How To Seal A Residential Tin Roof

If you have a tin roof, it is important to add a sealer. Sealing a tin roof helps protect it from the elements, and it makes the inside of the building cooler. Many roof sealers are elastomeric, which means they expand and contract with the roof. Here are some tips to seal a tin roof.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • two ladders
  • safety harness
  • work gloves
  • broom
  • wire brush or metal scraper
  • power washer or hose
  • paint brush
  • hammer
  • rust remover
  • acrylic paint
  • primer
  • roof roller
  • caulk
  • tin roof sealer

Check the weather to ensure there will be no rain for several days, so the sealer has time to dry properly. Attach a safety harness to a window opposite the work area, and set a ladder on flat ground. 

Sweep debris off the roof, then use the scraper or wire brush to remove stuck debris. You may need a rust remover to dissolve old paint and coatings. Power wash the roof or spray the roof with a hose and let it dry.

Patch the Roof

Inspect the roof for loose tin, loose nails, holes, rust, and check for gaps in the flashing. Scrape old caulk with the putty knife. Apply caulk to holes in the roof and gaps in flashing, then let the caulk dry. 

Repair loose tin with same fasteners to avoid corrosion because of dissimilar materials. Place another ladders opposite the ladder you used to climb on the roof, so you can get off the roof without walking on fresh paint.

Paint the rust with white or gray to reflect more sun rays. Scrape rust with the wire brush or metal scraper, prime and paint the area, then let it dry. Apply another coat of paint, if needed.

Apply the Sealer

Never seal a tin roof with asphalt or silicone. Asphalt sealer is prone to cracking, and silicone does not adhere well to tin. In hot climates, aluminum sealer will reflect more sun rays.

Begin applying a thin coat of sealer with the roof roller, and cover the entire roof.including the patched or painted areas. To cover small areas where the roller won't fit, use a paint brush. Allow the sealer to dry according to manufacturer's instructions.

Clean the roller and brushes, apply a second coat, and let it dry. If you live in an extreme climate, you may need to apply an additional coat or two.

Sealing a tin roof makes it last longer. If you don't trust your skill, or the roof is seriously damage, contact a roofer. Click here for additional reading.