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Residential and Commercial Metal Roofing: Color, Myths, and Maintenance

Perhaps you’ve been looking at your roofing options and someone has floated the idea of investing in a superior metal roof for your home or business. The idea intrigues you. You wonder, “How long does a metal roof last?” and learn that they survive 40-70 years — more than twice as long as asphalt shingles.

But when you start asking around about metal roofing, you’re suddenly getting a bunch of mixed messages. Some people praise metal roofs, others dismiss them, while others claim they’re effective but a hassle to maintain. What exactly is the reality? As experienced metal roof contractors, let’s do a deep dive into residential and commercial metal roofing. What you actually need to be concerned about, what you should consider when it comes to color and painting, and what you can expect in terms of cleaning and upkeep. To start, let’s debunk a few myths.

Do Metal Roofs Put You at Risk for Lightning Strikes?

In short: no. This assertion comes up again and again — but it’s based on a fundamentally inaccurate perception of electricity. While metal does, in fact, conduct electricity, it does not draw electricity towards itself. On the contrary, because a metal roof isn’t flammable, it actually provides better protection than wood or other materials in the event of a disaster!

Are Metal Roofs Susceptible to Damage From Hailstorms?

Answer: not more so than any other type of roof. Metal is sturdy and durable and defends against hail more resiliently than most other materials. This is not to say that a particularly destructive hailstorm couldn’t dent a metal roof – but it would have the same effect on any other roofing material. Hailstorms are unpredictable. If you encounter one bad enough to alter the appearance of your metal roof, we can help you make the necessary repairs.

Do Metal Roofs Create More Noise When It Rains?

Not for modern homes. Sure, some older buildings installed metal roofs without an additional layer of insulation. This resulted in the resounding drum of pelting rainfall that would quickly give you a headache. However, newer residential homes are constructed and engineered to absorb sound. In some instances, a metal roof overlay produces even less sound than other roofing options.

Will Metal Roofs Make the House Heat Up?

Again, this notion works against basic physics. Even a black metal roof won’t incase heat. It will instead reflect it and direct UV rays away from the residence. You won’t find yourself sitting inside sweltering but rather enjoying a resilient roof type that’s less prone to damage from heating and cooling than traditional shingles, which tend to expand and contract and gradually erode under the glare of the sun.

Will I Be Able to Walk on My Metal Roof?

This is a sensible concern, but the idea that you can’t step on a metal roof is simply false. You can walk atop your metal roof as long as you’re mindful of where you’re stepping and align your steps with the support beams underneath to avoid damaging the roof.

Can You Paint a Metal Roof?

Hibbard sets up our clients with a range of roofing options — including metal roofing designed to lengthen the lifespan of your home and increase the property value. While this is a significant long-term investment, you may be wondering what color to choose for the roof itself and what metal roof and siding color combinations you might consider.

The right metal roof paint and metal roof coating will give you the exact look and functionality you desire. You can check out some of Home Depot’s options. For aesthetics-minded homeowners, you’re opening the door to nearly limitless color choices that will set your home apart and complement the colors you select for your home’s siding, trim, and overall facade.

Some Paint Considerations

When you’re choosing your roof color, keep in mind that you want a paint that withstands ultraviolet light. This will prevent fading and give you a bright, bold color that will last long into the future. Most people don’t want to pay for a color they will have to repaint every couple of years.

If you’re feeling aesthetically adventurous, you don’t have to settle for the standard metallic sheen. If you want a more lively pattern or texture across your roof, this is the opportunity to achieve that desired effect. Ask yourself: will you be making changes to other parts of your house like doors, shutters, or siding? How will the color of your exterior look against the color you choose for the roof? Do you want a palette within the same family of colors, or are you going for a pronounced contrast?

At this stage, you might consider enlisting a design consultant. So many passersby will encounter your home from the outside — more than will ever come indoors. This is your chance to create the impression you want. The moment you’re ready, Hibbard is on hand to deliver the roof of your choice and give you that customized character you’re devising.

Selecting Your Colors

Again, unlike a door or interior room within your house, painting a roof is a more involved chore. You’ll be able to paint or repaint anytime you want, but most homeowners prefer to choose a color they can stick with that won’t require touch-ups or additional coats for a long time — even many years down the road.

As you’re looking at color options, think about how they’ll look in different lighting — twilight, noonday, nighttime, overcast — think about all the conditions the color will encounter. Oftentimes, that hardware store lighting can’t give you the best sense of how a color will react to this range. Don’t hesitate to take swatches with you and experiment with different lighting scenarios.

Cleaning Your Painted Roof

Not only will a properly installed painted metal roof last for years as a functional and attractive element of your home, but it also requires minimal maintenance. With gutters for metal roof rainfall and metal roof snow guards, the roofs practically clean themselves. Regular rain serves as a natural surface cleanse. If you live in a region where farming, construction, or similar projects tend to kick up a lot of dust, you may encounter some dust buildup. But even then, you’ll find that cleaning is a breeze.

So let’s say your roof is looking a bit on the dull side, and you realize that a layer of grime and dust has built up. Start by attaching a soap implement to your hose and spray a basic detergent over the roof. Any non-abrasive detergent will work fine. After spraying the roof with the detergent, follow up with a good rinse. Alternatively, Lowe’s offers a product for a convenient no-rinse option.

Dealing With Excessive Grime

If the build-up is particularly severe, you can add 2⁄3 cup of trisodium phosphate and 1/3 cup of detergent diluted in one gallon of water. Please be careful to avoid too strong a concentration as this might affect the roof’s paint job or finish. For most metal roofs in most locations, this kind of intensive cleaning is rarely called for.

Unlike dirt, substances like moss, mildew, or algae can be a bit more tricky to deal with. These usual suspects show up in humid and moist climates where vegetation and plant life grow easily. You can use the same solution listed above with the addition of a little bit of hypochlorite (bleach). As you treat the roof, be careful not to rub it too harshly, as this can affect the roof’s finish and surface texture. As you rinse the roof, hose it down several times to make sure you have cleared away all debris — especially if you’ve used a chemical solution. Leaving unrinsed chemicals on the roof can cause problems.

Hibbard Is Ready to Assist

Overall, metal provides the most durable and outstanding roofing option for homes and businesses in every climate and every kind of building. We install the roofs, paint them according to your wishes, and ensure you’re equipped to care for them for their entire lifespan. As indicated, the upkeep is markedly minimal.

For more recommendations and additional information, feel free to get in touch with Hibbard Roofing & Construction. We are more than happy to answer questions and assist with any metal needs, or clarify what you can expect from your metal roof.

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