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Westerville Roofing: Article About Metal Roofing Inspections

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Although metal roofing systems are highly prized for their low-maintenance requirements, long life spans, and high durability, they do require regular inspections to ensure that they are performing up to standard. Experienced Westerville roofing contractors will look at key areas of a metal rooftop and its accessories. The inspection process mostly takes place outdoors with the roofer examining the roof from a ladder or on the ground, but most inspectors will also try to gain access to the attic to inspect other important sections.

The first potential issue that contractors will check for is corrosion. Metals prefer to be in their solid state, but exposure to air causes most metals to oxidize. Manufacturers typically coat most metals with an acrylic, ceramic, or epoxy covering that protects them from rust and damage from snow, ice, wind, and the sun. The only metal that can be left bare is copper, which is installed in its elemental form. Corrosion develops when the coating is damaged, allowing oxygen to react with the metal and begin corroding. Any corroded spots must be repaired to prevent a roof leak.

In addition to inspecting a roof for oxidative corrosion, the roofers will also check for galvanic corrosion. This takes place when two different metals contact one another, such as when galvanized steel flashing is attached to aluminum gutters.

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One of the metals will lose electrons to the other. The metal that lost the electrons reacts with oxygen, which leads to rust.

Crevice corrosion is also common on metal roofing systems. It occurs when small amounts of moisture collect in low-lying areas such as a roof's valley or around protruding fasteners. This rusting can also develop in the dips created by nails and screws driven in too far.

Inspectors will also check the condition of paints, ceramics, and epoxies that have been applied to the metal panels. Any scratches in these finishes can lead to corrosion and weakening. These surfaces are extremely smooth and provide little traction to the inspectors, so the inspection may need to take place while the roofer stands on a ladder and uses binoculars to view the roof's surface.

The inspection will also include the wooden substructure of the roof, including the battens, counter batten, purlins, joists, and trusses. Roofers may be concerned about whether there is underlay and what type it is. Synthetic underlay is the most beneficial to use under metal because it does not cause excess friction when the metal expands and contracts with temperature changes.

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