Maintaining a Metal Roof: the Do’s and the Don’ts

Choosing to invest in a quality metal roof is a decision that can result in many benefits as the owner and resident of your home or business. Energy efficiency, longevity, fire resistance and insurance savings are just a few of the rewards of owning a metal roof over standard materials such as slate shingles.

But as is the case with any quality investment, taking the time to familiarize yourself with and commit to very basic recurring maintenance can go a long way to getting the most out of your metal roof, both functionally and aesthetically.

Do’s for Properly Maintaining Your Metal Roof

1. Regularly inspect for dirt, stains and other buildup

A few times per year should suffice, but unaddressed buildup can lead to permanent abrasions and/or stains. You can choose to scale a ladder to get an up close inspection or simply use a pair of binoculars.. 

2. Use gentle washing practices and materials

Soft cloths and sponges are suggested as they are less abrasive. Additionally you should be using water and lighter cleaning solvents. One quarter cup of detergent with one gallon of water along with a soft bristled brush or non-abrasive pad should do the trick for lighter buildup and stains. 

¼ cup of bleach along with ¼ cup of dish soap and two gallons of water will help remove tougher buildup such as algae or mold while still being gentle on your roof’s surface.   

3. Keep branches clear of your roof

Regular pruning of trees and branches that grow near or over your roof will help avoid damage due to scratches from high winds and debris. A distance of at least six feet is recommended. 

4. Do touch up any scratches or abrasions

When doing a regular inspection and washing dirt or other debris, touch up any abrasions or scratches with a manufacturer-approved paint or sealant. Untreated scratches can attract more debris and cause abrasion-based damage to grow over time. 

Don’ts to Avoid When Maintaining Your Metal Roof

1. Don’t Use Harsh or Abrasive Cleaners

Gritty, powder-based cleaners can be great for agitating and lifting tough stains, but they also can result in scratches and/or paint damage to a metal roof. To maintain the integrity of your roof’s color, sealant and appearance, these cleaners should be avoided for any standard maintenance. 

2. Don’t use spray paints near your roof

This especially includes painting your home with a sprayer. But even spray painting other items should be done at a safe distance from your home or under the cover of your garage where wind cannot carry over spray. 

Any spray painting that comes in contact with your metal roof will be nearly impossible to remove. 

3. Do not walk on your metal roof too much

Metal roofs are sturdy enough to withstand walking around on, but extended periods of stress from walking can cause raised metal roofing panels to dent if you are untrained or not careful with how you are distributing weight when walking. 

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