How to Clean a Metal Roof: Everything You Need to Know About Metal Roofing Maintenance


The season of autumn cleaning is upon us! Cleaning your metal roof is an important part of maintaining its appearance and keeping it in tip-top shape. We’re here to share with you the best ways to clean a metal roof, and more importantly, how to clean a metal roof safely!


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 a safety ladder. Ladder safety is key in your ability to safely clean your roof. You may also want to consider purchasing padded stabilizers in order 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, stabilizers 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 eye wear, 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 recommendations on the product labels. 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, which can include 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 cleaning than the detergent-and-water solution can provide. We highly recommend reaching out to our team when you have any problem with the clean roofing.