Metal roofing maintenance is an essential factor in keeping your metal roof in good condition, whether it’s newly installed or a pre-existing metal roof. Following these maintenance recommendations will extend your roof’s longevity and help you 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 more significant 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. Keep the following safety and general metal roof information in mind before you get on the roof to perform any metal maintenance. We recommend 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. They could leave marks on your metal roof that are difficult to remove.
- Always wear soft-soled shoes to protect the roof from damage.
- Do not get on the roof unless you 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 roofing is vital to help avoid more significant issues. Although it’s a durable roofing option, problems with metal roofs 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.
- Tree branches, storms, or foot traffic can cause scuffing and scratching.
- Oil Canning is defined as visible waviness in the flat areas of metal roofing due to movement of the roof or the structure underneath it.
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 four very distinct seasons, our first recommendation is to perform this roof maintenance at least twice per year. You should also inspect the metal roof 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 (or shingle).
- Clean your gutters & valleys: Perform a thorough cleaning of your gutters and roof valleys at least twice per year. If trees surround your home, 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 cannot regularly clean your gutters, Signature Exteriors recommends installing gutter guards onto your gutters to prevent these build-ups.
- Fix metal roof fasteners: If there are exposed fasteners are on your metal roof, ensure that you inspect them at least twice per year. During your first inspection, you should ensure they were installed correctly, and in all further checks, you should make sure that the Neoprene washers are not breaking down. Do this by running your fingernail along with the washer. If a washer has cracked or otherwise failed, 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. You will want to have your roof sealant redone or touched up at some point. Rust is a sign that the sealant or an anti-corrosion coating has failed.
- 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 plastic 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. We recommend that you repair these minor defects before they become a significant concern and result in leaks springing 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 to keep in mind while maintaining a metal roof:
- 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: Some metal roofing is thinner and cannot support as much weight as a shingle roof. While you will most likely not fall through, you risk 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 hire painters, use paint rollers or paintbrushes during any portions of the project near the metal roof. 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 maintaining 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.