Preserving the Beauty: 4 Dos and Don’ts of Metal Roof Maintenance

Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular these days. Not very long ago, homeowners tended to shy away from these types of materials because they were afraid they’d rust and be easily damaged by hail and flying debris. Many of the common myths surrounding metal roofing have been dispelled at this point, though, and people are beginning to understand the strong suits of this alternative. In fact, metal roofs are now among the most popular options, second only to asphalt shingles.

Metal Roofing Dos and Don’ts

As is the case with virtually all construction materials, metal roof maintenance is the key to longevity. A metal roof can last 70 years or more under ideal conditions, and prompt upkeep can extend its lifespan well beyond that point. Of course, there are right and wrong ways to care for metal roofing. Understanding the proper ways to maintain your roof will go a long way toward preserving its durability and appearance while reducing the likelihood of an untimely replacement.

1) Cleaning

Roofs are constantly exposed to the elements as well as microorganisms and particles in the air. This makes them vulnerable to stains, mildew, moss, and mold growth among other issues. If left to their own devices, these hazards can not only detract from the appearance of your roof but damage its protective coatings.

·        Do: Be sure to clean your roof at least once every year or so. Water may be all you need to get rid of unsightly buildup, but cleaning agents like bleach, dish detergent, and other approved solvents may be necessary to remove some of the more stubborn situations. If scrubbing is needed, use soft materials like cloths and sponges.

·        Don’t: Never use abrasive cleaners on a metal roof. Stay away from wire brushes and steel wool. Abrasive cleaners and tools can cause more damage to the roof’s finish than the mold, bird droppings, and other types of buildup you’re trying to remove. If you damage the roof yourself, this could void the warranty, and homeowner’s insurance probably won’t cover the repairs.

2) Repairs

Metal roofs are built to withstand wear and tear and abuse from Mother Nature. Some can handle winds as high as 140 miles per hour and offer impressive impact resistance among other benefits. Even so, they’re bound to acquire a certain amount of damage over the years.

·        Do: Make repairs as quickly as possible after damage occurs or call in a professional for assistance. Use manufacturer-approved touch-up paint to cover relatively small scrapes and scratches. Some metal roofing comes with its own touch-up paint, but you can also find matching colors through home improvement stores or your material supplier.

·        Don’t: Don’t overlook small scratches simply because they can’t be seen from the ground. Even a tiny scuff could lead to extensive damage over time. You may have noticed how small scratches on a vehicle evolve if not repaired promptly. Metal roofs are very much the same.

3) “Minor” Details

Keeping a roof in top-notch shape entails more than cleaning it and repairing damage as it occurs. Several other elements come into play as well. They can make as much of a difference in the life of your roof as all those other aspects.

·        Do: Remove any leaves, branches, pine needles, and other debris that may have collected in the joints and valleys of your roof. Otherwise, they can leave residue on the roof that may damage its finish. They also hold in moisture and contribute to fungal growth.

·        Don’t: Don’t ignore the gutters. If leaves and other debris gather in the gutters, they can lead to clogs. In turn, they may force water to flow under the edges of the roofing instead of along the downspouts to the ground where it belongs. This, too, can bring about extensive damage.

4) Inspections

Experts recommend having a roof inspection carried out once a year, but this rarely happens. At the very least, schedule an inspection every two or three years. Also, be sure to have your roof inspected after severe storms or extreme winter weather to stay on top of damage.

·        Do: Be sure to cover all the components of the roof during an inspection. This includes the flashings, seals around vents and skylights, and other elements. They’re just as crucial to the roofing system as the primary materials.

·        Don’t: Never climb onto the roof if you’re uncomfortable with heights or unsteady on your feet. Doing so could lead to severe injuries and even death. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help if needed.

Bottom Line

Metal roofs serve their owners well as long as they’re cared for properly. With ongoing maintenance and prompt attention to repairs, they’ll remain efficient, effective, and visually appealing for decades. Follow these tips for maintaining your metal roof and it could easily endure well beyond its expected lifespan.