn’t a good idea for roofs with asphalt shingles, slate shingles, wood shakes, or any kind of tile. 

Regular pressure washing also won’t be an option for roofs with moss buildup because it doesn’t do anything to kill moss. 

Low-pressure wash

Think of low-pressure washing as the happy medium between a chemical wash and a high-pressure wash. It’s a little more expensive than both at a rate of $0.30 to $0.70 per square foot.

Low-pressure washing is less intense than standard power washing, which makes it gentle enough for some shingle roofs but still powerful enough to remove debris. This cleaning method also includes gentle chemicals to kill moss and other living growth.

Soft wash

Soft washing is similar to low-pressure washing in that it combines pressured water and chemicals.

Soft washing uses an even gentler stream of water and specialized chemical mixtures (usually including bleach) that remove algae, moss, mildew, bacteria, and some stains.

Soft washing is typically more expensive than pressure washing, ranging from $0.30 to $0.75 per square foot

Type of roof

Different roof materials call for different cleaning methods. For example, flat roofs made of tar and gravel or rubber can’t take pressurized water, so the best cleaning method is a straight chemical wash. 

Other materials, such as shingles, wood shakes, and tile, can take some gentle power washing but often are damaged by high-intensity pressure.

Then there’s metal roofing, which is durable and made of solid panels that won’t come loose from standard pressure washing. 

In the table below, we’ll go over the best cleaning method for each type of roof and the associated cost. 

ROOF MATERIALBEST WAY TO CLEANAVERAGE COST
Tar and gravelChemical wash$0.20 – $0.30 per square foot
RubberChemical wash$0.20 – $0.30 per square foot
MetalHigh-pressure wash$0.20 – $0.70 per square foot
Slate shinglesLow-pressure wash$0.30 – $0.70 per square foot
Wood shakes or shinglesLow-pressure wash$0.30 – $0.70 per square foot
Asphalt shinglesSoft wash$0.30 – $0.75 per square foot
Clay tileSoft wash$0.30 – $0.75 per square foot
Concrete tileSoft wash$0.30 – $0.75 per square foot

Multi-story home

Does your home have a second or third story? That could increase your costs by about $0.10 per square foot.

With an extra story or two, roof cleaners will have to work much higher off the ground, which might make the job take longer and make labor costs higher. 

Moss removal and prevention

moss growing on old clay tile roof
Photo Credit: Barb McMahon / www.unsplash.com

If you need to remove existing moss on the roof, choose a cleaning method that includes chemicals. That means you need a chemical wash, low-pressure wash, or soft wash.

Moss removal is included in the overall cost of these three, which ranges from $0.20 to $0.75 per square foot

Want to prevent the moss from growing back so you don’t have to have your roof cleaned again later? Ask your roof cleaners to apply a moss prevention treatment. One of these will typically cost $125 to $225

SERVICEAVERAGE COST
Removing moss from the roof$0.20 – $0.75 per square foot
Moss prevention treatment$125 – $225 total

Roof coating cost

The cost to coat a roof usually ranges between $0.55 and $4.50 per square foot, depending on the type of coating you choose and the shape of your roof. For example, if the roof is flat, it will be easier for roofers to work on, and labor costs will be lower, but a steeper roof will drive up the cost. 

Coating your roof with silicone or another sealant has several benefits:

  • Prevents leaking
  • Reduces indoor temperature, decreasing AC costs
  • Prevents rusting on metal roofs

Coating the roof can help it to last decades longer. Silicone is generally the best roof sealant, but it’s also the most expensive. 

Additional Services

When professional roofers get up on your roof to clean it, they might find other issues that need fixing. Prepare for these potential additional costs in advance so you don’t end up spending way more money than you planned.

Gutter cleaning cost

man on ladder cleaning pinestraw out of gutters
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Most professional roof cleaners also offer gutter cleaning. If your gutters are clogged with debris, you can pay your pros about $120 to $203 to clear out your gutters. 

Cleaning your gutters is important and definitely worth the money. When your gutters stay clogged for a long time, rainwater will overflow, potentially damaging your landscaping or your home’s foundation.

Something else to consider: Gutter guards or leaf guards. Here’s why: Your gutters won’t get clogged as quickly if you install gutter guards to keep leaves out. 

Roof repair cost

What happens if your roof cleaners find damage on the roof? You could spend anywhere from about $348 to $1,186 on roof repairs. Your exact cost for roof repair will depend on the roofing material and the type of damage. 

A damaged roof vent is usually the easiest and least expensive issue to fix, while a sagging roof is a much more complicated repair that could cost thousands of dollars. 

Roof replacement cost

As a general rule of thumb, you should have your whole roof replaced every 15 to 20 years. If you’ve waited longer than that, your roof’s problems might go well beyond a cleaning, and you might need a full roof replacement.

A roof replacement is a significant investment that usually costs between $5,706 and $11,185

There’s no way to know exactly how much you’ll spend on a new roof without considering site specifics like the roof’s material, size, and pitch (whether it’s steeper or flatter than average).

Cost of Roof Cleaning by Location

While the chemicals and equipment needed to clean a roof will cost about the same no matter where you live, labor costs of different roof cleaning companies can vary by a lot.

What this means: The total amount you pay for roof cleaning could be different from our cost estimates, which are based on national averages. 

In general, you can expect lower labor costs if you live in a small town with a low cost of living. On the other hand, homeowners in metropolitan areas shouldn’t be surprised if they end up paying more than we estimated.

FAQ about Roof Cleaning

1. Can you power wash a roof?

Most professional roofers don’t recommend power washing roofs because the intense pressure can damage or loosen shingles and tiles. However, metal roofs are solid and durable enough to power wash.

2. Can you clean your own roof?

No. Most importantly, it isn’t safe for you to get up on the roof. Another reason you should always hire professional roof cleaners is that they have access to better equipment and cleaning products than the DIY kits you can buy at the hardware store.

3. How often should you clean your roof?

Roof cleaning at least once every year can make your roof last longer. Your roof might need more frequent cleaning if you live somewhere with a lot of wet weather or another climate that exposes your roof to dirt, moss, or salt.

4. Do you need to clean solar panels on your roof?

It’s true that dirty solar panels are less efficient than clean ones, but you usually won’t have to worry about cleaning them because rain will wash off dirt and debris for you.

If you live in a very dry climate where it doesn’t rain often, you may need to clean your solar panels occasionally. 

Conclusion

Annual roof cleaning is one of the best things you can do to prolong your roof’s lifespan. Set aside about $374 to $606 per year to hire a professional roof cleaning service. 

Though that might seem like a lot of money now, this regular maintenance can prevent roof leaks, saving you money on repairs in the future. Roof cleaning can also postpone for several years the need for an expensive roof replacement by several years. 

Main Photo Credit: Tirachard Kumtanom / www.unsplash.com

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin is a writer and indoor plant enthusiast hailing from Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her two cats around the house and trying to keep her houseplants alive.