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How To Clean Your Colorbond Roof

If you own a home or business with a Colorbond roof, you know the cleaning Colorbond roof process can be challenging. However, making sure the roof looks as good as new is much easier when you’re using the right methods and products. When you have the right team on your side to clean the roof and maintain its quality and integrity, you’ll feel much better about the process.

What Is a Colorbond® Roof?

Metal roofing is becoming increasingly popular for its durability and performance in various weather conditions. Metal roofs can easily shed snow and rain and even withstand strong winds. However, there are various type of metal roofing, and they each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Learning more about Colorbond roofing can help you decide if this is the best choice for you. Here are a few things you should know about Colorbond roofing.

Colorbond roofing is steel roofing material that is coated and manufactured by Bluescope. Recently, contractors have started using Colorbond roofing more, and the material has become a top choice for many businesses and homeowners. The steel provides a modern, sleek appearance that appeals to a wide variety of consumer needs. People also like Colorbond roofing because it is lightweight, lasts for years, and is an affordable choice, especially compared to tile roofing.

Clean Colorbond Roof

Advantages and Disadvantages of Colorbond® Roofing

This style of roofing is ideal for structures that have little or no pitch, since water will still run off of Colorbond roofing. The steel comes in several colours, so you can choose a hue that compliments your existing aesthetic and doesn’t compete with the colour of your residential or commercial building. The colour is bonded to the metal, so you won’t have to paint Colorbond roofing as often as roofing made from other types of metal.

If you live in an area that gets heavy snow and rain or intense storms, Colorbond roof material is a great choice, since the elements will slide right off the roof and remnants of snow and rain can be removed easily. This makes cleaning Colorbond roof easier and low-maintenance. When this type of roof is installed properly, it will significantly reduce the amount of money you use for heating and cooling in your building.

While Colorbond roofing definitely has some advantages when you compare it to other roofing materials, there are a few things you should be aware of before you choose this type of roofing for your home or business.

You don’t have to paint the roof yearly or every other year like some other metal materials. However, the colour of the roofing may start to fade after about a decade, at which point you’ll need to have it refinished.

It’s also crucial that you ask your contractor to install an acoustic blanket before installing the roof, since Colorbond roofing can be noisy. And, if you want to install central air in your building after your Colorbond roof is installed, you’ll have to cut part of the roof for the AC unit to be installed in your home or business.

Colorbond Roof Advantages and Disadvantages

Importance of Colorbond Roof Cleaning

Like all your household or outdoor items, you need a clean Colorbond roof, which means you should come up with a cleaning schedule to keep the metal looking its best and extend the life of the roof. For metal roofs, cleaning periodically helps to maintain the integrity of the roof panels and helps to get rid of any particles on the surface of the roof that could compromise the paint or substrate. Paint systems like PVDF are long-lasting and built to withstand harsh elements. However, your roof could still benefit from periodic cleaning to make sure the resin and coating stays intact.

There are common elements that could adhere to the surface and damage your clean Colorbond roof. These elements include airborne dirt, as well as small sticks and leaves, and you can’t really control when and how these items get on your roof. Pollen also sticks to the roof, and you may find that spore deposits have settled on the surface of the roof as well. After a few years, you may see water stains or particles from pollution on the roof. Acid rain and rust stains may settle on a Colorbond roof over time as well. Of course, you also have to look out for mould and mildew on the roof and remove it immediately.

Importance Of Cleaning A Colorbond Roof

Lichen, Mould, and Moss

There are harmful chemicals and particulates present in the air, and these they differ based on the type of climate you live in. They include acid rain, particles that come from pollution, and everyday natural debris. As they settle on your roof, they may encourage the growth of lichen, mould, and moss.

These substances can cause the roof to degrade and erode the paint that is bonded to the steel roofing. An easy way to determine if the roof is degrading is to assess the paint for chalking. If you see white residue on the roof, especially after you’ve had your Colorbond roof for a few years, there’s a good chance the roof is chalking.

You can clean your Colorbond roof with materials like a sponge, washcloth, soft brush, and a non-abrasive cleaning pad. While there are several tools that can be used to clean your roof, there are some instances in which water alone can clean the roof thoroughly. However, there are also times when you’ll need a high-power cleaning agent to wash or wipe the panels of the roof.

Mould And Lichen Colorbond

Methods of Cleaning Colorbond Roof

Do you clean your roof often? Keeping your roof looking its best is a regular activity that unfortunately can’t be avoided. However, it’s best to have a roof professional inspect your Colorbond roof for you so you can make sure the roofing material looks great and is functioning well.

The type of roof you have will determine how often you have to clean it, and Colorbond roofing is one of the easiest to clean. Algae is one of the main causes of dark or black patches on your roof, especially if you haven’t been keeping up with your roof cleaning schedule. There are two main ways for you to get rid of algae on your roof.

Chemical Washing

You can effectively clean your roof with chemicals that are designed to clean all types of roofing material. Chlorine and sodium solutions are the most common cleaning agents used for Colorbond roofing.

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is the method used for washing metal and tile roofs for getting algae off the roof. You can rent a pressure washer from an equipment shop or store. Or you can purchase a pressure washer if you want to have one on hand so you can clean your roof at your convenience. However, these methods for algae removal may not be as thorough as you’d like. That’s why it’s best to hire a professional team to handle the job for you, especially if you’re not accustomed to cleaning your roof.

The proper way to pressure clean the roof is to start at the top and move down to reduce splashing too much water on the metal sheets. It’s also best to start with a small area and keep the wand about 30cm from the roof. Don’t use high pressure initially; medium pressure is usually best. Lower the wand of the pressure washer slowly until you see that the mold is lifting from the steel surface. Inspecting the roof during cleaning can increase the chances that all the mould or algae is removed.

Algae is slippery, so it’s important to stand in a dry area when you’re cleaning. As you move down the roof, stand on the areas that are already clean to avoid injury.

Pressure Washing Colorbond Roof

Best Products for Clean Colorbond Roof Procedures

Plain water is often the most common cleaning agent for roofing. Dust, dirt and other elements that aren’t abrasive will likely wash off a roof easily if you just hose the roof down. You can use as much water as necessary until the roof is clean.

You can also use detergent like laundry detergent, mild dish soap, or car washing soap to get rid of stains that are a little more difficult to remove. You may also want to use industrial or commercial detergents that can be used with hot or cold water to ensure your roof is clean. It’s usually best to mix the detergent with water and use a washcloth or sponge to apply the solution to the roof. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes before rinsing the roof thoroughly with water.

For detailed information about the cleaning process, we suggest checking out BlueScope Steel, the manufacturer and parent brand of Colorbond, and their available PDF on Maintenance Of Colorbond Steel and Zincalume steel.

BlueScope Colorbond

Petroleum and Non-Petroleum Solvents

Solvents are also an option to remove stubborn non-water elements that may come in contact with your coated Colorbond roof. These elements can include tar, graffiti, grease oil, or paint. You’ll need to use a solvent to clean only the parts of your roof that are stained – don’t use solvents to clean the entire roof. Make sure you read the directions on all cleaning products before you start the cleansing process.

Solvents that are safe to use on your Colorbond roof include rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, and VM&P Naphtha.

If you have to use these solvents, wear protective clothing and goggles. Ensure that the area is well ventilated since many of these solvents are toxic if inhaled. Keep all of these solvents away from open flames or sparks as well, since they are often flammable.

If used incorrectly solvent based cleaning products are dangerous and can cause nasty staining and further damage to your roof, so it is best left to a professional company.

Inexperienced Cleaning Colorbond Roof
A metal roof that has a damaged finish from improper cleaning.

Getting Rid of Mildew, Mould, and Algae

If you live in a humid climate and have a Colorbond roof that is heavily shaded, you may see mould, mildew, or algae developing on the surface. Fortunately, this is easy to remove, especially if you catch it early.

Keep in mind that it’s important to remove fungus and mould from your Colorbond roof right away. The fungus can cause the paint to stain, which can be difficult and sometimes impossible to repair. Our staff is qualified to thoroughly remove fungus from your roof and restore it to its original condition. This not only improves the look of the roof but keeps the mould and fungus from getting into your building, which could cause health problems for you, your loved ones, or your employees and customers.

You’ll need laundry detergent and bleach mixed with water. Dip a soft brush or rag in the solution and apply it only to the affected areas of the roof. Scrub the surface lighting until you don’t see any algae, mildew or mould and rinse with water. Once again with this step, it can very easily spin out of control and we cannot stress that enough, best left to professionals.

Moss and Lichen Colorbond Roof

Getting Rid of Rust

Depending on the climate you live in, your Colorbond roof could be affected by metal particles that lead to rust stains on the surface. Initially, you may think your roof is prematurely corroding, but this is usually not the case. Rust stains often mean that your roof has come in contact with uncoated steel pieces and particles, which can lead to rust stains after a few years.

If you want to get rid of rust stains, remove the rust pieces and apply a mild abrasive detergent on a gentle cleaning pad. Scrub the stain lightly until you can no longer see it and rinse thoroughly. If the rust stains are severe, remove the rust pieces and dilute a cleaning solution like oxalic, citric or muriatic acid with water. You can also use a combination of water and vinegar for cleaning. Use a washcloth to clean the affected areas and rinse as soon as you see that the rust stain has disappeared. No matter what solution you use, don’t keep the solution on the roof for more than five minutes and never allow the mixture to dry on the roof.

If the rust keeps returning, contact your contractor or a professional roofing company for assistance.

Rusted Colorbond Roof

Cleaning Colorbond Roof Tips

One of the best safety precautions you can follow is to adhere to the directions on all cleaning products. Don’t over-concentrate any detergents or mix them with substances that are not recommended. If you don’t follow the correct cleaning instructions, you may forfeit your roof warranty and you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any roofing repairs. Cleaning with the incorrect concentration of cleaning solution can also lead to more rust and corrosion.

Our best tip – Leave it to us.

Materials and Cleaning Products to Avoid

Here are some cleaning solutions you should never use for cleaning Colorbond roof materials:

  • Wire brushes
  • Unregulated high-pressure washers
  • Steel wool
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint removers or thinners
  • Scouring powders

Use Touch-Up Paint

If you see minor imperfections on your roof, you can use touch-up paint for small areas. This type of paint is ideal for a scratch or blemish, or if you see damage from a small branch hitting the roof during inclement weather. When you’re applying paint, make sure that you follow the directions and thoroughly read the product data sheet from the paint manufacturer.

There are various products available on the market, Dulux is one of them. Keep in mind this is only an ideal solution for small touch-ups. When applying new paint over an aged roof there will always be a variance in colour. For a whole roof to be painted, a professional spray on product such as Dulux AcraTex® is required.

Dulux Roof & Trim is specially formulated to enable safe collection of drinking water and to match the semi gloss sheen level and colours of Colorbond®.

Dulux Roof & Trim


Be Prepared for Repainting

Sometimes, a Colorbond roof is just too far gone and in need of a Roof Restoration. If you skipped maintenance cleaning for too long, or if mildew, lichen, and algae have dug their roots in too deeply, you may need to re-paint your Colorbond roof. Painting Colorbond isn’t the same as a lot of other painting job, but Vivify Roofing is very experienced with the job.

Metal & Colorbond Roof Cleaning Resources:

Below are resources with further information directly from trusted brands such as BlueScope.

Maintain COLORBOND steel and ZINCALUME steel
Bluescope’s COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME® Maintenance Technical Bulletin

Maintenance Manual for Roofing & Rainwater Goods
Bluescope’s Maintenance Manual for Roofing & Rainwater Goods

Do-It-Yourself Versus Professional Roof Cleaning

Any sort of roof work is risky business. So if you are planning on doing it yourself, make sure you understand the risks involved, do it right and be sure to do it safely, as it could not only affect your budget but also your health.

Protect yourself if you decide to clean a metal roof on your own. Make sure that you have a safe portable ladder that is approved by Safe Work Australia, and take all safety precautions while you’re leaning, sitting, or standing on a metal roof. Wear shoes that have great traction and are free of debris and use fall protection equipment to prevent injury. Always check the recommendations on all cleaning products and wear protective eyewear. It’s also crucial that you don’t clean or repaint the roof by yourself. Always have at least one other person with you before you start any roofing project.

Don’t use more cleaning solution than necessary. The detergents can be toxic to you, the roof and even your lawn or garden. If you think you may have runoff during the cleaning process, cover your plants so that runoff will not affect your garden.

If you don’t want to risk injury or the hassle of do-it-yourself Colorbond roof cleaning, your best bet is to hire a professional. You’ll save yourself time. You’ll save yourself the risk of falls or injury. And you’ll end up with a sparkling clean Colorbond roof.

Vivify Roofing Colorbond

Trust the Melbourne Professionals to Clean Your Colorbond Roof

If you’re in doubt about how to clean your roof or aren’t sure that you can do it properly, it’s best to call a professional. You should also contact a roofing company you trust if you’re apprehensive about getting on the roof with a ladder.

The money you’ll spend for professional roof cleaning services is well worth your peace of mind and safety, and it ensures that your roof will be in great condition once the cleaning is complete.

Vivify Roofing has been cleaning all manner of roofs throughout Melbourne for 15 years. Get your quote today for a professional, trustworthy Colorbond roof cleaning that you can count on.

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