Metal roofing and siding is one of the best and most ideal ways of protecting your house against external elements like sunlight, snow, and rain. This is due to it being durable and its ability to last longer than most other building materials.
Even though the sheet metal fabrication process is both durable and reliable, this does not mean that sheet metal is indestructible. It is therefore important to find effective maintenance solutions to address wear and tear, shifting, and physical damage that might sometimes result. Below are four tips in caring for your sheet metal roof or siding.
1. Address the debris
Always ensure that your roof is free of any type of debris like leaves and branches. When left to accumulate, debris can be swept by wind or rain into your gutter. When they fall into the eaves trough system, water is unable to reach the downspout. This often results in the water damming under the roof or pouring down to the foundation, leading to serious structural issues later on.
To prevent damage to your sheet metal roof, you should occasionally climb on the roof and sweep off debris. Make sure you clean out the gutters and downspouts to prevent accumulation. Sheet metal is very forgiving to water so using hoses and power washers are acceptable as long as the setting on the washer is not strong enough to dent. Leaves from nearby trees are a main culprit in causing gutters to clog and branches can scratch the surface of the sheet metal. To prevent this, cut down any tree branches that are hanging over your roof.
2. Ensure screws are tight & secure
Screws become loose as result of enduring many years of the frequent changes in weather. It is a common occurrence but one that needs to be addressed as it can lead to the exposure of your roof and structure. This can result in structural damage such as moisture and rot.
It is therefore important to check that all screws are tight and secure. Sometimes sheet metal screws just need to be drilled back in, but other times they pop through the material and you need to add some additional ones. Therefore, it is always beneficial to have extra sheet metal screws on hand in case you need them. This will minimize the amount of time your structure is exposed.
3. Get regular roof inspections
Your roof should be inspected at least annually, but it is recommended that you also check it after severe weather events such as snowfall and rainstorms. This is because such weather can cause leakage and can leave dents on your roof that may need repair. When inspecting, be sure to check for rust and corrosion, debris and clogs in the gutters, missing or damaged fasteners, and sealant failures.
While obvious issues with your sheet metal roof can be noticed easily, it is advisable to approach an experienced roofing company to perform the inspection. There are chances that they will spot problems that you miss.
4. Check for holes & gaps
Changes in weather or temperature can cause expansion and contraction of sheet metal which causes panels to shift. This can break or loosen the fasteners leading to the formation of holes. If left unattended, these holes cause leaks.
Smaller holes and gaps in the roof and siding can be fixed by touching them up with sealants or small amounts of spray foam. If they are big enough, you will need to cover them with new pieces of sheet metal. When replacing missing fasteners, seal them with a recommended sealant to cover holes and gaps left behind.