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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Oct 5, 2023 8:00 AM

Do Metal Roofs Require a Lot of Maintenance?

Metal roof maintenance, when compared to other roofing materials, isn’t difficult. A thorough cleaning and inspection once a year is about all that’s required. Homeowners can maintain their metal roof themselves or hire a professional. Although roof maintenance isn’t difficult, standing on a ladder to access the roof and inspect it can be potentially dangerous. Only do it yourself if you can do it safely. Roofing contractors are specially trained and have the proper equipment to keep them safe.

What you DON’T have to do to maintain a metal roof

Metal roofs are one of the most durable roofing materials out there. Because of the smooth nature of the materials and the durable finish applied to each panel, maintaining a metal roof is fairly easy. However, if you have an asphalt roof or one made of other materials, you will have additional maintenance tasks to perform.

Here are three things you don’t have to do to maintain a metal roof:

  • Replace broken or missing shingles.
  • Scrape or clean off moss, mildew, or fungus. Metal roofs are moss, mildew, and fungus-resistant.
  • Use harsh chemicals. Only a mild detergent is needed.

Key areas to maintain on a metal roof

Provenance-Home-sizedWhile keeping the surface of your metal roof clean is the main priority when performing maintenance, there are some areas of the roof that require special attention.

  • Penetrations – Pipes, chimneys, vents, or other objects that penetrate through the roof are usually protected by flashings, boots, or collars. Make sure these are intact, secure, and aren’t cracked or broken. Replace them when needed.
  • Screw holes – If your metal roof is screwed down, you’ll need to inspect the screw holes regularly. Because metal continually contracts and expands, screws can come loose or the material may retract, allowing the metal panels to come loose. It’s recommended that all screws be replaced by a professional every 25-30 years.
  • Metal panel seams – At the junction of two or more metal panels, inspect along each seam line to make sure there is no damage or leaking.
  • Valleys – Debris and water like to collect in the low points of your roof. Make sure these areas stay clean and remove debris regularly to prevent damage to the metal finish.
  • Gutters/drains – Regularly clean gutters and check downspouts and drain lines to ensure that water is being moved effectively off your roof. Pooling or standing water isn’t good for your roof and can lead to leaks.

List of metal roof maintenance tasks

No matter what material your roof is made of it will require regular maintenance to ensure that it protects your home the way it’s designed to. Regular roof maintenance should be performed once a year and includes removing large branches and debris from the surface, cleaning the gutters and downspouts, trimming trees near your home, and inspecting flashings, boots, and collars for damage or splitting.

Before you begin these tasks, ensure that you can perform them safely. You’ll need a ladder or scaffolding of the proper height and type, and you shouldn’t walk on a metal roof without proper footwear and training. If you have any concerns about doing the job safely, hire a professional.

Here are the tasks you’ll need to perform to maintain your metal roof:

  1. Clean the surface with a mild detergent solution, then rinse with water. Use a sponge or soft cloth and a solution with ¼ cup mild soap (dishwashing, car washing, or laundry detergent) for each gallon of water. Don’t use a power washer, scrape the surface, or use a wire brush, as it may damage the finish.
  2. Inspect the surface of the roof for scratches, scuffs, chipping, flaking, or excessive color fading. The finish of a metal roof can be touched up with special paint. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and instructions.
  3. Inspect screw holes and panel seams for damage, chipping, or leaks. Have a professional replace loose screws.

Metal roofs don’t require a lot of maintenance, but they should be cleaned and inspected once a year. If you’re concerned about safety or don’t know what to look for when inspecting your roof, your best bet is to call a local professional roofing contractor. They’ll ensure that your metal roof stays in good condition and remains leak-free for years to come.

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Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing. Check out our metal roofing resources for inspiration and answers to your questions.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Metal Roofing, Maintenance

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