A strong, well-designed roof is a crucial component of a home exterior. It is responsible for warding off severe elements such as hail, snow, rain and the glare of the sun and make sure that the residents and their personal belongings remain dry, safe and free of damage. One of the most popular roofing materials on the market is metal. A metal roof is customizable, durable, efficient and long-lasting. However, in order to take full advantage of the impressive performance of a metal roofing system, it is important to know how to properly maintain it. In this article, a metal and flat roofing expert breaks down a few essential maintenance tips to follow.
Knowing Your Metal Roof
Even though a well-installed metal roof often requires minimal repairs and upkeep, knowing how to properly care for your roof will provide you with better defense against wind, rain, heat and other elements for a long time. First, you will need to consider certain factors to determine the best type of maintenance routine that suits your metal roofing.
- System Type — There are generally two types of metal roofing systems. An architectural metal roof is commonly made from thinner materials and installed directly onto the roof decking. On the flip side, a structural metal roof is made from thickset materials and designed to be part of the building structure. Understanding the particular type of your system is critical because slight damage to a structural metal roof can also mean damage to the roof deck, which creates a bigger safety hazard.
- Metal Type — Another factor that will determine what kind of maintenance your metal roofing will require in the future is the specific material used. For example, a metal roof made from standard steel is prone to oxidation. This means you will have to check for signs of corrosion on a regular basis.
- System Design — The proper care of your metal roof will also depend on the design. Most times, metal roof shingles require different methods of repair and maintenance than flat seam panels. The upkeep of a metal roof with interlocking panels may also differ from the required upkeep of a standing seam metal roofing.
General Tips for Maintaining Your Metal Roof
To ensure that your metal roof remains in tip-top shape throughout its lifespan, perform these general cleaning and maintenance tasks:
1. Clean your gutters thoroughly.
Rain gutters play a vital role in keeping residential or commercial roofs in good condition. This also includes downspouts and drain boxes. Even innocuous elements that people encounter day-to-day can be a source of concern. Leaves, twigs, dirt, bird droppings and other debris can fall into the gutters, build up and clog your system. This often leads to leaks or overflow, resulting in other damage to your house, including the roof, siding and foundation. Soil erosion and basement flooding can also occur. All of these potential scenarios will bring stress and cost a lot of money to fix.
Many metal roofing professionals recommend cleaning out your gutters at least twice a year, once in the spring after the onslaught of the cold, freezing winter season and another time in the fall. If you happen to live in a windy area where debris can accumulate at a faster rate than expected, do it more frequently.
2. Trim away tree branches.
Any large, overhanging branches that touch the surface of your roof should be trimmed. In wild, blustery weather, these tree branches can break and end up scratching or denting portions of your metal roof. After a particularly stormy day, it is a smart move to inspect your roof from the ground up. If you notice telltale signs of metal roofing damage during the brief inspection, be sure to contact a professional roofer right away to confirm if there are other underlying problems that need to be addressed.
As a rule of thumb, mature trees should be trimmed every three to five years, whereas younger trees will need pruning every two to three years.
3. Look for roof penetration.
Cracks, loose seams and penetrations on your metal roof will allow rainwater or melting snow to trickle into the roofing system, creating an ideal environment for water-related damage to take place. For example, mold and mildew thrive in damp conditions. Once these reach the attic, it is only a matter of time before the interior walls and ceilings are affected as well. While a metal roof leaking in several places is rare, leakage can still occur around vents and skylights.
Factors such as aging and severe weather conditions can cause silicone seals to crack and warp. This can result in leaks over time, so be sure to fill any identified gaps and holes with a flexible sealant designed for metal roofs as soon as possible. Let a certified roof repair specialist perform structural maintenance on your metal roof at least once every two years to get ahead of potential money-wasting problems.
4. Check for loose or damaged parts.
From the flashing to roof sheets, ridge caps, fasteners and venting materials, all components of your metal roofing should be in good working order so that your home remains comfortable and safe. If you are not certain what you need to look out for, schedule a maintenance visit and let a professional contractor inspect, diagnose and repair any issues. An experienced roofer will conduct a thorough inspection of your interior, exterior and roofing materials to ensure that your metal roof will last for many years to come.
5. Clear waterways.
Metal is one of the most widely used flat roofing systems in the present time. In fact, a low-slope metal roof can provide years of minimal maintenance and low life-cycle costs. But the thing is, any flat or extremely low-pitched area on the roof can become a pooling area. As twigs and other debris collect on the roof, water is unable to run off and drain from the roof, causing a wide array of problems such as mold, rust, moss and even rot, all of which can compromise the performance and beauty of your home.
6. Inspect for corrosion.
To inspect for corrosion, check around the chimney, heating vents, air vents and oil condensers above cooking areas. All of these components often release heat, steam and other harmful chemicals that can kickstart the deterioration of the paint or coating applied on your metal roof and lead to rusting or corrosion.
Some homeowners opt to apply a specialty product, particularly an acrylic or oil-based coating, every two to four years to keep their metal roofing in pristine condition.
Let Professionals Handle All Your Metal Roofing Needs
For top-rated residential and commercial roofing solutions in the Halton region, turn to Done-Right Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd. As a proud GAF Master Elite® roofing contractor, you can depend on us to make your roof replacement, roof repair and roof maintenance a hassle-free experience from start to finish. Our goal is to provide the comfort and efficiency every client deserves through industry-leading products and outstanding customer service. Call us at (289) 809-6133 or fill out our contact form to request a free, no-obligation estimate today.