Tips For Cleaning Your Old Metal Roof

If you buy a home that has an older metal roof, it may be stained, dirty, and an eyesore. To keep a metal roof looking good, it needs regular maintenance over its lifespan. If the roof was neglected, then you may think you'll have to replace it to improve the appearance of your house. Before you have a new roof installed, you should try to clean the old one first. You might be able to restore it to its original beauty and postpone getting a new roof for a few more years. Here are a few tips that might help.

Clear And Inspect The Roof

The first step is to clear off the roof, so you can clean and inspect it. You can use a broom or leaf blower to do this job quickly. Once all the leaves and twigs are gone, it's time to inspect the roof for individual stains and signs of damage.

When you inspect the roof, you want to look for rusted areas. Look along the seams and screw holes. Also look for missing screws, so you can replace them and seal the hole. You also want to take note of scratches in the coating, so these can be filled. If you don't fill in scratches, rust may begin to form.

Wash The Roof

The method you use for cleaning the roof depends on how dirty it is. You may need to use a power washer to speed the process along. You could also use a cloth, sponge, or brush. You want to avoid using an abrasive cleaning pad, as it might scratch the coating. To wash the roof, you can use laundry detergent or dish soap and make a sudsy solution. If you choose another cleaner, be sure it is less than 0.5% phosphate, or it might be too harsh. You could also make a solution of one cup of ammonia to five gallons of water. After scrubbing the roof with the cleaning solution, be sure you rinse it very well with clear water, or a streaky residue will be left behind.

Eliminate Stains

Piles of wet leaves leave behind stains once they decay. If your roof is in the shade, there might even be algae or mold growing on the panels. You may also find rust stains that need to be removed. If your original cleaning solution does not remove the stains, then you may want to try a laundry detergent that contains bleach to remove dirt stains, or a product made specifically to remove mold. Be sure the product you buy is safe to use on coated metal roofs. You'll need to buy rust remover to get rid of the rust, or you can scrape it off with a wire brush. However, it is very important you remove all the rust before you repair the bare metal, or the rust will return.

The last step is to make all the necessary repairs on your roof, so it is fit to withstand rain and wind. This includes painting over the scratched areas as well as the areas where you removed the rust. Once you have the roof in good shape, you'll probably want to repeat this process every year or so, to keep it looking that way. For more information, contact a company like A-Plus Roofing & Masonry Ltd.