Your metal roof was quite the investment. Keeping it clean can prolong its life, keep it functioning as it should, and keep it looking good as new. But what goes into cleaning a metal roof? What cleaning solutions should you use? Should you use a pressure washer? How can you be extra safe when cleaning your roof? From soap to safety, here are 5 metal roof cleaning tips you need to know.
#1 – Best Metal Roof Cleaning Solution
DON’T use harsh chemicals, cleaning agents, or tools that will ruin your metal roof’s paint or protective layers.
Your metal roof has most likely been coated with protective sealants or even paint to help prolong its life. These materials are sensitive to harsh chemicals, and using them to clean your roof can do more harm than good. Always read product labels before applying them to your roof, and when in doubt call a professional. Also, don’t pick anything like a steel wool sponge or a wire brush to clean your roof – you’ll wind up with horrible scratches and damage. Once you decide on a cleaning solution and tool, spot test it on a small portion of your roof in a low-visibility area to make sure it won’t cause any wear on the sealants or the paint.
DO use a diluted gentle detergent, water, and a soft tool.
Did you know that most debris on your metal roof can be removed with plain old water? Use a hose to spray debris like leaves and twigs off of your roof. Once all the hard debris is off of the roof, you may still see some dirt or mildew. All you need to clean the dirt off of your metal roof is a gentle detergent – like dish soap or car washing soap. You can dilute just ¼ cup of soap into a gallon of water! This mixture is potent enough to get the gunk off your roof without eating away at its protective layers. To scrub away the dirt, use a microfiber towel or a very soft bristled brush.
Tip #2 – Safety Tips for Cleaning Your Roof
DON’T get hurt.
Washing a metal roof involves all kinds of opportunities for injury. Metal is a slick surface, especially when there’s water and soap involved. There are so many things you can do to prevent any accidents when cleaning your metal roof. Please read the following safety tips carefully before attempting to give your roof a good cleaning.
DO practice safety first and use all the right equipment.
- Don’t clean your roof alone. If you’re going to be walking on your metal roof or even just up on a tall ladder, please have someone else present while you work. Whether you have your wife sit in a lawn chair reading a book or you bribe a buddy with some cold ones to come and help for the day, don’t clean your roof alone.
- Use a safe ladder and protective equipment. Do not use a rinky old ladder that creaks and moans with each step. It’s best to use a ladder that has been safety-approved by OSHA. Even if you think you have superhuman balance, please consider wearing a fall protection harness when cleaning your roof.
- Only clean what you can reach from your ladder. In a perfect world, only a professional should walk on your roof. Do your best to use long-reaching tools and a ladder to scrub what you can reach without venturing onto your roof.
- If you do plan to walk on your roof, wear shoes with a good grip. Crocs, sneakers, and flip flops aren’t going to cut it. Make sure the shoes you’re wearing have good, grippy traction so that your chances of slipping and falling are much less. (Bonus tip: make sure there’s no debris stuck in the soles of your shoes, as it could scratch your roof.)
Tip #3 – Can You Pressure Wash a Metal Roof?
DON’T use a high-pressure power washer on your metal roof.
Using a high-pressure power washer on a metal roof is not something we recommend as part of your DIY roof cleaning routine. Yes, it’s good to do some light cleaning to your roof on your own, but you should leave the pressure washing to the Pros. Using a pressure washer on your roof without the proper training can result in accidents and injuries, dents and damages to your metal roof, or scratches in your sealing or paint.
DO use a garden hose.
Trust us when we say that your normal garden hose will absolutely be capable of cleaning your metal roof. Use it to loosen up piles of leaves and sticks and then to rinse off any soapy spots that needed a little extra attention. Using a garden hose often keeps you from having to actually climb on top of your roof, as well.
Tip #4 – When to Clean a Metal Roof
DON’T clean your roof on a hot, sunny day or a rainy day.
This may sound obvious, but cleaning your roof on a rainy day is not smart. Extra water only means extra opportunities for accidents and injuries. However, you also shouldn’t choose a bright, sunny day to clean your metal roof. Metal roofs become extremely hot to the touch in direct sunlight. Not to mention how reflective they can be. If you choose to clean your metal roof on a sunny summer day, you run the risk of getting painful burns or even falling due to impaired visibility from your roof’s reflectability.
DO choose a dry overcast day for cleaning your metal roof.
The perfect weather for cleaning your metal roof is a dry, overcast day with mild temperatures. Your roof won’t be extra slippery. You won’t run the risk of having impaired visibility due to sun reflection. And, most importantly, your metal roof won’t be scalding hot.
Tip #5 – When to Call the Pros
DON’T wing it.
If you walk away from this article knowing one thing, it’s that all roof maintenance is better handled by the Pros. We have the training, the equipment, and the experience to clean your metal roof thoroughly without any injuries or damages.
DO call the Metal Roof Pros for a professional cleaning.
If you have questions about metal roof cleaning, give us a shout at 1-855-736-3825, or shoot us a message here on our website. We’re happy to talk you through more ways to take care of your metal roof anytime!