Maintaining a metal roof is simple but does require some attention, especially in an area like Pittsburgh where there is harsh winter weather. Metal roof maintenance requires stain prevention, occasional washing, debris removal, pruning of trees, and keeping valleys clean. The process is minimal, but you need to use proper techniques to avoid damaging the metal.
Metal roofs have coatings to prevent stains, but they can still occur. As with a traditional shingled roof, be sure to check your metal roof on a regular basis. Air pollution, nearby plants, and acid rain can cause stains. Use a hose to rinse off your roof; if the stain doesn’t disappear, use a mixture of one cup detergent and five gallons of warm water. Use a soft cloth to polish the stain out, then rinse. If you are dealing with mildew or fungal growth, mix one cup of each bleach and dish soap into five gallons of water. Just be sure to avoid plants with this formula. Never use heavy-duty industrial cleaners on a metal roof.
Seasonal Roof Washing
Every spring and fall, hose off your metal roof with a concentrated spray nozzle. Start at the peak and work your way down to the gutters. Performing a washdown twice a year will help keep debris and stains to a minimum. It will also keep your roof from looking worn and dirty. Twice annually is the recommended number, but feel free to perform gentle washes more often for aesthetics.
Removing debris is important for preventing scratches and dents. As soon as you notice a foreign body on your roof, remove it. Normal wear and tear won’t scratch your metal roof’s coatings, but debris left on a roof during a heavy windstorm can cause damages. Also, if you see loose metal particles or chips on your roof, remove immediately. These unfinished metal chips can oxidize, causing rust stains. If scratches do occur, you can cover with manufacturer-approved bottles of touch-up paint.
Always keep trees pruned away from your roof, whether it is metal or shingles. Branches rubbing on rooftops will cause damage and require repairs. You should have trees pruned at least six feet away from the roof. This will also prevent falling debris from colliding with your roof.
Keeping Valleys and Gutters Clean
Valleys and gutters containing backup can cause conditions for oxidation and corrosion. Keep all areas clean and remove leaves promptly to avoid scratches. Be sure the gutters are clear of debris, ice, and snow to prevent damage to roofing. Long-term exposure to these elements can cause a multitude of issues for your roof and home.