Painting Metal Roofing: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

A painted metal roof.

When painting a metal roof, there are common mistakes that novices and even experienced DIYers tend to make. Chief among them is treating the metal like any other roofing material. Metal roofing requires specialized paint. Here are some of the most common mistakes made in painting metal roofs.

Using Leftover Paint

Some people painting their roof with the same type of paint as used with the rest of the home. However, this could be a problem, because the roof is made up of different materials than the rest of their house. The paint you used for wood or even fiberglass will not work well on metal.

There are also some benefits to special metal roofing paint that needs to be taken into account. These paints are made with special qualities, and they may be heat or fire-resistant or even insect and pest-resistant. Internal paints may not have these properties. Water-resistant metal roofing paint, for example, can be of great value if you live in a rainy area. This is why when you are considering painting your metal roofing, it makes sense to go for specific paints for the metal roof.

Not Using a Sealant

Another mistake is to forget or ignore using a sealant before the application of the metal paint. This could be a problem because, without a sealant, the metal paint might just peel off the metal. The sealant does just what its name suggests—it seals the paint to the surface, using chemical bonding techniques. Thus, this adds to the life of the metal roofing paint.

However, even if you are using a sealant, make sure you have done adequate research on it because each sealant contains different ingredients and has different methods of application. Sealants are also specific to the kind of paint you are using.

Not Finding an Energy-Efficient Paint

With so many options available, it would be unfortunate if you don’t find a paint that can help you save some energy.

A good paint to try is Elastomeric coating. This is a type of paint that contains polymeric materials like acrylic and white-pigment-like titanium dioxide. These compounds make the paint both reflective and opaque. It is most often applied thicker than standard paint and has a couple of benefits homeowners can love. The reflective nature of the elastomeric coating is more energy-efficient than many other paint types. It reflects the sun’s energy, the opposite effect of the sun on metal. Elastomeric coatings are also effective in solving common roofing problems like leaks.

Wrong Application Methods

Another common mistake is not putting on enough paint or putting it on incorrectly.

Not Paying Attention to the Roof After the Painting

Another mistake many homeowners make is in thinking that once the roof is painted there are no more worries, and they don’t have to worry about that chore anymore. In fact, even after painting a metal roof it is necessary to perform a cleanup washing down the roof with a mixture of bleach, liquid detergents, and water at least once every six months. The roof should be swept clean of debris every few weeks to prevent small pests from finding a home in leaves, dead branches, or long lost golf balls. The roof should also be checked for bald spots in the paint or rough patches that should be repaired as soon as possible.

By avoiding these mistakes, you'll be painting like the pros. This means the paint will last longer as well!