Ever tried to clean a conservatory roof yourself?
You’ve probably noticed there’s plenty of moss and algae that’s formed, and thorough cleaning is a pretty awkward job.
Apart from being unsightly, this could also lead to various structural problems over time.
Hence, it’s important to keep conservatory roofs as clean as possible.
Due to a number of factors, the task is not as straightforward as you’d hope.
There are some do’s and don’ts which you may wish to bear in mind.
This is what we’ll be outlining below.
First off, you will need to gather some tools for the job.
Here is a list of the tools required to clean a conservatory roof properly and safely.
- a ladder, preferably a conservatory ladder.
- a large bucket.
- a cleaning sponge, such as a car cleaning sponge.
- a hosepipe.
- a telescopic brush.
- an extending pole.
- uPVC cleaning solution to clean the frames.
Cleaning Glass Conservatory Roofs
Conservatory roofs vary in terms of the materials used in their construction.
As a result you will need to apply a different cleaning method depending on the material in question.
Cleaning Standard Glass
If your conservatory roof is made from standard glass panels, you will need a hosepipe as well as a telescopic brush or a window cleaning pole.
It is best to avoid using a cleaning solution but rather opt for some warm water with a little washing-up liquid added.
This should work well on glass. Use a soft brush to avoid scraping.
It is always critical to ensure that you are accessing the roof as safely as possible.
As you work your way along, you need to make sure that you are distributing your weight as evenly as possible.
While applying uPVC cleaner to the bars, you need to be extra careful to avoid spilling any chemical onto the glass, as this will cause staining.
In case there is very stubborn algae on the glass, you may find it helpful to use a toothbrush in order to reach the smallest of gaps and cracks.
Cleaning Self Cleaning Glass
If your conservatory roof is made from self cleaning glass, you are in a better position.
From time to time, you might notice that there could be some dusty patches in some parts of the roof.
In the case of self-cleaning glass, this means that the glass is actually doing its job.
It is getting rid of the dirt while the weather is favourable, and then this is washed away with the rain.
However in the case of more stubborn dirt, you may need to climb up and do your part.
Simply fill a bucket with warm water.
Then add a cleaning solution to it.
Prepare a pole with a squeegee attachment, and start scrubbing gently.
Once you’re done, rinse well with water.
Allow it to dry, and then check the frames to see if there’s any stubborn dirt patches left that need addressing.
Cleaning Conservatory Windows & uPVC Frames
Besides a clean conservatory roof, you will also need to clean the windows and their frames.
Grime and stubborn dirt can be cleaned off with a specialised cleaning solution.
Always rinse well with water afterwards.
Start at the top, working your way down carefully.
In most cases, it is best to stick to a solution of warm soapy water.
It is inexpensive and safe to use, and generally as effective as can be.
Rinse off the soapy water and then use a squeegee to wipe off any water residue well.
Finally, wipe dry with a microfibre cloth to remove any streaks that may have been left on the glass.
In the case of the interior glass, you do not have to do this process with soapy water as the glass won’t be as dirty as the exterior glass.
Just use a damp cloth and proceed to wipe dry with a microfibre cloth afterwards.
Cleaning Polycarbonate Conservatory Roofs
A conservatory roof that is made from polycarbonate is quite easy to clean.
In this case as there is no glass, you can feel free to use any cleaning agent to remove the algae and moss, without having to worry that you might damage the roof.
uPVC cream cleaner for instance, is ideal to clean glazing caps where there are generally rather stubborn stains.
This can be applied using a brush.
A nail brush or a toothbrush work well.
You may consider using a squeegee attachment that has been soaked in vinegar or some specialised cleaner.
This will make the cleaning easier and quicker.
While climbing on the roof, make sure you distribute the weight evenly.
As a general rule, this should be across at least three glazing bars.
You may wish to use boards or a conservatory ladder to make this easier and safer.
Removing Algae from Conservatory Roofs
Algae grows quite easily, and it is an eye-sore.
If the conservatory faces north, or you have been through a period of very wet weather, you can expect to find considerable amounts of algae and moss on your conservatory roof.
However, at least removing algae is not that difficult and there is no need to use any harsh chemicals to get rid of it.
Here is how to go about it.
Start by wetting it, and then by using a soft brush attachment to a pole, you can start brushing it.
While doing this, keep an eye where it falls, as in case any goes in the gutters you should make sure to clean it so as to avoid any blockages.
You may consider buying a conservatory roof cleaner which is specifically intended for algae and moss removal.
However in most cases, these products tend to be quite expensive, and they are not suitable for use on a glass roof.
A good alternative is to fill a bucket with warm water and some detergent.
It will work well enough both to clean the frames as well as the glass.
Just be sure to use a mild detergent.
Work your way along the roof, paying special attention to any parts where there may be more stubborn algae and moss to clean off.
In such cases, you might need to use some vinegar directly on those parts.
Rub well and rinse using a hose afterwards.
Cleaning the Gutters
It is very important to make sure that the gutters are kept as clean as possible to avoid blockages.
Hence, it is recommended to clean the gutters at least twice a year.
Start removing any leaves, moss and other matter that may have made its way into the gutters.
A waste pipe cleaner or plumber’s snake can help you do the job more easily as the dirt and organic matter will be easily dislodged with it.
However, make sure you can see what you are doing and that you are not forcing any obstructions further down.
Lubricating Locks & Hinges
From time to time it is a good idea to spray the hinges and locks with a silicone-based product such as WD40.
This will help to keep them well lubricated and in a better condition.
Cleaning a conservatory is not the easiest job, and you will surely need to devote quite a lot of time to it.
The cleaning job will depend on the type of material the conservatory is made from, and obviously the bigger it is, the more time consuming it is going to be.
However if you have the willingness and determination to do it, coupled with the right tools, it is not an impossible task.
You may need more persistence and patience in the case of hard to reach areas, and in some areas you may wish to consider whether you can use a pressure washer.
Above all, make sure you go about this cleaning job as safely as you can.
Bear in mind that conservatory roofs are not made to be load bearing.
So if possible you should avoid walking or crawling on the roof.
While crawl boards can be placed over the glazing bars, it is still quite risky.
Hence you should avoid this if possible, and stick to standing on a ladder and use a telescopic brush.
Alternatively, hire a local cleaning contractor to come and do the job professionally.
They can arrange regular scheduled seasonal cleans, to keep your conservatory looking clean and pristine.
Remember, it is completely normal for moss and algae to grow again after some time.
To avoid a considerable build-up, you should clean your conservatory roof regularly, especially during the damper months.
Regular cleaning can help to keep the conservatory looking more aesthetically pleasing, as well as prolong its life considerably.
This is because any issues such as leaks will be more easily noticed if the roof is clean rather than covered with moss and algae.
You will also be able to carry out any other maintenance more easily and quickly the cleaner the roof is.