How to Clean Your EPDM Flat Roof Effectively

September 20, 2019 | General
How to Clean Your EPDM Flat Roof Effectively

So you’ve done it. Your property is currently sitting pretty with an EPDM flat roof. If you’ve chosen Firestone EPDM, which we would definitely recommend, you’ll now be benefitting from a 50-year lifespan. Its flexible properties and lightweight material disguise its hardy nature, while its eco-friendly appeal makes it a popular choice for modern properties. Firestone EPDM is our material of choice, and it’s also favoured by our customers too! However, every material requires maintenance, and while Firestone EPDM requires little in comparison to other materials, you should still clean it every once in a while. 

There are a few things that you might need in preparation for cleaning your flat roof, so we’ve listed them below. This allows you to prepare before you dive in.

  • Sweeping Brush: You’ll need to clean debris or dirt from your flat roof before you clean it, so a sweeping brush is essential. 
  • Hand Brush: If you have guttering on your roof, you should have a hand brush. This will allow you to remove any debris such as leaves and dirt. You could try doing this with the sweeping brush, but chances are, you’ll find it a lot easier if you purchase a trusty hand brush as well. 
  • Hose: A hose is essential, as you’ll need to wash your roof once you’ve brushed and cleaned the surface. Ideally, it should have a spray nozzle attachment, as you don’t want the hose to be too powerful. 
  • EPDM Cleaner: A cleaning solution is needed to effectively remove stains and tough debris. We’d recommend the Firestone EPDM cleaner, as it works on many solvent-resistant surfaces. A mild detergent and water should work too.

Once you have all these materials, you can get stuck in. It’s important to take precautions regarding your safety though, as every flat roof has a slight incline. You need to make sure that the flat roof is easily accessible via ladders or another method. If your flat roof is made from another material, you may wish to ask a professional roofer for assistance on the correct cleaning method, as this guide covers EPDM only. 

Step 1: Sweep The Roof

In order to keep a squeaky clean roof, you should be cleaning it around 3-4 times a year. EPDM is an incredibly hardy material, so cleaning it properly will only benefit its lifespan. Once you’ve completed a brief inspection of your roof, you can start sweeping it. You should immediately sweep any standing water from the roof. Usually, a flat roof has a slight incline that stops water from pooling, but over time it can still happen. (Especially if you are a frequent sufferer of bad weather!) 

Once you’ve swept away any pools of water, you can start clearing debris from the roof. Leaves, twigs and mud can gather on the roof, especially if you haven’t cleaned it in a while. Mould and algae can also accumulate, which you may need a cleaning solution to completely remove. After you’ve completed this step, your roof should immediately look better, but there’s still more to do. 

Step 2: Brush the Gutters

This is where your trusty hand brush comes in! You should remove any debris or locate damage that could be contributing to the water pooling issues mentioned above. This won’t just make your property look nicer, as it provides a practical benefit and ensures that your gutters are working efficiently. If your property is positioned close to foliage, it’s highly likely that you’ll experience a build-up of something. So a regular check-up might be essential in this case. 

If you do spot damage to your guttering, you should contact your local roofing professional, as they’ll be able to accurately assess the damage and propose a solution. Cleaning your roof might be time-consuming, but it could save you costly repairs in other areas if it’s completed regularly.

Step 3: Apply the Cleaner

Once you’ve completed the first two steps, you may notice stains and stubborn marks on your EPDM flat roof that are hard to remove. This is where the cleaning solution comes in. For especially stubborn stains, we’d advise the use of the Firestone Cleaner, but be warned that it also removes adhesives and sealants from the flat roof too. If you want to test other options first, you may wish to use a mild detergent with water.

If you’re using the Firestone Cleaner, you should thoroughly spray the area that you want to treat. The contamination should dissolve, but you may need to scrub it as well. (We recommend that you use the Firestone QuickScrubber) Once you’ve done this, simply wash the remaining cleaning solution away with a wet cloth.

Step 4: Wash the Roof

Follow our cleaning guide to receive an EPDM flat roof like this one!

Your EPDM flat roof should look a lot cleaner, but there may be small remnants of the cleaning solution and bits of grime or dirt remaining. Provided that you’ve cleaned the roof thoroughly, you should just be able to wash these away with a hose and a spray attachment. We would never recommend using a pressure washer, as although EPDM is resistant, it’s not designed to withstand water at that intensity. 

A hose with a spray nozzle attachment will do nicely, and should leave you with a sparkling EPDM flat roof. For further details on EPDM, including Firestone EPDM, don’t hesitate to contact our team. Our rolls are available in merchant friendly sizes or we can cut them to exact size too! If you’ve spotted damage during the cleaning process, we’ll provide the solution. 

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