Sky High: Repairing and Restoring Your Roof
About Me
Sky High: Repairing and Restoring Your Roof

Welcome to my blog, my name is Daisy. A few years ago, my husband and I purchased an old house which required a lot of work. We spent many weeks gutting the place and installing new flooring, painting the walls and clearing the garage space of junk. However, my favourite part of renovating the house was the roof. I loved climbing onto the roof to inspect the tiles, removing and recycling the broken ones and replacing the gaps with new tiles. I also learnt how to waterproof and maintain our roof so that we can avoid problems in the future. I started this blog to help others who are interested in carrying out restoration or repair work on the roof of their home.


Sky High: Repairing and Restoring Your Roof

How to Prepare a Metal Roof for Painting

Hunter Prescott

Galvanised metal roofs have been consistently popular in Australia for a century or more, making them more common here than they are in other parts of the world (in the UK, for example, they're practically unheard of on a domestic property). If your home has a roof like this, you might have wondered what you can do to decorate it—and there's so much conflicting information out there that it's no wonder you're a little confused!

Before you can paint your roof, you're going to need to identify and prepare the surface—and here's how.

Figure out what your roof is made of.

If your roof is copper, it will be easy to spot: it will be broadly copper-coloured, perhaps covered with a brownish-green patina from age.

Most older metal roofs will be made of galvanised steel, with or without a tin coating. Tin by itself is not actually used as a roofing material; a "tin roof" has a steel core with a tin alloy coating over it. Most of these coatings are an alloy of tin and zinc, but be careful—older roofs were coated using an alloy made of tin and lead. Whether this type of roof is coated or not, your preparation and painting methods will be identical.

Newer and more expensive roofs may be made of either stainless steel or aluminium—but these are far less common. They'll be easy to recognise from their shiny silvery appearance and the fact that they're probably really quite new.

Figure out what your roof is coated with.

Most metal roofs will have a coating of oil-based paint. It will be easier to paint your roof if you've stripped this paint entirely back, which you can do using a combination of pressure washing and a phosphoric acid solution.

Newer acrylic and rubbery coatings can be peeled off manually and pressure-washed underneath. Asphalt is rare as a domestic roof covering, but if you find that your roof is coated in this way, you may wish to look into other options—it's rarely possible to remove or alter the asphalt without causing significant damage to the roof itself, which is one reason it's generally used only for barns, sheds and other outbuildings.

Decide if it sounds like too much work to DIY

Of course, there's no need to do all this yourself unless you love the DIY work such a project involves—most people simply contract a roofing firm to do it for them. Even if your local roofers don't offer painting services, they're still the best place to start asking—they'll be able to recommend a reputable firm who does paint metal roofs.