How to Maintain a Metal Roof

Having a metal roof is great in a few important ways. You know it’s tough, and because of that, you don’t have to worry that some gusty breeze is going to pull away chunks of your roof. It provides a great sense of security. Also, metal roofs don’t require a ton of maintenance. For the most part, you can leave them alone and they’ll still last a long time.

Then again, some amount of maintenance might be prudent. Most things last longer when you take good care of them, and metal roofing is no exception. If you want to get the absolute most out of your metal roof, then you need to know these five tricks for routine maintenance. When you keep up with them, you can add decades of life to your metal roof.

1. Keep It Clean

Dirt and debris can build up on your metal roof. When they collect, they often contain things that undermine the metal and shorten its life. Leaves can trap water. Any of it can allow mildew or microbes to grow. Normally, metal is pretty antimicrobial, but under cover of debris, that isn’t the case. Microbes can corrode and corrupt the metal.

The best way to avoid this problem is to keep your gutters clear. Also, regularly clean out areas that can collect junk or dirt on the roof. That includes low points, seams, and trenches. If you do this, the metal will be able to survive much longer.

Dirt and debris represent a second problem that has nothing to do with longevity. They can make the roof slippery. Any surface that might see foot traffic needs to be kept consistently clear of these problems. 

2. Check for Surface Damage

Metal is tough, and that’s why it is used on roofs. But it is not impervious to harm. Scratches, scuffs, chipping, flaking, and fading are all warning signs that you should note. Especially with steel, scratches and chips are worrisome. They can erode the protective outer layer and allow water to get deeper into the metal to initiate oxidation.

With zinc roofs, severe fading lets you know that the metal is in bad shape. Even with copper and aluminum, scuffs and other signs of surface damage can ultimately weaken and undermine the metal.

If you see any of these problems, they need to be addressed. Many can be handled with touch-up paint or similar efforts.

3. Examine the Fasteners

The roof has to be secured to the building or else you’ll lose it in a windy storm. Fasteners come in the form of rivets, screws, and other small pointy objects. It’s important to regularly inspect the fasteners for problems. If there are signs of rust, corrosion, angling, misalignment, or pulling free (much less if some are missing), then they need some maintenance.

Replace compromised fasteners with fresh ones, and you’ll keep your metal roof secure.

4. Check the Seams

Metal roofs have seams, and they’re a major point of vulnerability. The seams have gaps, and they need a sealant or else they can leak. Around once a year, you want to look at the seams to ensure that they are still sealed. You also want to check for signs that the gaps are getting bigger. Metal roofing seams should have a small gap for thermal expansion, but if you can fit things through it, it’s time for some roof repair.

5. Inspect Penetration Points

Penetration points are namely chimneys, vents, and anything else that sticks through the roof. Because they create a hole in the roofing layer, they need to be adequately sealed. Typically, metal flashing is combined with liquid-applied sealant to prevent any leaks that could ruin your day.

Check all of these points once or twice a year. If you see anything pulling away or becoming unsealed, you may need to replace the flashing and redo the sealant. As you can imagine, these problems are very likely to cause leaks when they are left unfixed for any significant length of time.

Metal roof maintenance is important. You want the roof to live for decades, but in order to do that, it needs proper care. Much of this can be done by just about anyone. But if there is anything you don’t want to do or can’t do, you can contact Alpine Roofing Construction. We offer a wide range of metal roofing services in Dallas/Fort Worth that are sure to keep the material in the best possible shape. You can maximize the life of your roof when you routinely provide it with expert care.

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