A metal roof offers superior protection for your home, and it is visually appealing too. It's the ideal roofing material for a cabin or home in the woods since it's durable and suitable for just about any type of home architecture. The only drawback with a metal roof, especially one under a canopy of trees is that it gets dirty. Dirt from roads and farm fields can accumulate on the roof along with debris from decaying leaves. Algae can grow on the metal too, and leave dark stains. Fortunately, the damage is only cosmetic, and the appearance of your roof can be restored by cleaning it. Here's what you need to know about cleaning your metal roof.
Decide If DIY Is Practical
In many cases, it's best to hire a contractor to clean your roof, because it's a dangerous job. However, if your home has only one story and the roof is low to the ground, and if the slope isn't too steep, you may be able to clean it yourself. You'll need to wear a safety harness and take safety precautions though. Metal roofs are very slick, especially the parts covered with algae or wet leaves. You can easily slip and fall. If the slope is very steep, you'll slide right off the roof, just like you'd do on a playground slide. For that reason, you shouldn't climb on the roof and attempt to wash it unless you know how to handle yourself and you use safety equipment.
Use A Power Washer
The best way to go about cleaning a metal roof is to use a power washer. Move the washer slowly, and spray an area for several passes so you can break apart algae and tough stains. The pressure from the water will sweep leaves from the ridges and seams along with dirt and other debris. You can add a mild detergent to the spray if you want, as this may help clear dirt. However, be sure to rinse the roof thoroughly if you do, so the soap doesn't dry on the metal and leave a filmy residue behind.
When you use a pressure washer on the roof, start at the top and work your way to the bottom, cleaning off a small section at a time. You'll probably be amazed at how much dirt has accumulated on the roof, and it will probably look several shades lighter with a few passes of the pressure washer.
While you're using the pressure washer, look for signs of damage on the roof. If you have a newer roof with the color baked in, you shouldn't have any problems with peeling paint or rust. However, if you see missing screws or scratches, make a mental note to repair them when you've finished cleaning the roof. Cleaning a metal roof is slow work and dangerous if you do it yourself, but the effort is worth it because it makes your roof look like new. If you're uncertain about your ability to clean the roof safely, then let a contractor like Chandler Roofing do the job. As an added benefit, he or she can inspect the roof while cleaning it, so you can feel confident that the roof not only looks good, but that it's in good shape too.