While the most appealing aspect of a residential metal roof is low-maintenance, just like other parts of your home’s exterior, the roofing system requires periodic inspections and general upkeep. Metal roofs typically last longer than other kinds of roofing materials. But there are things you can do to prevent wear and tear, and keep your metal roof in tip-top shape.
As with the gutters, clear the metal roof of any dust, dirt, and debris, at least twice a year. Not only will this help reduce the amount of junk that enters the gutter system, it will also prevent the roof from potential rust problems. When debris such as twigs, leaves, blossoms, etc. adhere to the metal surface, moisture can build up beneath the layer; even the smallest scratch, scrape or abrasion retaining moisture can lead to corrosion.
When cleaning a metal roof use eco-friendly products or a mild detergent. Scrub stains gently with a wet cloth or soft bristle brush. It is recommended not to use a power washer since it might force water under metal roofing panels. A low-pressure sprayer is safe. Particles and residue must be completely removed because wind action could cause etching or scratches.
No Bird’s Eye View
If you like to walk on your roof to look at the view or it’s the best place to work on your tan, constant foot traffic is never a good thing. To prevent damage to your metal roof, don’t walk on it unless it’s absolutely necessary when inspecting the roofing system for damage or maintenance and repairs.
Prevent minor problems from becoming major repairs, inspect the metal roof with every change of season. Four times a year might seem excessive, but a quick look-see might alert you to loose flashings or punctures from falling branches or objects. Look for:
- leaks especially around vents and skylights
- changes in the paint colour or signs of corrosion around a chimney, an oil condenser or vents
- scratches, worn sealant, abrasions, dirt/grease buildup, and separating panel seams
- loose or missing flashings
- places where other types of metal items or structures make contact with the metal roof – interaction can lead to corrosion
- accumulation of debris in roof valleys
Repairing a Metal Roof
Any place where the finish or paint has been compromised by some kind of damage to the metal surface should be repaired as quickly as possible to prevent rust stains. Some common repairs made to metal roofs are shifted panels due to expansion and contraction; broken fasteners; small holes; and seams and flashings in need of new application of sealant.
While a metal roof is relatively easy to maintain, knowing the right way to make repairs can be more complex. Any tools used on a metal roof, for example, must be the same type of metal as the roof itself to avoid corrosion or discoloration.