How to Paint Steel Roofing Properly

What You'll Need
Wire brush
Putty knife
2500-3500psi powered pressure washer
Trisodium phosphate cleanser
Paint rollers
Metal primer
Roof brush
Top coat paint
Soldering torch
Breathing mask
Safety harness
Footing braces

If you have steel roofing, you are bound to paint it at some point. Paint prevents rust and discoloration from spoiling the appearance of the roof. It protect the steel from the effects of harsh weather occurrences. It also preserves the steel in good shape for a longer period. The simple guide below will help you achieve a satisfactory painting job.

Step 1 - Remove Surface Dirt

A thorough cleaning is a vital for roof painting. Scrape off any peeling paint using the putty knife. You will also need to dislodge dirt that may have jammed in crevices and other places with the help of the knife. Work the wire brush on areas where you have noted rust. Sweep off all the dirt and debris from the roof using the roof brush. 

Step 2 - Inspect Roof

Once you've cleared the roof of surface dirt, you can now inspect the surface for stains and damages. It is best to clear away stains that may have developed before you paint. This can be done with a bleaching agent.

Step 3 - Use Trisodium Phosphate Cleanser

Mildew sometimes appears as blackish stains on metal roofs. It is caused by the accumulation of dirt and the effects of moisture and sunlight. It is best  to use a bleach to get rid of mildew. Apply some trisodium phosphate cleanser with a sponge or paint roller to the affected areas. It will clear any mildew, algae, residual grease or paint. Make sure you put on your breathing mask to limit inhalation of harsh chemicals.

Step 4 - Power Wash the Roof

Use the power washer to clean the entire roof of any residual dirt and cleaning agents. All dirt should be effectively removed during this stage. Be sure to rinse off all traces of soap as well and leave to dry.

Step 5 - Repair

Repair any cracks or leaking areas that you may have taken note of. This is best done by using similar material to patch up the faulty area. Use a soldering torch to firmly attach the new piece into the damaged area.

Step 6 - Apply Primer

Use a spray painter or rollers to apply one coat of galvanized metal primer. This will protect the roof from rust. Work from the raised roof seams and move downwards. Be sure to spread the primer on evenly.

Step 7 - Paint

Apply your paint of choice. It is advisable to apply 2 coats so that the roof paint holds well. A double coat also keeps the steel roofing well protected.

Safety Tips

  • Have a partner with you as you work on the roof. It is also advisable to have somebody on the ground who can get help should an emergency arise.
  • Use a safety harness attached to a secure part of the roof to prevent falls.
  • Metal roofs can get slippery or the roof angle may cause one to slip. It is a good idea to wear footing braces to give you a firmer foothold as you work.