Cardiff Metal Market

How to safely clean your shed roof

Tips for cleaning a metal roof

Cleaning and maintenance are essential if you want your shed roof to stay looking good and remain heat efficient for many years, but you should always keep safety in mind when buying roofing supplies and carrying out routine maintenance.

Safety precautions

You should check ladders prior to use, placing them on a level surface, checking the rungs are stable and locking the ladder into place to ensure it will not move. While climbing, you should always have at least one hand secure, maintaining three points of contact. You should never go up on roofs when they are wet, such as following rainfall or power washing, and wear slip resistant shoes. A safety harness is also recommended, which can be tied off on chimneys or other heavy, stable structures.

To ensure safety on home projects, it’s important to carry out a risk assessment before starting the work.

Cleaning roofing and gutters

Preparing all your cleaning supplies before heading up to the roof will ensure the job is performed in the shortest time possible, and these may be hoisted into position so you don’t have to carry them up ladders. Roofs and gutters should be thoroughly cleaned one section at a time, beginning at the opposite end of the roof and gradually making your way back to the ladder to finish.

Roofs will often get basic cleaning through rain, but in coastal areas where saline levels are higher you may need to wash roofing sheets more often.

It’s also important to regular remove debris (like fallen twigs and leaves) from gutters and to clean underneath sheets that hang over the edge of your shed.

Materials to use and avoid

For most roof sheets, including brand names like Colorbond and Zincalume, it’s important not to use abrasive cleaning solutions such as turps or paint thinners). In most cases water mixed with a small amount of soap or washing up liquid will clean the sheets without causing any damage. Use a soft sponge, cloth or brush to remove tough stains or spots. Be sure to wash off the soap immediately after cleaning with clean water.

By regularly washing and maintaining your roofing sheets you can increase the length of time they look good and work effectively.

Image: “Cyrus Brame cleaning gutters” by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service North East is licensed under CC BY 2.0