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The Dos and Don’ts Of Metal Roof Cleaning: An Expert Guide

Posted on January 15, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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The Dos and Don’ts Of Metal Roof Cleaning: An Expert Guide

Before you clean your metal roof, you must understand the characteristics of your metal roofing materials to proceed with the best compatible solution. Doing it the wrong way can harm the surface and joints of the roof. To help you out, our team at RST Roofing and Renovation is here with an expert guide on cleaning metal roofs. Continue reading to understand the dos and don’ts of cleaning a metal roof.

What To Do: Understand The Basics Of Metal Roof Cleaning

Different types of metal roofs require specific solutions and techniques to avoid damage. Here’s a brief overview:

Aluminum Roofs

Aluminum is highly resistant to saline substances, corrosion, and rust, making it relatively low maintenance. Use an aluminum roof cleaner to remove dirt and grime without causing harm to your aluminum roof.

Copper Roofs

Copper develops a natural patina over time, but regular cleaning can enhance its appearance. Use high-quality copper cleaning solutions to avoid disrupting the patina formation. However, it’s best to hire a professional metal roofing contractor to clean a copper roof. After all, a copper roof is a lifetime investment.

Zinc Roofs

Zinc is a self-protecting metal due to the development of a patina, just like copper. Gentle cleaning with a mild detergent or a specialized zinc cleaner can help maintain the appearance of zinc metal roofs.

Besides cleaning solutions and products, there are multiple techniques you can use to clean metal roofs, and you need to be thorough with them to avoid costly mistakes.

What To Do: Use Proper Roof Safety Gear and Metal Roof Cleaning Techniques

First and foremost, consult a reliable metal roofing contractor about the right method to clean your metal roof, and if it is safe and efficient for you to do it. When you are ready to start cleaning, wear the necessary safety gear and keep all the products and tools within reach.

Safety Gear Needed: 

  • Ladder
  • Safety harness
  • Helmet
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Non-slip shoes
  • Glasses or safety goggles

Finally, don’t forget to ask someone to help you out with the task. They can help hand you tools and other items when required and keep an eye on you for your safety.

How To Clean A Metal Roof: Top 3 Techniques

Here’s an overview of the best three ways to clean metal roofs:

#1 Low-Pressure Washing

Metal Roof Cleaning
When to Use

👉 Light to Moderate Contaminants: Low-pressure washing is suitable for removing light to moderate dirt, dust, and organic matter.

👉 Prevent Damage: Ideal when you want to avoid potential damage to the metal surface and protective coatings.

How to Do It

👉 Adjust Pressure Settings: Use a pressure washer with adjustable pressure settings. Set it to a low-pressure mode to prevent damage to the metal.

👉 Wide Spray Nozzle: Choose a wide spray nozzle to distribute water evenly and reduce the intensity of the pressure on the roof.

👉 Maintain a Safe Distance: Keep a safe distance between the nozzle and the roof surface while washing to avoid any unintentional damage.

👉 Thorough Rinsing: Ensure thorough rinsing to remove all cleaning residues and contaminants.

#2 Soft Cleaning With Brushes or Brooms

When to Use

👉 Mild Contaminants: Soft cleaning is suitable for mild dirt, algae, or moss.

👉 Preserving Coatings: Ideal when preserving protective coatings is a priority.

How to Do It

👉 Soft Bristle Brushes or Brooms: Use soft-bristled brushes or brooms to scrub the metal surface gently. Avoid abrasive tools to prevent scratching.

👉 Mild Detergent Solution or a Specific Metal Roof Cleaner: Mix a solution of mild detergent with water for added cleaning power.

👉 Use Circular Motions: Scrub in circular motions to effectively remove contaminants without causing damage.

👉 Rinse Thoroughly: After scrubbing, rinse the roof properly with water to remove the cleaning solution completely.

#3 Chemical Cleaning

When to Use

👉 Stubborn Stains or Contaminants: Chemical cleaning is effective for removing stubborn stains, algae, or mold.

👉 Professional Guidance: Consider chemical cleaning under the guidance of professionals who can choose the right chemicals for your specific metal type.

How to Do It

👉 Choose A Compatible Metal Roof Cleaning Product: Select cleaning solutions that are compatible with your metal roof type. Avoid harsh chemicals that can cause corrosion.

👉 Apply The Solution Evenly: Apply the cleaning solution evenly across the roof using a sprayer or a soft brush.

👉 Wait Time: Keep the roof cleaner on the roof surface for the recommended time, allowing it to break down contaminants.

👉 Thorough Rinse: Rinse the roof thoroughly after, ensuring the solution is completely removed.

As metal roofing experts, we always recommend using a metal-specific cleaning product and professional tools for a clean and bright finish without causing damage or abrasion. 

Did you know that choosing a professional metal roof cleaning is typically more cost-effective and safer for homeowners? However, people often get tempted to do it themselves.

What Not To Do: Neglecting Professional Metal Roof Cleaning Services

There are multiple benefits of a professional roof cleaning. Here’s how the experts can help you get the job done perfectly and within your budget:

Efficiency and Safety                                                                               

  • Professionals have the expertise and equipment to ensure a thorough cleaning of your metal roof, reaching areas that may be challenging for homeowners.
  • Metal roofing experts understand which metal roof cleaner and technique is best for a specific type of metal roof. They consider the panel and fastening type, age of the roof, and local weather conditions, among other factors.
  • Professionals are trained to work safely and efficiently, saving you trouble and money by preventing accidents, delays, and roof damage.

Affordable, Long-Term Protection

  • Professional roof cleaning services are not as pricey as you might think. The labor charges are generally inexpensive, and roofers can get cleaning products at a discounted price. Plus, you don’t have to buy any expensive tools and safety gear.
  • Most insurance policies require proper roof maintenance, which includes regular cleaning using the right products and techniques. Proof of professional cleaning helps fulfill these requirements, ensuring compliance with insurance policies.
  • Many metal roof manufacturers stipulate proper maintenance in their warranty coverage. Professional cleaning demonstrates adherence to these requirements, preserving your warranty in case of future issues.

So now you know why professional cleaning is better for you and your home. Let’s dig deeper into the cleaning costs.

What Not To Do: Overestimate Metal Roof Cleaning Costs

Wondering how much it costs to clean a metal roof? On average, professional metal roof cleaning costs around $0.20 to $0.60 per square foot. So, for example if you have a 1,500-square foot metal roof, professional cleaning can cost anywhere between $300 and $900.

However, if you choose DIY cleaning, buying the cleaning supplies and specialized tools may cost you even more. You may also spend money on safety gear like a ladder, harness, and other items.

Professional inspections, cleaning, and timely repairs are all important for the overall health of your metal roof. We hope this guide helps you make decisions about cleaning your metal roof. If you need professional guidance, or metal roof cleaning services in Atlanta, GA, we’re here to help.

Also Read: The Real Cost of Roof Cleaning: What Homeowners Need to Know

Most Trusted Metal Roof Cleaning Contractor In Atlanta

At RST Roofing and Renovations, we’ve been helping our fellow homeowners with our expert roofing services for many years. As part of the community, we care about the well-being of our neighbors. If you are looking for reliable and affordable metal roof cleaning services in Atlanta, you can trust us for 100% successful results. Our team uses the best cleaning tools and products and will finish the task without any disruptions and delays. Call us at (404) 548-8901 and discuss your specific requirements with our experts today!

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