Making Sure Your New Metal Roof Outlives You

13 October 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

With just a little attention each year, your new metal roof can give you up to 80 years of service. It can easily be the last roof you ever put on your home. Having it inspected annually by a roofing contractor is one way to catch minor issues before they turn into major problems. But there are a number of other steps you can do between contractor visits to keep your roof in good shape. 

1. Keep yard debris from collecting on the roof.

Sticks, leaves and grass that end up on the roof from a storm can prevent water from running off of the roof. If water pools over a place where the protective coating has been scratched or worn off, rust can start. Check the roof after any wind or rainstorm and brush off any debris collecting on it.

2. Tighten or replace loose screws.

If you see any fasteners backing out of the metal sheeting, screw them back down. If the hole they were in has been stripped, replace the screw with one with a larger thread. Loose screws allow water to get under the metal sheets and into the wood rafters below. Wood rot can happen, requiring one to pull up the metal sheet and replacing the rafter, an expensive repair.

If you have to replace missing screws, make sure the screw is the same metal as the metal sheet it's holding down. Mixing two different metals on the roof can cause problems. For example, using steel screws on copper sheeting can cause a reaction between the metals which results in corrosion where the different metals touch.

3. Cover up any scratches in the coating.

Look for places where the protective coating has been scratched off and bare metal is showing. Rust will start on the metal and make its way under the paint. You can suddenly have large patches of coating flake off as the rust extends on the metal sheet. Touch up scratches and keep all metal areas covered.

4. Check for missing or inadequate sealer.

The roofing company uses a waterproof sealer at the edges of the roof and in the eaves to protect where the metal sheets meet the wood on the house. Sealer is also used with flashings around openings in the roof where pipes, vents and other disruptions of the metal sheets occur. Check that the sealer is intact and replace where it is missing and allows moisture under the metal sheets.  

For further assistance, contact a local roofing contractor, such as Fredericksburg Builders.