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  1. #1
    Member Senior Undergraduate Dan Manley's Avatar
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    Exclamation Soft Washing A Metal Roof & Is Not Coming Clean? What should I do?

    Hey guys I need a little info on a soft wash metal roof cleaning. I cleaned the customers other car wash location which has a tile roof and came out great, so he gave me his other location to clean but his roof is being very stubborn. I have soft washed tons of metal roofs in the past but have never come across this situation before.

    The entire metal roof has this gold tint over the entire roof as you can see in the photo. Not sure if it is pollen, mold, or maybe even light rust stains.

    On the far left you will see a small section I cleaned for a demo to show him that it can be cleaned. When I did the demo I came at it with a very light roof mix which has worked on every metal roof I have cleaned in the past. But it wasn't coming clean so I took a brush as well as rinsed with water and it came out pretty good. I figured it just needed a stronger mix and bid the job with a strong roof mix.

    Well today I rolled up with some very strong mix and applied to the middle section which worked slightly after about 4 coats, but still not where I need it to be. On the far right i took a brush and went to town and it came out like the test spot did but when it dries it still has minor spots. I busted out the pressure washer to give it a tough rinse to see if the results were better and came out pretty nice.

    I do not want to have to pressure wash this entire roof and informed the owner I would need to rent a lift to get every area to pressure clean the roof.
    He is actually super cool and said if you cant finish it that's fine he knew the roof was in really rough shape and wasn't sure if it could even be cleaned.

    But I do not want to leave the roof like this!!

    Have any of you come across a metal roof like this before? What do you guys suggest I do?

    Thanks,

    -Dan

    dj car wash metal roof.jpg

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  • #2
    Member Senior Undergraduate Dan Manley's Avatar
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    Anyone ever had a metal roof be this stubborn before?

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  • #3
    Moderator 11000 PLUS POSTER Christopher's Avatar
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    That roof is badly oxidized and needs to be re-painted.

    The oxidation can be removed but a lot of times it will be left blotchy.

    You could use a soft brush and do a section then rinse so the soap does not dry on the surface but you have to be consistent so it will look uniform when done.

    When they are that faded (Oxidized), not much you can do for them as for a spray and rinse, they need a restoration done on them or paint.

  • #4
    Member Honorary Professor greg/sd's Avatar
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    That oxidation your going to have to use a little pressure.

  • #5
    Member Senior Undergraduate Dan Manley's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input guys!

    Looks like ill be pressure washing this roof...

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  • #6
    Member Honorary Professor HighTide's Avatar
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    I had a small metal roof a couple months ago like that and I had to wand the whole roof. Fortunately, the roof was not steep and very walkable and it took two guys about an hour to wand using a medium pressure nozzle. It turned out pretty good. Good luck!
    David Styles
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  • #7
    Member Senior Undergraduate Dan Manley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighTide View Post
    I had a small metal roof a couple months ago like that and I had to wand the whole roof. Fortunately, the roof was not steep and very walkable and it took two guys about an hour to wand using a medium pressure nozzle. It turned out pretty good. Good luck!
    Unfortunately for me this metal roof is too steep to walk so I will be renting a 35 foot lift. I havent pressure cleaned a roof in over 6 years since starting soft washing, but ill be be pressure washing this one and hope with a lift it doesnt take me too long.

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  • #8
    Member Honorary Professor AC Lockyer's Avatar
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    How did it come out?

    AC
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  • #9
    Member Senior Undergraduate Dan Manley's Avatar
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    Have him on the schedule to clean on october 1st and reserved the lift this morning.....and Im not looking forward to pressure cleaning this roof.

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  • #10
    Member Senior Undergraduate Dan Manley's Avatar
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    Well pick up the lift last night and will be finishing this metal roof cleaning today...the old fashioned way... Not looking forward to power washing this roof

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  • #11
    Member Senior Undergraduate Andy Hinson's Avatar
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    You are about to work very hard to clean that roof. You cant walk on it. It is going to take hard manual labor with brush and you cant charge enough in my opinion. the owner certainly usually wont pay what its worth. What you did looks good but its WORK.
    Andy Hinson - Alabama Pro Wash
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  • #12
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Brush !!!
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  • #13
    Member Senior Undergraduate Dan Manley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Musgraves View Post
    Brush !!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Hinson View Post
    You are about to work very hard to clean that roof. You cant walk on it. It is going to take hard manual labor with brush and you cant charge enough in my opinion. the owner certainly usually wont pay what its worth. What you did looks good but its WORK.
    The owner didnt want to pay the amount to have it brushed, and I wasnt going to 3 days brushing it either lol

    I have not pressure washed a roof in 6-7 years, but he wanted it pressure washed and he is going to re paint it in the next couple months. Got there at 8 am and didnt leave till about 6 pm, if it wasnt for the mass amounts of traffic (its a local car wash) I would have been done sooner. Had to bite the bullet on this one but that happens in business. Still made a little profit but for the time I put into it for one day I could have made 10 times that on my daily routes...but it happens sometimes.

    He also hooked me up with a $50 tip which I wasn't expecting, Customer is happy and that is all that matters to me

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  • #14
    Member 2500 PLUS POSTER Guy Blackmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Manley View Post
    Hey guys I need a little info on a soft wash metal roof cleaning. I cleaned the customers other car wash location which has a tile roof and came out great, so he gave me his other location to clean but his roof is being very stubborn. I have soft washed tons of metal roofs in the past but have never come across this situation before.

    The entire metal roof has this gold tint over the entire roof as you can see in the photo. Not sure if it is pollen, mold, or maybe even light rust stains.

    On the far left you will see a small section I cleaned for a demo to show him that it can be cleaned. When I did the demo I came at it with a very light roof mix which has worked on every metal roof I have cleaned in the past. But it wasn't coming clean so I took a brush as well as rinsed with water and it came out pretty good. I figured it just needed a stronger mix and bid the job with a strong roof mix.

    Well today I rolled up with some very strong mix and applied to the middle section which worked slightly after about 4 coats, but still not where I need it to be. On the far right i took a brush and went to town and it came out like the test spot did but when it dries it still has minor spots. I busted out the pressure washer to give it a tough rinse to see if the results were better and came out pretty nice.

    I do not want to have to pressure wash this entire roof and informed the owner I would need to rent a lift to get every area to pressure clean the roof.
    He is actually super cool and said if you cant finish it that's fine he knew the roof was in really rough shape and wasn't sure if it could even be cleaned.

    But I do not want to leave the roof like this!!

    Have any of you come across a metal roof like this before? What do you guys suggest I do?

    Thanks,

    -Dan

    dj car wash metal roof.jpg

    This isn't a "Roof Cleaning" job it's a "Roof Restoring" job....2 different situations with 2 different pay scales....way different!

    Just Saying.

  • #15
    Member Associate Professor outdoorprowash's Avatar
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    I had one like that. We used gutter cleaner on it and pressure washed it. I explained it to the customer and up-charged for the additional work. That will be very slippery so be careful and safe. The one we did was very low pitch and easy to do.

  • #16
    Member Senior Undergraduate Andy Hinson's Avatar
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    Oxidation Sucks,time consuming and expensive. Four houses could have been washed during this process. Minimum.
    Andy Hinson - Alabama Pro Wash
    Website: Roof Cleaning Alabama
    Email: andy@alabamaprowash.com

  • #17
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Manley View Post
    The owner didnt want to pay the amount to have it brushed, and I wasnt going to 3 days brushing it either lol

    I have not pressure washed a roof in 6-7 years, but he wanted it pressure washed and he is going to re paint it in the next couple months. Got there at 8 am and didnt leave till about 6 pm, if it wasnt for the mass amounts of traffic (its a local car wash) I would have been done sooner. Had to bite the bullet on this one but that happens in business. Still made a little profit but for the time I put into it for one day I could have made 10 times that on my daily routes...but it happens sometimes.

    He also hooked me up with a $50 tip which I wasn't expecting, Customer is happy and that is all that matters to me
    That's what needs done, I've done enough of those on fronts of commercial buildings to know .

    Dust clings on those metal roofs. Just a a truck or car tie can write wash me on them.

    You can talk about all sorts of chems but those type have to be scrub here.

    Just no easy way out on those type.

    Oxidized I'm certain , like I said its just like washing a car that type of roof. Spray wax after cleaned will give some luster back.

    Sometimes we don't want to here the truth.

    Sounds like you know this and thought someone had a trick up there sleeve.

    I love when guys put a partially brushed awning and ask the same question.

    No worries if the guys happy and your happy





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  • #18
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg/sd View Post
    That oxidation your going to have to use a little pressure.
    Or this


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  • #19
    Member Honorary Professor AC Lockyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Blackmon View Post
    This isn't a "Roof Cleaning" job it's a "Roof Restoring" job....2 different situations with 2 different pay scales....way different!

    Just Saying.
    Great Point!
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  • #20
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Get Some Gutter Butter for Cleaning Metal Roofs Patrick Clark Sells it


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