Metal roofs are growing in popularity across the country because of the added benefits that they provide compared to traditional asphalt shingle roofs. While both are practical, metal roofs have the edge in energy efficiency, durability, longevity, and weather resistance. While these are just a few of the several advantages over traditional asphalt shingle roofs, it’s no surprise that homeowners are making the switch.
However, after you decide to install a metal roof for your home or place of business, you may have a few questions about how to keep it in good condition. Let’s dive into some of the most important tips and rules for metal roof maintenance.
Metal roofs have minimal upkeep
One of the key differences between asphalt and metal roofs is that metal roofs require minimal maintenance. They don’t require regular cleaning, and their smooth surface allows debris like leaves and snow to slide off more easily. In contrast, asphalt shingles can accumulate debris and require periodic cleaning and maintenance to prevent damage to your home. Metal roofs are, in a broader sense, more resistant to extreme weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rain, snow, and even fire. They won’t crack, warp, or rot like asphalt shingles can, making them a very reliable choice. While you will need to apply a metal roof coating every 10 to 20 years, this is much better than getting a new set of shingles in the same time frame.
How long do metal roofs last?
On average, a well-installed and properly maintained metal roof can last for 50 years or more. Meanwhile, the average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is around 20 to 30 years. Considering that a metal roof can last almost twice as long as an asphalt one, many homeowners choose to shop for metal roofs to save money. While there is a slightly higher upfront cost, metal roofs will help save money in the long run.
Just keep in mind that the actual lifespan of a metal roof can vary. A variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, and tin, are used to make metal roofs. When used to make a metal roof, each of these materials will start to corrode and leak at different times. Zinc and copper, for example, can last for upwards of 100 years when properly installed and coated.
How to clean a metal roof
While metal roofs will mostly stay free from clutter, an annual cleaning can further secure your roof’s longevity and prevent some issues down the line. Still, cleanings are generally undemanding. Cleaning your metal roof is generally reactive, so you’ll mostly be preventing the buildup of dirt and debris after a storm.
To thoroughly clean your metal roof, start by removing any debris that you can see. This is usually pretty easy with a garden hose! Areas with high humidity or heavy rainfall might accumulate dirt and algae on the roof, while coastal regions might produce small salt deposits. Homes with tall, overhanging trees near their roof may be covered in leaves, twigs, and branches after experiencing high winds. Most things will wash off with a quick spray, but for larger items, you may need to get on the roof, preventing blockage that would otherwise form in your gutters.
If you’re planning to sell your home or are just generally concerned about the appearance of your metal roof, you can choose to clean it more frequently to maintain a certain aesthetic.
How do I prevent my metal roof from rusting?
Metal roof rust is oftentimes seen as a sign of age and natural deterioration. While it is true that most metals rust and decay over time, metal roofs are designed to resist this natural progression. When they’re installed, metal roofs have a protective coating or finish on the surface, shielding the metal from exposure to moisture and oxygen. When installed, the coating will usually last 10 to 20 years before needing another layer, but don’t put it off. Rust will eventually weaken the metal and cause structural damage if left untreated, so it’s important to be diligent with your metal roof coating. Contact a professional inspector if you’re unsure about whether it’s time for another layer or a new roof.
Compared to other types of roofs, maintaining a metal roof is relatively low effort. Aside from applying metal roof coating, which won’t be very often, you’ll really only need to spray off any roof debris with a hose. It’s important to note that the choice between a metal roof and an asphalt shingle roof should be decided based on your budget and aesthetic preferences. If you’d like to learn more about the roof installation process, you can schedule a meeting with J-Tech Construction, and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions.