How to Put on a Metal Roof – A steel roof is long-lasting and withstands inclement weather. It is also recyclable. You can order steel roofing from a metal roofing distributor. You can buy the tools needed to install a steel roof from a hardware or home improvement store. Use these tips to install a steel roof.
Tips for Installing Metal Roofing
- Make sure the first panel is installed square – all the other panels will follow it.
- On exposed fastener panels: While you don’t have to predrill holes for your screws, predrilling panels will make it easier to get the screw lines straighter. – You can predrill a stack of about 10 panels at a time. – Make sure you measure for predrilling accurately.
- If you pop lines for your screws, make sure to use blue chalk, and NOT RED CHALK. Red chalk is very difficult to get off and can stay on for months, while blue chalk will usually wash off with the next rain.
- If you need to cut panels lengthwise, you can score them with a box cutter several times, and then bend it back and forth until it breaks off, producing a clean edge. You can also use tin snips or the TurboShear Drill Attachment for cutting them.
- Screw your fasteners in straight, and don’t overtighten them. The best way to do this is to set your drill tension, preferably testing it out on a scrap piece of metal or on an area that will be covered over by a ridge cap or other flashing.
- Wear protective rubber coated gloves while working with metal roofing and flashings. This not only protects you from the sharp metal edges, it also gives you a better grip on the metal roofing.
- After you finish installing the metal roofing, make sure to brush off any metal filings / shavings that are on the roof. Otherwise they will cause unsightly rust spots where they rest on the metal roofing.
How to Install a Steel Roof
Measure the roof.
- Use a tape measure to determine the distance between the ridge and eave of the roof.
- Add the amount of desired overhang to that measurement if you want the roofing to hang over the eaves.
- Determine the roof’s width.
- Divide the roof’s width by 3. The result gives you the number of panels that you need. For a roof that is 45 feet (13.7 m) wide, you will need 15 metal panels. Panels come in a width of 3 feet (.91 m) each, but are cut to desired lengths.
Order your steel roofing panels.
Give the roof measurements to a metal roofing distributor when ordering your panels.
Cover the shingles.
This is a good time to add a radiant barrier insulation for energy efficiency or you can cover the roof with 30-pound (13.6-kg) roofing felt to keep moisture away from the roof. Leave the old shingles on the roof.
Use a staple gun or plastic cap nails to secure the insulation or roofing felt .
- Metal Roof Underlayment
- Can You Install Metal Roofing Over a Shingle Roof?
- How to Install a Metal Roof Over Shingles
Lay the batten boards.
Batten boards help to secure the steel panels to the roof.
- Lay 1-by-4-inch (2.5-by-10.2-cm) pine boards over all of the roofing felt. The boards should run parallel with the ridge and the eaves.
- Place the boards 24 inches (61 cm) apart from eave to ridge.
- Use a drill to screw the boards into the roof.
Install the eave flashing.
Eave flashing helps water to flow off of the roof.
- Use a hammer and nails to attach eave flashing to the eaves.
- Install the eave flashing along the roof’s entire width. If the roof has gutters, the eave flashing should cover over each of the gutter’s sides.
Apply closure strips.
Closure strips help close gaps beneath the steel roofing panels where animals and pests may hide.
- Place closure strips onto the eave flashing.
- Place a drop of butyl tape sealant over the closure strip.
Install the first steel roof panel.
Place the first panel along 1 edge of the roof. The bottom end of the panel should hang 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) over the eave.
Screw the panel onto each 1-by-4-inch (2.5-by-10.2-cm) board.
Install the remaining panels.
Lay the second panel along the first panel. The high ridges that run the length of the second panel should overlap the ridges on the first panel.
Secure the second panel by screwing it onto the first panel.
Place the screws into the overlapping ridges. Insert a screw every foot (30.5 cm) from the eave to the ridge. Repeat the process with the rest of the panels. Cover the entire roof.
Install the gable trim.
Gable trim gives the roof’s edges a smooth appearance.
- Apply a thin line of butyl tape sealant along the side edge of the roof.
- Place the gable trim over the side edge of the roof.
- Screw the gable trim into the roof.
- Install gable trim on all edges of the roof.
Install the ridge cap.
The ridge cap helps water to flow off of the roof.
- Apply a thin line of butyl tape sealant along the roof’s ridge.
- Place outside foam closures along the roof’s ridge.
- Apply butyl tape sealant in a thin line along the length of the foam closures.
- Place the ridge cap over the roof.
- Secure the ridge cap on both sides of the peak with evenly spaced screws.
Metal roofing is incredibly durable but it isn’t indestructible. Exposed as it is to the elements, it can weather and age. Some components will not last as long as others and sometimes things just happen, like softball sized hail or 60 mph winds blowing sand across the finish.
You don’t need to do much maintenance on your metal roof but you do need to keep up with wear and tear, storm damage, and simple shifting. Here is what you need to do to keep your metal roof, and the rest of the building, in tip-top shape.
At least twice a year as well as after every severe weather event, you will want to inspect your metal roof for distress conditions. As you begin, make certain you or your inspector only walk directly over joists and purlins to avoid further damage to the roof panels.
Check for the following:
- Movement distress in panels and fasteners
- Sealant failures
- Damage from snow, ice, or hail
- Aging or missing fastener gaskets
- Debris and clogs in the drains and gutters
- Surface coating failures
- Any rust or corrosion
To look for movement distress in fasteners, check all screws and fasteners to make sure they are still tight. Movement can make screws back out of the hole. You will see the screw and possibly some threads sticking up above the level of the gasket or roof panel.
Sealant failures can be seen in peeling or flaking sealant, discolored sealant, and around fasteners that have come loose. Many sealants only last 20 years or so but can become damaged from roof panel and fastener movement. Plus, there is always the possibility a critter thinks it tastes good.
Damage from snow and ice often reveals itself as ice dams and leakage under the roof. If the roof slope is low, the accumulation of snow or ice can cause panels to buckle. Hail, of course, can leave dents or, in the event of very large hailstones, can create holes in the panel.
Fastener gaskets have limited lifetimes. Check the manufacturer’s specifications for replacement schedules. Otherwise, check for tightness, discoloration or corrosion, and breakage.
Over time, debris can be washed off the roof and into any gutter system you may have installed. If the drain or gutter becomes clogged, water may accumulate and back-up onto the roof creating conditions for corrosion. Be careful not to scratch any coating or sealant when removing branches or other debris.
Finally, look for scratches and peeling surface coatings. Protective coating failures provide opportunities for corrosion and rust to form on the bare metal.
Once you have inspected the roof and you need to repair any damage you found.
Expansion and contraction in the heat and cold causes panels to shift. Sometimes this results in a separated seam or holes where fasteners have popped loose. It is also possible that fasteners and gaskets have broken in the movement or because of hail and ice damage.
Replace any missing fasteners and gaskets using components of the same metal as the roof panels. Allowing different types of metals to touch can create another chance for corrosion or discoloration. Seal each replacement fastener and panel seam with recommended sealant.
When you place screws always use washers or gaskets and never place them in a low-lying area where water can pool.
Small holes can be repaired with small amounts of roof cement while large ones can be covered with a patch of the same metal soldered into place. Be sure to seal the cut edges of the patch so it won’t rust. If you have a very large area of rust or corrosion, you may need to replace the entire panel. Since metal building systems are manufactured to work as a unit, try to obtain a panel that is specific for your building style from the same vendor you got the building system from.
If you find any bare metal due to scratches or other damage, touch it up with paint or other sealer before rust can occur. Metal edges may have the paint or sealant worn away and require touching up.
Fastener gaskets have a limited lifetime and must be replaced on a regular basis. Check the manufacturer’s specifications for a replacement schedule. Again, make sure to use fasteners and gaskets made of the same metal as the panels and seal each one as you replace it.
Most sealants are only good for 20 years and should be removed and replaced on a regular schedule as well. As you replace gaskets or make repairs and replacements for missing fasteners, make sure to seal each one as you go.
Coatings are like sealants. They are exposed to the environment and act as protection for the metal. Coatings age and may peel or simply lose their protective ability. Talk to a roofing specialist to determine the best protective coating for your roof.
If your building has been exposed to extremely harsh conditions or has been without maintenance for a time, you would do well to reseal all the seams and fasteners, with particular attention to areas where the seams appear to be opening and in areas where multiple pieces of hardware were replaced.
All metal surfaces require protection. So nothing gets missed (tiny scratches, invisible openings near fasteners, and the like) you will probably need to repaint the entire roof every so often as the coating ages. Maybe you would like a new color; this would be a good time to change it.
Make it last
No, a metal roof isn’t indestructible, but it’s the next best thing to it. Twice yearly inspections, tender loving care after big storms or harsh seasons will help you find and make repairs before a small problem becomes a big problem.
You have to remember, also, that the roof isn’t entirely made of steel. Components such as sealants and gaskets age and require periodic replacement. By making these repairs and replacements, along with a new coat of protective paint, you can help your metal roof keep the weather off you and your stuff for decades.
One of the benefits of installing a metal roof on a structure is the low maintenance required to ensure a long life for the roof. Maintaining a metal roof is easy, as metal roofing is often referred to as maintenance-free.
In most cases a metal roof would retain structural integrity, remain leak-free, and look good for at least the life of the product warranty (generally 20-30 years for quality material) even without any maintenance.
However, it is not a bad idea to perform a bit of routine inspection and preventive maintenance. This is especially important in areas that encounter frequent inclement weather.
Once a year you should inspect whole roof, area by area. Ensure you take routine safety precautions to prevent slipping or falling.
- Remove any debris – this helps prevent moisture and soil buildup, and reduces the chance of stains.
- Tighten any fasteners that may have loosened (unlikely, but it can happen, particularly if you’ve had a severe winter, or prolonged or intense winds).
- Inspect joints, penetrations, or other areas where sealant was used; apply fresh sealant to any spots where sealant appears to have been damaged or worn.
- If you notice any dirty, dusty or stained areas, a gentle washing is in order – as covered in the next section.
WASHING A METAL ROOF
If your area experiences particularly dusty, smoky, or smoggy conditions, you may notice a dirty or dusty film on the roof surface. This is extremely unlikely to harm the finish of most metal roofing, but it can detract from your roof’s appearance. Sometimes you will notice dust, dirt, or spots on just a small area of a roof. You can correct this simply by washing affected areas.
Washing a metal roof can be done as by spraying it with plain water using a hose or power washer.
For more resistant dirt, a soft bristle brush and a solution of water and detergent will normally do the trick. Trisodium phosphate (“TSP” – found in hardware stores), laundry detergent, non-abrasive all-purpose cleaners, or even liquid dish soap will work. The concentration to use depends on the product. Follow the directions on your product’s label to make a mild solution.
Do NOT use abrasive cleansers. Avoid using tools such as wire brushes, steel wool, or scouring pads that could scratch your metal roof’s protective coatings.
If you find spots of oil, grease, tar, excess caulk, or other such materials, they can usually be removed with a clean cloth and mild solvent such as mineral spirits. Follow up by washing the area with mild detergent, then rinsing with clear water.
In very humid areas mildew may in areas of a metal roof despite the high mildew resistance of quality paints and protective coatings.
If you do find mildew has developed, washing with a solution such as this should remove it:
- 1/3 cup detergent
- 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP)
- 1 quart of common chlorine bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite solution)
- 3 quarts of water
Once again, don’t use harsh solvents, abrasives, wire brushes and scouring pads.
DAMAGED PANELS OR TRIM
Occasionally a metal roof panel or piece of trim may be significantly damaged by a falling tree limb or some other serious impact. Dealing with such situations depends on the extent and nature of the damage. If you’re faced with a circumstance like this, you can generally contact a local contractor who specializes in metal roofing, or order a replacement part yourself from a reputable metal roofing materials source.
When locating the right replacement part, it is helpful if you know the manufacturer, roofing panel type, and color. If you don’t, the best idea is to measure the panel ribs peak-to-peak and provide that measurement. Also, you will want to provide a quality picture of your roofing panel. This is so that the supplier can better assist you with finding the right replacement panel or trim piece.
How to Care for Metal Roofing
The best way to maintain your metal roofing, and ensure it remains in tip-top shape throughout it’s lifespan, is to follow these four steps:
Step 1: Remove debris
Step 2: Ensure there are no holes or gaps
Step 3: Ensure each screw is tight and secure
Step 4: Properly prep and paint
1. Watch out for debris
While making sure certain types of debris, such as branches or leaves, don’t accumulate is recommended for all types of roofs, this is an important practice for metal roofing owners for a few reasons. Because the surface is more sleek than wood or other types of materials, debris is usually swept right off metal roofs whenever it’s windy or raining outside. However, sometimes this means that dirt or other types of environmental factors can fall off the roof and into your gutter system. Once this happens, water can become clogged, potentially resulting in corrosion damaging your roof. Occasionally breaking out the ladder and getting on top of your home to brush away any debris and clean out gutters will help ensure that environmental wear and tear won’t affect your metal roof. An easy way to avoid debris becoming a problem for your metal roofing is to make sure any nearby tree branches aren’t hanging over the area.
2. Ensure there are no holes or gaps
It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to roof maintenance, as avoiding thorough inspections for a long time may lead to unforeseen issues. While metal is renowned for its resiliency, keeping an eye out for any holes or gaps on the roof will ensure that you won’t have to experience dealing with a leak later on down the road. If you do see any loose seams on your metal roof, it doesn’t take much to fix them. Touching up these gaps with some sealant is usually enough to do the trick, but you should also consider completely sealing the metal roof with a waterproof coating, which can do wonders for protecting the surface against potential rust or corrosion buildup. However, if gaps are big enough to the point that water is leaking inside your house, it’s definitely time to contact a professional inspector to address the problem.
3. Ensure screws are tight and secure
Check all the screws along the roof to make sure they are tight and secure. Loose screws lead to potential corrosion or rust because water will begin to build up around the vent stacks. Screws can become loose after years of enduring all sorts of weathering, which is why taking some time every year to make sure everything is secure is essential to metal roofing maintenance. If your roof does need new screws, make sure the types you’re using have washers compatible with your specific type of metal roofing, and they follow your manufacturer’s recommendations.
“Avoid spray painting your roof when adding a new coat.”
4. Properly prep and paint
If you notice that your metal roof is in need of a painting touch up, take some time to clean the entire surface before beginning to paint, so no types of debris will get trapped underneath the coating. Make sure the paint you’re using is designed for metal surfaces in particular, and avoid using a spray to add the colors, as a slight breeze can quickly blow the paint away from the area you are aiming for. Instead, use a roller or brush, and once the first coat has dried, apply a second coat to ensure its longevity. Touching up paint every so often is always a smart idea when it comes to avoiding rust buildup.
Metal Roofing Benefits
Versatile designs, fire resistance, and enhanced energy efficiency for your home are just a few of the beneficial qualities that come standard with metal roofing. With a life expectancy of 40 to 70 years (depending on the metal), this type of roofing material will stand the tests of time, even in the face of extreme weather conditions. While metal roofing requires very little maintenance, it does take some effort to make sure your metal roof keeps its like-new appearance. Following a regular maintenance schedule will help ensure your metal roof keeps its appearance for years to come.
What steps do you take to keep your roof in good condition?
Browse our selection of quality Metal Roofing here. Add character and protection to your home.
If your home has a metal roof, it should last 40, 50 years or longer with regular maintenance. Taking care of problems early will help ensure you get the maximum possible service life!
Repair processes vary widely depending on the type of metal roof. Whenever repairing a metal roof, be sure to use compatible materials.
Many metals react, causing corrosion. Some woods and other chemicals can also cause corrosion. Be sure to read your manufacturer’s metal roof care instructions.
While the required maintenance steps vary, we’ve assembled tips on how to maintain and repair most types of metal roofs used in residential construction. Read on to learn more on how to maintain and repair most types of metal roofs
- Pull and re-nail loose nails.
- Look for holes, rust patches and other signs of damage.
- Seal leaks with urethane roof cement. Urethane protects against UV breakdown better than asphalt or plastic roof cement.
- Re-calk edges and seams along flashing using urethane roof cement.
Patching a Hole
- It is important to use the same type of metal as the roof, otherwise your patch can cause corrosion. First, clean the area with an all-purpose cleaner and a wire brush and let it dry completely.
- Your patch should be at least 2 inches larger than the damaged area, and remove the corners with tin snips. Fold the edges under ½ inch. Sand the folded part until its shiny. Put flux on the roof where the patch will be, and on the edges of the patch. Place the patch on the hole and weight it down with a brick. Hold solder on the seam and heat with soldering iron so that it melts and runs under the patch. Do this all the way around the patch, not leaving any open spaces.
- Cut two more patches larger than the hole. Coat the area on the roof with cement. Press one patch and apply another coat of cement. Repeat with the last patch and apply one last coat of roofing cement.
Long Run Metal Roofs
There are two basic types of long run metal roofs: fixed-through and clip-on. Clip-on roofing can be used on flatter roofs, with slopes as little as one degree. The clips go into the roofing first, which is then fixed to the roof purlins. Fixed-through corrugated sheeting is used on more sloping roofs (not below eight degrees). Sheets are held onto the roof with fastenings drilled through the roofing material.
Any repairs that penetrate the metal of a long run roof could invalidate your warranty. Check with the roofing manufacturer before doing any repairs. Also, check with the manufacturer before cleaning or attaching fastenings. You will need to know the correct cleaners and metals to use to prevent damage. For example, if your roof is made of zinc/aluminum-coated steel, you need to use soft zinc or aluminum flashings. Lead, even just from marking with a lead pencil, could cause reactions and corrosion.
Lifted Flashing – Flashing protects vulnerable spots, and if they are damaged you may have leaking. Lead or aluminum flashing that has bent or pulled away can be reshaped to the roof profile, but you might want to consider replacing them with a heavier grade flashing.
Loose Nails and Screws – Nails and screws that hold flashing into place need to be replaced if they fail. Consider replacing them with spiral shank nails or screws for better hold.
Dented and Damaged Sheets – If you can access the underside of the roof, you can push out smaller dents. Badly damaged sheets will need to be replaced.
Buckling and Tearing – Buckling and tearing can be caused by heat or by too few joints. Badly done repairs can also cause buckles. Remove and replace sheets with shorter lengths and more joints.
Corrosion – Metal will corrode due to grime, steel debris left on the roof, or contact with incompatible metals or woods (such as cedar, which is highly acidic). First, remove the cause. Then, clean the roof by sanding all the rust away. Apply a zinc-rich primer to sanded areas, then prime entire roof with galvanized iron primer and top coats. Severely corroded roofing will need to be replaced.
Bi-Metallic Corrosion – Many metals when put together will cause corrosion, especially when they become wet. Check with the roof manufacturer to find out what metals are compatible with your roof. If your roof is zinc/aluminum coated steel, it is not compatible with copper, pre-painted steel, galvanized steel, or lead. Make sure copper pipes don’t direct water onto metal roofing or gutters. Flashing should be made from the same material as your roof.
Corrosion at Roof Ridges – Salt, dust, or sand catching under the roof ridges can cause corrosion. If this happens, remove the ridging and clean the deposits. Remove the rust. Prime the area and replace the ridging. Replace any badly corroded ridging or roof panels.
Pre-Painted Steel Roofs – Factory coated steel is rust resistant and should need little repair for the first 15 years after installation.
Peeling Paint and Chalking – Weather can cause peeling paint and chalking (white powdery buildup). If the warranty period for the roof has expired, remove loose paint and repaint according to the manufacturers instructions.
Minor Scratches – Minor scratches (most don’t affect weather tightness) are best left alone, since patching with paint will show up more than the scratch. If sheets are badly damaged they will need to be replaced.
Surface Stains – Surface Stains can form from poor pre-paint preparation or with runoff from lead flashing. Lift the flashing, prime and paint both sides with acrylic topcoat to match the roof.
Unpainted Metal Roofs
White Rust – When water droplets sit on the surface of an unpainted metal roof, white rust can form. Scrub them off with a plastic brush, not wire. Regular cleaning will prevent these, or you can paint the steel to reduce corrosion.
Red Rust – This is most common on zinc/aluminum or galvanized steel. The only long-term solution is to find and remove the cause. Possible causes are: run off from cedar, redwood, CCA timbers (those treated with copper, chrome, and arsenic), glass, or painted steel; run off from clear or opaque sheeting; a corrosive environment (for example, a nearby swimming pool); or use of lead flashings or stainless steel fixings with zinc/aluminum alloy steel. Once you have identified and eliminated the cause, you can remove the rust, prime the area with a coating that is recommended by the manufacturer.
Corrosion – Corrosion can be caused by debris collecting under flashings and roofing overlaps, and can be avoided through regular maintenance, carefully cleaning under flashings and overlaps.
The underside of galvanized steel sheets can corrode if they are not primed or washed. Usually by the time you notice this, the damage is severe and the sheets will need to be replaced. Priming overlapping sheets can prevent this.
Maintaining a metal roof does not require world-class contractor skills. In fact, in most cases, it just needs a little common sense and careful attention to safety. The following tips apply to most metal roofs, whether exposed fastener, standing seam, or architecturally inspired types that look like slate, cedar shakes, or ceramic tile.
Tip #1 – Avoid Walking on the Roof
Metal roofs are thinner than other roofing materials and prone to getting bent or even punctured when you walk or stand on them. Not only that, but foot traffic can cause low spots and water ponding on near eave and at panel endlaps which will encourage leakage.
Also, each one of those dings and dents, even minor ones add up and alter the beauty of the roof.
So, if someone must walk on the roof (such as yourself, inspectors, service providers, etc.) make sure they know to walk on the flat part of the panels for exposed fastener and standing seam systems, using the joists or purlins for support. The fancier architectural styles of metal roofing will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Now for a safety warming. Metal roofs, every one of them, are dangerous. The metal is slick under dry conditions. When wet, frosted, icy, or snow-covered, trying to walk them is likely to be followed by a trip to the emergency room. The general rule of thumb is to stay off it entirely, if possible.
Tip #2 – Limit Debris Build-up
This advice is the same for every roof. Don’t let debris build-up, either on the surfaces or the valleys. Not only does it affect the immediate appearance of your roof, but the breakdown of the materials can stain the roof or under some conditions, actually damage the metal. Also, organic matter retains water. We want the water to leave as quickly as possible to avoid encouraging leaks.
To clean the debris, you can use a blower, a stiff broom, or water. In any case, work top to bottom. I recommend temporarily covering the gutters so you don’t have to spend extra time cleaning them more than once.
Tip #3- Clean the Gutters
What do the gutters have to do with your roof? Well, if they don’t drain properly, they back up and can damage your fascia system. Worse, in winter, the ice from the gutter will form and, glacier-like, try to invade the spaces under the metal. If you have mature trees, clean those gutters annually (at least.)
Tip #4 – Do Not Let Dissimilar Metals Contact the Metal Roof
Certain metals, when they come in contact with each other, react through a process called electrolysis. If you’ve ever seen ‘green corrosion’ on your copper plumbing, that is an example and almost always piping that was attached to galvanized steel without a dialectic washer.
The same thing can happen with your metal roofing. The installer should have made sure when he put the roof on that there were no other metals that would react. Still, be aware of the possibility. If you have a satellite installer coming, or another service person who will be making an addition on the roof, make sure they understand that they need to use compatible materials.
After a big wind-storm or other severe weather event, make sure that all the roofing materials are still in position. A chimney spark-arrester blown off might cause you additional aggravation if not detected.
Tip #5-Check for Loose Fasteners
There are two techniques for securing the roof metal to the framing of the house. The first, and most common, is to use exposed fasteners. Nowadays, these are screws with neoprene washers to protect against water intrusion. In the old days, it was nails.
Over time, fasteners tend to loosen, especially at the edges. This allows the wind to get under the metal and can lead to significant damage. Semi-annually, check your roof for loose fasteners. The safest way is to stand at ground level at a point that lets you look up the roof on the same angle as the slope. Fasteners that are protruding are relatively easy to see because they stick up past the roof. Binoculars can help. Any loose fasteners should be replaced.
Tip #6 – Check Your Sealants and Boots
Whoever installed the gas-fired fireplace did NOT understand metal roofing.
Weather exposure degrades silicon sealants and the boots used for plumbing vents. Annually check these for routine wear. Pay particular attention at chimneys, skylights, and valleys – all are prime candidates for leakage. Replace or re-seal as needed. If you are in doubt, call in a roofer with experience with metal. This is one where it is always better safe than sorry.
Also, a very common issue in this area is a person installing the roof without understanding how to do so properly. Your inspection should identify these for repair, but if left in place, pay strict attention to the deficiencies.
Tip #7 – Snow Removal
Just as we don’t let the organic debris from trees stay on the roof, I encourage you to remove ice and snow – when safe! – if it begins to pile up to depths sufficient to damage the framing. Another reason to remove the snow is that metal roofs shed it in avalanche-type clearances. You do not want to be under that when it happens. Make sure to use a snow rake that is safe for metal – you don’t want to scratch the surface and create rust.
In areas with harder winters, snow guards may be attached. These capture the snow before it can slide off and provide a holding field to allow the frozen precipitation to melt and drain more safely. I recommend them if you have doorways where snow or ice is likely to discharge unexpectedly.
Now for some guidelines. Realistically, these apply to every roof.
First, inspect your roof on a regularly scheduled basis. I recommend twice a year, spring and fall.
Second, do a precautionary inspection if one of the following conditions occur: after high winds, inspect for loose or missing flashing or trim, damage from falling limbs, and accumulation of and/or damage from other windblown debris; after a hail storm (unlikely here but . . .) check for penetration of the surface coating, damaged sheet-metal trim and flashing and loose fasteners; after an ice or snow storm check gutters, trim and flashing for damage from moving ice or heavy accumulations. Inspect snow guards if present to make they are intact.
Although metal roofs are engineered to require little to no maintenance, some basic maintenance is necessary from time to time to ensure that the full lifetime of the roof is maximized. Below are some potential issues that can be caused if metal roofs are not properly maintained:
- Leaks and Water Damage
- Dents and Pooling
- Metal Degradation and Corrosion
Roof maintenance can be performed by both a homeowner and a roof maintenance service so, if you do choose to perform your own maintenance, here are some tips to properly maintain your metal roof.
How to Maintain Your Metal Roof:
- Wash off dirt, leaves, stains and other elements: The sleek material of metal roofs allows most elements that collect on top of roofs to be swept off with rainfall. However, when these materials do not come off naturally, it is necessary to clean it off with water to lower the risk of roof damage due to build up. When cleaning off roofs with water, it is important to clean from top to bottom to remove all materials.
- Clean out gutters and drains: While rainfall will wash off leaves and debris from the tops of metal roofs, these materials flow into gutters and drains which can then be clogged due to an excess of elements. This clogging can greatly increase the change of roof corrosion.
- Clear roof area of tree branches and remove branches: When branches and sticks fall onto metal roofs, they can create scratches, or even holes, which can greatly impact the effectiveness and the lifetime of metal roofs, so it is important to decrease this from even happening in the first place. You can do this by clearing the area above the roof of branches. Additionally, if there are any branches on the roof, they need to be removed so that they do move and cause further damage.
- Remove other metal elements: When metal elements come in contact, they often interact and can potentially cause damage to the metals involved. This can result in metal degradation, corrosion, or staining and possibly cause failure of the entire roofing system.
- Check the roof structure is secure: Overtime, elements of a roofing structure can become loose, compromising the integrity of the roof and introducing the opportunity for damage to occur. Some specific things to check for on a roof includes fasteners, screws, panel seams, flashing material and sealants. When these elements become loose, leaks and water damage can occur, so it is important to frequently check, tighten, and fix these areas.
- Check for scratches, chipping, punctures, or holes: No matter how much you may try to protect your roof, damage is inevitable. So, it is important to check your roof, as often as twice a year or after periods of harsh weather, to look for any signs of damage. Although it may seem unnecessary to provide immediate attention to every scratch, chip and small hole, it is important that this damage is maintained so that it does not become a bigger issue later on..
WHY MIGHTY METAL ROOFING IS THE COMPANY FOR YOU!
While it is not difficult to perform your own roof inspection and maintenance, opting to use a roof maintenance service instead takes out much of the guess work of knowing if certain maintenance is necessary and how to do it and also ensures that your roof is properly maintained to allow for it reach its longest life.
That’s why Memphis’ Mighty Metal Roofing is the one to choose. Our company is a locally owned roofing and remodeling company with over 25 years of experience and a specialty in metal roofs. We have a A+ rating with the Mid-South BBB.We provide free roof estimates and roof inspections along with a selection of finance options that best fit your budget.
Don’t Wait to Check Your Metal Roof!s
Contact Mighty Metal Roofing now to discuss how our experts can ensure that your metal roof is properly maintained.
If you’re like most people who choose aluminum roofing for their homes and businesses, your primary reason for selecting it is that it requires only minimal maintenance. Unlike asphalt shingles that blow loose in the wind and wood shakes that split from age and improper conditioning, a metal roof is sturdy, reliable and not easy to damage.
Under acceptable conditions, aluminum roofing will outlast just about every kind of roofing material on the market.
Still, nothing is indestructible. And there are things you can do that will help you ensure your roof continues to look as good and perform well. Here are some useful tips that serve as your guide to caring for your aluminum roof:
Don’t let trees rub against your metal roof. Over the course of weeks or months, the constant rubbing of a tree branch or limb against a metal roof can cause damage to the finish. And if the wind is strong over a long time and the positioning of the limb is just so, fasteners can be compromised or the surface can be dented or abraded. Once there’s damage, it’s hard to cover or repair.
Don’t let debris accumulate on the roof. Some roof configurations allow debris to build up on the surface of the roof, and this can damage some kinds of finishes. As the debris decomposes, so does the finish. Consider using some kind of window cleaning brush or similar instrument on a long pole to brush away debris. Be careful about using water for this purpose, however. A water jet can push water under the roof and lead to leaks in certain circumstances. That’s why a brush makes the most sense.
Clean your gutters. Keeping debris out of the gutters is also essential because the constant contact of leaves and dirt with your metal roofing can cause failure. Aluminum roofing is designed to effectively shed rain and snow, then dry out. But when there’s debris in the gutters, the edges of the roofing material may never dry, and that can lead to corrosion. A roof that might have lasted a century can be compromised by moisture caused by debris buildup in the gutters.
Try to keep people from walking on it. If you have roof-mounted air conditioning components or need a vent cover replaced, walking on the roof is essential. It’s even necessary to walk on the roofing during installation. But it isn’t something that needs to happen on a regular basis. And make sure that anyone who must walk on the roof minimizes their time and motion while up there and understands any manufacturer recommendations about walking on your roofing material.
Avoid damage from paint overspray. When it’s time to have the eaves, walls or other parts of the outside of your home painted, consider your metal roof. Many painters prefer to use sprayers, but overspray can land on the roof, especially on windy days, leaving a permanent mark. Once this happens, cleaning it off is nearly impossible. That means a roof that could have lasted for decades becomes so ugly that it must be replaced before its time, and that’s a shame. Have painters use rollers or brushes, even if it costs more.
Keep different types of metal roofing from touching. Some kinds of roofing materials don’t like each other very much. If you have aluminum roofing butted up next to another kind of roofing, corrosion can result over time and cause both surfaces to fail. Copper roofing, in particular, is incompatible with aluminum or steel roofing, so stick to one kind of material on your home or business roof.
Fix fasteners. If you notice any loose or dislodged screws, tighten or replace them, and make sure you use similar fasteners made of the same material as the roof. It’s also important to remember that fasteners should only be installed on raised areas of the roofing. Putting screws on the lower areas can cause puddling of water and eventually rust.
Check sealants. There aren’t many kinds of sealant that will last as long as a metal roof, so sealant on seams and edges may need to be replaced or touched up. No sealant lasts more than 20 years. Make sure to check sealants after a storm or snow buildup. Visible rust is a sure sign that a sealant has failed or your anticorrosion coating is beginning to fail.
Repair holes or separations. You may need the assistance of a professional to repair a hole or separation in your roof. If there’s a gap of any kind in the metal, that’s a potential place for a leak to occur and for damage to the underlying roof structure. A properly installed patch can restore the look and performance of the roof.
When you take action based on this advice, your aluminum roof can look and perform well for many, many years — with minimal hassles.