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How to Clean a Metal Roof

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Dirt, acid rain, pollution particles, pollen, algae, mold, mildew, sap, yard debris, and other troublemakers can linger on your metal roof, so regular cleaning is a must if you want to keep it in tip-top condition. After all, a good bath does more than ensure that your metal roof looks great. It also helps to extend its lifespan by maintaining the integrity of the panels and preventing staining, chalking, and premature degradation of the roof’s surface. Do you know how to clean a metal roof?


How to Clean a Metal Roof

When cleansing a metal roof, you’ll want to choose your strategy carefully. Using the wrong equipment, product, or technique could harm the surface. In fact, it’s generally a good idea to test whatever method you’re planning to use on a small, inconspicuous area first. You’ll also want to make your personal safety a priority. If you’re ever unsure or uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to call in a roofing professional to tackle the job.

What methods might be used to clean a metal roof?

A Quick Rinse

A quick rinse with the garden hose may be all you need to wash away the debris that has accumulated on the metal roof. This can also help to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and algae. For best results, start at the bottom of the panel and work your way up. Once you’ve gotten the surface clean, be sure to give it a final rinse to prevent streaking. Continue until the entire roof has been rinsed down.

A Soapy Solution

If water alone won’t deliver the level of clean that you want, add detergent to the mix. While it’s a good idea to check the requirements of your particular roofing, it’s generally safe to mix dish soap or mild laundry detergent with water to up your cleaning power. From the ground, you can attach a soap receptacle to your hose to spread the detergent. Then, rinse with plenty of clean water to remove any lingering residue.

A Hands-On Approach

If you have a head for heights and prefer a hands-on approach, you can clean the roof directly by climbing onto it and scrubbing it with a soapy solution and a sponge or non-abrasive brush. However, this approach can be dangerous, especially since many metal roofs are more slippery that their asphalt peers. While manually scrubbing away stains can be effective, this particular method is probably best left to the professionals.

Stain Treatments

Are stubborn stains lingering on your roof’s surface despite your best efforts with detergent and water? It may be time to use a cleaning solution with a little more muscle. For mold, mildew, or heavy staining, you have several options for cleaning solutions:

  • Mix 1 gallon of bleach with 5 gallons of water and one cup of mild dishwashing soap.
  • Mix 1 gallon of bleach with 3 gallons of water and 1.3 cups of powdered laundry detergent.
  • Mix 1 gallon of vinegar with 5 gallons of water.
  • Mix 1 cup of ammonia with 5 gallons of water.

It can be unsafe to mix certain chemicals, so always proceed with caution. Follow any application of a cleaning solution with a generous rinse of plain water.

Adding More Power

Sometimes people prefer to bypass the garden hose and reach for a power washer when cleaning their metal roofs. This is an option for most metal roofs, but you have to proceed with caution. Too much pressure can dent the roof. If you believe the power of a pressure washer is the only way to get your metal roof clean, but you aren’t confident in your ability to use it without damaging your metal roof, contact a roofing professional.

A Professional Clean

Since regular cleanings are such an important part of maintaining a metal roof, many homeowners consider a professional clean to be the best choice. Calling in a roofing professional is a great way to get a high-quality clean with minimal effort or risk. It also provides a chance to have a professionally-trained eye look over your roof, which increases the odds that any minor problems with your roof will be spotted before they become major troubles.


Do you have questions about how to clean a metal roof? Would you prefer to leave metal roof maintenance to a trusted professional? Reach out to Taylor-Made Roofing. As a family-owned company with more than 20 years of experience meeting the roofing needs of those who live and work in southern Missouri, we know that regular maintenance helps you keep your roofing looking its best, avoid costly repairs, and get many years of faithful service from your roof. Whether you’re in need of basic maintenance, a repair, or a total replacement, we’re ready to help. Contact us today to learn more.

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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