An unpainted metal roof has its charms, but you may be thinking it'd look much better if it matched or complemented the rest of your home décor. So now it's time to give your metal roof a few quick coats. However, there's plenty you should know about having your metal roof painted beforehand, as it can help you save time and avoid costly mistakes.
The Importance of Prep Work
Before you decide to paint your metal roof, you'll have to make sure it's free of any defects that could have a negative impact on your roof's appearance. These include areas where rust spots and corrosion has formed along with dents, dings and other damage caused by hail or other flying debris. You'll want to have these issues corrected prior to having your roof painted.
In addition, you'll also want to make sure that the surface of your metal roof is properly prepared so that the paint adheres correctly to the surface. For this reason, you'll want to pressure wash your roof of any dirt, debris and oils that have accumulated on the surface. Chemical cleaning with a combination of water, bleach and trisodium phosphate can not only get rid of dirt and debris, but it's also effective at tackling mold and algae growth.
Special Tips for Galvanized Roofs
Galvanized roofs require some special consideration when it comes to prep work and painting. On a roof with brand-new galvanized panels, the initial oxidation process could interfere with how the paint bonds to the surface. Because of this, it's usually a good idea to wait 6 months for the metal roof panels to weather completely before you start painting.
If you can't afford to wait that long, however, there's a way you can help speed that process along. Spraying and wiping a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar can age the metal in a matter of days instead of months.
Household Paints Aren't Recommended
If you have a few cans of household paint left over from a previous home improvement project and it happens to be the right color, you may be tempted to use this to paint your roof. However, this could prove to be a costly mistake. Ordinary household paint may react differently to metal surfaces than the typical wood, drywall or vinyl surfaces they're normally used on. This could result in a paint finish that prematurely bubbles up or flakes off.
For this reason, you're better off using paint that's been specifically formulated for use on metal roofs. Not only does it bond to metal surfaces better, but it can also withstand extreme heat, cold and moisture that's commonplace with most outdoor environments.
Don't Forget About the Sealant
Although most metal paints are surprisingly robust, they're not completely immune to the effects of harsh winds, rains and other unpredictable weather. This is where a high-quality sealant comes in. The sealant helps protect the underlying paint against most forms of wear and damage. Forgetting about the sealant could condemn your metal roof's new paint finish to premature end.
Caring for Your Metal Roof After Painting
Like any other type of roof, a painted metal roof requires plenty of care and attention after laying down the last coat of paint. For starters, keeping your painted metal roof free of dirt, leaves and other debris can help keep your roof looking fantastic for years to come. Power-washing your roof every 6 months with a mixture of bleach and mild detergent can help keep grime as well as algae and mold at bay.
In the meantime, inspect the roof and sweep off any dead leaves, branches and other debris on a monthly basis. Not only does this keep your roof relatively clean, but it also prevents rodents, birds and other small animals from nesting on the roof.
For more information, contact a roofing company like Empire Roofing.