You'd be amazed at how a coat or two of paint can do wonders for your metal roof. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you break out the brushes and rollers. With these excellent tips, you'll be able to give your metal roof the beautiful and energy-efficient paint job it deserves while avoiding plenty of pitfalls along the way.
Fix Any Underlying Problems Before You Paint Your Roof
Your new rooftop paint job needs a good base before it can shine. That means being on the lookout for any problems that could affect your roof's appearance. If you spot signs of rust and/or corrosion, you'll definitely want to have those issues repaired before you think about painting your metal roof.
Proper prepwork also matters when it comes to your rooftop painting project. Before you go any further, you'll want to give your roof a thorough pressure washing. This will take care of any oils, dirt, mold or mildew that could cause adhesion problems with your metal roofing paint. With sufficient pressure, you can even strip off old paint. If you don't have access to a pressure washer, some experts suggest a mixture of bleach, trisodium phosphate and water for quickly cleaning up mold, algae and other rooftop debris.
If you have a brand-new galvanized roof, it's a good idea to let it weather for the next 6 months before applying the first coat of paint. If you can't wait that long, then you can speed the weathering process along by removing all traces of the galvanization process with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution.
Forget about Using Leftover House Paint
Let's say you've just finished up a major home renovation and you have more paint than you know what to do with. It's tempting to take some of this leftover house paint and use it on the roof. However, this might not be the best thing to do, as it could cause plenty of trouble later on.
For starters, typical household paint that's intended for use on wood, fiberglass and other materials might not work as well when applied to metal. Over time, it could react poorly to the harsher conditions experienced by your roof, usually by cracking, curling up or flaking off.
Secondly, paint that's specially designed for metal roofs offers unique properties that household paint doesn't offer. These qualities often include resistance to fire, heat and even insects. For instance, water-resistant metal roofing paint can handle the rigors of the rainy season that would quickly weather and destroy most household paints.
Always Use a Sealant
Even the best metal roofing paint remains vulnerable to the elements unless it's protected by a sealant. The sealant helps maintain the paint's longevity by chemically bonding it to the surface of the metal roof, safeguarding it against weathering that would otherwise strip or erode the paint. Doing without a sealant could take years off of your metal roof's paint job.
It's also important to use the right sealant for your specific type of metal roofing paint. Sealants often vary in their ingredients, which means using the wrong one for your roof could be just as problematic as using no sealant at all.
Keep an Eye on Your Roof after the Job's Done
Just because you've finished painting your roof doesn't mean that you're free from worrying about your roof. On the contrary, there are still many maintenance tasks you'll have to perform if you expect it to look its best year-round:
- Sweep away dead branches, leaves and other debris from your roof every few weeks. Doing so will prevent small animals from using the debris as nesting material.
- Give your roof a good washing with a mixture of bleach and liquid detergents at least every 6 months. This will keep algae and mildew from becoming a problem, plus it'll keep your roof looking pristine.
- At least once a year, check the roof for any rough patches or bald spots in the paint.
These tips can help keep your metal roof's paint job looking brand-new year after year. For more tips and information, contact a local metal roof contractor.