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Maintain Your Roof


Steel buildings are known to be long-lasting and low-maintenance. They are durable enough to withstand decades with very little effort required. However, a bit of upkeep can go a long way to maximizing their potential. One place worth a bit of extra focus is the roof.

Roof repairs can become costly if you don’t stay ahead of them. Metal roofs should be inspected any time they are exposed to weather events like high winds or heavy snow. They should also be checked after anyone is on the roof. Aside from those specific events, inspect your roof at least annually, unless you are located near the coastline, in which case checks should occur every 3-6 months.

When inspecting your roof, look first for any obvious signs of damage or other issues, such as pooled water caused by debris blocking pathways to gutters or punctured panels that could become leaks. Clear the gutters and pooling areas free of any blockages. If any panel is rusted or damaged beyond repair, replace it to avoid further issues. Next, examine more closely to find any loose fasteners, which occasionally occur due to weather changes, and tighten them. If the fasteners have rusted, replace them immediately. Also check for any damaged trim. Be sure to clear any loose debris that, if left long enough, could cause damage to the paint and lead to corrosion. Catching minor issues and doing the necessary repairs can keep those issues from becoming large, expensive jobs to fix down the road.

If you find a leak, it is important that you fix it the right way. Don’t waste your time using caulking. The bond it creates is temporary, and when it breaks down, water from the leak will begin to collect between it and the roof panels. Over time, this leads to corrosion and more costly repair. Instead, take apart the affected panel and use sealant.

It is important to trim back any tree limbs that may hang near your roof panels. Sharp edges of tree branches can damage the painted roof surface and increase the likelihood of leaks and corrosion.

If you are dealing with winter weather, be sure to clear snow and ice from your roof. The pitch of your roof may do this job for you, but in the case that it doesn’t fully clear, the weight can strain the structural integrity of your entire structure.

Finally, before doing any inspections or repairs to your roof, review and implement the safety precautions outlined here:

  • Be careful when using ladders to get onto the roof of a building
    • Before using a ladder, new or old, inspect it thoroughly to make sure there are no loose pieces that could lead to an accident
    • Be sure your ladder extends three or more feet above the roofline, that the it remains sturdy and level with the ground, ideally with a second person at ground level holding the the base of the ladder steady. It is recommended that you secure the ladder to the structure before you begin to climb
  • Never go onto a wet roof and be sure to wear soft rubber-soled boots (not black – the marks are difficult to scrub clean)
  • Walk in the flat portions of the panels or near the panel supports