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Metal Maintenance & Care

Tips for maintaining a metal panel roofing system

A metal roof is an incredibly rewarding investment. Although metal maintenance is extremely minimal compared to other materials, we have a few tips to share with you to ensure your roof lasts a lifetime.

Before You Get On the Roof

Safety is the top priority. Climbing ladders and walking on any roof can be dangerous. Always use some method of fall protection that is approved by OSHA. Failure to provide the required safety equipment can result in serious injury or death. In addition, be sure to:

  • Use fall protection and all required safety equipment.
  • Keep foot traffic to a minimum.
  • Never walk on eave or rake flashings, gutters, hip or ridge flashings.
  • Never walk on any skylight or fiberglass type panels.
  • Always walk in the flat area of the panel and near the roof panel supports.
  • Don't wear black soled shoes; the marks they leave are very difficult to remove.
  • Soft soled shoes are recommended.
  • If you are not comfortable climbing onto your roof or a ladder, please do not attempt to inspect your roof. Contact a roofing professional to perform the inspection for you. Your safety is always the most important consideration.

Annual Roof Maintenance

  • Clean gutters, downspouts and drain boxes. Leaves and debris can back up an entire gutter system and the overflowing gutters can cause leaks and damage.
  • Remove any tree branches or other items touching the roof.
  • Clear the valleys and waterways on flat roofs and pooling areas. Leaves and other debris can block the flow of water in valleys or drainage paths.
    • This must be cleaned out regularly, especially if you have trees that hang over your roof. Pooling areas from dirt piles or rotted debris literally eat through your roof and allow plant growth in these areas, both of which can ruin your roof.
  • Check roof penetrations for possible leaks. Leaks most often come from heat or air vents and skylights. Some leaks are caused by the shrinking or hardening of applied silicones as they dry out.
    • If there is a crack or a suspected area, fill it using a Metal Roofing Sealant such as Titebond, which is permanently flexible and will not crack.
  • Inspect areas around chimneys, heat vents, oil condensers above cooking areas and air conditioners. These areas can expose your metal roofing to chemicals that will break down the paint system and can corrode the metal.
  • Look for loose flashings, roof sheets, fasteners or punctures from falling objects.
    • Not sure what those objects are? Refer to our glossary.
  • Inspect your roof paint for large scratches - if you find some, contact one of our team members immediately.
  • If exposed fasteners have been used on your roof, it is imperative that they are inspected annually. This inspection has several key points:
    • Are the fasteners installed correctly? Sometimes fasteners are tightened down too much, which may cause them to cut or split the neoprene washers.
    • Other fasteners may not be tightened enough, which will not create a seal between the fastener and the metal panel or flashing.
    • Neoprene washers may break down over time due to expansion and contraction of the metal panels or from exposure to ultraviolet rays. By rubbing your fingernail over the washer, you will notice if it is still flexible or has hardened and is breaking apart.
  • Finally, look at the closures or venting materials under the ridge caps, transitions, end walls and valleys. At times, this material can come loose or break down from sun exposure and cause leaks. Replace as necessary.

WEathering Steel Care

If you have a TRUTEN™ roof, there are a few other key items we'd like to share about inspecting your roof. Visit our Weathering Steel Care page for more information.

Consider Your Environment

Overall, be aware of the environment surrounding your roof. If you find any problems and cannot repair them yourself, contact your installer or the roof manufacturer to see how the problem can be resolved. If you live in an area near one of our showrooms, we can recommend roofing contractors to help inspect your roof.

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