Like all roofing materials, metal roofs must be cleaned to keep them looking their best and operating at 100%. Some homeowners add roof cleaning to their spring to-do lists, while others perform this vital task in the fall. Either way, safety should always be a top priority. Metal roofing is more slippery than asphalt shingles, which can create some unique safety concerns. Combine metal’s inherent slipperiness with water and cleaning agents, and roof cleaning can become a recipe for disaster, at least for incautious homeowners who don’t take the right precautions. Before breaking out the ladder, read on to find eight crucial tips for cleaning a metal roof more safely and effectively.
Tip #1: Don’t Be Afraid to Hire Professionals
Homeowners who are afraid of heights don’t need to traumatize themselves. They can hire professional roof cleaners to get the job done right without risking anyone’s safety. Visit https://eriemetalroofs.com/ to learn about metal roofing contractors that can help.
Tip #2: Never Get On a Roof Alone
DIY roof cleaners should never clean their roofs when there’s no one else at home. Having someone else there will ensure that whoever is undertaking the task will be able to get help if there’s an accident.
Tip #3: Use OSHA-Approved Gear
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides safety guidelines for workers and manufacturers of construction gear, including ladders and safety harnesses. Homeowners should check with the organization to make sure any gear they plan to use is OSHA-approved and should follow instructions on how to use roof safety harnesses properly.
Tip #4: Wear the Right Clothes
Choose shoes that offer plenty of traction and make sure there’s no debris stuck to the soles. Roof cleaners should also outfit themselves with all the necessary protective clothing, including eyewear and gloves, especially if they’re going to be using cleaning agents.
Tip #5: Read the Labels
Before applying cleaning solutions, read the product labels. Some cleaning products can harm the roof, while others are quite toxic and could damage the surrounding vegetation and pose a risk to the roof cleaner. Know the risks and try to minimize them by using appropriate protective equipment and covering nearby plants with a tarp.
Tip #6: Choose a Cloudy Day
Metal roofing can get quite hot on warm, sunny days. The panels can also reflect the sun, producing glare and creating a risk of vision problems. Choose a cloudy day for roof cleaning to avoid these issues.
Tip #7: Only Clean Easy-to-Reach Places by Hand
DIY cleaners should only clean as far up as they can reach. If there’s an area that’s out of reach, don’t try to scrub it by hand. Use hoses and other tools to get to the area.
Tip #8: Don’t Use Damaging Products
There are some types of products that should never be used on metal roofs. Homeowners should avoid:
- Wool scrubbers
These products can damage the roof’s appearance and reduce its longevity.
Stay on Top of Roof Maintenance
Whether homeowners choose to clean their own roofs or hire a professional roof cleaning company, it’s very important that they stay on top of roof maintenance. Come up with an annual cleaning plan, create a reminder, and don’t put off roof cleaning until the panels have sustained damage from lack of maintenance. It’s worth the time and money.