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Don't Replace It, Clean It!, is a technical bulletin published by the Roof Cleaning Institute of America.

What you should know about cleaning your roof.

Your house is most likely your biggest investment and your roof is one of the most expensive parts of your house. It is extremely important to have the utmost in confidence in your decision before hiring a qualified roof cleaning contractor. Certified Roof Cleaning Institute of America roof cleaning contractors only use chemicals approved by the ARMA and shingle manufacturers and do not use pressure on asphalt shingles. RCIA roof cleaning contractors also provide our customers with technical bulletins directly from and shingle manufacturers to prove that our procedures and chemicals are properly formulated for roof cleaning. Our chemicals provide enough cleaning power to remove all mold, mildew, and streaks...without pressure washing or heavy rinsing. RCIA contractors provide a 100% Guarantee your roof will look like new again!" Pressure washing is not recommended because it will remove a large amount of the ceramic coated granules from your shingles, which will void the warranty. Even low pressure will cause granule loss and shorten the life of your shingles. If you have ever cleaned out the inside of your gutters you will notice granules in them just from the rain taking them off. Think what any additional pressure would do to your roof.

For instance, you see someone cleaning a roof with so-called "low" pressure and biodegradable chemicals and it appears they have done a good job just because the streaks and discoloration are gone, but guess what? So is a large amount of the protective ceramic coated granules which insures the shingle's warranty. The roof will no longer have the original 20-30 year warranty the customer paid for. Thousands of dollars are spent each year replacing and repairing damage caused by under skilled operators and companies who over sold their knowledge and capabilities.


Depending on how corrosive the chemicals they were using and the amount of pressure was applied to the shingles, a 20-30 year warranty roof may only have enough ceramic coated granules to last 5-15 years. There is no telling how much damage they have done until 5-15 years later the roof has deteriorated prematurely and must be replaced MUCH MUCH sooner than it should have. Make sure your roof's warranty will not be compromised by hiring a qualified professional who really knows what they are doing, has references, the proper documents from the RCIA, ARMA, and shingles manufacturers to PROVE it.


Always use a 'chemical only' cleaning process for your roof. Roof cleaning is a completely different trade from pressure washing requiring different pumps, plumbing, hoses, nozzles, valves, chemicals, caution, knowledge, experience, skill, and insurance. The certified RCIA roof cleaners have all of the necessary tools, and have learned from the best roof cleaning professionals in the country.


 Make sure you know what kinds of chemicals are
being applied on your property.


1) Do not accept "it's biodegradable" for an answer. Even uranium is biodegradable over 50,000 years or so. Because many "competitors" lack our roof cleaning equipment, knowledge, training, and experience, they sometimes apply a dangerously strong chemical solution. Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide will dissolve the asphalt and tar on your roof, shortening the life of your shingles and voiding the roof's warranty. Even sodium metasilicate is too corrosive. Products containing sodium percarbonate (oxygenated bleach) are ineffective and will not remove streaks without pressure.


2) Do not accept "we use low pressure" for an answer. What exactly do they mean by low pressure? 500-1000psi is too much and will blast off too many granules. Any more pressure than 100psi is excessive. If the company you are asking whether or not they use a pressure washer and they say, "Yes, but it's very low-low pressure" It's only 500-1000psi and it won't damage your roof. We can not stress enough to all home owners who have asphalt shingle roofs to avoid hiring companies who use any pressure at all. A chemical only, NO pressure system is the best, safest, most efficient, longest lasting way to go. Roof cleaning companies who "low" pressure wash roofs may have not had any complaints from the BBB for years, but it's only a matter of time when one of the roofs they have pressure washed will have to be replaced much sooner than the warranty expires. A more attractive lower price will actually be more expensive in the long run. Gadgets like water brooms, roof gitters, pitch witches, and surface cleaners all operate from a pressure washer & will all cause more harm than good. Our chemicals do all of the work to remove streaks and discoloration from your roof and require no pressure or heavy rinsing. Because we do not have to rinse, your roof will stay cleaner longer than our competitors. Leaving the chemicals on the roof creates a roof treatment or a hostile environment for future algae growth. Each time it rains, a small amount of chemical is washed off to help re-clean your roof over and over again. Contractors using RCIA and ARMA certified methods normally provide a warranty ranging from 1 to 4 years depending on environmental conditions against algae regrowth on your roof. The more humid and warmer the climate, the more favorable the growing conditions for algae are, thus the warranty period is shorter than in colder, drier climates."


Concerned about your plants, pets, and landscaping? We only spray the roof, not your plants. We always bag the ends of your downspouts, collect all the chemical run-off from the roof and dispose of them away from your landscaping. If the roof does not have gutters we will thoroughly dilute the roof cleaning chemical down to safe levels by spraying the landscaping with water before, during, and after applying chemical. After the chemical biodegrades and evaporates from the roof, the dried crystals and surfactant act as a roof treatment to keep the roof cleaner longer as it rains.


The rain actually does a better job of rinsing than if you tried to rinse it yourself because the rain is slightly acidic with of PH of 5.6. Our roof cleaning chemical has a PH of 11 and most city water supplies have a PH of 8. The rain helps reactivate the chemical at a lower ph, which gives the roof a secondary cleaning, neutralizes the chemicals better, and aids in disinfecting the mold and mildew embedded in the shingles even further. The rain does a much more thorough job, giving your roof a much longer lasting cleaning.


RCIA contractors have had to go behind many competitors who use chemicals NOT approved by the ARMA or shingle manufacturers or use no chemicals and pressure wash or rinse their customer's roofs, which start growing mold and streaks much sooner than our customer's roofs.


Roof Cleaning Institute of America


Keystone Pressure Washing and Roof Cleaning, LLC, is a Pittsburgh based, family owned and operated business. We take pride in our work and our clients are our #1 priority. We use state of the art equipment and methods to treat and erase cosmetic wear, and unsightly stains. To us, details matter.
- Joe Botti, Owner

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