Your new metal roof is designed to provide years of protection with little maintenance. However, it is important to remember that no roof is immune to severe weather or maintenance-free. To keep your roof performing as it should, a maintenance program should be implemented.
Walking on any roof is dangerous. This is why we emphasize the importance of consistently utilizing the fall protection and personal safety equipment that is required by OSHA and other regulatory agencies. Failure to follow these regulations can result in serious injury or death. You may also be subject to substantial fines for noncompliance.
When performing roof maintenance or inspections, always remember the following:
All maintenance personnel must be adequately trained in safety procedures
Verification is required to ensure that safety equipment is in proper working order
Do not walk on roof flashings (gutter, rake, hip or ridge)
Do not walk on skylights or Light Transmitting Panels (LTPs)
Use extreme caution on steep slopes or near edges, where the roof is wet or covered with ice/snow
Annual Roof Check
Check the joints in roof panels and associated trims for proper seals and loose fasteners. For repairs, contact the original installation contractor or MBCI for the names of qualified contractors in your area.
Gutter And Downspouts
Clear all debris (leaves, dirt, etc.) from gutters and downspouts as required. At the minimum, this cleaning should be done twice per year.
Proper drainage is critical to roof performance:
Keep the roof free of debris and obstructions
Do not install anything on the roof that holds moisture or causes water to pond
Do not use wood to support rooftop equipment or pipes, etc. Wood may impede water flow and contains salts or copper sulfate which deteriorates the roof and voids the warranty coverage. Instead, use a proper metal roof clamping system such as S-5! or similar
Do not allow water to cascade onto the roof from an adjacent roof. Use gutters and downspouts as necessary to properly channel water
Do not allow rooftop air conditioning units or evaporative coolers to drain onto the roof. Use PVC pipe to carry condensate to gutters
Inspect your roof in the event of:
Fire, vandalism, or known damage to an adjacent roof area
Exposure to severe weather
High winds: debris, loose panels/trims/fasteners/closures and punctures
Hailstorms: damaged trim and loose fasteners
Heavy rains: ponding water at roof laps, roof curbs/penetrations, gutters, and all trims
Sliding snow/ice: perimeter trims, plumbing pipes/roof penetrations etc. – check for loose fasteners at trim and panel endlaps
Notify all trades that they must adhere to the following before allowing them on the roof panels:
Protect against foot traffic damage, roof scratches, and dents by using appropriate roof covers in work areas
Make advance arrangements with roofing contractors to ensure that all penetrations are professionally designed and installed
Remove all construction debris including metal shavings, sealants, wood scraps, fasteners, etc.
Protect the roof with fire cloth wherever welding equipment or cutoff saws are used
Clean up spilled chemicals/solvents on the roof immediately – thoroughly rinse affected areas with water
Foot traffic must be effectively managed to reduce damage to metal roof systems. The following safety precautions should be considered by tradesmen when walking or standing on roof panels:
Install roof walkway systems for areas of regular foot traffic
Minimize unnecessary traffic – limit access to roof, roof hatches, and access ladders
Post signs at access points and ensure that authorized personnel are the only people allowed on the roof
Keep a logbook of all visits to the roof and the reason for visits
Ice and Snow Removal
To prevent damage, excess snow and ice should be removed from the roof as soon as it is safely possible. Pay attention to gutter areas (eaves and valleys), areas sheltered from the wind (behind facades, step roof conditions, etc.). Use extreme caution with removal and follow all roof safety procedures.
Do not use metal tools to remove the ice or snow as this can damage the paint and/or Galvalume coatings
Do not disturb plumbing pipes and flashings
Be aware of skylights and light transmitting panels (LTPs). These types of roof accents are not designed to support a person’s weight and are difficult to locate if covered with ice and snow
Remove snow at an equal rate from both sides of a gabled roof to avoid unbalanced loads
Regular roof maintenance and consistent use of fall protection and personal safety equipment should always be prioritized. By implementing the precautions discussed in this blog post, tradesmen can ensure the safety of their team during routine roof maintenance and inspections and increase the lifespan of their roofs overall – saving valuable time and money.