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Cleaning Your Terracotta Roof Tiles: A Guide

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Terracotta tiles are a popular roofing solution for many reasons. For instance, they have a high thermal and acoustic performance, and they are fire-resistant, long-lasting, versatile and require little maintenance. Despite being low maintenance solutions, periodic maintenance is still necessary to help retain their structural integrity and aesthetic value. Therefore, occasional cleaning to remove dirt, algae, mould, and other undesirable debris will often do the trick for your terracotta roof tiles. While it's usually best to leave terracotta tile cleaning to the professionals, you can do it yourself with the right tools and techniques up your sleeve. Therefore, this is a quick guide to help you do it correctly.

Step 1: Keep It Safe

Roof cleaning can be dangerous. Therefore, you must have extreme safety measures in place before getting on the roof. If you are not confident to work at heights or lack the necessary safety equipment to access your roof safely, it would be best to leave the task to the professionals. First, your terracotta roof tiles may become quite slippery once you spray them with your cleaning solutions and water. Therefore, it would help if you wore shoes that can give you good traction and proper balance. In addition, ensure you have a strong ladder to support you while cleaning the lower sections of the roof.

Step 2: Have A Plan Before You Get Onto Your Roof

Establishing a clear plan of action before getting on your roof is crucial to your cleaning process. It will help you move faster and clean more efficiently. It's usually unlikely that you will need to clean the entire roof as mould, dirt, and other materials tend to accumulate more in some areas than others. Therefore, identify areas on your roof that need cleaning. Even if you must clean the whole roof, always start from the highest sections of your roof, and work your way down.

Step 3: Pressure/Power Cleaning

Pressure washing is the ideal way to clean terracotta roof tiles. You can rent a pressure cleaner if you don't have one. However, be extremely careful with the pressure settings because some pressure cleaners come with high-pressure settings, and too much pressure can easily damage your tiles. Therefore, the best way is to start with the lowest pressure settings. Long but smooth strokes will help you get rid of stains, but remember to not keep the nozzle pointed at a single section for too long. All you need to do is wash the dirty areas thoroughly until all debris and dirt disappear entirely.

Step 4: Rinse

Rinsing is a crucial step in your terracotta roof cleaning process. Generally, most cleaning solutions aren't harmful to your roof tiles even if you don't rinse after cleaning. However, rinsing off any cleaning solutions and detergents you used is an effective way to get rid of all the grime and dirt that the cleaning solutions broke down.