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Can Sodium Hypochlorite Bleach Roof Tiles

By Mark Cave March 18, 2024

Debunking the Myth: Can Sodium Hypochlorite Bleach Roof Tiles?

In the world of roof maintenance, one common misconception often leads homeowners astray—the belief that sodium hypochlorite, when used for cleaning, can bleach the color out of roof tiles. This assumption not only misrepresents the capabilities of sodium hypochlorite but also overlooks the real reasons behind the changes in appearance that tiles undergo over time. Mark Cave, an authority in the field, provides invaluable insight into why this belief is not only misguided but completely overlooks the actual causes of color fading in composite roof tiles.

soft washing roof tiles

The Misconception

Many assume that the application of sodium hypochlorite for roof cleaning results in the bleaching of tile color. This is a misunderstanding of the chemical's effect and the cleaning process. Sodium hypochlorite, a potent cleaning agent, is often used in the soft washing process for its effectiveness in removing organic growth and stains from surfaces, including roof tiles.

Sodium Hypochlorite For Soft Washing 14% to 15%

The Reality Behind Color Changes in Roof Tiles

Composite tiles are engineered for durability and aesthetic appeal. However, like all materials, they are subject to wear and tear over time. A key factor often overlooked is the erosion of the colored coating on these tiles. As Mark Cave points out, the real culprit behind the perceived color fading is not the cleaning solution but the natural wear of the tile's surface.

Nature's Camouflage: Black Staining

Black staining on roofs, often caused by algae and other organic materials, can mask the underlying condition of the tiles. These stains can create a uniform appearance that hides the wear and tear of the tile's surface. When a homeowner decides to clean their roof, employing soft washing techniques with sodium hypochlorite & clever wash surfactant, they're often surprised by the appearance of the tiles post-cleaning.

Clever Wash Surfactant for soft washing roof tiles

Unveiling the Truth

The cleaning process does not bleach the color from the tiles; rather, it reveals the true condition of the tile that was hidden under layers of staining. The erosion of the colored coating over time, coupled with exposure to the elements, leads to the natural degradation of the tile's appearance. The cleaning process merely unveils this condition, leading to the mistaken belief that the cleaner has bleached the tiles.

Gradual Cleaning with Biocides

For those concerned about the sudden reveal of tile wear, a gradual approach using biocides like soft wash pro 50 offers an alternative. This method slowly cleans the roof over an extended period, typically around 12 months, gently removing organic growth without the immediate contrast change. This can be a more palatable option for some, offering a less dramatic unveiling of the roof's condition.

Soft Wash Pro 50 roof tile biocide cleaner

Conclusion

The belief that sodium hypochlorite bleaches roof tiles is a misunderstanding of both the chemical's properties and the condition of the tiles themselves. The reality is that time and nature wear down the materials, and cleaning simply reveals the true state of the roof. Understanding this distinction is crucial for homeowners and professionals alike, ensuring that the right methods are employed for maintaining the aesthetic and structural integrity of roofing materials.


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1 comment


  • Refreshing read, and absolutely agree. Too many folk within the insdustry(particularly those selling biocide) use the scare tactic about using SH products on tiles. However, as your article points out, it is widly used and to great effect.
    William.

    William on

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Soft Wash Calculator App

Now you can say I've got an app for that!

    

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Softwashing calculator is an indispensable tool for juggling complicated chemical mixes. It helps reduce wastage and keeps operating costs down by giving accurate proportions

If you are having difficulty getting your head around the maths, trying to work out what percentage of softwash you need, how much chemical, surfactant and water to add, then this is the App for you.

 

 


The Soft Wash Calculator App allows you to work out your soft wash recipe by telling you exactly how much chemical, how much water and how much surfactant to add to get the desired soft wash recipe.
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- links to SoftwashingUK website

Take this scenario
You started with a 1% soft wash recipe of 50 gal (or litres)  for a deck clean and you’re left with 13 gallons.

You get a call from a prospective customer to clean their roof. Past experience tells you a 4% soft wash recipe is needed, but what about your leftover mix at 1%?.

Do you waste time and effort driving back to base to transfer into a standby tank?
You could consider the 13 gal as just water, top up the tank and start again.  
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Soft Wash Calculator App to the rescue.

You get to the new job and it requires 100 gal / litres.
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The same applies if you have a 4% recipe left in your tank and you need to dilute it down to 2%. Again the app will tell you how.

Softwashing calculator will also work for any chemical recipe. For instance you can use it for Sodium Hypochlorite, Bleach, Biocide , TFR traffic film remover and degreaser. Even the mathematically-challenged rocket scientist can top up their booster tanks to new fuel mixes after launch delays caused by changing weather conditions.

Using this app you will know exactly what chemical strength to put on any surface giving you the confidence and the knowledge of a professional soft washer and you’ll save money as well.

So if you have little knowledge of how to mix a soft wash recipe then this app is for you.
If you have little knowledge of how to remix a soft wash recipe then this app is for you.
If you want to save money when mixing a soft wash recipe then this app is for you.

This app is also backward compatible to devices running iOS7. We've done this so you can re-purpose an old iPhone 4 or iPod Touch 5  for what could be hazardous work environments. Just toss one in your cleaning van's toolkit.

Once you learn the methods and procedures of how to apply the soft wash to the different surfaces that need cleaning you’ll be unstoppable!

The app also has  a guide to what percentage for what surface. And if you are the lucky owner of a Clever Injector it will remind you the correct setting for the job.
However you should always consider and risk assess what soft wash recipe you need to clean the surface.

** A major iOS code-base change may require a re-purchase. The appiverse at the time will confirm our promise that we won't do so unless the necessity is apparent.



 

 

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