Insurance companies canceling homeowners insurance policies because of dirty roofs

You may not think about cleaning the roof of your home but insurance companies now say you should.

Whether you do or not could affect your policy.

Is your roof dirty?  Does it have dark streaks or green moss growing on it?

It's not just a nuisance.  Insurance companies, believe it or not, are now canceling policies because of roofs they consider too dirty.

Bob Foppe never thought much about the dark streaks on his roof.  After all, it wasn't leaking.

But then he received a letter from his insurance company threatening cancelation.

"Yeah, I got a letter from my insurance company.  They came a day i wasn't home, took some pictures," said Foppe.

The letter indicated mold and algae staining on his roof and on the vinyl siding on the shady side of his house.

"They said if I didn't correct it they could terminate my policy," said Foppe.

Mike Jackson runs a siding and roof cleaning business that's getting a lot of business these days now that more and more insurance companies are warning homeowners to clean their roofs.

"It catches them by surprise because roof stains go unnoticed," said Jackson.  "Until they get the letter."

The reason for these letters is because moss can eventually damage asphalt shingles and insurers don't want to pay for a new roof.

"People are unnecessarily replacing roofs in 10, 12, 15 years, just because of appearance," said Jackson.  "They don't need to be replaced.  They just need to be cleaned."

A new roof costs $5,000 to $10,000.  A professional cleaning costs about $500.

Foppe decided to hire a cleaner.

"They used their cleaning solution and scrubbed it," said Foppe.

More importantly, it prevented a costly insurance cancelation.

Websites are filled with suggestions for cleaning your roof yourself, and you can.

But be careful.  Standing on a steep roof is a serious safety risk.  In addition, blasting it with a garden hose or pressure washer can seriously damage the shingles.

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