While most homeowners spend the majority of their time maintaining the ground-level features of their homes, the roof is often an afterthought. It’s not until dirty, dark streaks and patches of moss show up that they realise their neglect is affecting their roof. If that describes you, fear not; you can save your roof. All you need to do is block off some time, arm yourself with the best roof cleaner, and get to work. In conjunction with a little spraying and scrubbing, these special formulas will have your roof looking fresh and renewed in no time. They cut through the dirt, grime, and sludge, revealing your roof’s true colours.
Cleaning your roof can give your house a polished look that doesn’t cost as much as getting a new one. Not every roof needs to be cleaned every year, but with Ohio’s high summer humidity and unpredictable weather, mould and mildew can build up quickly. We highly recommend that homeowners call a roofing professional when cleaning since any time spent on the roof is a high-risk situation. And, typically a professional roof cleaning isn’t as expensive as homeowners think. If you do decide that a DIY method is best for you, here are some things you should know:
Debris is often lightweight and can be removed with just your hands. As always, if you’re getting on top of your roof, make sure you are following proper safety protocol and wearing durable gloves. If your roof pitch is more than 7/12 on a single-story shingle roof, 6/12 on a two-story shingle roof or 5/12 on a metal roof, do not walk on it under any circumstances! Call a roofing professional instead. If your roof is a safe pitch, you can also use a soft broom to brush off debris. Just make sure not to apply too much pressure to the broom. Another way to remove debris from the roof is with a blower. Although this does eliminate some of the walkings and bending over that other methods entail, this method can cause debris to end up in vents, garage spaces and the attic since you aren’t in control of where debris lands. This method is also dangerous for shingle roofs – it can break the adhesive between shingles and remove granules. Only use this method if you can be sure that you can blow the debris from the ridgeline, or top of the roof, down. Top Glaze has a wide range of Melbourne roof restoration services.
Types of Roof Cleaners
Don’t rush out and set up the ladder quite yet. You first need to educate yourself on the different types of roof cleaners available. They all work a little differently, and some are much harsher on the environment than others. It’s important to do a little research before you choose the best roof cleaner for your needs.
For particularly stubborn stains and discolourations, beach-based cleaners might be the way to go. They’re so strong, in fact, that you don’t even need to scrub or rinse the roof down for them to work. Simply apply them to the roof and let them dry. The bleach will eat through the dirt and grime all on its own.
Here’s the thing about bleach-based chemicals, though: They’re extremely harsh. They can bother you if you breathe in their vapours, and your overspray (or runoff when it rains) can wreak havoc on your plants. These cleaners are so strong that you should try to keep your windows closed for a few days to avoid fumes and odours.
Bleach isn’t the only chemical manufacturers use to restore your roof to its former glory. Some formulas feature ammonia, copper sulphate, and trisodium phosphate, all of which can do a great job of removing the stains, moulds, and mosses that grow on roofs.
These formulas can be harsh on your plants as well, though usually to a lesser degree than bleach-based cleaners. They rarely require the user to scrub or apply a second application, and in most cases, there’s no need to keep your windows closed after application. They usually come in concentrates, so you’ll probably want to mix them with water unless you have a really stubborn stain.
If you’re looking for a safer, less environmentally detrimental approach to cleaning your roof, check out an eco-friendly cleaner. These formulas break up the dirt, algae, and mould on your roof without the inherent dangers of chemical and bleach compounds.
Eco-friendly cleaners are safe for your kids, plants, and the wildlife that might roam through your property. While it’s entirely possible to have some type of allergic reaction to these products, they’re generally safe.
Eco-friendly cleaners tend to use oxygen to break down dirt and roof-loving moulds and algae, so they work best with a bit of agitation. Since you’ll probably have to scrub most of your stains and discolourations away, having a long-handled brush on hand will be incredibly helpful.
If you want to blast your roof clean, you can always set up a pressure washer and get to work. The pump inside your pressure washer boosts the amount of pressure with which the water comes out of the nozzle, knocking dirt and film clear off your shingles.
But pressure washers can also blast your shingles off, so be careful when you’re spraying your roof.
To help increase your pressure washer’s effectiveness, there are lots of products available that you can mix into the water. If you don’t use a chemical, realise that water alone might not kill any residual moss and algae.
When Do You Need to Clean Your Roof?
You should visually inspect your roof on a regular basis to know whether your roof needs some maintenance. If you notice the growth of moss, algae, leaves, branches, or other debris, you should hire professionals to handle the cleaning job really well.
How Long Does It Take to Clean Your Roof?
You can expect roof cleaning to take some time. Roof cleaning is an activity that may sometimes need a few days for achieving satisfactory results. It involves a gradual extermination process of the contaminants as well as power-washing to remove the filth. Looking for roof restoration Melbourne? Look no further! Top Glaze has you covered.
How to Clean a Metal Roof Safely?
One of the most important factors of cleaning your metal roof is safety. Metal is slippery, especially when cleaning agents and water is combined. In order to clean a metal roof safely and effectively, you’ll need to remember a few important things, including the following:
- Never, never, never get on top of your roof alone. There should ALWAYS be at least one other person present when getting on top of your metal roof in case of accidents.
- Use an OSHA approved safety ladder. Ladder safety is key in your ability to safely clean your roof. You may also want to consider purchasing padded stabilisers to better protect your metal roof’s paint or finish. The coatings on a metal roof offer a lot of protection, so to prevent scratches and damage from your ladder, stabilisers should have a soft surface to touch.
- Wear shoes with good traction, and no rocks or other debris stuck in the bottoms. If you’re planning on walking around on top of your roof, this is key. Ensuring you have shoes that can support you while on top of the roof is highly recommended. You should also wear any necessary protective clothing and eyewear, especially if you’re handling cleaning agents and solutions.
- For extra precaution, consider purchasing, wearing, and using fall protection equipment. This can include harnesses and other fall systems.
- If you plan on using cleaning solutions and agents, always be sure to read the product labels’ recommendations. Some cleaning solutions can be toxic and cause harm to your roof, the ground below, and even you. If you think there’s a chance your cleaning solution could run off the roof, cover the plants below with a tarp or other protective cover.
Best Ways to Clean a Metal Roof
After ensuring you’re following all the safety precautions, you can then begin to clean your metal roof. One of the first things you’ll want to do is remove any debris as best as possible. This can include sticks, leaves, and other items.
Most dirt and dust can then be removed with water. Using a garden hose is one of the safest options and can help you reach areas of your metal roof without having to climb on top of it. Many homeowners ask, “Can you power wash a metal roof?” and the answer is yes, you can, but we don’t recommend it mainly because a power washer can dent a metal roof if it’s used to spray the roof too closely. Power washers are also bulky and heavy, so unless you have the proper extensions needed, it may be difficult to get them up high enough to reach the entire roof.
If you have stubborn stains, you may need to use a light cleaning solution. We recommend mixing a ¼ cup of detergent, including car washing soap or mild dish soap, with a gallon of water. Then, you’ll just need to apply to solution to your metal roof with a sponge, microfiber cloth, or soft-bristle brush, and let it sit on the surface for 5-10 minutes. Finally, thoroughly rinse off the solution with plain water. This is one of the most non-invasive and easiest ways to get a metal roof clean!
This option is safe to use on almost all paints and finishes on metal roofs. However, we always recommend talking to a product specialist before putting any chemicals or solutions on your roof to ensure you don’t damage or remove the paint/finish. If you have stains on your metal roof, like rust or algae, they may require a deeper clean than the detergent-and-water solution can provide. We highly recommend reaching out to our team before using any other cleaning solutions as they could damage your metal panels permanently. We have a wide range of Melbourne roof replacement services at Top Glaze.
Tips to Clean a Metal Roof
A few other factors you may want to keep in mind while cleaning metal roofing include the following:
- Choose a dry, overcast day — Avoid cleaning your roof on hot, sunny days as the metal panels will get extremely hot, and you could risk hurting yourself. On sunny days, metal panels will also reflect the sun and produce a glare that could impair your vision. Of course, once you begin cleaning your metal roof, it will get wet. However, you should avoid cleaning your metal roof on a wet, rainy day to decrease your chances of slipping and falling.
- Only clean where you can reach — Before you begin hauling up equipment and other cleaning supplies, you should see how far up your roof you’re able to reach areas that need a deeper cleaning. Hoses will extend your reach; however, if there are areas too far out of your reach and pose a danger, it’s best not to try and scrub them by hand.
- Never use damaging products — Products like wool scrubbers, sandpaper, paint thinners, high-pressure washers, and wire brushes should NEVER be used on a metal roof. You’ll cause scratches and other damage to your panels with products like that. Avoid them at all costs!
- When in doubt, hire a professional — If you’re feeling uneasy, you’re not sure how to do it, or just uncomfortable cleaning your metal roof, simply hire a professional roof cleaning service. They’ll get the job done and save you the worry. Hiring a professional service will cost more than doing it yourself, but it will save you time and help keep your roof in the best shape possible.
Deep cleaning isn’t required every year with most metal roofs. Since they have high-performing qualities, they’re deficient maintenance. We usually recommend deep cleaning your roof every 2-3 years, depending on your environment, to ensure it looks its best. However, to ensure your roof is able to perform to its best abilities, you should do routine checks multiple times a year. This includes checking for debris, any damages, or other factors that could decrease your metal roof’s life expectancy.
How Often Should You Have Your Roof Cleaned?
The frequency of roof cleaning depends on various factors that affect the state of your roof. Usually, you require roof cleaning once a year. However, newly installed roofing will need less cleaning, perhaps every two years.
What Is the Best Time of the Year for Roof Cleaning?
Experts recommend performing roof cleaning and maintenance during the summer months. This ensures enough sunshine on your roof, making its surface dry and safer to walk on. Since stepping on the top is very risky, having a dry surface prevents slipping and injuries.