There’s no argument that metal roofing systems offer commercial, industrial, and agricultural facilities durability and sound protection. But just how long can metal roofs last? With proper maintenance, metal roofing systems can last at least 40 years, and in some cases, even longer.
Metal roofs can last 40 years or more—with proper maintenance.
Despite the strength, durability, and longevity metal roofs provide, they are susceptible to wear and potential leaks as with any other roofing material. The real question then becomes, “How do I maintain a metal roof to ensure it lasts the full length of its projected lifespan?”
Common Metal Roof Problems
- Loose seams & fasteners
It’s important to understand common metal roofing problems in order to effectively maintain the roof. Differences in temperature cause metal to expand and contract, which can loosen seams and fasteners and cause leaks. Other metal roofing problems, such as rust or corrosion, are often attributed to ponding water, debris, or decaying organic materials. Building owners in coastal environments must remain vigilant maintaining their roof system since salt air is particularly harsh on metal materials. While metal roofs are more resilient to storms than other roof types, they can still sustain damage from excessive precipitation, hail, and high winds.
Proper Metal Roof Maintenance
Proper care and maintenance for your building’s metal roof requires the appropriate roof coating, regular inspections, and prompt repairs.
Metal Roof Coatings
The best way to maintain and extend the life of your metal roof is to apply a proper metal roof coating. There are a couple different coatings available depending on the needs of your roof.
A highly reflective roof coating provides thermal stability, preventing cracks due to its high tolerance of weather extremes. The Inland Coatings RC-2000 Rubber Roof Coating is an ENERGY STAR-rated product that provides 87% solar reflectance and resists corrosion, water, ozone, UV rays, acids, and salts.
Another roof coating appropriate for metal roofs is waterproof coatings. The RC-2250 by Inland Coatings is a solvent-based rubber seam sealer that is incredibly effective at sealing and waterproofing fasteners, cracks, seams, and penetrations on a metal roof surface. This Rubber Seam Compound is also excellent for patching roof leaks and other roof repairs.
While metal roofs are more durable than some other roof types, the metal will react with various compounds over time, which is why regular seasonal inspections are critical to keeping your roof in good condition. Prolonged contact with dirt, debris, decaying leaves, and other materials can lead to corrosion. Keep the roof and gutters free from leaves, twigs, and anything else that can prevent rain and melting snow from moving efficiently off the roof. Blockages allow excessive moisture to remain on the roof and can deteriorate the roofing materials. Apart from keeping the roof clean and free from obstructions, you’ll need to periodically check the roof’s components. Seams and exposed fasteners may need to be re-tightened and properly sealed to maintain a watertight condition.
One of the best things about a well-maintained metal roof is that it will be several decades before you need to think about replacing it. That said, regular roof inspections can reveal minor problems to be addressed and repaired before they turn into major issues. Additionally, metal roofs can show signs of wear and fading toward the end of their warranty. Rather than tearing the whole roof off and replacing it, all you need to do in most cases is make minor repairs and reapply a fresh coating. A new metal roof coating system can extend the life of a metal roof for many more years.