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How to Repair Rust and Puncture Damage across a Metal Roof

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Metal roofs are a great investment because they are rated to last at least 50 years. The durability of the steel along with any protective coatings placed over the material are two of the reasons why your roof will last a long time. However, this does not mean that you can simply ignore the roof and expect it to last forever. Damage can occur, like with any other roof. This means that proper fixes must be completed when you note the damage. An inspection completed at least once every 6 to 12 months can reveal the damage. Rust and punctures are two types of damage that may be noted. Keep reading to learn how to repair these issues.

Repairing Rust

Most metal roofs are made with several different coatings so that the steel does not become exposed to the elements. A typical roof will be covered with a galvanizing coating and colored paint. These coatings together help with rust protection. Unfortunately, a wind-tossed stick or another piece of debris during a storm can scrape through all of the coatings. The exposed steel will then start to rust. When you notice this rust, then you will need to remove it and then add paint over the area of the roof.

To remove rust, use a wire brush to remove as much of the loose corrosion as you can and then remove the remaining rust with a piece of 80 or 120 grit sandpaper. Afterwards, clean the area with a degreasing material to prepare the steel for painting. Trisodium phosphate is a good compound to use for this. Once the area is ready, purchase an acrylic paint that is labeled as direct-to-metal paint. This paint is an industrial use type of paint that is meant to be applied directly over a prepared metal surface without the need for priming. The paint can withstand pressure and stress from chemicals and adverse weather conditions, and it is also corrosion resistant to help prevent new rust from forming on your roof. 

Make sure to locate a paint that matches your roof and use a small roller or a paintbrush to add the paint. 

Fixing Punctures

If you see small holes in your roof that are the result of punctures from sticks and other flying debris, then these are areas where your roof is likely to leak. Leaks can quickly cause rot along the wood decking that sits underneath the roof. This is an especially troublesome issue with steel roofs since the materials typically create a tight seal over the home. This means that the wet decking will not be exposed to air that can help dry out the area. To prevent this type of problem from occurring, make sure to seal punctures as soon as you see them. 

Small holes and openings are typically pretty easy to fix with a cement or sealer. Plastic and asphalt cements can be used to fill the openings, but these materials are typically not resistant to UV damage. This means that the materials are likely to crack over time and openings will need to be repaired once again. For a more permanent solution, purchase a urethane roofing cement instead. Clear options are best so you do not have to worry about painting the area after it is fixed. Also, choose a sealer in a tube so it can be applied with a caulk gun.

Cut the end of the sealer tube and place the tube into a caulk gun. Pull the trigger on the gun to force the sealer into the roof opening. Afterwards, use a putty knife to smooth the sealer against the roof. If you see any seam openings or holes around flashing materials, then you can use the sealer at this time to repair these areas as well. 

If you would like to schedule an inspection for your metal roof or have a professional take care of the needed repairs, contact a metal roof contractor in your area.