Home Maintenance Tips: Taking Care of your Metal Roof



With some light maintenance, a metal roof will last 30 years or longer. Most of the maintenance is nothing more than inspections to make sure sealants aren’t damaged by snow or ice or hail. Since most metal roofs are used in high snow climates that means at least two thorough inspections a year and at least a general look over after a major storm.

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photo credit: origamidon via photopin cc

Metal doesn’t have the elastic properties of a composite roof. Temperature swings cause metal to expand and contract. Although elastic sealants are used between the sheets of metal, these can crack and separate. This is an important inspection point. Most sealants need to be replaced after about 20 years but newer butyl sealants will last more than 20 years. Another important inspection point are any screws used to hold the roof in place. The expansion and contraction of the roof can loosen these screws.

Cleaning a Metal Roof

Dirt, pollen, leafs, and other debris from tall trees can alter both the function and appearance of your metal roof. At least annually, clean all debris from the gutters to prevent water from backing up under the roof line. Sweep or blow leafs and other debris from the roof. Pay particular attention to cleaning valleys where water accumulates. A build up of leafs may not seem like a major issue but they retain water to prevent the water from properly draining off the roof. A clean roof is a trouble free roof.

For appearance purposes as well as preventing corrosion from dirt and pollen, your metal roof should be washed annually. You’ll want to use a biodegradable cleaner whenever possible. A simple solution of one cup of Simple Green® or other non-toxic biodegradable cleaner usually does the trick. You can take care of this chore using a well-soaked cloth, sponge, brush (with soft bristles), or a low pressure washer spray.

If you’re not concerned with the biodegradable properties of the cleaning solution, you can use one cup of household ammonia dissolved into five gallons of water. When mildew or other fungal growth are a problem, you’re going to need a stronger cleaning solution. You can mix one cup of household bleach with five gallons of water, along with one cup of mild soap as a wetting agent.

An important word of caution – metal roofs can be slippery, make sure you take proper safety precautions or hire a roofing professional.
Bigger Repairs

Either extreme temperature caused expansions or severe storms can result in the need for more significant repairs. Should you have to replace a section of your metal roof, be sure that the replacement metal is the same as the original metal or at least compatible with it. When certain incompatible metals come in contact with each other corrosion can occur.

Keep the paint touched up so that rust doesn’t occur as a result of rain or severe weather. Be careful not to scratch the surface or paint of your metal roof. This can be another cause of rust or corrosion. If you do scratch it, seek the advice of a roofing professional about how to best seal it and paint it before further damage occurs.

Some occasional maintenance of your metal roof will save you money in the long run and enable your roof to last for decades.

 

Brian KlineAbout the author: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 25 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.

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