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Question DetailsAsked on 7/15/2014

Prep and paint a steel (tin) shingle roof ?

I have an old, galvanized steel shingle roof that I'm looking at restoring. This involves removing any rust, prepping and painting with a special aluminum paint. I'm having trouble finding roofers that do this any more. Is there anyone out there ?

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I am afraid you may have to get a commercial metal building erection and maintenance company for this, and I doubt AL listings under Painters in Search the List will have them - probably have to google for them.

Alternative - see if there is a metal prep and finishing shop in town that can handle a field job - sandblasting, priming, painting. Industrial building maintenance companies may have capability too - you might check with commerical/industrial paint distributors in town for referrals.

Another alternative that probably won't last quite as long but I have splendid success with on marine structures and vehicle body panels and frames that have been exposed to road salt where the $50-100/gallon products are not in the picture: pressure wash with industrial oil-cutting detergent wash then rinse and thorough dry, then Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer on the rusty spots, Rustoleum (Galvanizing) Zinc Chromate Primer over everything after rusty metal sections are dry, then 2 coats Rustoleum Aluminum Metallic Paint with Zinc - I have used that combo on a large number of rehab and industrial maintenance jobs with excellent success. Key is good degreasing and letting the fish-oil based rusty metal primers cure THOROUGHLY before next step. PPG, Sherwin Williams Industrial paint line, and other manufacturers have similar oil based systems for use on galvanized or rusty metal.

Realize this is going to cost, with proper prep and such, probably $2-4/SF or so - and replacement with metal shingles (factory prepainted) probably about $5-7/SF, so you are paying about half the price of a new roof for maybe a 7 - 15 year recoating life. A longer life epoxy based coating system like is used on commercial standing seam metal roofs would probably be closer to $5/SF so probably out of the realm for your case, plus many epoxies do not get along with galvanized substrate.

Most importantthing is getting a painter used to working with metal surface paints - regular house painter will not only probably botch it, but likely to curse at you because he does not know how and when to clean his equipment before it gets all gummed up - plus the rusty metal and zinc primers generally require different tips that most house painters don't have.

Bear in mind that because you cannot paint the entire surface - only the exposed part - that you can count on visible rust stains coming down over the newly painted roof, and rusty areas that go up under the overlying shingle will of course rust through the paint in short order, so this is a stop-gap measure, not a way to get another 50 years out of it.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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