Metal roofs are some of the most durable commercial materials available, lasting decades and preventing damage to your facility. However, they are also susceptible to rust if not maintained properly. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the causes of metal roof rust, how to prevent it, and how professionals can help if corrosion occurs.
Metal roof rust is a chemical reaction that occurs when metal comes into contact with moisture and oxygen. This results in the formation of iron oxide, or rust. However, not all metals are susceptible to rust. Due to their composition, certain metals like stainless steel, copper, and alloy coatings have superior corrosion resistance.
Several factors contribute to the formation of rust on your metal roof. The main culprits are prolonged exposure to moisture and oxygen. Regions with heavy rainfall and high humidity see a higher incidence of metal roof rust than dry regions. Other factors such as salt in coastal areas and pollution levels in urban areas can also accelerate the rusting process.
- Steel Roofs: Popular due to their affordability, these roofs are usually bare cold rolled or galvanized steel. The former type is most susceptible to rust if not coated with a protective layer or paint system.
- Weathered Steel: This type of iron alloy steel, also known as COR-TEN steel, forms a stable, rust-like appearance after several years that protects the metal underneath from further corrosion.
- Galvanized Steel: These roofs are coated with zinc to give them superior corrosion resistance, making them one of the most common types used in cold-formed steel buildings. However, if the coating is compromised, the underlying steel can rust.
- Copper Roofs: These are naturally corrosion resistant and develop a green patina over time as a protective layer against rust.
- Stainless Steel: This type of metal roofing is highly resistant to rust thanks to its alloy composition, which includes a significant portion of chromium.
It’s essential to choose a type of metal roofing that aligns with not just your style preferences and budget, but also the climate of your area.
Identifying rust on metal roofs can be as simple as a visual inspection. Look for changes in the color of the roof. Bright red rust can be an early suggestion of oxidation, while brownish-orange patches indicate advanced rusting. Also, pay attention to fine particles of rust (red dust) around areas where water accumulates. A professional roofer like Nisley Commercial Roofing can suggest the best solution.
Metal roof rust poses several significant dangers that impact the system’s structural integrity and overall performance. Some of the risks associated with rust include:
Rust weakens the metal over time, compromising its structural integrity. This can decrease the roof’s load-bearing capacity and increase the risk of structural failure, especially during adverse weather conditions.
Rust creates openings and perforations in the metal, making it susceptible to water penetration. Persistent leaks can result in extensive damage to the interior, including the deterioration of insulation, ceilings, and valuable assets.
Rust can cause unsightly discoloration and staining on the exterior of the building. This not only affects the overall appearance of the commercial property, but conveys neglect or lack of maintenance.
On top of causing leaks and costly repairs, a rusty roof also ruins the appeal of your commercial building. Nisley Commercial Roofing can restore your metal roof by treating rust issues promptly and effectively.
Rust compromises insulation and increases thermal conductivity. This reduces energy efficiency as the roof becomes less capable of providing proper insulation, increasing heating and cooling costs.
Once rust begins, it spreads and accelerates the deterioration of the metal. If left unaddressed, rust can lead to widespread corrosion, significantly shortening the lifespan of the entire roofing system.
Addressing rust-related issues often requires extensive repairs or, in severe cases, a complete roof replacement. Both options can be costly and disruptive to business operations, making regular maintenance and preventive measures crucial.
To mitigate these dangers, regular roof inspections, preventive maintenance, and timely rust treatment are essential—partner with a roofing expert like Nisley to create a maintenance strategy for your roof system.
Metal roof rust is a significant issue for many property owners. Dealing with it is essential to maintain the durability and appearance of your metal roof. Luckily, effective preventative measures and treatment methods can keep rust at bay.
- Use Resistant Metal Roofing Materials: Rust-resistant metal can dramatically decrease your roof’s susceptibility to rust. For instance, metals like copper, stainless steel, and weathering steel are renowned for their superior corrosion resistance, outmatching raw iron alloys and bare, cold rolled steel.
- Apply Protective Coatings: Protective coatings like paint systems can shield your metal roofs from the harmful elements that cause rust. Painted metal roofing panels safeguard your roof and add to its visual appeal.
- Regular Maintenance: Regular roof inspections and prompt treatment of early signs of rust can save you from future inconveniences. Keep an eye on concealed fastener areas, roof deck sites, and metal panel corners, as these are typical spots where rust forms.
By adopting these preventative measures, you can keep your metal roof rust-free and increase its lifespan significantly. These measures also save you from high-cost renovations.
- Use Rust Converters: Rust converters have been hailed by experts for their efficacy in treating rust. They work by reacting with the iron oxide (rust) and organically transforming it into a benign substance.
- Sandblasting: If the rust has formed a thick layer on your metal roof, sandblasting can be effective. This involves forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against the rusted surface to remove the rust layer.
- Apply a New Coat of Paint: After treating the rust, applying a fresh paint system can stop the rust’s spread and restore your roof. The paint also functions as a protective barrier against future rust formation.
While scrubbing off the rust and applying a new paint system can seem daunting, the peace of mind of having a rust-free roof is worth the effort.
Treating metal roof rust is manageable in some minor cases. However, most times, it’s best to contact a professional roofer.
- Extensive Rusting: If your roof has extensive rusting or the rust has penetrated deep into the roofing materials, it’s advisable to call in a professional.
- Lack of Necessary Tools: Dealing with rust requires specific tools and protective gear. If you lack appropriate equipment, hire a professional roofer. They have the necessary tools and are trained to do the job safely and effectively.
- Multiple Attempts: If you’ve treated the rust before and it keeps recurring, it might be time to consult a professional. They can provide long-term solutions by identifying and addressing the underlying causes of rust formation.
Remember, the longer you leave the rust untreated, the worse it can get. If you’re in doubt, seek advice from an experienced metal roofing contractor like Nisley Commercial Roofing. We’ll assess your situation and offer the most suitable solution for your roof.
Nisley Commercial Roofing stands at the forefront of the industry with comprehensive solutions for your metal roof system. Our commitment goes beyond conventional services, as we specialize in providing thorough assessments, regular maintenance, and expert restoration to address rust buildup effectively. With cutting-edge techniques and a skilled team, we keep your metal roof resilient, free from corrosion, and capable of withstanding the test of time.
The Nisley team takes pride in a proactive approach to roof care, delivering quality craftsmanship and protection for your investment. Contact us today to maintain the longevity and performance of your metal roof.
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