Most likely, you catch at least a glimpse of your Toledo roof every day. Unfortunately, the small amount of your roof you are able to see from the ground never gives a complete picture of the state of its health. From missing shingles to cracked pipe boots, there are plenty of problems that could be hidden right over your sight-line. In most cases, these issues would be quick and inexpensive fixes if addressed right away but can spiral into larger, more complicated problems if left unresolved.
In addition, the issues you may find in Ohio with a wooden, asphalt, concrete, or tile roof are going to be different than those for metal roof owners—and not everyone is as knowledgeable on where those differences lie. This makes twice-yearly professional inspections even more of a necessity for those new to owning metal roofs.
The Importance of a Post-Winter Metal Roof Inspection
Metal roofs are a more durable choice than the many other materials on the market, frequently outlasting even 50-year warranties with lifespans of up to 75 years. However, it’s important to keep the following factors in mind for your roof’s spring inspection:
- Professional Service Required
Walking on your roof is never recommended. Not only can these metal surfaces dent if you step on them improperly, but you can also slip on the slick surface in cases of ice, rain, or even morning dew. For that reason, your regular inspections and maintenance should always be done by a professional.
Even in the aftermath of a heavy storm, don’t be tempted to climb up there yourself to assess the damages and decide whether your roof needs any repairs, it’s much safer to invest in a good pair of binoculars to help you make a basic assessment from the ground and call a professional for a thorough inspection.
- Denting from Natural Damage
In the winter, fallen branches due to ice or any other debris from a particularly nasty storm are any roof’s mortal enemy. Metal roofs, however, are much less likely to be punctured by these foreign agents. In fact, small, inconspicuous dents are the most common form of natural damage.
While smaller dents are mostly a cosmetic issue, larger ones from severe damage can compromise the airtight seal between panels. As a result, panels can let in the wind, the rain or even small creatures. Though this can’t be avoided completely, certain metals are stronger than others and you are likely to see less damage from roofs made of steel than those made of softer materials like copper or aluminum.
- Metal Color Consistency
If any part of your Toledo metal roof does require replacement, a professional can help you find a metal that matches closely in makeup as well as color. A coat of paint can also be a great solution in cases where you can’t find a perfect color match, especially for an older metal roof. In fact, in the wake of roof damage and repair, many homeowners take the opportunity to make a big change and paint their roofs. If your roof is already painted, it can be repainted in the event of damage or every few years as natural upkeep.
Preparing Your Metal Roof for the Season Ahead
As the Midwest gets ready for the upcoming seasonal thaw, it’s not just important to inspect damages from this year’s particularly unpredictable winter. Toledo homeowners should also be preparing for the warm, rainy season ahead. Your spring inspection and maintenance should involve these seven steps:
- Debris removal. Regardless of the material of your roof, your roofing professional will begin by clearing debris both on top of the roof and in the gutters. Once they have removed all branches, leaves, and anything else that has accumulated over the winter, it will be easier to see the damage left behind.
- Visual assessment. Issues your professional will look out for on your metal roof include denting, rust, damage to roof fasteners, and any gaps between the panels. They can also check inside your house for signs of leaks, like stains or bubbling paint.
- Dirt/plant growth removal. When there’s significant dirt, or built-up growth of algae or moss, the professional servicing your roof may choose to pressure wash the panels with a gentle cleaning solution of trisodium phosphate and water. For particularly stubborn growths, they can scrub them away manually with the same solution.
- Damage repair. If your roof has suffered any damage over the winter months, repairs need to be made as soon as possible. Your professional should check the roof’s main surface, but also the gutters, chimneys, and downspouts for broken seals, loose parts, and paint scratches/peels.
- Insulation checks. Think back through these past winter months. If you’ve noticed any draftiness in your home, it’s important to check your roof’s insulation. A key piece in reducing your energy bills for the warmer months is making sure heat isn’t escaping through a poorly insulated attic. You can even request an energy audit when your roof is serviced to make sure that your house is as efficient as possible. An efficient roof is a plus for both you and the environment.
- Ventilation assessment. You will also want to ensure your attic space is well-ventilated to prevent issues with condensation on your metal roof, help regulate your house’s temperature, and keep moisture from building up in the rainy season. Homeowners can also keep an eye out for signs of moisture, including:
- Damp Smells
- Tree trimming. Trees close to your home are a wonderful source of shade in the summer, helping keep both you and your home cooler by blocking direct sunlight. But their branches should be trimmed at least once a year to keep them from scratching your roof or snapping off to land in your gutter. Pruning in early spring, before their leaves have grown back, is easiest and best for regrowth.
With proper seasonal maintenance in Toledo, your metal roof will last its full life span of 50 to 75 years. If you’re unsure of your roof’s age, or whether it may be time to replace it, the professional performing your inspection and maintenance will make a recommendation if they’re seeing significant signs of age and wear. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the durability and longevity of your metal roof.