You can get nearly eighty years of use from your new metal roof. A few simple maintenance tasks will keep your roof looking good and protecting your home. Here is what you can do to make sure that you get the longest life from your metal roof.

1. Keep the roof free of dirt and debris.

Wash or sweep off the roof whenever you spot dirt, leaves, sticks or other debris building up on the roof. These materials prevent water from running off of the roof. If the water pools on top of a metal sheet that has had its coating scratched through to the metal, rust may start. This weakens the metal and can lead to leaks under the metal sheet.

2. Keep the gutters clean.

Water backed up in a gutter can lap against the edge of the metal roofing sheets. This can cause rust to develop there and work its way up under the metal sheets. The underside of metal roofing sheets are normally not coated, so the rust could slowly eat through the metal to the surface, causing one or more leaks.

3. Keep gutters in good repair.

Besides the fact that intact gutters allow the water to flow away from the roof and house smoothly, there is another reason for fixing gutter problems. When different metals come into contact with each other, a chemical process occurs which can accelerate rust and corrosion. For example, if a galvanized steel gutter becomes bent and touches your copper roof, rust can form at that point. Repair any gutter problems quickly, especially those where the gutter and metal roof sheets come into contact with each other.

4. Tighten loose screws and replace missing fasteners.

Wherever a metal roofing screw has become loose or is missing is a potential water leak. Check the roof after a storm, especially when there are heavy winds that have put stress on the roof. Screw down any fasteners that have backed out of their hole and replace missing screws with new ones. This may be a good time to have the help of a roofer. The roof repair may require walking on the roof panels if the screws are out of reach of your ladder. Working while on the roof itself is dangerous if you don't have the right safety gear.

Make sure to use the right screws for your type of roof. As noted above about gutters made of a different metal than the roof, screws made of a different material will cause a corrosion problem at the hole.

5. Make sure all flashings are intact and sealed properly against the roof panels.

Flashings are the metal pieces that cover the place where an object has made a hole in the roof, such as a plumbing vent or fireplace chimney. The flashing should extend up onto the object and out onto the roof. Roof sealer prevents water from getting under the metal flashing and into the opening. If you notice a piece of flashing pulled up off of the roof and you can get to it from your ladder, force roof sealer under the flashing to seal it against the metal roof panel and tighten down the screws. If you can't get to the flashing safely or the piece of metal is bent or twisted, have a roofing contractor do the repair. Contact a business, such as Rainy Day Exteriors, for more information.