Colorbond roofing has many advantages, from its durability to its aesthetically-pleasing look. However, anyone with a colorbond roof will tell you that the cleaning process can be difficult. Fortunately, with the right tips and tricks, you can get your colorbond roof looking as good as new.
What Is Colorbond Roofing?
Colorbond roofing is a popular choice throughout Australia. It’s made from pre-painted steel with a Zincalume core, formed into metal sheets that are installed on the roofs of homes and businesses.
This material is durable, but it’s also praised for its thermal properties, able to regulate the temperature of a home during all seasons. It’s highly corrosion-resistant, making colorbond roof materials a particularly popular choice around coastal areas.
Not only is colorbond a great practical roofing material, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing. It comes in several colours and styles, but without proper maintenance cleaning, the look of colorbond can be ruined.
The Importance of Colorbond Roof Cleaning
Although it’s durable, colorbond is still susceptible to damage. Predominantly, the visual appeal of colorbond can be affected by things like:
- Water stains
- Salt spray
- Rust stains
- Algae and lichen
- Pollen build-up
- Paint marks
Some of these issues can also affect the integrity of the roof. Allowing mould and moss to fester could damage the roof over time, or even lead to health problems. As a result, colorbond roof cleaning is not only essential for kerb appeal, but also for practical reasons.
11 Tips to Clean Your Colorbond Roof
Generally, a metal roof is easier to maintain than tile roofs and other roofing materials. Nevertheless, steel roofing still requires frequent maintenance. Here’s how to clean a colorbond roof safely to restore it back to its full glory.
1. Removing Moss and Mould
First off, check the condition of your colorbond roof to determine how to clean it. If there is moss, mould, lichen, or algae, you will need a pressure washer to dislodge all the mould. Make sure the area is wet before pressure washing. Then, use a stiff-bristled brush to remove any stubborn parts.
2. Removing Rust
The durability of colorbond roofing material means that it rarely rusts or corrodes. However, depending on where you live, you may encounter rust stains every now and then.
Remove the rust pieces and scrub the area with a cleaning pad soaked in mild abrasive detergent. Scrub until the rust stains are no longer visible, then rinse thoroughly. For severe rust stains, you may need to use a diluted solution of oxalic, citric, or muriatic acid (or a mixture of water and vinegar).
Crucially, do not leave these solutions on your roof for longer than five minutes and never allow them to dry. If the rust returns, contact a professional roofer.
3. Chemical Washing
There are three options for cleaning colorbond roof materials: pressure washing, solvents, and chemical washing.
Plenty of companies produce chemical cleaning products for metal roofs, usually made from chlorine or sodium. These products are generally safe to use, and can remove tough grime from a metal roof without damaging the roofing material.
4. Using a Pressure Washer
Another option is to use a pressure washer. This is a low-cost, effective method for a quick roof clean, but it’s not the most reliable. Tougher stains and grime may linger around, and you need to be careful about the washer settings.
To do this method correctly, hold the washer 30cm away from the roof on a medium pressure, starting at the top. Move the pressure washer slowly over the roof, dislodging moss and algae while cleaning the colorbond below.
5. Using Solvents
Solvents are a great way to eliminate stubborn non-water elements marking your roof, such as tar, graffiti, or paint. Please note that solvents are only necessary in specific situations, and are not necessary for use on the whole roof. When used improperly, solvents can discolour the colorbond roof.
Both petroleum and non-petroleum solvents can be used on a colorbond roof, but it’s usually best to leave this to the professionals. They can be hazardous, so make sure you use protective clothing and equipment.
6. Avoid Scratchy Materials
When colorbond roof cleaning, it’s important to use a non-abrasive cleaning pad. It’s all too easy to scratch the metal sheets and damage the overall look of the roof.
Avoid using other scratchy materials and cleaning products, too, such as wire brushes, steel wool, sandpaper, scouring powders, paint thinners, or an unregulated high-pressure washer.
7. Be Ready for Touch-ups
It’s worth buying some touch-up paint to use on your colorbond roof. While cleaning colorbond roof materials, you may notice a few areas that need touching up, so having some paint on hand allows you to tackle the problem swiftly.
Bear in mind that there will always be a variance in colour when using touch-up paint compared to the paint on older parts of the roof.
8. Take Safety Precautions
As always, take all the necessary safety precautions when you clean a colorbond roof. It’s important to stay safe when working on roofs, both to prevent falls and accidents and to use cleaning products safely.
When working with solvents, wear protective clothing like goggles and gloves. Take care not to over-concentrate detergents or mix solvents. It’s best to always follow instructions on the label and to take any advice offered in the equipment shop when buying new materials.
9. Protect Your Roof
Aside from colorbond roof cleaning, there are some preventative measures you can take to ensure the health and visual aesthetics of your colorbond roof for years to come.
- Ensure proper ventilation to keep the metal roof dry.
- Try to keep your roof away from trees and everyday natural debris. Check the trees around your house for any potential falling branches, and keep them trimmed to avoid them damaging your colorbond roof.
- Keep animals away. If you find mice, birds, possums, bats, or other animals nesting in your roof, you need to remove them as soon as possible because they can contribute to the destruction of your roof. Call your local animal shelter to relocate them safely.
10. Clean Every 2-3 Years
With proper care and maintenance, a colorbond roof can last 10+ years. However, it will need cleaning before then.
Set a roof cleaning schedule to give your colorbond roof a deep clean every 2-3 years. This ensures it stays clean, protected, and looks great year-round.
Notably, you should get a professional roof inspection every year to ensure the structural integrity of your colorbond roof.
11. Hire Professional Roof Cleaning Services
Any roof work is risky. Before you decide to clean a colorbond roof on your own, it could be worth hiring professional roof cleaning services. Professionals have access to all the equipment necessary, including safety gear. Plus, they know how best to clean a colorbond roof without causing damage.
How to Clean a Colorbond Roof: Final Thoughts
Cleaning a colorbond roof is necessary to maintain both the look and safety of your home. It’s usually possible to do it yourself, though the equipment and materials can be expensive. In some cases, it’s better to hire a professional roofing company that can safely and effectively clean your colorbond roof and keep your home safe, noticing any potential damages you might have missed.
At Evobuild, our expert team can answer any roofing queries. Check out our products to help you maintain an effective roof, or contact us today for more information.