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How To Clean A Metal Roof?

Posted on April 17, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 4 Min.

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How To Clean A Metal Roof?

Professional roofers utilize a variety of methods to clean a metal roof. The most suitable way is determined by your specific roofing type and style, as well as the amount of effort you’re willing to invest. Regardless of the method chosen, cleaning a metal roof consistently can enhance its lifespan and maintain its aesthetic appeal. 

However, it’s important to follow specific guidelines to prevent any potential harm to your metal roof during the washing process. If you want to clean your metal roof without damaging it, this blog post is for you. Read this guide thoroughly to not to miss any steps of the procedure. 

Metal Roof

Best Practices To Clean A Metal Roof

Before discussing how to clean a metal roof, let’s first examine the best practices for cleaning it. Remember, using these tips while cleaning a metal roof is essential, as they are specially designed to ensure a thorough washing with the utmost protection. 

1. Thoroughly Inspect the Metal Roof 

A metal roof may suffer damages, such as rust, corrosion, and biological growth, over time that necessitates cleaning. Or it simply may look dull and aesthetically unappealing, prompting you to want to bring back its original look. Regardless of your reason for cleaning the metal roof, it is essential to inspect it thoroughly. This complete metal roof inspection will help you assess the condition of the visibly damaged areas as well as the entire metal roof. With a complete inspection of your metal roof, you will be able to address areas that may go unnoticed from the ground. 

2. Choose the Right Metal Roof Cleaning Solution 

There are many metal roof cleaning solutions available on the market. However, choosing which one to use requires an understanding of the solution and your metal roofing type: copper, aluminum, steel, or zinc. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can corrode and strip the metal roof coatings. Instead, opt for gentle, biodegradable cleaners specifically formulated for the type of metal roof you have. 

3. Use the Right Cleaning Tools

When cleaning a metal roof, selecting the right tools makes a significant difference. Avoid using harsh and abrasive brushes, as they can scratch the metal roofing panels and damage their charm and appearance. Instead, use soft-bristled brushes, non-abrasive sponges, or soft cloths to remove dirt and debris without scratching the surface. 

4. Ensure Safety and Protection 

Ensure you have stable footing and use appropriate safety equipment, such as harnesses and safety ropes. When washing, work systematically, starting from one end of the roof and progressing methodically to ensure thorough coverage.

Related: Metal Roof Maintenance Tips For Every Season In Oklahoma

Common Metal Roof Cleaning Methods To Use

There is no one way to clean a metal roof. The following are some of the methods you can use depending on your metal roof type and the ease of the task. 

1. Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is the most popular metal roof cleaning method used in commercial settings. However, expert metal roofers generally don’t recommend it, as any negligence can harm the integrity of your metal roof. If used carefully or when done by a professional, this method can be used to address hard to clean rust patches, algae, moss, and debris. Follow these steps if you choose to pressure wash your metal roof:

  • Choose a pressure washer with appropriate pounds per square inch (PSI).
  • Select a wide-angle nozzle, such as a 25 to 40-degree nozzle, to disperse water evenly.
  • Wet the roof surface thoroughly with water.
  • Apply a cleaning solution evenly, depending on your roofing material 
  • Pressure wash the roof from top to bottom, maintaining a safe distance.

2. Cleaning with Water and a Mild Detergent

This is one of the simplest and most environmentally friendly methods. Using a mixture of water and a mild detergent, such as dish soap, you can scrub the roof to remove any built up dirt or dust. If you choose this way, follow these tips to ensure a thorough cleaning:

  • Mix water with a mild detergent, such as dish soap, in a bucket or spray bottle.
  • Wet the entire roof surface with water using a garden hose or pressure washer. This helps loosen dirt and debris, making it easier to clean.
  • Apply the detergent solution to the roof surface using a soft-bristle brush, sponge, or low-pressure sprayer. 
  • Gently scrub the roof surface, focusing on areas with stubborn stains or buildup.
  • Rinse the cleaned areas with water to remove the detergent residue and any loosened dirt or debris.

3. Chemical Cleaners

Many times, the stains, moss, and algae don’t go away just by scrubbing them with a brush or homemade detergent. In this case, you may need to look for another metal roof cleaning method that removes the moss and algae completely. These cleaners are often applied to the roof surface and left for a certain period before being rinsed off with water. Follow the instructions below to clean your metal roof successfully using chemical cleaners: 

  • Choose a chemical cleaner specially formulated for metal roofs.
  • Mix the cleaner with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wet the roof surface thoroughly with water.
  • Apply the cleaning solution using a sprayer.
  • Let the cleaner sit for the recommended time.
  • Gently scrub if needed with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Thoroughly rinse the roof with water after the recommended time.
  • Inspect for remaining stains and repeat if necessary.

Professional Metal Roofing Services In Tulsa, OK

Cleaning a metal roof involves many risks, especially if you don’t have experience working at heights. Metal roofs aren’t meant to be climbed or walked on, and doing so inappropriately can harm its integrity and lead to damage. At A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing in Tulsa, OK, we always recommend homeowners opt for professional services when it comes to metal roofs. 

If you want to clean or repair your metal roof, consult the metal roofing professionals at our roofing company. These expert roofers will inspect your metal roof and offer a comprehensive estimate before any work begins. 
Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 and talk to our metal roofing experts.


A. If you want to keep your metal roof maintained and damage-free, clean it at least once a year or more frequently if you live in an area with a lot of debris or pollutants.

A. Yes, you can clean your metal roof from the ground using a pressure washer or garden hose with a spray nozzle. However, you may not be able to reach all areas of your roof, so it’s important to inspect it after cleaning to ensure it’s completely clean.