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  • Writer's pictureDry Tech Team

Maintenance for Metal Roofs

Metal roofing systems have been around for a long time. They used to be popular only for industrial purposes and barns, but now they’re one of the best choices when it comes to residential roofing. Many home and building owners alike have recognized the benefits of standing seam and other metal roofs. They are surprisingly low-maintenance and they can last a long time, usually more than 50 years. By comparison, the average asphalt shingle roof will last about 20-25 years, and that is if you are diligent in maintaining it.

Metal roofs are available in different styles and baked-in colors. The most common options, however, can be painted practically whatever color you like. Even if your homeowners’ association has a policy on metal roofs, you can probably convince them to reconsider by bringing them a sample of the roof you want to install, (especially if it’s a shingle type metal roof that mimics the look of other systems like asphalt shingles and shakes).

Another reason to like metal roofs is their energy efficiency. They are known for their high solar reflectance, especially when you choose a reflective color. This means that, not only do you benefit from a metal roof’s longevity and low maintenance costs, but you also earn points for keeping your home more energy efficient. That leads to lower energy bills and less strain on your expensive HVAC system, all thanks to your metal residential roofing.

However, though metal roofs are popular for being low-maintenance systems, all roofs still need some upkeep. If you want to enjoy the benefits of your standing seam metal roof, it’s best to give it the care it deserves.

Why a Metal Roof Needs Maintenance

There are several reasons why your standing seam metal roof still needs some maintenance:

1. To Prevent Potential Issues - Metal is far stronger than other materials used for roofing, but it’s not impervious to problems, such as

  • Leaks

  • Dents

  • Scuffs

  • Scratches

  • Corrosion

  • Degradation

Yearly maintenance can correct these problems and prevent them from turning into more expensive issues that might even lead to replacement. Make sure to get in touch with the contractor who installed your metal roof so they can provide the right maintenance every time.

2. To Prolong the Roof’s Life

Many reputable roofing contractors understand that frequent roof replacement means there is a serious problem with maintenance, and property owners are actually wasting money. That’s why they’ll usually recommend yearly inspections and maintenance to ensure your metal roof’s longevity. If you’re paying for a roof that’s supposed to last at least 50 years, might as well enjoy that kind of longevity with a little maintenance.

3. To Preserve Its Looks

A new standing seam metal roof is great to look at, but that is not going to last long if you don’t pay attention to maintenance. Ever passed a series of houses or buildings with rusty, dilapidated roofs? Totally unsightly. You would never buy a house in an area where the roofs look like that. And you don’t want your house to suffer the same fate.

Get your money’s worth by taking better care of your metal roofing system with maintenance performed by professional roofing companies. Your roof installer is the best person to hire because they know exactly how your roof was installed, what it’s made of, and how to prolong its life.

Metal Roof Maintenance Basics

Metal roofing systems are sturdier against weather conditions than their asphalt shingle counterparts. Asphalt shingle roofs need maintenance and inspection at least once a year. For your metal roof, you can perform this either once a year or every 18 months.

However, if you are located in a region that experiences extreme weather, or if your house or building is close to trees, stick to a yearly maintenance schedule.

It’s best to check your roof warranty to find out how much maintenance is needed to keep the warranty coverage valid. Most roofing warranties require a strict maintenance schedule if you don’t want them to be voided.

You can probably perform your own surface maintenance, but it’s generally safer to hire a professional to do the inspection and maintenance.

Here’s what needs to be done:

1. Remove Dirt and Debris, Stains and Mildew

Removing contaminants like dirt, debris, stains, and mildew works to preserve the look of your roof as well as extend its life span. Leaves, branches, moss, and other contaminants can harbor moisture for a long time, which is bad for any type of roof. You should also remove the leaves and other debris stuck in the valleys and other spots.

While this may seem like an easy task, it can be dangerous too, so hiring a professional is the way to go. They have the tools to gently remove anything that shouldn’t be there, and they also have safety equipment to prevent accidents.

2. Clean the Gutters

Leaves, pine needles and all manner of debris often gets stuck in gutters and downspouts, causing clogs to form. This leads to water pooling and bacterial growth. Your metal roof might be sturdy, but prolonged exposure to standing water can still cause corrosion. Hire a pro to clear your gutters and drains at least once a year to prevent such issues.

3. Remove Other Materials, Especially Metal

Do not allow metals and other things to touch your roofing system. When a metal surface gets in contact with a different metal, the interaction can lead to issues like corrosion. This is a common reason for stains, premature degradation, and roofing system failure.

To further understand how this happens, you might observe what happens when Galvalume roofing interacts with iron, concrete, treated wood, brickwork, or copper. While it might be fine for a while, if water is introduced, the roof will corrode. Bear in mind that rain isn’t the only time that your roof is in contact with water. Moisture can be present in the air at all times, especially if your area often has high humidity levels.

Avoid installing things that have nothing to do with your roof, such as antennas and satellite dishes, as well as HVAC outdoor units.

4. Inspect the Roof for Fading, Scratches, Etc.

Your painted standing seam metal roof can be scratched by debris or people walking on it. You might also notice some chalking or fading. If you notice minor scratching, you can use a touch-up paint pen of the same color as your roof. However, make sure it’s the right touch-up pen based on its manufacturer’s instructions.

If you notice that your roof has some large scratches or fading, the problem might be more serious, so it’s a good idea to call professional roofing contractors.

5. Structural Maintenance

Once a year or every 18 months, call your contractor for a deeper inspection of your metal roofing system. Your roof is always under some amount of stress from the wind, hail, moisture, heat, temperature changes, and extreme weather. The elements can cause damage to your roof or the components that hold it in place. Professionals can address any damage before it becomes serious.

The right amount of upkeep performed by reputable roofing companies can prolong the life of your metal roofing system. Get in touch with Dry Tech Construction for professional roof installation and maintenance. Call us today at (707) 328-5216 or fill out the form on this page.

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