Maintaining a Metal Roof

October 26, 2009 | Filed under: Roofing Help Podcasts

Over my years in the metal roofing industry homeowners will frequently contact me after they’ve had their metal roof installed and say “Wow I love it it looks great! What do I need to do in order to maintain it?” Well, I’m glad to say that in most cases there is very little you need to do, especially if you’ve made a good choice up front and gone with a roof system that has a PDVF or what’s called a Kynar 500® and Hylar 5000® PVDF resin-based finish on it. Those paint systems are really known for the fact that they hold Integrity for the long-term, they don’t tend to gather a lot of dirt that you have to worry about, they also tend to resist chalking, so there’s not a lot you need to worry about with those paint systems.

So if you have a metal roof, what do you need to do you? My main advice is once a year maybe every six months, just take a slow walk around your house, look up at the roof, make sure that there hasn’t been some sort of damage perhaps from a tree limb, or or something else that might have caused some damage to the to the roof…make sure that you don’t see any panels that have slipped out of place, any flashings that perhaps might have moved a tiny bit. Take a look as best you can (don’t get up on the roof) but from the ground, perhaps even using a pair of binoculars, take a look at any sealants on the roof…perhaps any penetration such as pipes or side walls… take a look at the sealants, make sure that you don’t see where they have cracked or broken loose or anything. If you pick up on any of those things, go back and contact your contractor and let him know what you see, and I’m sure they’ll be glad to come out and take a look at it, and make any adjustments or changes that are necessary.

As far as ongoing maintenance with your metal roof, I’m pleased to tell you there really isn’t any. Just check it out every once in awhile, take a look at it see if anything’s changed. If it has, alert your contractor, they’ll take it from there.

Kynar 500® is a registered trademark belonging to Arkema Inc.
Hylar 5000® is a registered trademark belonging to Solvay

todd Miller

has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.

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4 responses to “Maintaining a Metal Roof”

  1. Chris Priebe says:

    We have a metal roof with a Hylar 5000/Kynar 500 fin finish on it. It is a Scandinavian Profiling Systems Inc. Norman Tile roofing system which looks like clay tile. The house is located in St John USVI and is about 12 years old. The roof finish is chalking and the red dust goes into our cistern . Is this a problem? The maintenance man here suggests we have it painted with Top Coat Elastomeric Coating. Will this start us down a long maintenance road of recoating every few years? If it is chalking, should it be sealed?

    • toddmiller says:

      Thanks so much. The current coating is probably a suitable base for re-coating but I would hesitate to use an elastomeric. I am not sure it would adhere well to the current chalked surface. I would instead encourage an air dry Kynar (such as Aquatec) or a suggested coating from a quality paint store. Make sure it is lead and chrome free, particularly if you are collecting potable water. As for the safety of the current water, I really have no way of knowing because it would depend upon the exact chemistry, pigmentation, and application of the original coating. If you are using the collected water for drinking, I would encourage having it sampled and checked for safety. It probably is okay but, again, I have no way of knowing for certain. I hope this helps.

  2. Karen Guba says:

    We have a Classic Metal Roof System on our home. On the North side of the house roof we have a green mold appearing on the roof. Can you tell us what we could use to safely clean and remove this without harming color finish on our metal roof.

    • Todd Miller says:

      While metal roofs are generally very resistant to biological growth, because they have non porous surfaces and no materials to support such growth, there are cases where it can occur. The usual scenario is in areas that stay rather damp or shaded, and that have a decent amount of tree pollen or other plant life as well as mold spores in the air. Over a period of years, the roof gets dirt on it and that dirt can then support biological growth. I would suggest trying a product like RoofWash or Wet and Forget if possible. If that does not work, then a light power wash can be done and we’d be happy to talk with you about how to accomplish that safely.

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