You could get nearly 80 years out of your new metal roof, making it the last one you'll put on your home. Having a metal roof contractor inspect and repair your roof each year is one way to get the most life from your roof. There are also some maintenance items that you can do between those inspections. Here are some tips to keep your metal roof lasting a long time.
1. Clean off the roof.
The simple act of keeping debris from accumulating on the roof will help prevent rust and water leaks. Sweep or wash off leaves, sticks and other organic debris that collect on the roof. Check after wind or rainstorms for debris that has been blown onto your roof. These items hold water on your roof. Should there be a loose fastener under the wet debris, or a scratch through the protective coating, rust can start or water can get under the metal plates.
2. Replace missing fasteners and tighten down loose metal panels.
A missing nail or screw means you have a hole through which water can get into your attic, and into your house. Loose fasteners may leave enough space for water to seep in around them and under the metal plates. The metal is not coated underneath so rust can begin should they get wet.
3. Make sure all flashings are sealed against the metal sheets.
Every opening in the roof, such as plumbing vents, skylights and fireplace chimneys, should have a metal flashing around them that seals against the root. This prevents water from getting under the flashing and into your house. Flashings that have been forced up should be hammered down and a roof sealer applied around the edges. Bent or torn flashings should be replaced quickly.
4. Keep gutters clean and in good repair.
Blocked gutters allow water to back up and touch the edges of the metal sheets. Debris in the gutters can wear the coating off of the edges so rust can form there. It's especially important to repair gutters that have become bent and are touching the metal roof. The gutter could scratch the metal sheet or cause corrosion. If the gutter is a different metal than the roof, for example, a copper roof and galvanized steel gutters, a chemical reaction occurs between the two metals, accelerating corrosion.
5. Reapply the protective coating as recommended by your roofing contractor.
If your roof becomes scratched or you notice a chalky appearance, it's time to re-coat the roof. The coating protects against rust and blocks some of the ultraviolet rays from the sun. This keeps your roof looking good and staying healthy.