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Maintenance for Metal Roofs

Maintenance for metal roofs is important to keep them beautiful for years to come. Your metal roof is a long-term investment in your home and your life, so make sure you’re following the do’s and don’t of metal roofing to keep it looking great. With these simple tips on how to clean, inspect, and repair your metal roof you’ll be set to get it done.

Do’s and Don’ts of Maintenance for Metal Roofs

  • Do annual maintenance on your metal roof.
  • Don’t walk on your metal roof if you can help it.
  • Do only walk on horizontal supports like joists and purlins if you must.
  • Don’t make repairs without making sure you have the correct materials for your roof.
  • Do be safe when placing ladders and accessing your roof and consider using a safety harness.
  • Do have a professional inspect your metal roof every other year.
  • Don’t forget to clean the gutters while you’re up there!
Maintenance for Metal Roofs: showing a person wearing teal gloves pulling beech leaves out of gutters on a metal roof.

How to Clean Your Metal Roof

The simple answer: soap and water. You know there’s more to it than just that. First, make sure to remove all debris in gutters and roof valleys. Trim any overhanging branches away from your roof as well. All that debris can build up moisture and eventually could lead to corrosion or rust. After you’ve got that finished, you may find there’s still mildew or just some plain old dirt that needs scrubbing. You can just use a bucket of soapy water and a soft rag like a microfiber cloth. There are also roof cleaning products specifically designed for roofs. You can also use a power washer if you’d like.

If you are going to use a powerwasher, use light pressure and hot water. This can create slippery conditions, so please make sure to take all safety precautions such as harnesses and have a spotter on the ground. If you don’t want to invest in the proper safety equipment, you can always call a professional who will be trained in how to clean your roof safely and effectively.

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What to Inspect on Your Metal Roof

Inspect the paint finish: look for scuffs, scratches, punctures, flaking, or fading. If you do find a scratch you can repair it easily. Just clean the scratch with a soft rag and mineral spirits rinse it with water then let it dry. After that, you can paint over the scratch with a metal primer to seal moisture out.

Inspect panels, flashing, and seams and sealants: look for bending, sagging, or warping where the panels meet. These seams must be flush or they can leak. Flashing is another point of water entry, so keep a sharp eye on that too, wherever the roof meets walls, roof edges, or other protrusions such as chimneys and skylights.

Check for corrosion: rust is the enemy of the metal roof, make sure to be vigilant against it. Corrosion can happen anywhere moisture has access to raw metal but the finish on your metal roof should protect it. That’s why it’s so important to check for dings and scratches and deal with any areas of exposed metal.

Vents and your HVAC system can put out moisture which can create the conditions for corrosion. A professional can inspect these systems and correct any problems. If you do notice any small rust spots, you can correct them by carefully cleaning the area with a scrubbing cleanser. After rinsing it clean, gently sand as much rust off as you can. Don’t use a wire brush to remove the rust, which may damage the panel. Once the corrosion is removed, apply a metal primer to prevent future rusting.

Structural maintenance check: this is a more in-depth inspection that should take place every other year. Roofs take wear and tear from weather, including hail, ice, falling branches, extreme heat, extreme cold, and extreme moisture. It’s worth it to have a professional inspect your roof to assess any damage and make any repairs needed. Fasteners including rivets and screws should be examined as well as panels, flashing, gaskets, and sealants.

Maintenance for Metal Roofs showing a trained roofer attaching flashing to a metal roof.

Don’t forget Winter Care

A good maintenance plan for metal roofs is year-round. In the winter, you’ll need to make sure it’s kept clear of ice and snow buildup. Metal roofs are great at shedding snow, so this should be a simple process, but if a little help is needed, a long-handled broom can be used to help the process along. Be careful not to use tools that could scrape or ding your roof.

Wrapping it Up with Regular Roof Maintenance

Your home is where your heart is, and just like you, it needs regular checkups and care. Your metal roof can last a lifetime with the right preventative maintenance. Make sure to always take safety precautions when getting on ladders or accessing your roof. If you feel uncomfortable accessing your roof, we can help keep things ship-shape and give your roof a clean bill of health.

About Weather Vane Roofing

We provide roofing, siding, insulation, windows, and gutters. Making your house beautiful and efficient is our main goal. We use the latest in technology and products to provide eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for your home and business. With locations in Lansing, Owosso, and Brighton/Howell we are Mid-Michigan’s roofing experts. Let us transform your house into a home.

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