Those of us who live in communities with homeowners associations are familiar with the dreaded letter informing us that our tile roof and/or driveway needs to be pressure cleaned within 30 days. In some cases, this helpful information comes with threats of fines, ouster from the community pool or other horrible social banishment.
At least every week or so in my community, I see a person on a roof with a large circular sidewalk wand moving it over the tiles, washing away the discoloration and restoring the appearance of the roof to its former brilliance. What goes unobserved are the cracked and broken tiles left behind. Sidewalk wands are named that because they are meant to be used on sidewalks and driveways, not on tile roofs!
Another thing that can cause damage during roof cleaning is the person walking on the roof. An inexperienced or careless worker can cause a great deal of destruction. Broken and cracked tiles occur by stepping on the curved portion of barrel tiles instead of the flat parts. I have inspected many roofs with damage like this where there has been no storm activity and the only people to have accessed the roof is the pressure cleaning company.
So, what do you do? There are roof cleaning companies that do not use destructive methods. Several use a chemical process that is environmentally safe, to wash away the dirt and grime. Do your research. Ask questions. If possible, hire someone that a friend or someone you trust has used and is pleased with. Don’t hire just anyone that knocks on the door and gives you a low bid. It may cost you big time down the road.