Does your old metal roof look like it's on its last legs? Because metal is such a durable roofing material, many people think that regular maintenance is unnecessary. However, as you may well now see, ignoring your roof for too long can turn it into a damaged and unsightly mess. Here's how you can restore your roof to a "like new" state in just 4 steps.
Step 1: Thorough Cleaning
The first step to restoring your metal roof is to have it pressure cleaned so that it can be sealed after the repairs have been done. When you maintain your roof regularly, you can clean it yourself using detergents and brushes. However, when your roof has not been cleaned for some time (or ever), you'll need the help of pressure washing to rid it of stubborn dirt, debris, and loose rust. It's essential that you hire a professional rather than do the job yourself. For one, a wet roof is highly dangerous and requires training and safety precautions. On top of that, improper pressure washing can actually damage your roof if water gets pushed under the panels. Once a professional has cleaned everything and your roof is thoroughly dried, you can take care of the following steps yourself if you have some DIY experience.
Step 2: Fixing Screws & Nails
It's not uncommon for screws and nails in your roof to become loose or go missing over time. If you don't deal with this, the structural integrity will weaken as the roof is not being held together securely. Most loose screws can be tightened, and many loose nails can be pulled and re-nailed. If a screw or nail is missing or in very bad shape, you'll need to replace it. Count the missing parts and head down to a hardware store to buy new ones. If you're not sure of the exact names or sizes, take an existing screw or nail with you for reference.
Step 3: Patching Up
The older your roof is, the more deteriorated it's likely to be. Close inspection is sure to show up holes and erosion. Luckily, this is easy to deal with. You can patch up these holes using roof cement. This comes in many varieties, including asphalt, plastic, and urethane. Urethane is the ideal choice as it's the most resistant to the sun's ultraviolet rays -- a must for the persistent Australian sunshine. If you need to remove any stubborn rust, you can use steel wool (the same kind you might find in your kitchen). After your holes are filled and dried, your roof may look very patchy. This is okay, because the coating process in step 4 will deal with the cosmetic side of things. If you don't plan on using a spray coating on your roof, head to your hardware or automotive store and pick up some new metal paint. Remember you'll need to use a base coat of metal primer before you repaint your roof.
Step 4: Resealing
This is one of the most important steps as it will protect your roof for years to come. Resealing your roof will prevent leaks and damage in the event of harsh weather. Your first step is to buy some seam tape and cover up all the screws and panel joints. While this will make your roof waterproof for now, a full coating of sealant will protect it for a lot longer. There are a wide variety of metal roof coatings on the market, and which one you choose is largely up to you. Just makes sure that you choose a flexible or stretchy coating that will withstand the regular expansion and contraction of the metal panels. You should also opt for a spray with UV resistance. Once you've spray-coated your roof with your sealant, your work is done. Remember to maintain your roof regularly from now on, dealing with dirt, deterioration, and missing parts as soon as the problems arise.