Any surface that encounters the outdoors is subject to dirt, dust, mildew, sun, rain, wind, and event snow.  These elements are always going to have some effect on surfaces, even at the smallest level.  To maintain a great looking property, a little maintenance is always going to be required.

Dirt pickup may cause apparent discoloration of the panel’s paint when it has been exposed in some dirt-laden environments for long periods of time. In areas of strong sunlight, slight chalking may cause some change in appearance. A good cleaning will often restore the appearance of these buildings and render repainting unnecessary. An occasional light cleaning will help maintain a good appearance and likely resolve the need to do a heavy cleaning.

Using Water and the right Detergent

In many cases, to simply washing the building with plain water using a hose or pressure sprayer (use low to medium pressure) would be adequate. However, when doing roof maintenance, In areas where heavy dirt deposits dull the surface, a cloth or soft bristle brush and solution of water and detergent may be necessary.  If you use detergent, a good start would be 1/3 cup of laundry detergent per gallon of water may be used. This should be followed by an adequate rinse of water. Be sure to NEVER use wire brushes, abrasives, or cleaning tools.  These will damage the coating surface and cause problems down the road.

Removing Mildew during panel maintenance

It’s possible that mildew may occur in areas subject to high humidity, but is not normally a problem due to the high inherent mildew resistance of the baked finish that is used. To remove mildew along with the dirt, the following solution is recommended:

1/3 cup detergent (Tide® or equivalent)
2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (Solex® or equivalent)
1 quart of 5% sodium hypochlorite solution Clorox® or equivalent) 3 quarts of water

Again, be sure only to use a soft bristle brush and nothing abrasive, to prevent surface damage.

Solvents to use and not to use

Strong solvents and abrasive type cleaners should be avoided. Most organic solvents are flammable and toxic and must be handled accordingly. When using a solvent, consult maintenance professionals and label instructions for proper handling and disposal of washings. If required, a mild solvent such as mineral spirits can be used to remove caulking compounds, oil, grease, tars, wax, and similar substances. Use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits and apply only to areas which are contaminated. Follow up the use of this mild solvent with detergent cleaning and rinsing.

It’s important to take care of your investment, and even just a little bit of annual maintenance will go a long way when looking at the big picture.  Keeping your roof or siding looking great for years to come.  Contact our team today with any questions about steel panels and accessories.

Contact our team today and let’s get started on your next Steel Panel Project.


Steel Roofing & Panel Maintenance