Michigan property owners all over the state are choosing to upgrade the roofs on their homes and commercial buildings to metal. They are safe, reliable, extremely durable, and can last more than three times as long as a standard asphalt shingle roof.
While metal roofs have a few unique considerations that property owners must take into account, the average metal roof will face a fraction of the maintenance issues a traditional asphalt shingle roof will experience during its relatively limited lifespan. If you are considering a new metal roof for your home or business in Michigan, you should know a few basic tips for metal roof maintenance.
How Much Maintenance Does a New Metal Roof Require?
The roof is one of the most critical components of any structure, and a roof replacement is generally one of the most expensive home repairs. Homeowners with traditional asphalt shingle roofs may enjoy a few years of maintenance-free performance after a fresh installation, but they typically find that asphalt shingle roofs involve a great deal of regular maintenance once they begin to wear. Metal roofs not only incur fewer maintenance issues than standard asphalt shingle roofs, but are also much cheaper to maintain over a much longer period.
One of the main selling points that attracts Michigan homeowners to upgrading to new metal roofs is the low maintenance cost and infrequency of maintenance issues arising, but this only applies to metal roofs installed by experienced professionals. Choosing an unlicensed or inexperienced metal roofing team can lead to serious and expensive issues for the property owner. If you decide to upgrade your roof in Michigan, only work with verified professional roofers with solid track records of successful metal roof installations.
Regular Inspections Are a Great Investment
Metal roofs experience far fewer maintenance issues than standard asphalt shingle roofs, but that does not mean they are completely without maintenance requirements. Michigan has generally mild weather during the warmer months, but winters can be brutally cold, snowy, and icy. It’s wise for Michigan homeowners to plan for at least one annual roof inspection, and one of the best times to schedule this inspection is after the winter has thawed so they can check for any winter weather-related damage.
While it’s possible to conduct your own roof inspection with the right tools and safety equipment, it is generally best to refer to a professional metal roofing contractor for annual metal roof inspections. Inspecting the roof on even a single-story home can be very dangerous. If you cannot check the roof yourself or if you own a multistory residence or commercial building, find a reliable and experienced metal roofer to handle your inspection, or contact the roofing team that installed your new metal roof.
Keep Your Metal Roof Clean
Metal is extremely durable, but many of the metals used to create metal roofs are vulnerable to certain chemical reactions. Keeping your metal roof clean and free of mildew, dirt, and other substances is one of the best ways to protect it. If you allow these substances to accumulate and linger on the roof for too long, it they may cause corrosion or rusting. Luckily, cleaning these things is fairly simple, and you can likely handle simple cleaning with some typical household cleaning products:
● A solution of dish soap and water can be enough to clean away dust, dirt, and other messy substances easily.
● If you notice any scratches on the surface of your metal roof, you can minimize their appearance by rubbing mineral spirits into them with a soft cloth and then rinsing.
● If you notice any rust, you need to clean it away entirely and then protect the affected area so it does not worsen. Gently scrubbing cleanser with water can remove rust spots and metal primer will seal it. Once the primer dries, repaint it to match the rest of the panel.
● Mold, mildew, and algae are common in areas with lots of moisture. Since both parts of Michigan rest along the coasts of the Great Lakes, moisture can cause problems for many Michigan property owners. Use a solution of one part bleach to three parts water and add 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent to create a highly effective cleansing solution. Scrub away any deposits of mold, mildew, or algae you can find and then rinse them thoroughly.
Cleaning your metal roof is a great way to protect it and maximize its functional lifespan. However, there is an additional bonus to regularly cleaning your metal roof: you will also help preserve your property’s gutter system, another vital component of any Michigan property.
Preserving Your Gutter System
Throughout the seasons, your property’s gutters will likely accumulate twigs, leaves, and other debris. While rain may wash most of these particles out of your gutters, some may linger and cause blockages. Eventually, these blockages can cause water to seep under the panels of your roof or behind the siding of the building. This can cause serious water damage that can lead to mold growth and wood rot, and it will be incredibly expensive to repair.
Strive to clean your property’s gutters at least twice each year. Remove leaves and other debris and do your best to clean the roof and ensure the gutters allow water to flow unrestricted. Pay close attention to the “valleys” of the roof as well; the places where two angles meet tend to accumulate the most debris.
Keep Other Metals Off Your Roof
Metal roofs are incredibly durable, but they are vulnerable to chemical reactions when other metals come into contact with them. Finding metal fragments on your roof will likely be a very rare occurrence, but it can happen. You need to remove those fragments immediately. Pay close attention for brick and concrete fragments, too. Metal-to-metal contact or contact with pieces of brick or concrete can lead to corrosion. For example, treated iron, brick, or concrete can cause galvanic corrosion when these substances come into contact with galvanized steel.
Other metal roofing materials like zinc alloy or copper can also experience chemical reactions when they come into contact with other types of metals, brick, or many other substances. If a fragment of a particular chemical composition scratches the metal roof, the scratch may start rusting or corroding very quickly.
Michigan property owners can reap tremendous value by upgrading their homes and commercial buildings with new metal roofs, but it’s vital to follow a regular maintenance schedule to protect these investments. If you decide to upgrade to a new metal roof, choose a reliable and experienced metal roofing contractor and ask about their recommendations for a maintenance schedule for your new roof.