Metal roofing may not be the traditional option for home roofing, but there are good reasons for its fast-growing popularity. Cost-effective, energy-efficient, and resistant to fire and insects, a beautiful metal roof can add a gorgeous pop of color or a subtle shine to any property.
However, cleaning a metal roof can be easier said than done. These smooth roofs can be slick when wet, and the wrong tools can scrape their surface or cause lasting damage and discoloration.
That’s why any homeowner with a metal roof should know why, when, and how to get it clean. Let’s take a look at the basics of metal roof cleaning.
Why Cleaning a Metal Roof Is Essential
First things first: do you really need to clean your metal roof? Metal roofs often need less maintenance than other roofing options, but regular cleaning offers a few key benefits.
Lengthen the Lifespan
The average metal roof can last up to 70 years, depending on the material you’ve chosen. However, this is only true if you take good care of your investment.
Maintaining the panels can help preserve the roof’s structural integrity for longer. This can help ensure that you enjoy your metal roof’s full lifespan.
Prevent Plant and Fungal Growth
Though small amounts of debris like leaves and twigs won’t cause major problems on their own, enough of them can lead to subtler issues.
Piles of debris can trap moisture, which is something that mold, lichen, moss, and algae thrive on. Allowing these growths to penetrate your roofing system can cause long-term damage. In some cases, mold can even make it into the attic of your home over time, which can cause a range of health issues.
In addition to metal roof damage, a dirty metal roof can simply be unappealing to look at. Buildups of leaves and sticks, pollen and rust stains, and plant and fungal growth can impact the look of your home. A regular roof maintenance routine can ensure that your curb appeal stays intact.
When to Clean Your Metal Roof
You should get a professional roof cleaning once every year or so, though you can often get away with less frequent cleaning if your roof was recently installed and is still in good condition. Experts also recommend a professional roof inspection once a year, so scheduling your cleaning around the same time can be a good way to make sure you remember it.
The best time of year for a roof cleaning is in the fall or spring when temperatures tend to be mild. Metal roofs grow hot to the touch when the sun is shining, and the light’s glare off the metal can make it difficult to see. For this reason, the sunny summer months are not always ideal.
The perfect day for roof cleaning is an overcast day with moderate temperatures. You’ll also want to choose a dry day with no recent rain, as moisture can increase the risk of slips and falls.
What to Expect From a Pro Roof Cleaning
We always recommend contacting an expert to clean your metal roof. A pro will have the equipment, training, and expertise to climb onto and clean your roof the right way.
There are several reasons a professional cleaning is ideal.
First, professionals have the safety training and proper equipment to clean a roof without putting themselves at risk. Often, they’ll use a fall protection harness to add an extra layer of safety. Contrast this with an inexperienced home or property owner climbing a rickety ladder without a buddy to spot them!
Second, professionals will come bearing all of the roof cleaning supplies you need. This includes non-toxic detergents and solvents that are safe to use on a plain or painted metal roof. They can also use specialized cleaning solutions for removing algae, mildew, mold, and rust.
In addition, they’ll know how to protect your roof better than you could on your own. A professional chooses techniques, cleaning tools, and even footwear that won’t scratch or scrape your roof. If they use a power washer, they will use a soft washing technique to protect your roof.
An expert will assess the condition of your roof before stepping onto it, including deciding which areas need special attention. They will remove debris first, then get rid of plant or fungal growth, and then polish your roof to a tidy shine.
How to Remove Debris on Your Own
What should you do if you just need to clean large debris off your roof? Outside of professional deep cleanings, you might choose to remove any leaves or tree branches that fall throughout the year.
If you do so, it’s important to protect both yourself and your roof.
To protect yourself, use a sturdy ladder and always ask a friend around to hold onto it. Don’t step onto your roof unless you have to; use long-reaching tools to remove debris instead. Wear shoes with good traction to avoid slipping.
To protect your roof, don’t rinse or clean it with harsh chemicals: all you need is water with an optional pinch of dish soap to flush debris away. You can use a garden hose or grab a soft, non-abrasive tool like a sponge or microfiber towel. Never use bristle brushes, sandpaper, or steel wool on your roof!
If you’re not sure how to remove debris, or if you’re ready for a cleaning that removes stains, always contact an expert.
Get Professional Power Washing
Cleaning a metal roof can help preserve its integrity and lengthen its lifespan, and it also adds a beautiful shine that can upgrade your property’s curb appeal. However, it’s crucial to go about it the right way: roof maintenance can be hazardous, so don’t hesitate to call a pro for help!
Here at Spartan Power Washing, we’re proud to help our Connecticut clients get a clean property with less labor. With our expertise, you can transform your home or property with a metal roof cleaning that makes your roof look new again. To learn more about our roof cleaning practices, solutions, and costs, contact us today.