Lousy weather, pollen, dust, leaves, and other environmental factors can leave your conservatory roof looking unsightly. Not only is it unpleasant to look at, but left unattended, the dirt and grime can build up, which may lead to further problems, such as leaks around the seals.
But don’t grab the pressure washer and cleaning solution just yet. You will want to read this article before you start, so you’re sure to have the right tools and equipment to clean your roof safely and effectively.
Gather Your Tools
Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary tools. Here is what we recommend:
- Bucket with warm, soapy water
- Large sponge (non-abrasive)
- uPVC cleaning solution
- Telescopic brush
- Garden hose or pressure washer
Though pricey, a 3-in-1 water-fed pole with a spray washer, scrubber brush, and window squeegee may be a good investment if you find yourself cleaning your conservatory roof regularly. It is also a safer option than climbing up and down a ladder that may get slippery when wet.
What Kind of Conservatory Roof Do You Have?
Most conservatory roofs are glass panels or polycarbonate (a transparent thermoplastic material). A polycarbonate roof will allow you to use different cleansers; however, you need to be careful not to use any abrasive cleaning agents, as polycarbonate will scratch easily.
In recent years, self-cleaning glass roofs have become a popular choice for conservatories. These roofs have a coating that will break down dirt in the sunlight that gets washed away in the rain. Self-cleaning roofs usually have a pitch greater than 15 degrees to be practical.
Cleaning Your Conservatory Roof Safely
Different roofing materials require different cleaning methods. Using the wrong products may cause damage to your roof.
How to Clean Your Glass Conservatory Roof
The best time to clean your conservatory roof is when the weather is cool and cloudy. The sun and heat will heat up your glass and leave streaks where you cleaned.
Fill your bucket with warm water and some liquid detergent. You can purchase conservatory glass cleaners, but they are typically more expensive. Soapy water works just as well, if not better.
Set up your ladder, if needed. Do not lean your ladder against the glass. It would create an unsafe situation if the glass were to break.
Do not walk on your conservatory roof unless you use boards to distribute your weight. Neither glass nor polycarbonate roofs are designed to be weight-bearing. You will want to keep this in mind if you have any hard-to-reach places to clean. This situation is where having a telescopic brush or water-fed pole comes in handy.
Start cleaning at the top of your roof, or else you will have dirty water tracking through areas you just cleaned.
If there is any moss on your roof, you will want to remove that first. Wet it down and use a soft brush or a rubber putty knife to remove the moss. Be sure to clean out any moss that may fall into the gutter to prevent clogs.
Cleaning green algae may take a little extra scrubbing, but it will come off your roof.
Wash your roof in sections. After washing an area, rinse it with the hose, then run the squeegee along the glass to remove the water and prevent spotting. Don’t apply too much pressure on the brush or squeegee to avoid breaking the glass.
You will need to change out your soapy water frequently, so you are not using dirty water for cleaning. Rinse your sponge, brush, and squeegee to prevent dirt build-up.
After cleaning all the glass, wipe down the frames with either a uPVC cleaning solution or water. If you have wooden frames, let them dry and apply oil or some type of protectant.
Now that your conservatory roof is clean take the time to clean out your gutters. Leaves and other debris can cause a blockage. An overflowing gutter may break or cause damage to your roof and foundation.
Cleaning Your Polycarbonate Conservatory Roof
Polycarbonate is stronger than glass so that it won’t break as easily. However, it is still unsafe to walk on polycarbonate conservatory roof!
While polycarbonate is a stronger material than glass, it does scratch easily. You will want to use a soft sponge to clean off the green algae and dirt. Polycarbonate roofs have a coating that provides protection from ultraviolet sunlight, so you must avoid harsh chemicals that may damage the coating. Using warm soapy water works well on your polycarbonate conservatory roof.
Remember to change out your water frequently and clean your gutters of any debris when you finish cleaning your roof.
Cleaning Your Self-Cleaning Conservatory Roof
Even if your conservatory roof is made of self-cleaning glass, it will still require your attention. If you experience a summer with very little rain, the glass can’t remove the dirt after the sun breaks it up. That is when you will need to use your water hose to rinse off any accumulated dirt. Your framing will also need cleaned and oiled (if wooden) to prevent decay.
Do not use any type of cleaning solution on the glass as it may cause damage to the coating.
Don’t Forget the Windows
You will likely have dirty streaks down your windows after you finish cleaning your conservatory roof. You can use the same approach to cleaning your windows as your glass roof. Use a telescopic brush to clean your windows with warm soapy water. Rinse off your windows with the garden hose, and then run the squeegee down the windows to remove water, so it doesn’t leave spots.
For an extra shine, put a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spray your windows, and then wipe them dry with a kitchen roll.
A conservatory is a beautiful feature of your home that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and bring natural lighting into your living space. Moss, green algae, and dirt can ruin the appearance of your conservatory and may cause damage if left unattended.
Spending a few hours a couple of times a year will keep your conservatory roof looking beautiful for years to come.