If you’re in the mood for a home improvement project, you might be thinking about painting your metal roof. It’s doable, but there are things that you should know before beginning. Here’s a handy guide to help you get started as you consider a roof-painting project.

Can You Paint a Metal Roof?

Yes, if you use the right materials, you can paint a metal roof! Painting can be a great approach to giving your metal roof a fresh look or new life.

Before undertaking a paint project, though, it’s smart to check your roof warranty. Sometimes, painting a roof can invalidate the warranty. If your roof is no longer covered by a warranty, then this might not be a concern.

You should also check whether your city has any regulations about scraping or painting metal roofs. Although you may not need a permit, it’s always best to inquire before beginning work. The same is true if you live in a community that is governed by a homeowners association, or HOA. Many HOAs have restrictions about what color parts of your house can be, and some are more stringent than others. Be sure to check your HOA paperwork so that you don’t face fines and then have to paint your roof again to be in compliance.

Once you’ve gotten those details squared away, you can consider moving forward with a roof painting project. With the right tools and techniques, you could give your metal roof a long-lasting makeover.

Why Paint Your Metal Roof?

Metal roofs can last for decades. If yours has been around for many years, it may be ready for a refresh. Even though you might not need to replace it anytime soon, there may be spots with rust or other damage. Painting your roof would provide an opportunity to address those issues and camouflage the repair sites.

Even if your roof isn’t that old, you may be ready to give it a new look. The style of homes in your neighborhood might have changed over the last several years. To keep your property in step with the other homes in your community, you may be ready for a new roof color. Painting the roof could be the best way to make that happen.

Also, painting your metal roof can be beneficial for energy efficiency. White or other light-colored roofs reflect sunlight better than dark-colored roofs. In addition, some roof paints are made with additives that increase how well the surface reflects the sun’s rays. The more reflective your roof is, the cooler your house will stay in the hot summer months. That can help bring down your electricity consumption and your air conditioning costs.

Finally, a coat of paint can be good for the roof. Some specialty paints offer protective benefits that prevent rust and guard against other roof hazards.

Supplies for Metal Roof Painting

It’s important to use the right supplies for your painting project. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brushes, rollers or a sprayer
  • Extension poles for rollers
  • Ladders
  • Paint designed for metal roofs
  • Power washer
  • Primer
  • Safety equipment
  • Sealant
  • Scrapers or wire brushes

The fastest way to apply the paint is usually with a sprayer. Using a sprayer can also help you obtain even results. If you’re painting with a roller, it’s important to use the right type. For corrugated roofs, it makes sense to use a roller designed for corrugated surfaces.

Picking the right paint is even more important. Only some types of paint are designed for use on metal roofs. These specialty paints can help protect against water, fire and insect damage. Both alkyd and acrylic latex varieties are available. Depending on the type of metal your roof is made of, one variety or the other might be more appropriate.

If you need help selecting the right supplies, be sure to ask for help from a paint professional. The pros can point you toward materials that are suitable for your particular situation.

How to Paint Your Metal Roof

Once you’ve gathered the supplies you need, it’s time to get to work. The first step is to clean the roof and remove old paint. A strong power washer can help achieve both those goals. You may need to scrape away some old paint as well.

Next, apply a coat of primer to guard against rust and help the paint adhere. After it dries, you can begin applying paint. For quality results, be sure to apply the paint evenly over the whole roof. You’ll need to use several coats. Give the paint ample time to dry between each coat — depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, that could be an hour or more.

After putting on a sufficient number of paint coats, go over the roof with a sealant. That will ensure the longevity of the paint. As with paint, be sure to choose a sealant that’s intended for use on metal roofs.

Best Weather for Painting a Metal Roof

Choosing the right weather for your painting project is one of the most essential steps. Trying to paint a roof when the weather is too hot can be a miserable experience — if not an impossible one! Remember that metal roofs get very hot to the touch on summer days. Painting yours in more moderate temperatures can save you from spending countless hours on a sizzling sheet of metal. Early spring or late fall may be your best options.

You need dry days for this job too. Wet metal roofs are incredibly slippery. For the sake of safety, don’t go up on the roof until it’s dry. Plus, rainfall can destroy your hard work if it streaks the fresh paint. Don’t start this project until the forecast shows clear skies for a few days in a row. Also, make sure that the morning dew has evaporated before you climb on the roof to begin working.

Additional Tips for Metal Roof Painting

Safety should be your highest concern. Falls from the roof can be fatal. Always use proper harnesses and other safety equipment. Wear shoes with good traction too. When possible, stand on the ladder rather than the roof.

Use this time to thoroughly inspect your roof. If you find any areas of damage, address them before you begin to paint. Don’t just cover over them in hopes that “out of sight, out of mind” will work. If you need help, reach out to a professional roofing company.

After completing your painting job, be sure to keep the roof clean. Debris accumulation can destroy your hard work. Piles of leaves may encourage the metal to rust; sticks and other large items can scratch the paint. Gentle power washing is useful for removing dirt and debris. Make roof cleaning a regular part of your routine so that your paint job will stay nice for a long time to come.

Finally, remember that you don’t have to handle roofing projects all on your own. Charleston Roofs + Windows is your professional team for both metal and shingle roofing projects in the Charleston area. We do repairs, installations and more. You can also count on us for window replacement. To learn more about how Charleston Roofs + Windows can help with your home improvement projects, give us a call today.

Charleston Roof & Windows Team

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