FAQs

The unsightly black stains on your roof that are getting larger with time are the result of a cyanobacteria called Gloeocapsa Magma. Since it is blue-green algae, most folks refer to it simply as algae. If left untreated, it will eventually take over your roof. As it spreads, it consumes the limestone filler which is left in your shingles during the manufacturing process. It is also self-perpetuating, so if you choose to do nothing about it, it will destroy your shingles prematurely.

Unfortunately algae can be harmful to your family and your home. As we touched on above, algae will cause physical damage to your shingles and it can be harmful to your health as well.

Absolutely not! The fact that chemicals are used is a bit scary for some folks, but chemicals are all around us. Additionally, chemicals pose no threat when used in a responsible and professional manner. There are chemicals in everyday items such as lipstick and swimming pool water. The chemical that Kleen llc uses in the largest quantity is actually one of the chemicals used to treat municipal water supplies. It has come to our attention that some misinformation is being circulated that roof cleaning chemicals are actually bad for your shingles when, in fact, the chemicals that Kleen llc use to clean your roof are recommended by GAF (America’s largest asphalt shingle manufacturer), the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, and the Roof Cleaning Institute of America.

A professional roof cleaning costs a fraction of the cost of replacing your shingles. Eliminating the algae infestation on your roof could be as little as $200. When you call Kleen llc for a free consultation, we will give you a free no obligation quote, not just an estimate. Having a new roof installed will cost $4,000 and up and will also have an effect on the local landfill as well. As you can see, a professional roof cleaning can easily save $3600 or more, depending upon the size of your house. Also, it has been estimated that as many as 50% of replacement roofs are installed simply due to appearance. Don’t make the costly mistake of replacing your roof when all it needs is a professional roof cleaning. If your roof is less than 25 years old, it probably just needs a professional roof cleaner, not a roofer.

Yes, you can. Unfortunately, there are no ready made products that we are aware of that do a good job of cleaning your roof. Also, you will run the risk of falling off your roof. Roof cleaning used to be accomplished by climbing up on the roof with a pump-up sprayer full of roof cleaning mix, spraying until the sprayer was empty, climbing down, mixing another batch in the sprayer, and repeating this process until the entire roof was treated. The advent of the backpack sprayer sped this process up, but created an awful mess when it failed. Kleen llc and other professional roof cleaners have invested in cutting edge equipment which allows us to keep our prices down through efficiency. It’s up to you, but we think you could find a much better way to spend your day than climbing up and down a ladder and risking a fall from your roof.

Yes, we are licensed and insured. Currently the state of Michigan does not require professional roof cleaners to be licensed, but Kleen llc has a business license and we are insured up to $1,000,000. We are a professional company and we obey all Federal, State, and local laws.

The roof cleaning process itself only takes a few hours. The results are even more rapid. We can have your house looking like the “after” in our before and after pictures before we leave.

When we arrive at your home we will walk around the home to look and see if anything needs to be moved away from the home. Then we will set up our hoses to start watering all the plants and landscaping around the home. We continue to water before, during and after the cleaning process. We then set up a ladder and use it to get up to the height of your roof. We then use our low pressure pump to spray our detergent solution on your shingles. It is our proprietary solution that does the cleaning. That’s it. Your part is just as simple. Although you do not need to be present, you do have a few responsibilities. We are counting on you to make sure that all your windows are closed. We are also counting on you to make sure that your vehicles are either in the garage or out away from the house. Additionally, we need you to make sure that your outside water spigots are accessible and in working order.

If your roof has moss and lichen on it our system will safely kill this growth. But it will not be completely removed from the roof when we leave. These types of growth have root systems that our cleaners need to get to and kill in order for the moss and lichen to come off the roof without any damage to the shingles. In most cases it will take 4-6 weeks for the roof to be completely clean.  Mother nature did not put the growth on the roof in one day. It’s like having weeds in your yard, they cannot be removed at once without damage to the yard. Now, if you need to have the roof cleaned right away, we will rinse the roof with low pressure to remove the growth, but do not recommend it, and cannot not give a guarantee on the roof staying clean.

The siding on your home collects dust and dirt that is blown around by the wind and rain. when it lands on your siding it adheres to it. When left alone your siding will not only look dirty, but on the shaded sides of the home algea will begin to grow. All of these can ruin the siding if not washed off. The grit in the dirt can grind into the siding and remove the outer layer, making the siding dull. Algea will eat away at the siding. If you would like to clean it yourself the best way is to use a bucket with soap and water and your garden hose. I do not recommend a pressure washer, as these can leave scars in the siding, blow water in around windows and under the siding.

Most of the time when we see rust stains on siding it is caused by underground sprinkling. One of the heads for the system sprays water onto the siding and deposits the iron in the water there.  How well the stains come off will depend on how long it was allowed to remain on the siding. In most cases we can remove all of it. Then adjusting the sprinkler head so it does not hit the siding will help prevent it from happening again. Although even wind can blow the water onto the siding and cause the stains.

All of those little black spots you see on your siding are caused by artillery fungus, or sometimes called shotgun fungus. This is a fungus that lives in landscape mulch. These little guys can shoot their spores up into the air 20 feet or more. When the spores land on your siding they stick to it. If they are not removed within a day or two, they will not ever completely come off. The outer layer can be scraped off, but a dull spot will remain on the siding. About the only way to not have this happen is to not use mulch near the house.

Snow shoveling (roofs) Ice dam prevention

The main reason you should keep your roof as snow-free as possible is that it’s vital for preventing ice dams from forming on your roof.

Ice dams can’t form without snow.  Being pro-active to prevent ice dams, you’re far more likely to prevent your roof from leaking and causing damage to the inside of your home.

Another reason roof snow removal is so important is that it’s a good idea to keep all that excess weight off your roof.  As a rule of thumb, one square-foot of snow that’s one-inch in depth weighs about a pound.  If your roof has 12 inches of snow on it, that could easily amount to thousands of pounds of stress on your roof.  That’s not even counting the weight of any ice dams that may form as a result of leaving the snow on your roof; just one cubic foot of ice weighs 57 pounds, and a typical ice dam can weigh thousands of pounds.  Minimizing the stress placed on your roof is a great way to minimize the risk of leaking and cave-ins (the latter of which occur more frequently than you might think).

From what I have seen, no.

The most commonly hyped “alternative” to roof snow removal is Heat cables. People sometimes use heat cables to try and prevent snow from piling up on their roofs (primarily on the overhangs and in the valleys).  The trouble is that the little amount of hot cables used typically isn’t enough to mitigate the effects of Mother Nature in the wintertime—or to do much more than melt little grooves in the snow after a major snowstorm.  Very few people have long-term success with heat cables; if you’re one of them, consider yourself part of a lucky minority.

Heat cables are also prohibitively expensive to install and run.  Because heat cables are a relatively specialized product, the installation costs alone are significant.

In addition, heat cables run on what’s called a dead-short circuit—meaning that the “positive” and “negative” wires are in constant contact with each other.  As a result, the cables use a ton of electricity, and they frequently fail by shorting out.

Even if you can afford heat cables, you’re taking a gamble that they’ll actually keep your roof snow-free enough to prevent ice dams and leaking.  We’ve removed countless ice dams entangled with hundreds of feet of heat cable—which was either broken, or which was working correctly but simply not preventing ice dams or keeping snow from piling up.

A good rule of thumb is to get your roof cleared after every 6 inches of snowfall.  If you prevent too much snow from piling up on your roof, it’s much harder for ice dams to form and you can certainly stop worrying about any sort of leak from ice dams.

Of course, it all depends: I’ve seen ice dams form with only a dusting of snow on the roof.  I’ve also seen roofs with mountains of snow remain free of ice dams.

Generally speaking, even though every roof is different, you’ll especially want to consider this “6-inch” rule of thumb if you’ve repeatedly had problems with ice dams in the past.

On the other hand, if you’ve never had an ice dam and your only concern is avoiding a roof collapse, then you might want to consider holding off on any roof snow removal until you’ve accumulated a foot or more of snow.

When deciding the right time to get roof snow removal, it’s also important to take into account how heavy the snow is.  Wet, heavy snow can weigh 6 or more times as much as lighter dryer snow.  One cubic foot of snow can typically range in weight from as little as 0.26lbs (light, dry snow) to as much as 1.66lbs. (heavy, wet snow).  If you step outside and pick up the snow and it seems heavy and wet, that’s one factor that might indicate you should get your roof cleared sooner rather than later.

How often you need to get your roof cleared also depends partly on the weather forecast.

If 6 inches of snow falls on your roof but the nighttime and daytime low temperatures are forecast to stay above freezing for a couple of days, you probably don’t need to get the snow removed—because it will likely melt soon enough (or at least decrease significantly in weight) and never become an ice dam.

However, if 6 inches of snow falls one night and another 6 inches of snowfall is forecast for later in the week, or if the low temperatures remain below freezing, you may want to remove the snow ASAP.  Or better yet, give us a call for roof snow removal service right away and schedule your roof snow removal in advance – for shortly after the second storm is forecast to arrive.  This way, you’ll get both snowfalls removed from your roof with one phone call, and you’ll be first in line during a particularly busy time for local roof snow removal companies.

Sometimes you need your roof snow removed by shoveling, other times by roof-raking.  It depends largely on (a) how big your roof is and how tall your house is, (b) how much snow your roof received, and (c) whether the snow itself is powdery and light versus wet and heavy.

Roof-raking is generally best as an ongoing, winter-long task that we provide to keep snow from being able to form ice dams. We typically rake the roof when 4” to 6” of snow has fallen. The bottom 6’ to 8’ of the roof is kept clear of snow. This can help relieve excess weight on the weakest part of your roof (the overhangs) as well as aid in ice dam prevention.

Shoveling is probably the better option for roof snow removal when there’s heavy lifting to be done, or when you want your roof completely cleared (so as to minimize the chances of a cave-in or the formation of ice dams).

If you need to or simply want to hire us for roof snow removal service to rake your roof, we charge the same rates that we would for shoveling your roof—usually $95-175 / hour.

The first thing to know about getting your roof shoveled is that it’s most likely NOT a good idea to try to do it yourself.  You can easily injure (or kill) yourself trying to climb onto your slippery roof.

As a snow-removal technique, shoveling picks up where roof-raking leaves off.  Your roof probably needs to be shoveled (a) after a storm drops too much snow to remove with a rake, (b) if the snow is too heavy or hardened for a roof rake, or (c) if your roof is too large or tall to be able to rake it. Shoveling is probably the better option for roof snow removal when there’s heavy lifting to be done, or when you want your roof completely cleared (so as to minimize the chances of a cave-in or the formation of ice dams).

Let’s sum it all up with a few “do’s and don’ts” of roof snow removal:

Do get the snow removed either by shovel or by rake, so as to minimize your risk of a cave-in and/or ice dams.

Don’t put any salt products on your roof—unless you want to run the risk of discolored shingles and dead plants or grass.

Don’t use heat cables unless you are prepared for significant costs, and the high probability that they just won’t work or will go bad within a year or two after installation.

Do try, as a rule of thumb, to get your roof raked after every 6 inches or so of snowfall, so that it never piles up too much.  If your main goal is to prevent ice dams, you should have your roof cleared after about every 6’’ of snowfall. The best way to do this is to sign up for our snow removal service for the season.  But if your main concern is a roof collapse, then raking your roof after every 12’’ or more of snowfall should be adequate.

Don’t try to shovel your roof snow yourself.  If there’s simply too much snow or if the snow is too hardened or heavy for your roof rake to handle, hire a roof snow removal service instead.

The roof looks great – however, I expected that. What I didn’t expect was how well the gutters and soffit cleaned up. I was prepared to have someone paint that. Now I don’t have that expense. Thanks much!
Ken P.

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