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December 22, 2018

How To Avoid Mistakes When Painting a Metal Roof

Metal roofs are very popular now because they look great and last a long time. Another benefit is you can paint them to create a unique look for your home. But looks are just one reason to paint your metal roof. It will also make it last even longer and save you money on your utility bills. We explore the main reasons to paint a metal roof, outline the biggest mistakes, and give an overview of how you can do it yourself.

Can You Paint a Metal Roof?

You can paint a metal roof, but you need to use specific paints. Regular interior latex paint will peel quickly, so only use exterior paint meant for metal surfaces.

Reasons to Paint Your Metal Roof

  • Longevity – Metal roofs already have a longer lifespan than shingles, but painting your roof can make it last even longer. With a little maintenance, your painted metal roof will last five to ten years longer than an unpainted one.
  • Efficiency – Painting a metal roof also improves your energy efficiency. As long as you use solar blocking paint, you can easily save money each month on your energy bills.
  • Curb Appeal – Metal roofs already offer a unique and interesting look compared to standard roofing materials. When it comes to painting, your options are nearly endless.

Cons of Painting a Metal Roof

  • Needs Regular Washing – Unlike other roofing materials, you will need to wash a painted metal roof once every month or two.
  • Will Fade and Peel if Not Sealed – Even exterior grade paints will fade if you do not use a sealing primer first. Eventually, it will peel and chip.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Metal Roof?

To paint a metal roof, use an exterior grade paint designed for that kind of metal. If you aren’t sure, check with the roofing company to confirm the type of metal you have. Then talk with the technician at the paint store to see what options you have.

While almost all paints for metal roofs have a heat-reflecting coating that improves their energy efficiency, you should always ask just in case. If the paint does not have one, see if they can add it when they add the color.

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The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Painting a Metal Roof

Forgetting to Prime the Metal First

The biggest mistake you can make when painting a metal roof is not using a metal sealing primer first. Without it, the paint will start peeling almost right away. However, you need to use a primer design to work with the specific metal of your roof and the paint you are using.

Not Getting Energy-Efficient Paint

If you are painting your metal roof, you should absolutely take advantage of modern, energy-efficient paints. Since these paints reflect harmful UV rays, they will save you on cooling bills and keep the paint bright and vibrant for longer too.

Using Old Paint

Another huge mistake when painting a metal roof is using leftover paint. Not only is regular house paint not meant for outdoor use, but old paint can peel and flake much faster. Instead, always buy new exterior paint that is meant for metal.

Applying It Incorrectly

It’s really easy to paint a metal roof incorrectly. Usually, the problem is not using enough paint. Make sure you coat the roof thoroughly with even layers for the best results. If you are using a roller, paint in small sections and then blend them together for an even coat. When using a spray applicator, move-in steady, even strokes.

Not Taking Care of It

Like most things in your home, your need to take care of a painted metal roof otherwise it will wear out faster. Start by washing it with bleach and water as soon as the paint dries. To prevent scratches, sweep the roof every other month and then wash it again with bleach and water. If you take care of your roof, the paint job will last you for years.

How to Paint a Metal Roof

  1. Remove Old Paint – If your roof is already painted, scrape away loose paint or even strip the entire roof.
  2. Wash Your Roof – Then wash the roof with a pressure washer to remove dirt and any remaining paint. If necessary, clean rust spots with rust remover. Let the roof dry for at least an hour before priming.
  3. Use an Exterior Metal Primer – Next, prime your roof with an exterior-grade metal primer. For the best results, use a primer with an anti-rusting agent to make your roof and the paint last longer. Allow the primer to dry for one or even two hours.
  4. Paint Your Metal Roof – Paint the first coat on your roof using either roller brushes or a spray applicator. Wait for one hour and then do a second coat of paint. With both coats, work in small sections and use more paint than you think you need.
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