How to Clean a Metal Roof: Homeowner's Guide

How to Clean a Metal Roof (Step-by-Step Guide)

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Posted By:Shingle & Metal Team

Metal roofs are known for their durability and longevity, but like any other part of your home, they require regular maintenance to stay in top shape. Cleaning your metal roof not only enhances its appearance but also extends its lifespan. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of cleaning your metal roof safely and effectively. Let’s make your metal roof shine again!

Inside this blog:

  • 4 reasons why you should keep your metal roof clean
  • A 10-step guide for how to clean your metal roof
  • Tips + tricks for effective metal roof cleaning

Keep reading to learn how you can keep your home shining bright with a pristinely cleaned metal roof!

Why Cleaning Your Metal Roof is Important


Before we dive into the cleaning process, let’s understand why it’s essential to keep your metal roof clean with 4 compelling reasons.

1. Preventing Debris Buildup

Over time, leaves, branches, and other debris can accumulate on your roof, potentially clogging gutters and downspouts. Cleaning removes these obstructions and ensures proper water drainage.

2. Preserving Appearance

Regular cleaning helps prevent the growth of moss, algae, and lichen, which can discolor and deteriorate your roof’s surface. A clean metal roof maintains its original appearance.

3. Extending Lifespan

Removing contaminants and corrosive substances from your roof can help prolong its lifespan. A well-maintained metal roof can last for decades.

4. Avoiding Structural Damage

Cleaning prevents the risk of water pooling and causing structural damage to your roof. Proper maintenance reduces the chances of costly repairs.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need 🧹

Before you start cleaning your metal roof, gather the necessary tools and materials:

Safety Gear: Safety should be your top priority. Wear slip-resistant shoes, gloves, safety glasses, and a harness if you’re working on a steep roof.

Soft Bristle Brush: Opt for a soft-bristle brush or a broom with soft bristles to avoid scratching the metal surface.

Garden Hose with a Spray Nozzle: A hose with an adjustable spray nozzle allows you to control water pressure.

Mild Detergent: Use a mild detergent or specialized roof cleaner that is safe for metal surfaces.

Bucket: Fill it with water and detergent for cleaning.

Extension Pole: If your roof has steep angles, an extension pole will help you reach higher areas safely.

Safety Ladder: Ensure your ladder is stable and suitable for roof access.

10-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Metal Roof 🧼


Now, let’s get into the cleaning process:

1. Safety First

Before you even climb up to your roof, ensure that all your safety gear is in place. This includes slip-resistant shoes, gloves, safety glasses, and a harness if needed. Additionally, make sure your ladder is set up securely.

2. Remove Debris

Begin by removing loose debris such as leaves, branches, and twigs. Use a soft-bristle brush or a broom to gently sweep off the larger particles. This step will make the subsequent cleaning more effective.

3. Pre-Wet the Roof

Before applying any detergent or cleaner, thoroughly wet the entire roof surface with a garden hose. This pre-wetting helps loosen dirt and makes it easier to clean. Start from the bottom and work your way up to prevent streaks.

4. Mix the Cleaning Solution

In a bucket, mix a mild detergent with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, you can use a specialized roof cleaner designed for metal surfaces. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the metal finish.

5. Apply the Cleaning Solution

Use a soft-bristle brush or a soft broom to apply the cleaning solution to the metal roof. Start at one end and work your way horizontally. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously, as you don’t want to scratch the metal surface.

6. Let It Sit

After applying the cleaning solution, allow it to sit on the roof surface for the recommended time specified on the product label. This dwell time helps break down dirt, algae, and other contaminants.

7. Scrub Gently

After the dwell time, gently scrub the roof with the soft-bristle brush or broom. Focus on areas with stains, moss, or algae growth. Use a circular motion to avoid streaking.

8. Rinse Thoroughly

Once you’ve scrubbed the entire roof, thoroughly rinse it with a garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle. Start from the top and work your way down, ensuring you remove all traces of detergent and contaminants.

9. Inspect and Repeat

After rinsing, inspect your roof for any remaining stains or stubborn spots. If needed, repeat the cleaning process on specific areas until you’re satisfied with the results.

10. Prevent Future Growth

To inhibit the growth of moss, algae, and lichen on your metal roof, consider installing zinc or copper strips along the roof’s peak. These metals release ions that deter the growth of these organisms.

Tips for Effective Metal Roof Cleaning

  • Regular Cleaning: Perform roof cleaning regularly to prevent the buildup of debris and contaminants.
  • Avoid Pressure Washing: Avoid using a pressure washer on your metal roof, as the high pressure can damage the finish and lead to leaks.
  • Use Appropriate Cleaners: Use cleaners specifically designed for metal roofs to ensure the best results and avoid damage.
  • Safety Harness: If you’re uncomfortable working on your roof or have a steep roof angle, consider hiring professionals or using a safety harness.
  • Gutter Cleaning: While you’re at it, clean your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water drainage from your roof.

List of Dos and Don’ts for Metal Roof Cleaning 📜

Here’s a handy list of dos and don’ts to keep in mind while cleaning your metal roof:


Do wear appropriate safety gear: Ensure you have slip-resistant shoes, gloves, safety glasses, and a harness if needed.

Do remove loose debris: Clear your roof of leaves, branches, and twigs before cleaning.

Do use a soft-bristle brush: Use a soft-bristle brush or broom to avoid scratching the metal surface.

Do pre-wet the roof: Wet the roof surface with a garden hose before applying any cleaning solution.

Do follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Mix and apply the cleaning solution as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Do rinse thoroughly: Rinse your roof thoroughly with a garden hose to remove all traces of detergent.


Don’t use harsh chemicals: Avoid using abrasive or harsh chemicals that can damage the metal finish.

Don’t pressure wash: Refrain from using a pressure washer on your metal roof, as it can cause damage.

Don’t ignore safety: Always prioritize safety when working on your roof. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.

Don’t scrub too vigorously: Gentle scrubbing is sufficient to clean your metal roof effectively.

Keep Your Metal Roof Clean for a Safer Home 🏡

Cleaning your metal roof is an essential part of maintaining its appearance and prolonging its lifespan. With the right tools, materials, and safety precautions, you can ensure that your metal roof remains in top condition and continues to protect your home for years to come. Regular cleaning not only enhances your roof’s curb appeal but also prevents potential issues down the road, saving you time and money in the long run. So, put on your safety gear, grab your soft-bristle brush, and make your metal roof shine! 
Contact our expert team of roofers at Shingle and Metal Roofs today and experience speedy turnaround times and unmatched craftsmanship on your home. We’re excited to hear your questions and wants for your next roofing project!

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