How To Paint A Roof: 7 Simple Steps

Painting your house is an exciting yet tedious task, even more so if your roof needs painting! Roof painting requires skill, equipment, physical strength and mental focus as it is not only a painting job that will be seen a lot, but it also has risks and dangers associated with it, given that work is performed at a height. These “risks” also increase exponentially if you’re afraid of heights or if the painting is being performed in unfavourable weather conditions.

So if you are committed to Painting A Roof and are going to undertake this task yourself, then we’ve created a complete guide walking you through how to paint a roof in only 7 simple steps. By the end of this article, you will understand what is involved with painting a roof and have a fundamental understanding of how to approach each stage of the process. 

How To Paint A Roof: 7 Simple Steps

Painting a roof is essential to maintain its condition and detect areas that may need repair and cleanup. Notably, an unkempt roof can easily be seen even from afar. This removes your home’s aesthetic and tidy appearance and reduces curb appeal.

But don’t worry, homeowners. There are 7 simple steps to paint your roof that we will discuss in the next sections offering safety tips and considerations as we dive deeper. Stay with us!

The Roof Painting Process

Step 1: Determining Your Roof Material

The painting process differs as to the type of roof material involved. Thus, identifying the roof material is critical to guide you on how the process will progress and the kind of paint you must apply. Not determining the roof material will affect the pace of the painting job and will also produce lousy quality results because the work being performed won’t be suitable for the material (perhaps – someone might get lucky). Painting isn’t one size fits all and the action is taken must be suited to the situation. 

Common Roof Materials Used

In Australia, the common roof materials in most houses are tiled roofs and metal roofs. 

Tiled Roof

A tiled roof is made up of individual tiles that are placed in rows and sealed together to form a watertight surface. The tiles can be made from various materials, including clay, concrete, or slate, and can be arranged in multiple patterns. Tiled roofs are often used on homes that experience severe weather conditions, as they can withstand high winds and heavy rains without damage.

Metal Roof

A metal roof is made from metal, usually made from galvanised steel, aluminium, or tin. A metal roof can be either a standing seam roof or a corrugated roof. They are often coated with a protective layer to prevent corrosion and extend their lifespan.

Step 2: Roof Inspection

After determining your roof material, performing an inspection is a must-do. This step involves meticulously examining the roofing structure to assess its condition and determine if any repairs are necessary. 

By catching minor problems early, you can save yourself from a costly and extensive repair job later on.

An internal and external inspection must be performed to fully understand your roof’s condition. They generally differ from the fact that internal assessment occurs inside the space between the roof & your home’s ceiling while the external examination occurs outside the roof itself.

Internal Inspection

An internal roof inspection is a process that allows for the identification and assessment of any damage or deficiencies that may exist on the interior surface of a roof. This process typically involves accessing the top from inside the building. To learn what to look for during the internal inspection, click here.

External Inspection

External inspection checks for any rust, blisters, mould, or algae on your roof exterior. The inspection may include a visual inspection of the roofing materials and a review of the roof drainage, flashing & gutters. To learn what to look for during the external inspection, click here.

Step 3: Preparation

When the inspection is done, you must now prepare the materials for repairs (if repairs are needed), ready the paint to be applied, and gather the tools and equipment for the paint application process.

Repair Materials 

When the roof has damage, mould, algae growth, and rust, gather the repair materials needed depending on the damage type. For example, if your tiled roof has cracks, you must prepare a new set of tiles. Gather whatever items are necessary to repair any damage identified.

Paint Selection

The paint type depends on your colour preference and roof material. 

As an expert painting team, we recommend using water-based roofing paints would be ideal for cement tiled roofs. This roof paint is designed specifically for corrugated roofs or cement sheets and has a high water-resistant quality, making it an excellent choice for regions with heavy rainfall.

Further, Acrylic latex paint and oil-based roofing paints are best suited for metal roofs as they collect rainwater and are highly versatile and resistant to environmental factors.

For the colour selection, it’s always up to you! But it is best to make it a point to spend some time selecting the best roof paint colour and design, as this significantly impacts the overall appeal of your home. Also, consider the climate in your region as darker colours absorb heat than lighter ones.

Equipment To Be Used

Before you paint your roof, ensure you have all the necessary tools that will be used. Some examples include brushes, air-sprayers, paint rollers, a ladder, and other necessities. Also, ensure that the equipment such as ladder and harness are in good working order.

Safety Considerations

Your safety should be the top priority. So, we narrowed down some important safety considerations in your roof painting projects:

  • Wear safety equipment – Wearing a mask, helmet, gloves, and goggles may be uncomfortable for you, but these things are important for safety precautions. If you feel some of these are unnecessary, then that’s ok and use whatever you feel is necessary based on your self-assessment of the potential dangers involved and the painting project you are to undertake.
  • Wear shoes with a good grip –  It is advisable to wear work boots that are water-proof, durable and has a good grip on slick surfaces. The best boots for painting jobs also have soft soles. 
  • Wear safety glasses to avoid getting paint and chemicals in your eyes.
  • When working on steep areas, use a safety harness to prevent injury occurring from falling. 
  • Work with a buddy so that someone can immediately rescue you or call for assistance if an accident happens.
  • Always check the weather forecast. Don’t work when heavy winds or rains are expected to minimise the potential for accidents.

Getting Everything Ready

You are now getting closer to the paint application step. Now that you know the basic and core steps, you may now easily proceed to clean your roof to kick-start everything. But always keep our tips in mind!

Step 4: Roof Repairs

Gather your repair materials and start repairing your roof.  If there are only minor damages, DIY repair is possible, but we always advise hiring professionals. 

Pro tip: Do a cost-benefit analysis if it’s wise to repair your roof or reroof it based on the damage level. It may be cost-effective to skip the repairs and just change it altogether.

Step 5: Roof Cleaning

Cleaning your roof requires the removal of dirt, leaves, branches, moulds, algae, and corrosion which have all accumulated on the top over time. This step is a must-do before applying your sealant to clear everything out and start painting correctly.

One of the best ways to clean a roof, especially a rough surface, is to use a high-pressure cleaner as these make the job of cleaning much of the material off a roof much faster & easier. 

We do recommend that before power tools like a pressure cleaner, read the manual for its instructions, experiment with them and ensure you know how to use them before going up on a roof. 

If you’re uncomfortable using power tools in cleaning, a professional team, like us, can be contracted to take care of the work for you.

Step 6: Sealant Application 

The following step is to apply a sealant.  A sealant is a type of paint used to create a watertight barrier between two surfaces. Sealants are used in painting projects to protect the painted surface from weathering and fading.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a sealant for painting. The first is the type of roof surface because some sealants work better on certain surfaces. The second is the climate. Sealants that work well in cold temperatures may not work in hot climates. The third factor is how long you want the sealant to last because this may influence what quality sealant is chosen.

Take note of the above considerations before buying your sealant. If you already got that sorted and are on to applying the sealants, do note that generally, sealants take about 24 hours to cure. So, you must wait at least 24 hours before moving to the paint application stage.

If you’re unsure what sealant makes the most sense in your situation – you can ask for help at your local hardware or paint supplies store, as they will likely, be happy to assist.

Step 7: Painting / Paint Application

The final stage is the paint application. Painting has different methods depending on the type of paint tools used: paint brush method, roller method, and sprayer method. 

  • Paint Brush Method This method is typically used for painting roofs made from asphalt, metal, and concrete. The paintbrush method is a quick and easy way to apply paint to a roof, and it can be used to create various finishes.
  • Roller Method – The paint roller method roof painting technique is a popular approach for quickly and efficiently coating the roof with paint. The painter starts by spraying the roof with an initial layer of paint, then uses a paint roller to apply additional layers of paint, working in one direction.
  • Paint Sprayer Method – Spray painting is commonly used in commercial painting by machines such as airless paint sprayers or high-pressure paint spray guns. This method saves time by covering a large area in a short period of time but is not advisable to use when painting a roof without experience as it gets windy sometimes, which was move to paint other things that shouldn’t be painted.

Now, painting your roof involves at least two coats of paint. Allow at least 2 hours for the first coat to dry on your roof so it can set and become safe to walk on. Return to where you began painting and apply a second coat.   Continue painting your roof until it is completely covered.  

Return to your roof once the second coat of paint has dried and check for any missed areas. Paint any corners or tight edges with the tip of a paintbrush or roller to ensure the colour is uniform. Allow the first coat of paint to dry before applying another.

Conclusion

Roof painting is an important part of a house’s upkeep. The seven easy steps of a roof painting job are:

  • Step 1: Determining Your Roof Material
  • Step 2: Roof Inspection
  • Step 3: Preparation
  • Step 4: Roof Repairs (if needed)
  • Step 5: Roof Cleaning
  • Step 6: Sealant Application
  • Step 7: Painting 

The first step involves identifying the material of your roof, which could affect the paint to be applied on the roof. The standard roof materials in Australia are metal and tiles. 

The second step requires an internal and external inspection to see if damages need to be attended to. 

The third step is preparing repair materials and equipment as well as selecting your paint. In this stage, we also provided tips for safely carrying on your painting jobs, such as wearing safety gloves, harnesses, and goggles.

The fourth step is to repair what needs to be fixed based on the internal and external inspection performed. 

The fifth step is roof cleaning which requires tidying the roof to get it ready for both sealant application & painting.

The sixth step is sealant applications – when applying a sealant, several considerations, such as surface type and climate. It is also recommended to wait at least 24 hours after the sealant has been applied before applying the first coat of paint. 

The final step is paint application – You can use the paintbrush, roller, or sprayer method in the paint application. It’s recommended to wait until the first coat of paint is dry (2 hours+) before applying the 2nd coat and continue doing this as more coats of paint are applied.

You now should have a fundamental understanding of how to paint a roof.

Want Help With Painting A Roof?

For those people based in Albany, Western Australia & the wider Great Southern Region – Phoenix Painting & Decorating is the most trusted & preferred painting contractor in the region who would be happy to paint your roof for you. We’re a company committed to quality, and our business is built on the back of our painting finish. We offer free quotes, so if you’re interested in exploring having a professional Albany painting team paint your roof for you – please contact us and speak to Michael.

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