If your roof is covered with metal, than you can probably testify that you made a great choice in a roofing material. And if you’re someone who’s looking for a roof replacement to last you a lifetime, metal roofing is one of the best choices you can make. In fact, a steel roof with an aluminum-zinc alloy coating can easily last upwards of 100 years! And the peace of mind that comes along with never having to worry about replacing your roof again is really a beautiful thing.
A Metal Roof is Naturally Low-Maintenance – But Not NO-Maintenance
When it comes to roofing solutions, metal requires much less maintenance than many other comparable roofing materials. With the proper choice of substrate and coatings, a metal roof should never require refinishing. Even so, low-maintenance doesn’t mean no-maintenance. Every roof will benefit from a little TLC every now and then, regardless of which roofing material you have in place. Here are some benefits to paying some regular attention to your metal roof:
• Helps to prevent potential problems down the road
Metal is very rugged and durable, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely damage-proof. Providing regular maintenance will help you to identify any dents, scuffs, scratches, or corrosion that may require a little attention.
• Further prolongs the life of your roofing system
A metal roofing substrate that’s properly installed should last you for a lifetime. Even so, there are issues which can shorten the longevity of your metal roof, if left unaddressed. Catching and fixing any problem spots like those mentioned above can help to prevent premature roof failure.
• Helps keep your metal roof looking great
Obviously, you want your metal roof to provide dependable performance when it comes to protecting your home. But you’d also like your roof to look nice, too! Roofs – even metal roofs – that are dirty or covered with debris don’t help to create the look you want for your home; in fact, they can even detract from it. For this reason, it just makes sense to give your metal roof a regular onceover to help keep it clear of any gathered dirt, dust, or debris.
Cleaning & Troubleshooting Tips for Metal Roofs
As we mentioned before, a properly-treated metal roof should never require refinishing. But no matter what your roofing material is, there’s really no way to prevent things like dust and debris from gathering over time. Because this is true, there are some basic surface cleaning and troubleshooting measures you’ll want to follow on a seasonal basis:
• Remove leaves & debris on the roof
While debris flows off of a vertically-paneled metal roof much better than with shingles or other roofing materials, some debris can still collect in valleys or low-slope areas. If allowed to remain, this debris can stain or scratch your protective metal color finish.
• Clear the gutters & drains
Gutters & drains should be cleared seasonally for any roof, metal roofs included. Failure to do so can result in standing water, which can lead to premature metal roofing corrosion or other structural problems.
• Cut back overhanging limbs, & check for contact with other materials
If you’ve got trees adjacent to your home, make sure no limbs are directly overhanging or touching your roof. These could scratch or scuff your protective finish, or could break off and do even more roof damage. It’s also important to make sure that no potentially problematic materials like bricks, concrete, treated lumber, or certain metals are in direct contact with your metal roofing. These items can actually serve to accelerate the galvanic corrosion process of your roof.
• Remove any built-up dirt, dust, or surface stains
Metal fares much better than other roofing materials in terms of dirt & dust buildup. Even so, some dirt, dust, bird droppings, etc. can accumulate over time. It’s wise to give your roof a good washdown every so often; just don’t use any harsh detergents or super high-pressure washers on your protective metal coating.
• Check for surface damage to your panels or finish
It’s always a good idea to check out your roof after any significant storm passes. Metal roofs are incredibly durable, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely damage-proof. And while the protective coating on your metal isn’t a typical paint, it can still be scratched or scuffed. In many cases, minor scratches can be addressed with some touch-up protective metal paint.
Preventive Maintenance for Metal Roofs
Keeping a roof clean and clear of debris is certainly important. And once you’ve gotten everything clean, the next thing you’ll want to do is to give a little attention to the panels, fasteners, flashing, sealant, etc. One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your metal roof is to show it a little preventive maintenance TLC every so often:
• Check the panels & seams
Your metal panels are designed to last a very long time. The integrity of your roofing system doesn’t depend on the panels, so much as on the seams. You’ll want to verify that your panels haven’t become loosened or dislodged, and that all of your seams are still tight and undamaged. It’s also important for installers to make sure that proper allowances are made for thermal expansion and contraction.
• Check & tighten fasteners
If your metal roof has exposed fasteners, then it’s important to check to make sure your fasteners, rivets, and screws are still in good shape, and aren’t loose, crooked, or missing. Check out the condition of the gasket washers, too. Exposed fastener systems should be inspected annually to make sure no fasteners have backed out and thus given moisture more opportunities to intrude. Of course, there’s also an even better and simpler solution – just choose a standing seam metal roof with no exposed fasteners!
• Look for loose or damaged flashing
One of the most common sources of leaks on any roof is an issue with flashing that’s either damaged, loosened, or missing. Most flashing is made of metal too, but it’s not designed in the same way as your metal roof paneling, and metal flashing can eventually erode, corrode, rust, or wear out over time. Plus, if you can see any exposed underlayment or decking, that’s an issue you should address immediately.
• Check the areas around special roof features or penetration points
Penetration points and special roof features like chimneys, air vents, skylights, and solar panels have their own specific flashing, too. This flashing needs to be checked as well, along with any mount areas where drilling through your metal roofing was required. Each of these areas is a potential point of leak development, if not properly maintained.
• Check & replace sealant as needed
Apart from checking for tight seams, one of the best things you can do in terms of preventive maintenance is making sure all your seals are in good condition. If you find any places where sealant is cracked or missing, you’ll want to touch up or replace the sealant in those areas. Doing so in a conscientious manner can pay great dividends in terms of helping to keep out water, dirt, wind, and pests.
For Greater Peace of Mind, Schedule a Professional Roof Inspection
Doing a regular self-check of your roof and performing a little needed self-maintenance is a wise practice. But if you’re someone who’s not completely comfortable with climbing a ladder, or getting on top of your roof? And even if you’re fine with taking on roof maintenance as a DIY project, it’s possible that you could miss something important that a properly-trained eye would spot right away. Worse still, you could inadvertently do something which ends up voiding your metal roof warranty! For these reasons, it’s usually best to leave metal roofing maintenance service to a local professional. A trained roofing provider also knows what to look for in terms of inspecting your attic, fascia, soffit, and other aspects of your roof structure, as well.
The Best Metal Roofing Strategy: Entrust Your Installation to the Pros at Skywalker Roofing!
There are plenty of things you can do yourself, but taking on a metal roof installation shouldn’t be one of them, unless you’ve had some very specific training and experience in this area. Even some “professional” roofers aren’t really that well-equipped for the task; putting on a metal roof is quite a bit different from nailing a shingle. Thankfully, your friends at Skywalker Roofing provide comprehensive residential and commercial roofing services for the entire NC Piedmont Triad, Piedmont Triangle, Charlotte Metro/Lake Norman area, and Roanoke/southwest VA region. Nobody takes better care of you than Skywalker Roofing, and nobody provides better custom-made, standing seam metal roofs either!
And by all means, don’t just take our word for it. Check out what hundreds of real, satisfied customers have to say about us on Guild Quality! And after you’ve done that, you can connect with us online, or you can just give us a call at +1 (336) 627-5596. We invite you to come experience the Skywalker Roofing difference for yourself!