How to Remove Roofing Tar From Metal Roof

Tar is a by-product of combustion, and if left untreated, can leech into the atmosphere. In addition, tar on your roofing material looks ugly and leaves a sticky residue that will attract dirt to build up. If you have tar on your metal roof, it may be time for some maintenance that includes scraping away any excess tar from the surface with a stiff brush or scraper before rinsing off the area with water. 

How to Remove Roofing Tar From Metal Roof

The best method for removing tar from metal roofs is using mineral spirits or turpentine diluted in paint thinner. These substances are resistant to heat and cold so that they won’t evaporate in extreme temperatures like other solvents would do. So, this article is for you. You will learn how to remove roofing tar from metal roof with just one simple trick! 

Step by Step guide on How to Remove Roofing Tar From Metal Roof

Step One: Identify the Material

Identify the material that has been contaminated by roofing tar. Metal roofs are not flammable and can be scraped, brushed, or hosed with water if they have only a very thin film of tar on them. However, if there is tar adhered to metal shingles or panels, it must first be removed before the metal is exposed to the elements.

Step Two: Remove the Tar

Scrape roofing tar off of metal roofs with a sharp putty knife or paint scraper. If this method proves unsuccessful, use mineral spirits to dissolve the tar and remove it with absorbent toweling. A third option is to apply heat with a hairdryer or heat gun. Heat the tar until it liquefies, and wipe it away with a clean towel.

Step Three: Clean the Surface

Clean roofing tar from metal roofs with mineral spirits or kerosene. Use paint thinner or turpentine to remove grease or oil-based stains caused by petroleum products such as diesel fuel, motor oil, mineral oil, or machine lubricants. A stiff-bristled brush will remove most tar stains from metal surfaces.

Step Four: Replace the Metal Roof

Replace damaged metal roof panels, shingles, or insulation if they are severely contaminated by tar. If just a small patch is covered with roofing tar, scrub it off with mineral spirits and wash the surrounding area. Let any stains fade away before replacing the roofing materials.

Replace Damaged Metal Roof Panels

Generously apply a commercial, high-temperature tar and gravel product to the top of the old sealer. These products contain strong solvents that remove and soften old asphalt. However, don’t use it on any other type of roof because its caustic ingredients can damage other roofing materials such as wood, concrete, or clay tiles.

Step Five: Touch-up Metal

Use touch-up paint or aerosol spray paint from a hardware store to cover tarred patches on metal roofs. If the roof is too large to be painted with a brush, mask off adjacent areas and apply the paint in an even coat using a spray gun attachment for compressed air.

Step Six: Protect Metal

Protect metal roofs from tar contamination by coating them with a high-temperature roof sealer. These products can withstand temperatures up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit and protect against acidic liquids such as battery acids or paint strippers. The sealer will also help prevent new stains from setting in as well as prevent rust on metal roofs.

Protect Metal Roofs From Tar Contamination by Coating Them With a High-temperature Roof Sealer

Remove tar from metal roofs by applying a solvent-based roofing and waterproofing sealer with an applicator such as a paintbrush, roller, or spray gun. If you want to find out more about how to remove roofing tar from metal roof, keep reading.

Do Roofing Tar Stop Leaks?

Roofing tar is manufactured from asphalt, which has been used for waterproofing since at least the first millennium B.C. It is most commonly used on flat roofs with a surface that contains many seams. If you own a metal roof and find it is leaking, check your gutter to see if there are shingles missing or if the flashing around a vent pipe is damaged.

If you find any of these presents, it’s best to call a professional to assess whether or not your roof needs new shingles or flashing installed. The following instructions are for those who want to remove dried tar from metal roofs themselves. Begin by using a flat-head screwdriver to remove any loose particles of tar, and then use a wire brush to remove the fine ones.

If any stubborn bits remain, you can try using heat from a hair dryer. If that doesn’t work, scrape those areas with an old putty knife and wipe them down with mineral spirits (tar and mineral spirits are not safe to inhale, so be sure to work outside or in a well-ventilated area).

How Do You Soften Roofing Tar?

First, you should soften the roofing tar with a solvent. Do not use paint thinner or turpentine because these solvents may damage your metal roof. Use mineral spirits instead (which is typically available at hardware stores). Prepare a few mineral spirits in a plastic cup and set the cup near your work area.

Next, you will need to heat the roofing tar with boiling water. The heat from the water should soften the tar enough to scrap it off with a putty knife or brush. Next, pour some boiling water on top of the tar and let it stand for several minutes.

You should see that the roofing tar has become soft enough to scrape off easily. Then, use a paint scraper or putty knife to remove the softened tar from your metal roof. The softened tar should come off in chunks, which can then be rinsed away with water. You can also use a wire brush or metal scraper instead of a paint scraper.


Roofing tar is a common material used to cover the metal roofs of homes and buildings. Over time, as shingles wear down or if it rains on your roof, you may find some areas where the tar has become stained with rainwater. This can be problematic for homeowners who want their home’s exterior to look clean and fresh at all times.

Luckily, there are several ways that we know of that will help remove roofing tar from metal roofs without damaging them in any way. The conclusion paragraph is informative and provides information on how to remove roofing tar from metal roof.

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