Metal roofing maintenance is an important factor in keeping your roof in good condition, whether it’s newly installed or a pre-existing metal roof. Following these maintenance recommendations will extend the longevity of your roof and help you to avoid problems and costly roof repair bills.
Metal has been a popular choice for roofing since the early 1900s, mainly because of its durability and low maintenance requirements. In the right conditions, metal can be a trustworthy roofing material that outlasts most other options in its price range on the market. That said, severe weather and general wear and tear throughout a year can lead to potential problems with your metal roof and this guide will show you how to solve them before they become larger issues. If you’ve ever wondered what the best ways to maintain your metal roof are, these tips are for you!
Before you get on the roof
As a professional roofing contractor, we can’t emphasize safety enough. Before you get on the roof to perform any metal maintenance, keep the following safety and general metal roof information in mind. Consider investing in a safety harness and a ladder with stabilizers (these items are easy to find at local hardware stores) and consider asking someone you know to spot you while you’re on the roof.
- Minimize foot traffic on your roof as much as possible.
- Avoid walking on the eave, rake flashing, gutters, hip or ridge flashings
- Never walk on a skylight or fiberglass type panels
- Always walk on a flat area of the panel
- Don’t wear black soled shoes, marks can be left on your metal roof that is hard to remove
- Always wear soft-soled shoes to protect the roof from damage
- Do not get on the roof if you do not feel comfortable doing so, most roofing companies nearby will offer great deals on metal roof maintenance if you need assistance.
Problems With Metal Roofs
Maintenance of metal, aluminum, and steel roofing are important to help avoid larger issues. Although it’s a durable roofing option, problems with metal roofs most often occur from poor installation, lack of maintenance, or storm damage. When metal roofs are maintained correctly, you shouldn’t need to replace your roof for decades. However, if you notice any of the following, it may be time to perform your annual roof maintenance.
- Leaks between the metal panels or near the edges of the roof
- Dents may be a sign of storm damage on your roof. If you notice any hail damage on a roof, you should consider having a professional out to assess.
- Scuffing & Scratching can be caused by tree branches, storms, or foot traffic
- Oil Canning is defined as visible waviness in the flat areas of metal roofing.
Tips for Maintaining A Metal Roof
- Inspect the roof at least twice per year: As a residential roofing contractor in Charlotte, NC where we experience 4 very distinct seasons, our first recommendation is to perform this roof maintenance at least twice per year and after every significant severe weather event in your area. If you are not comfortable getting on your roof, you can use binoculars to review the roof from the ground or hire a roofer to perform an inspection.
- Trim trees and surrounding foliage: Keep all foliage at least 6 feet from the metal roof/ Trees are a common cause of roof damage, branches and other debris can scratch the metal (and shingle).
- Clean your gutters & valleys: Perform a thorough cleaning of your gutters and roof valleys at least twice per year. If your home is surrounded by trees, you may want to do this more often. Leaves, dirt, and other debris can block the flow of water off your roof. Long-term water exposure on a metal roof will damage it. If you are unable to regularly clean your gutters, Signature Exteriors recommends installing gutter guards onto your gutters to prevent these build-ups.
- Fix metal roof fasteners: If exposed fasteners are used on your metal roof, ensure that you inspect them at least twice per year. Make sure they are installed properly and that the Neoprene washers are not breaking down. Do this by running your fingernail along with the washer, if a washer has hardened or is breaking apart, chances are you will need to hire a roofing contractor to replace it.
- Check Metal Roof Sealants: Metal roof sealants will not last as long as the metal roof itself. At some point, you will want to have your roof sealant redone or touched up. Rust is a sign that your sealant has failed or the anti-corrosion coating is starting to fail.
- Repair holes or separations: If you notice any gaps in the metal roof, that is a potential leak source and provides the potential for damage to the underlying structure. If you are not 100% comfortable repairing these items yourself, hire a professional.
- Clean off stains, dirt, and build-up: If you notice a build-up of debris, dirt, and staining we recommend contacting a professional to perform a cleaning.
- Clean any snow or ice off your roof: You can use a long-handled broom, brush, or a roof rake from a safe secure position on a ladder. Use extreme caution when doing so as you can potentially scratch, damage the metal roof, or cause snow or ice to fall on you.
- Prevent leaks before they start: A metal roof inspection may reveal areas of concern or deterioration that will require repairs. It is recommended that you repair these small defects before they become a major concern and cause leaks to spring up across your roof.
Metal Roofing Don’ts:
If you’re asking yourself how you can maintain your metal roof, we think it’s important to share the things you shouldn’t do or use too! There is a lot of information on the internet and, unfortunately, it’s not always accurate. There are a few considerations about your metal roof you should keep in mind before you start your maintenance.
- Do not use scouring pads or industrial solvents: Scouring pads or industrial solvents can damage the protective film and speed up the accumulation of dirt and debris on your metal roof.
- Avoid walking on the metal roof panels: Metal roofing material metal is thinner and is unable to support as much weight as a shingle roof. While you will most likely not fall through, you run the risk of potentially denting or damaging the metal panels.
- Do not use a paint sprayer near your metal roof: Should you be looking to paint your home yourself or by hiring painters, ensure that paint rollers or paintbrushes are used during the project. Overspray from a paint sprayer is likely to be blown onto the metal roof, especially on windy days, and cleaning paint off of your metal roof is next to impossible.
Should you need any assistance with your metal roof (or any other roof for that matter), please do not hesitate to contact Signature Exteriors at (704) 729-4898. We would love to inspect your metal roof and provide assistance with any maintenance needed.