How to Clean a Conservatory Roof
One of the best things about having a conservatory is the beautiful skylit views and stunning beams of sunlight it gives access to. However, due to the nature of the materials used in conservatory construction, the roof will naturally after a while, become built up with dust, dirt, moss, and algae, hindering its aesthetics and functionality.
But, not to worry. Thankfully, with regular cleaning and the right maintenance techniques, you can keep your conservatory roof looking sleek and spotless for years into the future. In this handy article, we will talk you through practical and effective methods for conservatory roof cleaning and answer any other burning questions you may have.
What is the Best Way to Clean my Conservatory Roof?
So, lets talk cleaning. You will typically find that your conservatory roof is either built from glass or polycarbonate. Although the cleaning methods for both are similar, there are a few differences which can have an impact on the overall end finish.
How to Clean a Polycarbonate Conservatory Roof
What Will I Need?
- Long hosepipe
- Telescopic brush/window cleaning pole
- Soft brush & Squeegee attachments
- Clean, lukewarm water
- Specialist conservatory cleaner or detergent
- Specialist uPVC cleaner
Cleaning a Polycarbonate Conservatory Roof Step-by-Step
1. Prepare the Solution
You will first need to prepare the appropriate cleaning solution for use on polycarbonate. Typically a mix of mild soap or detergent and clean, lukewarm water is enough to remove stains and dirt effectively. It is important that you only ever use mild soaps as very strong chemicals may damage the coatings of your roof.
For very hard-to-tackle stains, you may want to consider using a specialist cleaning solution formulated for use with polycarbonate panels. If you are unsure about which products to use, we always recommend consulting a professional to check.
Fill your bucket with the lukewarm water, making sure you don’t overfill. Add some of the soap or specialist cleaner into the water. Follow any guidance or instructions on the box of the product itself to ensure the correct amounts are used.
2. Assemble the Cleaning Pole
The safest and most effective way of cleaning a conservatory roof is by using a telescopic brush or cleaning pole. For this job, you will need a soft brush and squeegee attachments. Each model of cleaning pole will be slightly different, so make sure to follow assembly instructions to get the right fit.
3. Begin the Clean
Now its time for the fun part: the cleaning. Dip the brush into the pre-made cleaning solution and position yourself so that the section of roof you want to clean is reachable. If you do want to use a ladder as well, make sure to equip yourself with the appropriate protective PPE (hard hat, protective clothing, appropriate footwear) and set your ladder safely against a sturdy wall surface.
Begin scrubbing the polycarbonate panels in circular motions. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as to not damage the roof. Re-dip your brush into the bucket if additional cleaning solution is needed.
4. Remove Residue & Foam
Clean the excess foam and residue from the panel using the squeegee attachment. Start from the top of the roof panel and move downwards in a steady movement. Repeat if necessary until all residue has been removed.
5. Change the Water
To avoid making your roof panels dirtier, make sure to regularly change out the water and cleaning solution mix every time you notice it becoming murky. Simply empty the bucket and re-make the solution as you did in step one.
6. Work Across all Panels
Work your way across all of the polycarbonate roof panels, taking your time to ensure each is completely clean before moving on to the next. The timeframe for cleaning will differ dependant on the size of your conservatory roof and the amount of dirt built-up on the surface. We recommend allowing at least an afternoon to guarantee you have enough time to complete the job effectively.
7. Clean the Frame
Once all of the panels are clean, it’s then time to clean the frame. If you plan on cleaning your conservatory windows as part of the same job, we suggest doing this first.
If your windows are constructed from uPVC, make sure to purchase a cleaner appropriate for use. Mix up the cleaning solution as indicated in the product’s instructions, then buff the frame using the appropriate attachment for the cleaner used.
8. Leave to Dry
Once fully cleaned, leave your conservatory to air-dry and you are finished. If after drying, you notice any smears or missed areas, you can re-clean until content.
How Do I Keep my Conservatory Glass Clean?
If you'd like to know how to clean a glass conservatory roof, the process is very similar to polycarbonate, with a few extra things to keep in mind.
Firstly, glass can be a little trickier to clean than polycarbonate so a cleaning product specially formulated for use with glass panels will need to be used. Pay close attention to the product that you use as the wrong kind may cause smears and may even cause damage to the panels.
Glass is extremely fragile, so always take complete care when cleaning. Ensure you have a sturdy grip on the cleaning pole at all times and work in careful, slow motions to avoid damaging the panels.
If you are finding that the glass cleaning solution is not working well enough, hot soapy water can be very effective in aiding the clean. Remember to never use any harsh chemicals as these may cause problems with the glass material.
If after removing residue with a squeegee you are still finding unsightly smears and smudges, going over with a clean micro-fibre cloth may help to combat this. Micro-fibre cloths are ideal for creating a clean, streak-free finish for the glass.
Common Issues When Cleaning Conservatory Roofs
Specialised Self-Cleaning Conservatories
Not a fan of heavy duty cleaning? Self-cleaning glass is a fantastic, low-maintenance option for those who want a spotless conservatory roof minus the regular upkeep. It is specially designed and manufactured with a specialist coating that reacts with UV rays. A photocatalytic process occurs under UV exposure which loosens and breaks down dirt particles on the glass. Typically, the coating is also hydrophilic which means the roof dries without leaving behind smears and drying spots. Pretty cool, right?
So, does this mean you never have to clean your conservatory roof again? Self-cleaning panels are great for combatting standard dirt-built up that occurs on the day-to-day. However, very stubborn stains will sometimes need a little extra attention from you to maintain a perfectly spotless finish.
If you have recently experienced murky weather with limited rain and sunshine exposure, you may need to rinse over the conservatory panels with a hosepipe to clean. Adding a solvent-free cleaning detergent such as a mild washing up liquid to the water will help to minimise the risk of white mineral staining. To achieve optimum results, spray in a zig-zag like motion, working from top to bottom.
It is never recommended that you spray or soak self-cleaning glass when it is in direct sunlight – only when cool.
To combat trickier stains, use a soft cloth or soft brush pole attachment and the same solvent-free soapy water solution. Clean carefully, rinsing and repeating in tough areas until you have reached the desired clean finish.
If after a few cleans the stain has still not been removed, you may use a non-abrasive liquid glass cleaner and clean soft cloth. It is very important to always use clean cloths and never rub dirt from the cloth onto the surface of the glass.
Sealants & Paint Stains
Always remove any sealant or paint as soon as possible before it has the chance to dry onto the glass. Dried sealant/paint is much tricker to remove.
Remove sealant residue using a damp clean cloth, then dry using a separate dry clean cloth. To remove paint, use a soft clean cloth to dab the spot and then rinse with solvent-free soapy water. Repeat as necessary until completely clean.
Important Tips to Remember!
When cleaning the frames, ensure you avoid getting any uPVC cleaner onto the self-cleaning panels. This will damage the glass and may cause permanent staining.
Never use methylated spirits when cleaning up paint spots. This will damage the glass and remove the self-cleaning coating.
Can I Jet Wash my Conservatory Roof?
It is not recommended that you use any form of pressure washer on your conservatory roof. High pressure streams can compromise the structure of your conservatory, damaging coatings and seals to allow water and air ingress inside. Standard garden hoses are suitable to use as they don’t apply enough pressure to cause damage.
Can I Walk Across my Conservatory Roof?
Never step on the roof surface of your conservatory. The safest method of cleaning your roof is from the ground as there is no pressure applied to the exterior of your conservatory.
Professionals suggest a ladder can be used but only if there is a robust concrete wall to secure it to. Conservatory materials are often too fragile to withstand a ladder’s weight so take the correct recommended precautions to avoid accidents.
How Do I Remove Yellow Stains from my Conservatory Roof?
Sometimes heavy exposure to UV rays can cause polycarbonate roof panels to appear as if they are stained yellow. If left to yellow for too long, the stains are sometimes not fixable, and the panels may just need replacing in order to regain a clean finish.
However, yellowed polycarbonate can sometimes be restored by using a simple mix of one part bleach and one part clean water. Fill a bucket with the one part bleach and one part water mix. Then, wearing appropriate protective gloves, soak paper towels in the solution and place onto the yellowed plastic stains.
Press the towels firmly against the panel surface and leave to sit until the area has whitened. You may need to re-wet the towels by spraying the solution from a spray bottle in order to keep them moist. Make sure you only spray onto the towels and not onto surrounding areas as this could cause unwanted bleaching across the rest of the roof.
Once removed, remove the paper towels, and rinse the area with clean water. Wash again with a mild detergent solution and leave the roof to air dry.
The results of this method will depend on the severity of the yellowing and state of your roof. If still yellow after completing, you may need to consult a professional or consider replacing the panels.
How Do I Get Green Algae off my Conservatory Roof?
Formation of moss and algae is a common problem for conservatory roofs. Not only does it look pretty unsightly, but it can also cause damage to your conservatory structure if left for an extended period of time. Thankfully, algae and moss can be removed safely and easily with the right tools, products, and technique.
The most effective way of cleaning algae is to soak the area first and then use a pole and soft brush attachment to dislodge and gently brush from the roof surface. You may also use a mix of mild detergent/soap and water to aid the cleaning process further. For any leftover stubborn pieces, use vinegar on a damp cloth and rub the area. Then, gently rinse with a hose to finish.
There are specialist conservatory roof cleaners formulated for the removal of green algae build-up on the market. However, these are typically not recommended for use on glass roof panels and can be expensive, so a lukewarm water and mild detergent mix should work just fine.
As you remove algae from the roof surface, you may find that some falls into the gutters. Make sure to remove this debris straight away from the guttering to avoid blockages and damage.
How Do You Remove Mold from a Conservatory Roof?
Mould can be a real nuisance for your conservatory roof. It is caused by moisture in the air which forms as condensation on the panels. Mould is most commonly prevented by allowing airflow throughout the conservatory and maintaining a suitable, balanced temperature to minimise this condensation build-up.
To remove mould from uPVC or aluminium, use a solution of mild soap/detergent and clean water. Dip a clean, soft cloth into the mix and wipe over the area to remove.
For very stubborn black mould on uPVC, make a solution of 1 parts vinegar to 4 parts hot water, then leave on the affected area for around an hour. Once the mould has broken down, thoroughly wipe the surface and leave to air dry. We do not suggest using this method on aluminium as it can damage and corrode the metal if left to sit for too long.
Cleaning Out Guttering
Another essential task in maintaining your conservatory roof is cleaning out the gutters. As a general rule, gutters should be cleaned out twice a year to reduce build-up and avoid damage to the guttering structure. Make sure your ladder is positioned safely, then get up and remove all of the leaves, moss and debris that have built-up within the gutters.
For a safe and effective method of gutter cleaning, check out our informative blog post here on ‘How to Clean Your Gutters’.
When Is the Best Time to Clean a Conservatory Roof?
The best time to clean your conservatory roof is in the afternoon or early morning where the sun is visible, but not shining too brightly. Avoid cleaning your roof at the hottest time of the day, especially in summer, as the heat from the sun will dry the solution too quickly, hindering the results and leaving leftover water droplets on the surface.
We know that the weather can often be temperamental, especially in the UK. However, it is recommended that you carry out the job on a clear day with enough natural light to provide a sharp view of the roof’s finish. Don’t attempt to clean the roof in rainy, snowy, or foggy conditions and always be careful working at height in the winter to avoid accidents caused by slippery ice.
Why Does my Conservatory Roof Still Look Dirty?
So, you’ve cleaned and cleaned following the correct method, but your conservatory roof is still looking dirty. Although seemingly obvious, the internal surface of your roof panels can become built-up with dirt, dust, and grime too which may be the reason your roof still appears a little unsightly. Make sure to give your conservatory ceiling a regular clean too and air out the conservatory space to regulate airflow.
Although it can be a pretty boring task, maintaining the regular cleaning and upkeep of your conservatory roof is a great way of preserving that ‘brand new’ spotless look for far longer. By utilising simple cleaning methods and inexpensive products, you can avoid expensive replacements down the line and enjoy the perfect clean finish in your conservatory.
If you are thinking of starting your very own conservatory roof construction project and are on the hunt for the right products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our handy customer service team who will be more than happy to help. Simply give them a call on 01295 565565, email [email protected], or leave a message in our handy live chat.