Rust on Roofs

Rust on roofs is a critical issue that leaves roofs, the building and its contents vulnerable to damage if left untreated. Even if it isn’t a metal roof, the vents, HVAC units, flashing and drains are typically made of metal and will corrode at some point.

 

Why is Rust a Critical Issue?

Rust on the roof is critical because it continues to spread and get worse until it’s treated and sealed.  This means it will corrode to the point that there are holes.  These holes let water in, which leads to roof leaks.

 

What Causes Rust?

Rust  occurs when oxygen interacts with the metal in the presence of water, which can be in liquid or droplets of moisture in the air. This form of iron corrosion can slowly destroy the pipe by leading to holes and an eventual pipe collapse.

 

How Does Rust Spread?

Rust spreads because it is a moisture trap.  The water molecules it is holding on to further break down the metal, creating more rust, which holds more moisture and so on.

 

Where is Rust Found on a Roof?

Anything metal can rust.  A typical roof will have metal:

  • Vents
  • Pipes
  • Flashing
  • HVAC Units
  • Nails

How to Prevent Rust from Forming

Having roofs assessed regularly by a trained roofing technician and keeping up with proper maintenance is the best way to prevent rust.  This is because any rust will be sealed and the spread will stop.  A good maintenance program includes a minimum of one maintenance visit per year.

Technicians will scrub away the loose rust and then prime the area.  They then paint on a rust-proof sealer to prevent rust from forming again.

 

Ignoring Rust on the Roof

Holes form if rust is left untreated and damage becomes un-fixable. For this reason, missing an opportunity to seal a bit of rust on a vent could end up being an entire vent replacement.  In severe cases, a roof may need to be replaced.

 

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