Maintenance Tips For Aging Residential Metal Roofs

While metal roofs tend to need less repair and maintenance than asphalt shingle roofs as they age, they are never completely maintenance-free. However, with some regular attention, an aging metal roof will last for decades to come.

While a licensed roofing contractor is always the right person to repair and maintain your home's metal roof, there are many things you can do if you so choose. 

To keep an aging metal roof in good working order, follow these maintenance tips:

Maintenance Tip: Inspect the Roof for Overhanging Limbs and Signs of Damage

One of the most destructive things for your metal roof is overhanging tree branches beating against it in the wind. The branches scratch the protective paint layer and lead to problems with rust. 

Each fall while the trees in your yard are dormant and it is safe to prune them, cut off any branches within reach of the roof.

Once all the branches have been removed, then inspect the roof for any signs of damage. If you can't easily see the roof from the ground and don't feel safe on a ladder, then you can always use a pair of binoculars. 

Maintenance Tip: Repaint Scratched Areas to Prevent Rust

When inspecting your metal roof, make note of any scratches you see on the metal panels. Each scratch needs to be repainted with exterior-grade metal paint to keep water from rusting the underlying metal. You can find matching-color paint pens designed for this purpose at your local home improvement center or hardware store.

Maintenance Tip: Wash the Roof Yearly If Exposed to Salty Air

If your home is located along the coast and is subjected to salty air, then you can count on the salt building up on the roofing panels. As the salt continually builds up, it will slowly eat its way through the protective paint layer and lead to rust, corrosion, and holes in the roofing materials.

To prevent salt damage, you should wash down your home's metal roof at least once each year. To do so, you should use a garden hose with a sprayer attachment rather than a pressure washer. This is important because pressure washers can seriously damage the protective paint layer on the roof.

Finally, don't ever stand on a ladder when its time to wash off the roof because water spraying and dripping down on the treads of the ladder pose a serious safety risk. Always wash your roof while standing safely on the ground.