Metal Roofing Facts
Metal roofs are gaining in popularity lately due to their robust features. Metal roofs are durable, lightweight, fire resistant, hold up well in severe weather, and are quite energy efficient. Metal roofs have a life expectancy that exceeds 30 years and some manufacturers will even offer a lifetime warranty. These roofs typically require much less maintenance other than cleaning and periodic inspections.
Some key points to keep your roof performing at its best are:
Roof inspections from your installer or local roofing contractor should be done at 4-5 year intervals depending on your geographic location. More humid or coastal areas should be more frequent to inspect fasteners and flashing that commonly corrode and rust. These are easy and inexpensive repairs to perform, but if left unchecked, rusting may spread to the actual roof panels.
Oxidization is another key issue to watch out for and there are remedies for preserving the roof panels. This usually requires a deep cleaning and painting or coating of the panels. Depending on the products used to restore it, this may have to be done every -3-5 years for aged metal roofs.
Keeping your roof clean and clear from debris is one of the crucial steps in metal roof maintenance. All roof systems are designed to shed water, when it loses this capability, moisture retention opens the surface to a biological petri dish. There are many forms of microscopic plants that thrive in moist environments. They can and will also excrete fluids that encourage the formation of rust. Algae, moss and lichens are the top three to inhabit many surfaces and work in unison to thrive.
So, you should keep your roof clean, but how?
Keeping your roof clean is a crucial step to ensuring that your roof lasts as long as possible. To keep your metal roof clean, “Soft Washing” with proper detergents is the most desired method, however if the use of a pressure washer is required, extra care must be taken so to prevent water from being forced into the underside of the roof panels through the J-channel, flashing and roof vents. Pressure washing low slopes may require walking the roof panels and should be done only be an experienced professional. Steeper metal roofs should never be attempted to be walked on during the cleaning process, the solution will make a very slippery surface and a fall resulting in injury or worse would be very likely.
A proper soft wash method involves the use of a mild solution of sodium hypochlorite combined with a mild surfactant. This is the preferred and highly recommended process by most metal roof manufacturers.
Okay, so how often should we clean our metal roof?
Cleaning your roof professionally to rid it of bacteria is not something you need to worry about annually, cleaning every 2-5 years depending on the conditions around your home is sufficient. Cleaning the roof of debris on the other hand is something that should be done more often for optimal performance and ensures that your metal roof will last as long as it is capable.