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The SoftWashing Method & NOT Pressure Washing is Essential to Give Your Flat Roof a Longer Lasting Life Span.

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Roof Cleaning

Often the very last thing on any building owner’s maintenance plan is cleaning the flat roof. This is mainly because of the “out of sight out of mind” attitude.

When you see what is up there causing damage to your flat roof membrane in a relatively short time frame from when the property was built, you would be surprised.

More often than not when a flat roof has a survey, it is found to be covered in very dark, thick organic matters. From ancient Cyanobacteria’s, mosses, fungi, lichens and other biological growth such as grass and saplings, all eating away the very surface of the flat roof membrane.

Commercial buildings with flat roofs which are covered in all this organic funk, should look at the cost of keeping the building cool in summer. Most flat roof membranes are white or light grey in colour and for good reason, they reflect sunlight, which helps keep the building cooler. We all know what happens when we wear black clothing on a hot summers day, we end up burning hot. Well it’s the same for your flat roof, when covered in dark organic matter it cannot reflect heat well, instead it absorbs the heat which makes the building hotter inside. Your air conditioning units end up working overtime to keep the building cooler.

Flat roofs also tend to have pools of water on them, great for organic matter pond life to thrive. Foul smelling spores are often evident throughout the flat roof surface.

Do Contaminated Flat Roofs Help Cause Sick Building Syndrome?

Would you let any child sleep inside a mouldy bedroom? Of course, you wouldn’t, the child would be at risk from getting sick. Headaches, sore throats and respiratory problems would soon occur. Do you know that many buildings usually have air vents high up on the building near or on the flat or pitched roof? Airflow going inside the building allowing it to “breathe”.

What are you and your employees actually breathing in all day long? How many sick days with coughs and colds, asthma etc are taken off each and every year.

This may be avoided with proper building and roof maintenance treating and cleaning plans being put in place.

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Cleaning a Flat Roof

When you decide to have your flat roofed cleaned by a professional exterior building cleaning company, what should you demand of them? They should understand “how to” safely clean the roof completely free from organic matter, without causing health issues to occupants inside and outside of the building.

Many people incorrectly assume a pressure washer is the ideal piece of equipment to carry out flat roof cleaning works. The reason for this mistake is the fact that not many people know about exterior surface cleaning. They do know about pressure washers due to numerous TV and magazine adverts from pressure washing manufacturers. And that is because they have been around a long time. Hence the reason they “think” a pressure washer is needed.

Have you even though about what might happen should a pressure washer be used to clean up organic matter build up on a flat roof? The powerful jets may damage the flat roof membrane and WILL also kick up clouds of bacteria infested biomatter. The bacteria will than find their way inside you building through air vents and air conditioning units which are often found sitting up on the roof. Open top floor windows will also allow the contamination to enter the building. Will this cause your employees to get sick? Research suggests that organic matter which enters and lives inside a building is not good for our health. Often hiding and breeding above false ceilings and wall cavities in many buildings, where did they enter the building from?

Pressure washers atomise the water into a spray cloud which can be seen from close by or at a distance. This is the reason pressure washers are dangerous to use on flat roofs. Not only that, water cannot get rid of the root of the organic plant life, spores are left behind and grow back much quicker and thicker, creating a worse problem than was there before.

How to SoftWash a Flat Roof?

SoftWashing cleans flat roofs safely, the treatment lasts 4 – 6 times longer than cold water pressure washing because it kills the organic matter at the root. Any future growth would be New Growth and not Re-Growth.

Any loose matter such as leaves as plants, rubbish etc are first collected and safely bagged up to be disposed.

A SoftWashing mixture is then applied to the flat roof membrane by an experienced certified applicator, who has undergone classroom training, in field training and MUST pass a 200-question exam before being allowed out there to treat roofs and walls free from organic matter build up.

The SoftWashing Solution

The SoftWashing Solution is made up of specially formulated products designed to mix with sodium hypochlorite safely. Flat roof surfaces MUST be sanitised and the only way to do this is by applying a carefully blended SoftWash chemical which is eco friendly and bio degradable.

After the flat roof has been SoftWash treated the roof must be neutralised with a product known as Final Wash, which ensures the flat roof has been rinsed free from any chemical residue.

Because the SoftWash mixture is NOT atomised there is no danger of it blowing in the wind up and through vents, unlike a pressure washer would do.

The SoftWash Roof Cleaning Solution is held on the back of a SoftWashing truck parked in your carpark or close to the building. Long SoftWashing hose pipes are hoisted up onto the roof and the SoftWash operator simply opens up the SoftWashing wand to carefully apply the flat roof treatment mixture.

SoftWashing is safe

No heavy lifting of any equipment up through the building is required. No water tap is required upon the roof. Because NO pressure is used, no damage to the flat roof membrane can occur, ensuring no leaking of water after rainfall enters the building.

The end result

The end results look fantastic making sure the membrane flat roof is back to its original condition and free from all organic life.

When You Want Your Flat Roof Cleaning by Experts Call 0800 1577484 Today to Arrange Your FREE Roof Cleaning Survey. Samples Treatments Can Be Arranged Please Ask Us

Other articles that could be of interest to you

Roof Cleaning AberdeenBuilding Cleaning UpminsterRender CleaningCladding CleaningHotel exterior surface sanitisingRender Cleaning Bexhill on SeaSoftwashingBuilding Cleaning HornchurchCladding Cleaning Prices in 2019

I look forward to helping you get your building super clean,

Yours sincerely

Darran Smith

Darran Smith, Director, Purple Rhino Building Cleaning

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What our Clients Think


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  • From the first contact with Purple Rhino I was impressed with the service that we received from Darran, for his quick response to our request and professionalism to the end product from his team on site.

    I’m sure we will be working together on future projects.

    Kevin Draper Manager
    Johns of Nottingham, Dagenham

  • Purple Rhino operate a first class and professional cladding & facade cleaning service. My opening dialogue with Darran Smith was concise and prompt and he certainly did not employ the irritating ‘hard sell’ tactics with constant phone calls and emails chasing the contract. Darran left our company to decide in our own time when and how we would have the building’s facade cleaned.

    Kevan Gibling
    Seamark Ltd, Manchester

  • This is one of many sites looked after by Purple Rhino – they always stick to their scheduling systems and give excellent safe results

    Green Eco Ltd
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  • As always, Purple Rhino have carried out the ultimate K-Rend, render cleaning to this extremely large apartment block in Margate. The through coloured render was extremely dirty but now thanks to the render cleaning team at Purple Rhino the buildings K Render looks like new.

    We have worked with Purple Rhino K-Rend Render Cleaning specialists for more than 5 years and are always delighted with the service and excellent results from the whole team.

    Dave Hazell Contracts Manager
    Bell Group Ltd, Margate, Kent

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