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A Homeowner’s Guide to Metal Roof Maintenance

Metal roofs are a gorgeous and practical addition to any home. In addition to adding a classic, modern touch to the exterior, they’re also durable and hardy, designed to last for decades. 

If you have this type of roof, there are a few simple steps you can follow to keep it looking its best. When you know how to take care of it, you can rest assured that your investment will serve your family for years to come. 

The best part? You don’t have to spend hours each week on metal roof maintenance. By taking a preventative approach to repairs, you can catch small issues before they snowball into bigger problems, keeping it in great shape year-round.

Benefits of Protecting Your Roof

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Before we dive into the basic steps to follow, let’s take a look at a few reasons why this process is so important. While the upkeep required to maintain your roof isn’t extensive, you do need to take proper care of it to make sure it lasts as long as possible. 

Prevents Future Issues

Some homeowner issues are minimal in nature, such as a leaky bathroom pipe or a chip in the living room paint. However, some problems are much more expensive and time-consuming. A faulty roof is one of them. 

Not only can a problem with the roof affect the outside of your home, but it can also expose your interior to adverse conditions, including costly water damage. Throughout their lifespans, some of the issues you may encounter with all types of roofs include:

  • Leaks
  • Dents
  • Scuffs and scratches
  • Degradation

In addition, a metal roof also comes with another risk: corrosion. This issue is more common in humid environments, where the metal is more likely to come into contact with moisture in the air. Still, it can affect any homeowner in any location, and it’s important to be prepared. 

Try to schedule preventative roof maintenance at least once a year, performed by a professional roofing company that understands your local climate. This way, they can look for potential weak spots or problem areas and correct them as early as possible.

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Maintains Roof Quality 

Your roof is one of the first things people see when they approach your home, so you want it to look well-maintained. When you take care of it properly, you can keep it from looking too old, damaged, or dirty. 

This is one of the biggest investments you’ll make when building or remodeling your home, and keeping it clean and protected is a great way to ensure its appearance and performance will last. 

Prolongs Roof Lifespan

Finally, routine maintenance will also extend the life of your residential roof. Neglecting this basic task could mean replacing it prematurely, which can deeply cut into your home repair budget. 

Taking the time to clean and secure your roof can help maintain its structural integrity. This way, you can rest assured that it will continue to perform well, keep your interior safe, and provide protection for the entire unit. 

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Cleaning the Surface of Your Roof

First, let’s talk about the basic, surface-level cleaning that your metal roof requires. While you might be planning on getting up on a ladder and taking care of these steps yourself, we always recommend letting an expert take the reins. 

No matter how low or tall your roof might be, this can be an incredibly dangerous chore to tackle on your own. This is especially the case if your roof is steeply sloped. Always let a professional roofer take the reins when it’s time to inspect and repair this part of your home.

How Often to Perform Maintenance

If you live in a temperate climate that doesn’t get much bad weather, you might only need to perform surface-level maintenance once a year. However, homeowners in a more extreme climate, such as in Florida, might need to check their roofs every six months or so. 

Also, take a look at where your home is positioned on your property. If your roof is directly beneath any kind of tree, it will naturally be exposed to more debris, from limbs and sticks to sap and animal droppings. You can also check your roof’s warranty, which may dictate how often you need to clean your roof to keep the conditions valid. 

Removing Dirt and Debris

Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate on your roof. If these get stuck on the surface, they could make it less sturdy.  Removing them extends the life of your roof and improves its overall appearance. 

Sweeping it all off might sound simple, but there are specific steps to follow to ensure you don’t harm the panels, the structure, or yourself. A professional contractor will be familiar with these protocols and can perform the job correctly. 

Cleaning Gutters and Drains

The gutters and drains along your roof can become clogged with sticks, leaves, and other debris. This can cause water to pool within them. Left untreated, the standing water will cause corrosion and can allow moisture to seep into your home. 

Removing these unwanted materials is an easy way to keep your roof in great shape. 

Addressing Roof Penetrations

Part of metal roof care is being cautious about penetrating the surface in any way. If you need to install anything on your roof, such as a television satellite system, make sure a professional performs this job. Otherwise, the holes could corrode and damage the entire roofing system. 

Checking for Scratching, Chipping, Flaking, and Fading

If you have a painted roof, you may notice that the surface will begin to show signs of scratching, flaking, scuffing, or fading. You can correct minor issues by touching them up with a paint pen, but make sure the color matches and doing so won’t void your warranty. 

Maintaining the Structure of Your Roof

In addition to surface-level cleaning, there are more intensive steps that can help you maintain the underlying structure of your roof. While you won’t need to perform these as frequently, it’s important to know what to check. 

How Often to Perform

Most experts recommend performing structural roof maintenance at least once every two years. You may need to perform it more frequently if your roof is continuously exposed to the following elements:

  • High winds
  • High moisture 
  • Hail
  • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Temperature fluctuations 

Your roofing contractor can recommend how often you should perform this step. 

Checking Panel Seams

The seams on your roof are responsible for holding the metal panels together. Your contractor will check to make sure they’re still secure and in their original position, addressing any issues that have caused them to become loose or dislodged. 

Checking Sealant

The sealant on your roof keeps it water-tight, protecting your home against water, wind, dirt, and other substances. You may need to touch it up periodically to keep it in great shape. Some types of sealant, including UV-resistant options, are designed to last longer than others. 

Checking Flashing Materials

The flashing on your roof also protects against leaks. It can become damaged or loose over time. After exposure to high winds, it can even be removed altogether. 

Your contractor will make sure all flashing materials are well-sealed and in good condition, replacing the components as necessary. This includes rubber flashing located around penetration points, such as chimneys, solar panels, or air vents. 

Checking Fasteners and Screws

Fasteners and screws help hold the metal panels to your roof’s underlying structure. While they’re designed to withstand years of wear and tear, they can become loose, damaged, or turned at an angle over time. 

This step is especially true of roofs that have exposed fastener systems. The components on these systems can move as the metal expands and contracts, causing them to dislodge.  

Checking for Punctures

If you live in an area where extreme weather events are common, your contractor will also look for punctures on your roof. These can occur when storms cause limbs and leaves to fall onto the surface. 

Why It’s Important to Hire an Expert

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We can’t stress enough how important it is to hire an expert roof contractor to work on your roof. This is the best way to make sure each step is performed not only quickly and effectively, but also safely. 

A professional will know exactly what to look for, and what type of problems you might encounter. If they do spot an issue, they’ll have the right tools to repair it. 

Find a Contractor for Metal Roof Maintenance

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When your roof is working properly, you might not think too much about it. However, you’ll certainly notice when there’s an issue, and by then it could be too late. 

Metal roof maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you work with the right partners. At Alpha Living, we make it easy to find home experts in your area, including qualified and experienced roofers.

When it’s time to plan this task, start by visiting our Roofing Page. Then, choose the type of work you need, and enter your zip code! We’ll connect you with a team of local professionals who will take care of your roof like it’s their own, keeping it clean and sturdy from this point forward.

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