How to Fix Dents in Metal Siding

How to Fix Dents in Metal Siding

While metal siding is significantly more durable than other types, and much less likely to crack, break, or pull away, there is one type of damage they’re a little more susceptible to. Dents in your siding can appear from time to time and they can result in making it vulnerable to corrosion that can spread. Thankfully, those dents can also be repaired relatively easily. 

Metal siding can be damaged by all manner of things, from thick pieces of hail falling from the sky to an accidental bump. But here are the steps you need to follow to get it back in shape.

What do you need?

  • A drill
  • A flat washer
  • A sheet metal screw
  • A pair of pliers
  • A putty knife
  • A sander or sandpaper
  • Body filler (such as Bondo)
  • A high-quality metal primer
  • Paint designed for the metal primer

The step-by-step

  • Using your drill, make two holes of ⅛ inches in width in the dented area of the siding.
  • Fit a sheet metal screw with a flat washer and then screw it halfway into one of the holes drilled. The washer is to make sure you don’t scratch the metal with the next step.
  • Use your pair of pliers to pull out the screw, which should pull the dent out with it, popping it back into place.
  • Use the body filler that you have prepared and mixed, making sure you have enough to fill the dent. After taking out the screws, use a putty knife to fill in the holes and the dent with the filler.
  • Make sure that you have applied the body filler evenly along the surface and that it dries evenly, too. You might need to apply multiple coatings in order to cover the dent wholly. If so, make sure that a previous coating dries entirely before you move onto the next one.
  • Once you have filled the dent in, it has dried, and you are happy with how it looks, you should then grab your sander or sandpaper. Then, evenly and carefully sand the whole surface until it is smooth.
  • Take your high-quality metal primer. You should be able to apply an even coat of primer using the spray function. Make sure that the area is covered to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Apply two coats of the paint you have chosen for the siding. Make sure you know what material your metal siding is and choose a paint is specifically designed for it.

And there you have it. You should have one dent-free and great- looking metal siding once again. Be sure to allow the paint to dry before you touch it to check that the repairs have worked completely. A professional can help you repair your metal siding if you need them to, but you should bear in mind that it’s going to be more expensive than if you had done it yourself.

Hopefully, with the help of these do it yourself tips, you should be able to make those repairs yourself with little issue.

How to Prevent Your Metal Roof From Rusting

Metal roofing offers a ton of great benefits, being that it tends to last longer, be stronger, safer, and more energy-efficient than other kinds. However, there is one major concern that metal roof owners have in mind, and that’s rust. Rust can completely demolish a metal roof if it is allowed to spread, but there are thankfully great ways of preventing that. Let’s take a closer look at how.

Taking care of any rust

First of all, you should check to make sure there aren’t any signs of rust. Wash your roof to get rid of any grime and, if you see rusted components like washers or screws, take the time to replace them, otherwise brushing off what rust you can with a wire brush. If some panels are heavily rusted, they might need to be replaced by a professional.

Give it a lick of paint

You can offer your roof an added layer of protection from corrosion with a new coat of paint. To make sure that you seal it against moisture as effectively as possible, you should start by using a primer that’s high in zinc. Make sure that the roof is fully washed and clean of any dirt before you start painting. Painting it once every three years can keep it protected.

Add some coating

Layers of protection are one of the most effective ways to keep out air and moisture, and to stop corrosion and rust from spreading through metal. Even more effective than painting is a roof coating. There are elastomeric, silicone, and acrylic roof coatings, each with their own advantages. Elastomeric tends to enhance the energy efficiency of the roofing, while acrylic coatings tend to last longer, and acrylic coatings tend to be somewhere in the middle. Depending on your needs, it’s a good idea to ask a professional what coating best suits your roofing.

Galvanization is key

Making use of galvanizing roofing material such as liquefied zinc can lend a lot of advantages to your roof. Not only does galvanizing it prevent rust to a major degree, but it also helps make your roof more durable and sturdy. It can also prevent rust from spreading it has already settled on a small portion of the roof. All you have to do is apply the material directly to the rusted patch.

Invest in routine maintenance

While metal roofing certainly doesn’t require as much care as other roofing materials, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still invest in annual maintenance. Calling out your local roofing contractor can help you spot signs of rust much earlier, acting on them as cost-effectively as possible before they have the chance to spread into much more expensive damage. You can also make sure that you’re keeping up with routine care such as painting with the help of a professional, too.

Don’t underestimate the damage that rust can do to your metal roof. However, by following the steps above, you can ensure it stays healthy and strong for years to come.

Advantages of Metal Roofs in Ice and Snow

metal roof with melting snow on top

In the words of Lord Eddard Stark, “Winter is coming”.

When we know that the harsh Winter weather is on the way, it is important to take time to make sure that your property is secure and safe from the elements. 

There are plenty of things that you should be doing to protect your home – clearing out the guttering and drains, fixing any gaps in brickwork and around doors and windows and cutting back any trees in your yard. One thing that many people do not consider, however, is their roof.

Your roof is what protects you from the weather. If there are holes or broken tiles, you can find that the structure of your property is severely compromised, and this can end up being very expensive, not to mention the inconvenience that goes along with it.

This is why you need to consider metal roofs, and the benefits that they have in ice, snow and other harsh winter conditions. 

What are the advantages of metal roofs in ice and snow?

It keeps your home warm

We all want a toasty, comfortably warm home when there is ice and snow on the ground. When properly designed and installed, metal roofs can keep the temperature between the attic or loft and the exterior air. This prevents condensation from building up which can reduce the effectiveness of the insulation in the loft. 

In turn, this keeps the heat in your home higher for longer, as warm air is no longer able to escape through your ineffective or damaged roof. This results in lower energy bills and is much more environmentally friendly. 

Winter is no barrier for the installation

Special precautions need to be taken when installing a shingles roof in colder temperatures. However, it does not matter how cold it is, a metal roof can be installed. This is great news if you have left it until now to think about having a new roof!

The snow and ice will not damage your roof

If snow and ice pile up on your standard shingle roof, the weight can damage your roof and guttering. However, the snow and ice will slide straight off a metal roof, preventing ice dams which can cause irreparable damage both to the interior and the exterior of the building. 

Many people worry that because the ice and snow slides straight off the roof, it can damage the areas below it. However snow guards and heating elements in the attic can ensure that the snow and ice melts slowly and safely, protecting everything below it. 

If you want to know more about the advantages of metal roofs in ice and snow, or want to inquire about having one fitted to your house this winter, get in touch with us today at RPS Metal Roofing and Siding Inc. We are Florida’s premier metal roofing company with almost 20 years of experience in installing the best quality metal roofs for ice and snow. Call us today and get your free quote. 

How to Repaint a Metal Roof

roofer repainting a metal roof

Metal roofing is an eco-friendly and attractive alternative to traditional shingle products like asphalt. Metal roofs are durable and will last for a long time with minimal repair or maintenance. However, over time, these roofs will require repainting. Repainting a metal roof doesn’t take long. It can usually be done over the course of the weekend. Here, let’s show you a 5-point plan to make sure you do it correctly and safely.

Examine the Roof

Before you start, you need to make sure you determine the type of metal the roof is made of. It could be a galvanized metal or it might be known as terne metal, although the latter has been phased out due to the dangers of lead. If the roof is terne, it is best painted with oil-based paint. If the roof is made of galvanized steel, it cannot be painted with oil-based or aluminum-based paint, and requires either a zinc-dust type paint or latex paint.

Preparing the Surface

Scrape away any floating or loose paint using a putty knife. If you are struggling or encountering tough areas of paint, you can use some sandpaper or a wire brush. Make sure that you remove all the rust using the sandpaper or wire brush, sand the metal roof surface very lightly using the wire brush or sandpaper. You can use a pressure washer to do this, but hand-scraping is a better approach as you can see the roof with your own eyes so you can identify any problem areas that you may need to repair. The important thing is to achieve a textured finish. This is because it can help the new paint bond with the roof finish. 

Clean the Roof

Make a simple mixture of one cup of mild laundry detergent or dish detergent to 5 gallons of water. Using some rags, apply this mixture to the roof being sure to remove any debris, dust from the sandpaper, or grease. Spray the roof with a hose to rinse away any debris. 

Apply the Primer

After the roof has dried, coat the metal roof surface with a rust-inhibiting primer. Be sure that you choose the right product that states it can be used on outdoor metal. Apply this primer with a roller, follow it up with a paintbrush to access the harder to reach areas. Allow this primer to dry completely as per the instructions.

Paint the Roof Surface 

Use an acrylic latex paint. Refer to the instructions and make sure that it is designed for outdoor metal. Using a brush or a roller, apply the paint liberally. Wait for the paint to dry and if necessary, apply a second coat. Ideally, two layers of heavy coats with a roller will ensure you cover any mistakes, but when painting the roof, work from different directions. For example, if you paint from the back to the front, go from the opposite direction for the second go so you guarantee full coverage.

What is the Best Underlayment for Metal Roofs?

An underlayment is crafted to sit beneath metal roofing, providing thermal protection and weatherproofing for your property. Without the use of an underlayment a metal roof can be extremely loud whenever the rain starts to pour, uncomfortably frosty through the winter months and unbearably warm in the summer, so there’s really no questioning the fact that your metal roof will benefit from the addition of underlayment. However, there are 3 main materials that work well when crafting quality underlayment, and it’s vital that you can find out which is the best style for your specific metal roofing needs. So, what are your options, and which of these should you choose to get the most out of your metal roof underlayment? 

Felt Underlayment 

Felt underlayment is referred to using several different names, including felt paper, roofing tar paper, as well as the more complex chemical name, asphalt-soaked felt. Felt underlayment is likely to be the most common style of metal roof underlayment material used on heavily sloping roofs, making it readily accessible as an easy-to-purchase addition. It’s generally more affordable compared with other styles of underlayment, and it’s super water resistant meaning water is unlikely to penetrate the roof even under harsh weather conditions. Unfortunately there are several disadvantages, such as it’s generally short life span and it’s unsuitability for hot environments. To add to this, the materials used in felt underlayment are not widely recycled, so a large amount of waste product is left when your roof requires an update. 

Synthetic Sheet Underlayment 

Synthetic sheet underlayment is a more modern style which has taken the industry by storm over the last decade. Synthetic sheet underlayment is created by the combination of polyethylene (or polypropylene) and some kind of polymer in order to make a strong protective barrier between the metal roof and the underlayment. It has a considerably longer life when compared with felt underlayment, as it’s much more durable due to the thermoplastic polymers which are resistant to many kinds of damage. In addition, synthetic sheet underlayment functions well in hotter environments, so locations that receive a large amount of sunshine can benefit from the installation of such an underlayment. However, synthetic sheet usually comes with a much higher price tag when compared with felt underlayment, and although it benefits from a low permeability rating, this factor will mean that it’s difficult to achieve good ventilation.

Self Adhering Membrane Underlayment

The complex sounding self adhering membrane underlayment is actually a lot more simple than it sounds, as it is in fact a kind of ‘peel off and stick down’ style that’s made up of a form of rubberized asphalt (or sometimes butyl based adhesive) that is partnered with a polyethylene carrier sheet. Self adhering membrane underlayment works well to prevent ice dam build up in areas such as the eaves, but it can also provide protection for hotter environments which see temperatures of more than 230 degrees. To add to this, SAM underlayment is an efficient air barrier material as it fits completely flush with the surface of substrate. Always ensure you seek an experienced installations expert when utilizing self adhering membrane underlayment, as you may encounter peeling if you fail to attach the underlayment correctly.

How Long do Screws Last on a Metal Roof?

man screwing metal roof panel in place

A metal roof should ultimately last as long as your home. If your roof is installed properly then it should give you protection against high winds, keep out rainwater and shield your home against snow. That being said, if you do not make sure that your screws are retaining their seal then you may end up shortening the life of your roof.

How often Should you Check your Roof?

You ideally need to check your screws twice a year. You need to inspect the fasteners for any movement in the screws or in the sealant fixture. This is imperative if you have any fasteners which are exposed. Check the fasteners to ensure that they are tight too because movement can easily force screws out of their holes. If you have screws which are protruding from the roof panel or the gasket then you need to refasten them. Check the attic twice a year for leaks, and make sure that the sealant hasn’t gone as well. Sealant usually lasts around 20 years, but roof fastener movement or even panel damage can shorten this time. Ideally, your roof should be inspected after every big storm as well, so keep this in mind if possible.

How to Replace Metal Roof Screws

Corrugated roof panels and other exposed roofs are usually held together with thick screws that are placed every 18 inches. You’ll want to take note of your screw pattern, so you know where to look for any possible issues.  If you need to replace your screws, then make sure that you use galvanised steel screws that come with a rubber or plastic washer. It’s also possible to use aluminium screws if galvanised steel is not available.

Screws are the Best Way to Hold your Roof Panels in Place

Screws tend to be the best way for you to hold any of your roof panels in place. Never use nails when repairing your roof. Screws won’t bend and they won’t work themselves loose when expansion or contraction takes place. It’s also a good idea for you to use self-tapping screws that come with thin washers as this will give you a better seal. When a screw looks compromised, arrange to get it replaced. Only use screws that have been approved by your roofing manufacturer if you want to make sure that the repair is going to last.

Advantages of Getting a Metal Roof

Don’t let any of these maintenance tips spook you out of getting a metal roof installed. Metal comes with a ton of advantages when compared to tile or even shingles. Metal is resistant to rot, mildew and fire. It’s also lighter, and it reflects sun rays. This minimizes heat during the day, meaning you’ll save a small fortune on air conditioning. Metal is more expensive, but the money you save in the long run will ultimately help you out far more than you realize, so keep that in mind. One concern that people have with metal roofs is the idea of it attracting lightning, but this is never the case. Metal roofs do not increase the chances of your roof being hit by lightning.

Do Metal Roofs Cause Poor Cell Phone Reception?

It can be one of the worst feelings in the world. You’ve just moved into a new home, started unpacking, glanced at your cell phone… and you don’t have any reception. Phones are a huge part of modern life, and we’ve come to expect and rely on good cell reception wherever we go. When you can’t get a signal in your own home, it can be stressful, and a problem you’ll want to resolve as soon as possible. But what causes it, and how can you fix it?

Do metal roofs cause bad cell reception?

Many people ask if a metal roof could be the cause of their poor cell phone reception at home. Well, the short answer is no, it isn’t! There is no evidence that a metal roof disrupts the signal for your phone any more than another material. If you think about it, this makes sense. After all, do you lose reception every time you go into a mall, or a restaurant, or when you work in an office or warehouse? All these locations often have metal roofs and you see no effect – why should a metal roof on your home be any different?

What are the benefits of metal roofs?

Quite the opposite to causing poor cell phone reception, there are actually a number of great benefits to installing a metal roof for your home. It can stand up to the worst that nature throws at it, from storms to drought to snow, meaning that it can last a very long time without repair – in fact, most metal roofing has an estimated lifespan of 40-70 years. In turn, this makes it a hugely cost-effective option to protect your home, alongside being fireproof and lightweight enough that it will have no effect on the rest of the structure. Plus, it definitely won’t affect your phone signal!

Why am I getting bad cell reception?

There could be a number of reasons why you’re experiencing poor cell reception at home. One key factor is the landscape. If your home is nestled in a deep valley, or even surrounded by tall buildings, this could affect your service – this is because these features are cutting off the ‘line of sight’ between you and the nearest cell phone tower. Another reason is to do with the building materials of your home, and more accurately their thickness. Common construction materials including brick, wood, cement, metal, and energy-saving windows, can impede signals – it is the accumulation of these materials that could be the cause, rather than a single material or item.

How can I improve my cell phone reception at home?

There are several ways you can improve your reception, short of knocking down the walls or moving house! You can use a cell phone booster to help the signal, which works best if it is placed somewhere with good reception, such as a windowsill or on a higher level within the house. Gadgets like a Femtocell can also take advantage of your wifi by plugging into the router and creating a ‘mini cell tower’ within your home that can then use the internet connection to communicate with the wider world.

What Happens When Lightning Strikes a Metal Roof?

lightning rod on a metal roof under gray skies

If you are considering installing a metal roof for your property, you’ve probably asked the question, but what if we have a lightning storm? This is a common concern for many people, and it is understandable as we associate metal with conduction electricity. However, this conductivity actually means that a metal roof is the safest material when it comes to lightning strikes. The metal roof is no more likely to attract lightning than any other material, and in fact, a metal roof can conduct the lightning energy straight into the ground without affecting you, your family, or your home. For this reason, it’s recommended that if you live in an area prone to frequent lightning strikes, a metal roof should be your number one choice.

What happens to normal, non-metal roofs?

At first glance, a non-metal roof might seem like a safer option. However, the opposite is true. One of the most dangerous consequences of lightning is the resulting fires. When lightning strikes flammable roof materials such as asphalt shingles, or wood shakes, it instantly ignites, causing your house to set on fire. Without a clear path to the ground, the lightning can also ‘jump’ between walls and floors as it seeks its way downward, causing danger to you. Furthermore, if lightning ‘discovers’ your electrical wiring system it can start to use this as a path to the ground, causing potentially explosive power surges that can damage your equipment, and endanger your family.

What happens to metal roofs in a lightning strike?

In contrast, lightning that strikes a metal roof can be instantly and safely contained. Metal roofs are designed with aluminum rod protection systems that spread the energy caused by the lightning contact, before delivering it safely to the ground outside your house. This means the lightning is immediately offered a path of least resistance, that does not involve entering your home or attacking your electrical wiring. By providing concentrated ‘hot points’ that channel the lightning energy safely, a metal roof can guard against the chaotic nature of a lightning strike. The multi-layered steel of a metal roof is also engineered to resist the shock impact of lightning, keeping the house beneath safe from everything a storm can throw at it.

How else can a metal roof protect my home?

A metal roof is the perfect option for any home located with areas of erratic weather – and this isn’t just limited to lightning strikes. As mentioned above, many other traditional roofing materials can prove highly flammable in the wrong conditions. This is not true of metal roofing. If the spark of a nearby fire lands on your roof, there is no risk that it will spread to your property. Simultaneously, the incredible durability of metal roofing means that it can protect your home from wind speeds of up to 140mph without corroding in the slightest. This means a metal roof has a longevity that will not be diminished by adverse weather, allowing you to relax in the knowledge that your home will be protected for a long time to come.

Choosing Between Horizontal vs Vertical Metal Siding for a Residential Home

two tone vertical metal siding

When it comes to installing metal siding in your home, you’re going to find yourself with a whole lot of decisions to make. You’re going to have to choose the specific type of metal being used. You may have to decide which screws and attachments will give longevity and security. You may even have to choose colours. But one major decision that you can’t take too lightly is whether to opt for horizontal siding or vertical siding for your property. Here’s some information that will help you to make the best decision to suit your needs and preferences!

Horizontal Siding

There are a number of factors that can determine whether horizontal siding is for you or not. Let’s take a moment to look at some of the pros and cons!

Cost

Generally speaking, horizontal siding tends to be a lot less expensive than vertical siding. It is often the cheaper of the two options. This is because it is usually much easier to install than vertical siding, meaning the project takes less time and effort to complete. This makes it ideal for anyone looking for siding on a budget.

Time

As we’ve briefly mentioned, horizontal siding takes less time to install than vertical siding. In fact, the project should be complete in around half the time. So, if you want this work carried out quickly, horizontal siding could be for you.

Appearance

Many homeowners prefer the appearance of horizontal siding. While this is purely down to personal preference, this option does tend to hold more favour when it comes to aesthetics

Durability

If your main focus is durability, this may not be the option for you. Horizontal siding tends to be less durable than vertical siding. This is because it’s more prone to water damage over time. Rain can more easily seep into gaps in horizontal siding than it can vertical siding. It’s also important to bear in mind that if any siding becomes even slightly dislodged, water can begin to easily enter the gap, creating mold and mildew damage.

Cleaning

Horizontal siding tends to be a lot more difficult to clean than vertical siding. A special technique and special equipment need to be used to prevent water from leaking in between the horizontal slats. Vertical siding, on the other hand, can be cleaned with detergent and a garden hose or power washer.

Vertical Siding

Now, let’s take a look at vertical siding. This is less commonly seen on residential properties and tends to be favoured by commercial property owners. However, nowadays, more homeowners are becoming open to the option of vertical siding. Here are some of this siding’s pros and cons!

Unique Aesthetics

As we’ve mentioned earlier, homeowners tend to prefer the aesthetics of horizontal siding. But if you’re looking to help your property stand out from the crowd, vertical siding can help you to achieve this!

Cleaning

As mentioned above, it is much easier to clean vertical siding. This can save you a lot of time in your schedule and also means that you don’t have to invest in specialist equipment to clean your siding effectively.

Time and Cost

Again, we mentioned that vertical siding costs more to install. This is due to the more complex nature of installing it. Furring strips have to be installed between each of the siding pieces. But this is a pro! It protects your siding against water leakage and potential damage. It also means that your siding can last a whole lot longer.

As you can see, there are pros and cons with both types of siding. The best for you will depend purely on your individual wants, needs and preferences!

Types of Screws You Need for Metal Roofing

roofer screwing in a metal tile

Metal roofing comes hand in hand with countless benefits, from longevity to wind resistance, fire resistance, energy efficiency and much more. But if you’re going to install a metal roof, you’re going to have to make sure you have the right screws to fix the metal sheets effectively. If you’re planning on installing any of the following metal roofs, you’re going to need quality metal fasteners:

  • Metal roofs on residential homes or commercial premises
  • Post-frame or pre-engineered steel buildings for equestrian, farm animal storage or product storage facilities
  • A garage for an RV, boat, or farm equipment
  • Much more

At the end of the day, you can use the highest quality metal sheeting and building materials available. But if you use the wrong screws and fasteners, the work you produce isn’t going to perform to standard and is unlikely to last as long as you’ve advised or guaranteed. Quality fasteners help to assure your clients reap the benefits you’ve offered and that your work stands the test of time, as metal construction is generally renowned to.

The following top tips will help you to choose the right fasteners for each and every project you work on!

  1. Use the Right Fasteners – there are a wide variety of different fasteners available. Each is designed for a specific purpose.  So, make sure you’re using the right fastener for the job. There are specific fasteners for metal to wood applications and different fasteners for metal to metal applications. Hi-Lo fasteners are for metal to wood applications. Tek screws are used in metal to metal applications. Also note that stainless steel screws should be used when screwing down aluminium metal roofs.
  1. Use a Fastener that Has a Large Washer – this will help to prevent damage to installation materials.
  1. Use Mechanically Galvanised Fasteners to Protect Against Corrosion and Rust – these tend to have a thin layer of zinc as a coating. Zinc is renowned for corroding ten times slower than steel.
  1. Use Screws With a Strong V Neck Head – this will prevent product breakage while you are working.
  1. Where Possible, Coordinate Screw Colour to the Colour of the Metal Sheeting Being Installed – this will make everything look more seamless.
  1. Be Organised – ordering screws well in advance of a project will ensure that you definitely have them. Avoid waiting last minute. If you have left things last minute, look for quick ship options that will still manage to get the screws to you on time.
  1. Only Shop With Reliable Companies – shopping with reliable suppliers, companies and brands will ensure that you receive quality screws. Sometimes, cheapest isn’t always best, especially if you’re looking to impress with your work.