How To Paint Galvanized Metal Roof

Galvanized metal roofs, unlike shingles or tiles, shed more readily. They are ideal for regions where foliage, acorn, and pine-and redwood-needle build-up is a concern because they let more light through than galvanized steel roofing. Metal roofs require little maintenance; they just need to be cleaned and repainted. Use the right Sherwin-Williams paint and primer for either an old or new roof to get the best results.

A house with plastic windows and a green roof of corrugated sheet, How To Paint Galvanized Metal Roof

Roof Preparation

Allow a new and unpainted roof to weather for six months before painting it. Remove any oils or other traces of galvanizing with a weak acid such as vinegar, dilute 50 percent with water if the work must be done right away. Wash the roof with a power washer at a pressure of 2,500 pounds per square inch before painting it. If it's a fresh or an old job that needs to be painted, get started right away. Power washing cleans the surface of concrete contaminated with mildew, mold, or oil. It's a more time-effective alternative to scraping away old paint using a paint scraper and scrubbing the roof using water and trisodium phosphate, which is an option for power cleaning.

Type of Paint to Use

Paint brushes placed on top of can filled with blue paint

Acrylic latex paint may be used on pained metal roofs, as well as bare metal roofing. They come with a baked-on factory finish and maybe re-coated - as well as painted - with acrylic latex paint. Oil-based alkyd paint can also be used; however, you must first apply a Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial Pro-Cryl Universal Acrylic Primer undercoat. If you use a top coat of acrylic latex paint, regardless of whether you apply primer, the primer prevents rust and binds better than paint. The primer better adheres to the paint than it does to a clean surface.

Applying the Paint

Use a paintbrush or roller designed for corrugated metal to apply Sherwin-Williams paint and primer to a galvanized roof. Finishing the task with an airless sprayer may not sound like a fun way to spend an afternoon, but it will save you time and effort. A sprayer does a better job than painting with a brush because it covers more surface area in less time. Spray on a windless day to paint.

Roof Safety

Roof jacks can't be used on metal roofs, so if you want to paint with a brush or roller, make certain there's a secure method of reaching the ridge in your design. If the roof pitch is more than a 4:12 slope, which indicates a 4-foot rise for every 12 feet of run, there is no feasible method to do this without permanent anchors. If you don't want to take that path, airless spraying with a 4 or 6-foot wand is your only other alternative. Walking on a sloped roof can be hazardous, even if it is only modest. Wearing slip-resistant shoes when visiting the roof is always a good idea. For additional protection, attach a safety harness to something that can support your weight and fasten it with a safety line to something solid for added protection in the event of a fall.

Read more: What Is The Best Paint For a Flat Roof

How to Paint a Rubber Roof

Roof with rubber tile shingle

According to RCI, a roofing association, rubber roofing now accounts for up to 35 percent of the market. Rubber roofing has been slowly gaining ground in the flat-roofing business, despite having historically been dominated by traditional tar and gravel. Even though white roof coatings are more energy-efficient, black continues to be the most popular rubber roofing finish in 2012. Painting your rubber roof not only gives your property a fresh look but also reflects sunlight and keeps it cooler and more pleasant.

Roof Preparation

Clean your roof and reseal the seams before painting it to prepare it. Pick up large branches and other trash by hand before sweeping the roof to remove leaves, twigs, and other loose objects. Using a detergent solution and water, wash the surface with pressure. Choose a detergent suggested by your roof manufacturer or, if you prefer, any mild household cleaner like dish soap. Caulk around any roof penetrations after the roof is clean and dry with liquid rubber rather than silicone caulk. A common method to cover the seams of your rubber roof is with seam tape, which you can get from any rubber roofing shop. To keep water out, cover the roof's seams entirely and then seal the gaps between the rubber and any roof flashings with seam tape.

Recommended: What’s The Best Paint For a Roof

Choosing Paint

Colorful paint cans with brush

When it comes to painting a rubber roof, choosing the right paint is critical. You'll need a paint that's flexible enough to bend with the rubber, durable enough to endure direct sunlight and all types of weather, and non-reactive so it won't react with the rubber or dry it out. Acrylic coatings are often used on roofs. Choose one that's made specifically for rubber roofing, according to the EPDM Roofing Association. They also warn that while latex paint may be used on a rubber roof, only if you check with the manufacturer to ensure that the paint won't react adversely with the materials in your roof.

Applying Paint

Pour the paint out on the roof and use a paint roller or a basic broom to paint a rubber roof. You'll need one to three applications of whatever paint you choose to cover your roof, depending on its condition. A properly painted rubber roof should be covered with a paint layer that is about the same thickness as a quarter.

Working on the Roof

A worker uses an airless spray to paint the roof of a building

When painting a roof, use caution to avoid injuring yourself. Complete the task slowly and carefully, and wear shoes with traction to prevent slipping on the rubber. To prevent yourself from being caught off guard, prepare a paint design ahead of time. Paint from one end of the roof to the other, starting at one end and working your way toward the other. Start at the bottom of the ladder and paint up to the top of the roof surface.

If you want to paint galvanized metal roofing, the first thing you need is a high-quality metal primer. You will also need an oil-based exterior latex enamel or acrylic coating. Remember that this type of paint will require at least two coats and drying time between each coat may be up to 24 hours. It’s important to use care when applying these types of paints so as not to create drips or runs in your finished project!

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