Posted on October 7, 2020 by Heritage

Metal roofs are durable, offering a lengthy lifespan. Their low maintenance design can save money and time over the life of your roof. Performing minimal maintenance, however, will help ensure that your metal roof lasts a lifetime.

Why is Roof Maintenance Important?

Regular maintenance can help identify potential issues before they compromise the integrity of your metal roof. Some problems to look out for include:

  • Leaks
  • Dents
  • Scratches
  • Degradation
  • Corrosion

Regular maintenance will also help keep your metal roof free from dust, dirt and grime so that it looks appealing.

Safety First

When performing routine maintenance, always comply with all federal, state and local rules including OSHA regulations. Make sure to use fall protection and personal safety equipment when working on the roof. Be cautious when walking near the edge or on roofs with steep slopes. Make sure the roof isn’t slippery from rain, ice or snow.

Try to minimize foot traffic on the roof whenever possible. Walk only on the flat panels near the structural supports. Do not step on flashings, gutters or light-transmitting panels.

Maintenance Frequency

The frequency of metal roofing maintenance should depend on a variety of factors including the location, age and condition of your building and level of commitment to preventative maintenance.

We recommend performing roof maintenance at least twice per year. For buildings located in areas with severe winters, perform a check before the cold weather sets in then check your roof again in the spring after the snow has melted. For buildings located in coastal areas and areas subject to high humidity, industrial pollution and corrosive materials, more frequent maintenance is required.

Additionally, you should inspect your roof in the following situations:

  • Severe Weather Conditions – After a severe storm blows through your area, you should inspect your roof for damage. Clear any debris that has fallen on your roof to help water drain and prevent scratches. Check for any loose components such as flashing and fasteners. Look for punctures caused by tree limbs or hail. Finally, make sure that there is no standing water and that the gutters are free from debris.
  • Other Trades Working on the Roof – Check for damage caused by workers including chemical spills, scratches in the paint or galvalume coating and punctures caused by excessive foot traffic.

Maintenance Activities

When performing routine roof maintenance, here are some things you should do:

Remove Debris

Remove debris from the roof surface, valleys, dead spots and gutters to prevent damage. Debris buildup can block the flow of water, causing it to overflow the gutters or pool on the surface of the roof. Tree branches that are left on the roof also can scratch the paint coating.

While removing debris, check for damage to the paint system such as scratches, scuffs, chipping, fading and more. For small scratches, contact the metal panel manufacturer to order touch up paint. Make sure to follow their recommendations to avoid further marring the surface or voiding the warranty. For more serious damage, contact the manufacturer immediately.

Clean Up

Extend the life of your roof by cleaning off dirt, mildew, stains and other potentially harmful elements that could damage the surface of your roof over time. Check with your metal roofing manufacturer first to ensure that you follow the correct process to avoid damaging the panels.

Inspect Roof Elements

Inspect all roof curbs and other penetrations and reseal with urethane sealant as necessary. Check for damaged or loosened flashing materials to prevent leaks. Additionally, inspect fasteners, rivets and screws to make sure they aren’t loose, crooked or missing altogether. For exposed fastener systems, these should be checked annually.

Check For Leaks

Roof leaks often originate from damaged or loosened flashing materials. Checking regularly for these issues can help prevent leaks before they start. If you do find a leak, don’t allow workers to “fix” it by applying caulk, elastomeric membranes, plastic roof cement, etc. to the roof surface as these are only short-term solutions. Always consult the manufacturer when initiating repair work to avoid further damaging your roof or voiding the warranty.

Additions to the Roof

Before adding roof curbs, penetrations, HVAC units and more, consult your manufacturer to find out if there are any special requirements,

Dissimilar Metals

To preserve the integrity of your metal roofing panels, make sure they don’t come into contact with dissimilar metals. This includes direct contact and contact with water runoff. This will cause your roofing to rapidly corrode, voiding all warranties.

While metal roofing is designed for durability, it’s still important to conduct routine maintenance to get the most out of your roof system. Contact our experienced sales representatives to learn more about metal roofing maintenance.