White membrane roof systems have gained recognition and improved in quality since they came to the US in the early 90’s. They are now the most attractive option in Commercial and Industrial settings. These single-ply roof systems offer many benefits such as heat-reflectiveness and energy efficiency. TPO and PVC roofs also provide exceptional resistance to chemical, ozone and ultraviolet exposure. For these systems to continue being energy efficient they must remain clean and reflective year round.
Roofing manufacturers recommend cleaning white membrane single-ply roof systems at least once annually. UV rays and excessive heat break down the materials quicker than anything else. Keeping these roofs clean will ensure ultimate reflectivity and a cooler substrate.
Membrane roof systems have been intentionally colored white. This is the most reflective color and in turn keeps the surface temperature lower than that of a dark or dirty roof. Lower temperatures ensure peak performance and the maximum life span of these products.
TPO and PVC membrane roof systems have been designed with energy efficiency in mind. Almost all commercial roofs have their HVAC units on the roof. Having a lower temperature roof surface, the HVAC unit will pull in cooler air, ultimately using less energy to cool the property.
Reflective and cooler roofs also help combat the Urban Heat Island Effect. In short, Rural and undeveloped areas are full of vegetation and moisture-trapping soils. Vegetation intercepts radiation, provides shade and releases water vapor that helps cool air in the vicinity. When urbanization occurs, you are left with structures that are generally made of non-reflective and water resistant materials. Metropolitan areas are also filled with thousands of people. This combination results in what is called a Heat Island. Cities are realizing this and looking for ways to combat it. Light colored and reflective roofs are one of the most popular, along with Green Roofs that include plants and vegetation. The more clean reflective materials that are used in one area, the more likely the immediate surroundings will be slightly cooler, inside and out.
Exposing areas of Preventative Maintenance: Manufacturers recommend roof inspections at least twice a year. Keeping your roof clean and free of debris allows you see potential issues before they become costly leaks or repairs down the road.
Oakland Power Washing follows all manufacturers guidelines.
Most importantly, do Not let anyone use high pressure on your TPO or PVC roof.
Pretreatment: Having a yearly maintenance program almost always ensures no chemicals or soaps will be needed. If you do have heavy dirt or algae build up, it is recommended to pretreat these areas with an environmentally friendly, PH neutral soap. This will help break down stains and allow for a safe low pressure to be used in the cleaning. Strong Acids and Caustics are not acceptable for cleaning the roofs.
Safe Cleaning: Most commercial pressure washers produce around 3500psi. This is entirely too much pressure and can cause damage when used with a wand. Our equipment is specifically set up for this application and produces 1500-2000psi. We also use a rotary surface cleaner rather than your typical wand. This lightweight 28” wide cleaner rolls on the surface and allows for complete pressure adjustment. Having permanent casters, our rotary surface cleaners also provide a more consistent and thorough cleaning than that of your standard wand.