Metal roofs are prized by many homeowners because of their minimal maintenance and longevity. Minimal maintenance doesn't mean no maintenance, however, so it's vital that you learn the basics of caring for your roof. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Keep It Clear
Debris on your metal roof can mean big trouble. Too many debris can impede water flow and snow melt off of a metal roof. The trapped moisture can then find its way through the spots that are naturally weaker in the roof, such as along seams or near screw holes. Occasionally rust or corrosion can even occur, since the trapped moisture can eventually weaken the protective coating and then begin eating into the metal. Use an extendable brush to pull debris down if they become trapped in a roof valley. Also, make sure the gutters and downspouts are kept free of leaves and debris.
Tip #2: Trim Those Trees
Do tree limbs overhang your roof? If so, keep them trimmed back. Tree branches rubbing on a roof can eventually cause major scratches in the protective coating, which increases the chances of a rusty roof. Even worse, a larger branch blowing in a high wind could even dent or pull up a metal roof panel if it snags it just right. Falling branches can also pose an issue, since they can dent the roof panel or damage the plywood sub-roof beneath the metal panel.
Tip #3: Manage the Mildew
Occasionally, mildew, moss, or algae growth may cause discoloration on your metal roof. This is especially common in damp climates and in shaded areas. You can quickly clean it off with a sponge brush on an extendable pole. Use hot water and your favorite biodegradable general purpose cleaner and scrub the roof clean. Avoid chlorine bleach, since it can damage plants below as it runs off the roof.
Tip #4: Stay Off the Roof
It may be tempting to climb up on the roof to clean it or inspect it, but this isn't necessary and it can cause damage. Walking on the roof can scuff the protective coating. If you must get onto the roof, wearing soft-soled shoes can help prevent this sort of damage. Excess weight on the roof also increases the chances of popping out a nail or screw. Finally, dents are likely to occur from walking or kneeling on the roof. If a repair is necessary, bring in a professional roofer instead of climbing up there yourself. They know how to move around on the roof without causing unnecessary damage.
For help with any of these tips or for further advice, contact a service like Alpen Roofing.