Did you know that the terracotta roof is one of the most in-demand tile roof types in Brisbane? A lot of homeowners and builders favour it due to its durable, fire-resistant, and environmentally-friendly properties. On top of that, it can also insulate your home during hot and humid months.

Terracotta roof tiles barely need maintenance, so it’s best to be consistent on them. If not done wisely, it can shorten its lifespan. Preserve your home’s curb appeal with a thorough terracotta roof cleaning. If you’ve no idea how to get started, we got you covered! Here are terracotta roof cleaning tips that you can follow.

Why is Terracotta Roof Cleaning Necessary?

Tile roof cleaning won’t only keep your curb appeal intact. It can also save your roof from getting damaged. Keep in mind that your roof is exposed to different external elements every day, and these include dirt and debris. Although rain can wash them off, other contaminants such as algae, lichen, and moss can do worse.


Do you see some black or blue-green stains on your terracotta roof? That’s probably algae. Algae is a bacterium that thrives in rooftops made from asphalt and limestone. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), this pesky bacterium is carried by wind or animals.

You can typically see it in your roof’s shaded spots. This explains why it only builds up on one side.


Algae can turn into lichens if combined with fungus. They have root-like parts that feed off from a roof’s oil base. Lichen on terracotta roof tiles can be challenging to remove for a variety of reasons. Aside from it can quickly spread from roof to another roof, it can also reappear due to rain and high humidity level.


moss in terracotta roof

If lichens are mere plant-like organisms, moss is actually a plant. It has a shallow root, which is why it penetrates damp roof surfaces. Moss on roof tiles is commonly seen in shaded areas since it retains more moisture.

If you have extended tree branches at home, this can also cause moss to thrive. Debris can become a food source for moss. Just like algae, it’s transported by wind or animals and can contaminate rooftop to rooftop, as well.

Terracotta Roof Cleaning Tips

There are several ways on how to clean roof tiles. Here at House Washing Experts, we’ll provide the best way to clean terracotta roof tiles at home! Read on and get started with these terracotta roof cleaning tips!

Create a Plan

You can’t simply climb onto your roof. That’s completely dangerous. If this is something you’ll do for the first time, you’ll likely back out due to unpreparedness.

So for starters, you should know what roof areas or spots need some cleaning. Do you see some algae on one side of your roof? Can you spot some moss under the tree branches? Finding where the contaminants are located will help you get started. Then, begin from the highest surface and work downwards.

Keep it Safe

Before we reveal more about our terracotta roof cleaning tips, it is not easy. Extreme safety measures are advised.

Clay tiles can be tough to clean since they can get slippery once they’re damp or wet from water and diluted cleaning solution. Avoid accidents by wearing shoes that can give you proper balance and traction.

Don’t forget to use a secure, durable ladder that can support you. It’s not highly dependable to stand on the roof tiles throughout the cleaning process. If you have to step on the tiles though, rely on the lower third of each tile. This is actually proven to be safer as it further supports the tiles below.

Steer clear from the hips and valleys of the terracotta roof. They’re not safe for you!

Lastly, make sure that there is no large debris on your gutters and downpipe. A clear path makes seamless roof cleaning possible!

Tile Roof Cleaning

Are you ready to start the cleaning process? Now is the time for the actual roof tiles cleaning, then!

The best way to perform roof cleaning is through pressure washing. As the name suggests, this requires a pressure washing machine that can wash off all the dirt, debris and other contaminants on your terracotta roof tiles.

  1. Get started by setting the pressure washing machine to a low setting for about 1,200 PSI. It will also a huge help if you’ll check the manufacturer’s requirements for pressure settings and angles so you can optimally clean your roof.
  2. If your tile is relatively new, you can switch to medium pressure, which can effectively remove the stains without causing any damage.
  3. Wash off the stains using long, smooth strokes. Don’t keep the pressure on a certain section for a longer period.
  4. The nozzle should be at least thirty centimetres away from the tile.
  5. You can only stand on a dry surface by working backwards. Then, start applying the pressure in small sections. Wash the section thoroughly, until you can’t see any dirt or debris anymore.
  6. Repeat the same process to other sections and double-check if your roof has retained its pristine condition.

terracotta roof

Don’t Rush

Aside from these terracotta roof cleaning tips, a lot of homeowners want to take the fastest route when DIY-ing. At a glance, it can be understandable. It’s overwhelming, tiring, and can become dangerous if done the wrong way.

However, it’s best if you won’t rush it. Avoid using the highest pressure (3,000 PSI and above) to get the job done faster, as it can cause tile and water damage. Moreover, it can even get worse for old, brittle terracotta roof tiles.

Take your time to wash the roof at an optimal distance. Apply pressure in smooth strokes to avoid zebra strips. Optimally, it’s better to use the machine at a right angle, so you won’t blast water into your tiles, penetrating the roof cavity.

Use a Low-Pressure Mould Inhibitor

Sure, pressure washing roof tiles is the best way to do it. But, it won’t be complete without a low-pressure mould inhibitor.

This makes use of an environmentally-friendly diluted cleaning solution for killing bacteria caused by mould. As the name suggests, this is a low-pressure machine (approx. 60 PSI) that can complete the entire roof cleaning process.

Unlike soft wash roof cleaning, this is much safer to utilize. Soft wash cleaning might be tricky since it uses a high-concentrated chemical cleaner to do the job. Unfortunately, this is not recommended by the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) in Brisbane and other near areas. Harsh cleaning chemicals are not good for your roof. Besides, this method is more costly and dangerous to the environment.

Brisbane Roof Cleaning

Whether you’re a first-timer or not, cleaning terracotta roofs can be daunting. In case you don’t want to take the DIY route, professional experts can take care of that for you. But we’re glad to help you through these terracotta roof cleaning tips!

Do you need roof cleaning service in Brisbane? We can do it for your home. At House Washing Experts, we only use pressure washing with a low-pressure mould inhibitor. This combined method ensures your terracotta roof is free from contaminants, preserving its original, pristine condition. Contact us at 1300-927-433, and we’ll give you a free quote!