Can You Paint a Metal Roof?
Metal roofing is loved by commercial building owners and even some homeowners across Oklahoma for its durability and customization options. But if you’ve recently had a metal roof installed or want to upgrade the appearance of one, you may be wondering if painting your roof is a good option.
While you can definitely paint your metal roof, it’s not as simple as taking a roller to your roof and calling it a day. There are multiple factors to take into account, as well as safety risks when it comes to climbing your roof and working on it yourself.
In this post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of painting your metal roof, how metal roofs are painted, timing your roof painting projects, and important safety and longevity considerations. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about painting your metal roof!
How Are Metal Roofs Painted?
Typically, you’ll need to remove existing coatings and finishes before you can start re-painting. The fastest way to do this is by power washing the paint away, which should remove the paint and anything else on the metal.
Powerwashing on an elevated surface, such as your roof, can be dangerous and should always be done by a professional!
Keep in mind - many metal roofs are not just painted sheets of metal when you get them straight from the manufacturer. Most are coated with specialty finishes that are baked-in powder coatings or other materials. This means that metal roof paint will look different and hold up against wear and tear differently than manufacturer-made coated metal roofing sheets.
Long story short: You may think twice about removing the initial coatings and consult with a professional before doing so!
From there, your roof will need to be coated with a primer to help the paint adhere and prevent premature chipping. Most roofing companies will use a special primer that helps prevent rust and protects the metal sheets. The primer must be completely dry before you can move on to the next step.
Next, it’s time to start painting. Acrylic latex paints are often recommended for their durability and flexibility, as metal expands and contracts with temperature changes. The roofer who installed your roof can give you better information on what type of paint you should use. Your roof may need a few coats of paint to appear finished and opaque with color.
When applying paint, keep in mind that you will likely need to hire professionals to apply your paint using a specialty paint sprayer. This will ensure your roof is painted efficiently and coated evenly.
Finally, the paint needs to be sealed and finished with a protective coating. There are two common types of finishes: PVDF and Polyester.
PVDF finishes tend to be more expensive, but they hold up extremely well to UV exposure, weather, temperature changes, and more.
Polyester finishes come in different types that vary in their perks. They are typically less expensive than PVDF coatings and do help to protect your metal roof, but they do not hold up as well as PVDF.
When to Paint Your Metal Roof
Before planning the timing of your metal roof painting project, first determine if painting your roof is a good idea. Most metal roofing comes with a manufacturer's warranty, which can last anywhere from as short as 2 years to as long as over 20 years. Your roofing company that installed your roof may also have given you a warranty.
If you find that your roof is still within its warranty period, you may want to consider not painting your roof for purely cosmetic reasons. Doing so could void your warranty, making repairs or services more difficult and expensive in the long run.
You should also consider the weather conditions before painting. Coats of primer, paint, and finish need time to dry untouched for hours and sometimes days at a time. Wet conditions can disrupt your painting process, and high winds can blow debris into your coats of paint.
Maintenance and Longevity for Painted Metal Roofing
A well-painted metal roof should last for at least a decade with minimal issues if kept in good shape and properly installed/painted. Here are a few things you can do to maintain your painted metal roof whether you’ve had it repainted or still have its original finish.
- Clean Your Roof: While your roof may be given a good rinse by the occasional rain shower, you should take care to keep it clean. Give your roof a rinse every once in a while to remove dust and debris, keep your gutters clean, and regularly inspect for debris.
- Keep an Eye Out for Damage: With paint, chips, cracks, and peeling may happen, especially if not properly applied. In some cases, you may be able to perform your own touch-ups on small areas. If you have frequent issues with your paint, you should call a professional roofing company to help.
- Have Your Roof Annually Inspected: Inspections are key for solving and preventing problems on your roof before they become larger issues. Just because you don’t notice any issues doesn’t mean your roof is perfectly fine. Keep up with inspections and get repairs promptly.
If you are planning on painting your metal roof yourself, there are multiple safety measures to take into account. If you are looking to paint the roof of a home or commercial building, we strongly recommend hiring a professional to avoid safety risks. Unfortunately, many roofing projects are not DIY-friendly.
If you are simply touching up a spot that’s easy to reach from a ladder or painting the roof of a shed, for example, there are fewer safety risks involved. In these cases, always ensure you use a secure, sturdy ladder that is properly set up. Be sure to have a partner to help you with your project as well as to prevent risks or problems.
Can You Paint a Metal Roof? Yes!
You can absolutely paint your metal roof, but be sure to look into the process thoroughly, understand your warranty situation, and consult with a professional roofing company to ensure you get the best paint job possible.
For any roof painting project, always hire a professional to paint your roof. Professional roofers are equipped to mitigate safety risks and paint your roof efficiently and with proper procedures. Have questions about painting a metal roof? Let us know on our contact page. We can help you with all things metal roofing, commercial or residential.
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