Basic Metal Roof Care
Updated: Sep 29
The number of roofing companies offering metal roofing systems is growing thanks to the reliability and cost-effectiveness of this long-lasting roofing option. Metal roofs can last up to 40 years even in a punishing environment, which is twice as long as the average lifespan of a properly maintained asphalt shingle roof. With regular maintenance in a temperate region, metal roofs have been known to last up to 70 years or longer.
You can help your metal roof survive longer with some basic care tips. Read on to find out more.
Prepare Yourself for the Job
To avoid accidents, you should prepare yourself for basic roof maintenance. Wear fall protection gear, including soft-soled, non-slip shoes. If you can, avoid even stepping on your roof, particularly if your roof is old.
Use a sturdy ladder, preferably one approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with special consideration of your weight plus the weight of some tools. Work with someone who can assist you.
Work on a day that is neither too hot nor too cold. Never work when it’s slippery, such as when it’s raining or snowing.
Clean Your Gutters
Debris stuck in your gutters can lead to pooling water, which can cause damage to your gutter system as well as to your roof and other components of your home. Remove twigs, leaves, muck and other debris from your gutters, downspouts and drain boxes.
Trim Any Nearby Trees
The branches of a tree that sits too close to your home can break when they’re old, become too heavy or if hit by strong winds. Overhanging branches can also scratch your roof as they move with the wind. To avoid these problems, trim the branches of overhanging or close trees. A particularly heavy branch can fall on your roof and necessitate the purchase of a replacement roof.
Inspect Any Roof Penetrations
It’s not often that a metal roof would leak, but it’s possible, particularly around roof penetrations, such as skylights and air vents. Inspect these areas closely. Call a professional roofer if you find any cracks in the seals, especially if your area was recently hit by a storm. You can also apply a flexible roofing sealant to prevent wear and damage.
Look for Loose, Damaged or Deformed Parts
Your metal roof has many different components: the metal roofing sheets or shingles, the ridge caps, fasteners, flashings, etc. A close inspection of these parts can help you identify if your roof needs repairs. Some metal roofs can corrode over time. If you see any signs of rust, it’s a good idea to call your roofer.
You can inspect your roof by standing on the ground and using binoculars. You can also do it on a ladder (make sure someone is assisting you by holding the ladder). Closer inspections involve walking on the roof. It’s advisable to hire a professional to do this for you.
There are waterways on your roof. These are areas where rainwater typically runs. Sometimes, debris prevents water from draining quickly, which is always bad for any roof. Remove any debris you find before it causes moss or mold growth.