How to clean a Metal Roof: 101

On top of being visually appealing, metal roofs are fire-resistant, quick and easy to install, and they offer maximum shedding of rain and snow (hey, it could happen). They’re also lightweight and by far the easiest to clean and maintain. But before you learn how to clean a metal roof, let’s see why it’s so important.

Benefits of Cleaning a Metal Roof

Many people think that a clean roof is a matter of appearance — that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Because your roof protects your home from rain, debris, mold, etc. — it’s constantly covered in it. So, regular and proper maintenance is key if you want to preserve the integrity of your roof. 

As with most things, if you let dirt and other harmful substances sit on your roof for too long, they’re going to start wreaking havoc. Moreover, the damage can ultimately force you to have your home re-roofed. Fortunately, cleaning metal roofs is easy enough that you can avoid that option altogether.

Now that you know how important it is to keep your roof clean, let’s see how it’s done.

How to Clean Your Metal Roof in 5 Easy Steps

You’ll need:

  • TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
  • A gallon of water
  • A wire brush
  • Gloves
  • Paint and paint base — as needed

1. Safety First

Make sure you create a safe working environment for yourself before doing anything else. To stay on the safe side, you should strap yourself in a harness or a safety rope, and have someone there to help you.

2. Prepare the Cleaning Solution

You can make your own DIY solution for cleaning metal roofs. Simply pour a cup of TSP into a gallon of water, and mix it well (generally 8-9 parts water to each part TSP). Also, make sure you wear gloves and other protective gear as needed as exposure to these chemicals can cause irritation.

3. Prep Your Roof

You can use a wire brush to get rid of any corrosion or excess paint on your roof. By doing so, you can make sure you’re cleaning the actual roof, and not just adding the solution to layers of dirt. However, you should stay away from any harsh substances and metal tools as you can end up doing more harm than good.

4. Clean Your Roof

First, scrub the mildew and mold away with a soft brush. Put some elbow grease into it to make sure you get rid of the majority of stains.

5. Rinse

Rinse off the solution to make sure your roof has been properly cleaned. You can use a power washer if you have one, but a hose should do the trick as well.

Finishing Touches

There might be some areas on the roof left with some scratches. But that is by no means cause for concern. You can apply a layer of primer first, and then simply paint over them.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning a Metal Roof

There are some tricks for cleaning your roof, that will ensure you get the best result possible. Here is what you should keep in mind:

  1. Just like any other housework, it’s better to do it more frequently so it requires less effort each time. We recommend cleaning your metal roof every or every other year.
  2. Make sure you’re diluting the detergent appropriately, so it doesn’t cause any damage to your roof.
  3. Take your time. Cleaning a roof can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Don’t try to rush the process, because you’ll likely end up causing harm to yourself or the roof.

Final Thoughts

Building a home and adding new elements to it is typically expensive — and roofing is no exception. Thus, you’ll want to make sure you do the job right the first time around and not do anything that would cause it to have a shorter lifespan.

Your roof doesn’t require too much of your time or effort. Additionally, it’s always better to prevent damage from happening in the first place. All you need to do is give it a good clean every once in a while — and you’ll be sitting pretty. We hope this article has helped you learn why and how cleaning a metal roof is an essential part of home maintenance.

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