Winter is coming. But is your metal roof in the best shape it can be to weather the upcoming change of season?

Metal roofs are known for being easy to maintain, exceptionally long lasting and durable. And according to the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), regularly cleaning your metal roof not only extends the life of the roof but also maximizes performance. The first step to keeping your metal roof clean is knowing how to clean it. Here are four easy steps to remember that will keep your metal roof sparkling, whatever the season. 

Test cleaning products carefully

If you’re unsure about a cleaning product, test it first by trying it on a small, less noticeable area before you use it on an entire roof. Never use steel wool, wire brushes, sandpaper, high pressure power washers, souring powders, paint removers or thinners on a metal roof. These materials are too harsh for your roof and will cause scratches, dents or breaks in your roofs material, leading to corrosion. 

A little goes a long way

Thanks to special coatings and paint, cleaning a metal roof is not only easy, it’s more environmentally friendly, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals. In fact, plain water can often effectively wash away dirt, dust and other debris from a metal roof. Regular cleanings stop the buildup of damaging agents such as pollution, airborne dirt, organic material debris, pollen and mildew which can lead to issues such as chalking over time if left unaddressed.

But when water alone won't cut it, try mixing 1/4 cup detergent (including mild laundry detergents, car washing soap, mild dish soap) per gallon of water. Apply the solution to the roof surface using washcloth, sponge, a soft bristle brush and/or non-abrasive pad. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Thoroughly rinse surface with plain water. The goal is to use the lightest touch that will effectively do the job.

Make it a habit

Regularly cleaning your metal roof with the turn of each season helps prevent the build up of stubborn substances such as grease, tar or mildew. Always follow the recommendations of the metal roof manufacturer when tackling the removal of these materials. Also, be sure to pay attention to cleaning and fixing any gutter issues, trimming vegetation away from the roof and having a professional inspect your roof periodically.

Early fall is a good time to get roofs ready for colder, wetter weather and performing roof maintenance such as cleaning out gutters and ensuring snow guards are in place.

Above all, think safety when cleaning your metal roof

There are many safety precautions to consider when getting up on any type of roof, no matter what the material. The best advice is to don’t do it if you are not comfortable or prepared to take the proper precautions. Hiring a professional, reputable roof cleaning service that is experienced and knowledgeable is the very best way to ensure safety and a job well done.

For more information about the benefits and long-term, low maintenance performance of metal roofs, visit the Metal Roofing Alliance at