You’ve finally done it. You’ve installed a shiny new custom metal carport to protect your vehicle from the elements, and even your neighbor has to admit it looks great. The next step is to keep it looking good for years to come. While these metal structures are stable and reliable, weather is persistent, and your carport could gradually deteriorate without regular maintenance.
Pooling water, melting snow, and wind and sand erosion can all destabilize your carport, shortening its life and its attractiveness. With that in mind, we’ve collected the following tips to help you keep that structure clean, strong, and looking great.
The most important step in long-term maintenance of a metal carport is choosing the right location and design for your region. If rain or snowfall is a concern during the year, an A-frame (gabled) roof or single slope roof would be the best choice. Sitting water is the most common danger to metal structures, causing rust and structural damage and weakening their overall stability and lifespan. If your region experiences heavy wind, walled carports will protect the interior.
Placing the carport at the bottom of a slope will cause water and debris to pile up or pool, damaging the foundation. If possible, any slope should lead away from the carport, allowing water to drain to a safer area. Try and stay clear of trees as well when choosing your location. Heavy snow, strong winds, and the occasional rowdy teenager could easily send branches smashing into the carport roof threatening the safety of the vehicle or equipment inside.
The best way to prevent damage is simple observation. Do a regular check of the structure and the area around it. Look for any possible warping or bending, rust, pooling water, or openings where animals can burrow or enter. Quickly identifying and addressing any new problem is the most effective way to extend the life of your carport.
While tools may not make the man, they do make his job easier. If you have a walled structure, wind and rain will quickly build up dirt and grime. Power washers are extremely effective for quickly removing grime and dirt but be cautious. Too strong a blast could dent the walls or remove the paint, risking rust. Be familiar with the strength and weight restrictions of your carport, and be sure to experiment beforehand to find the right settings for your power washer.
A good hose with an extendable brush attachment will also come in handy, especially if power washers aren’t your tool of choice. And you can do more than scrub those hard to reach areas. The extendable brush can also be used to pull down any debris like branches, leaves, or even snow during the winter to reduce the weight on the structure’s roof.
As for the interior, a good push broom will make quick work of any dirt or dust that builds up inside. A bag of cat litter always comes in handy because it will make quick work of any oil spills or stains (stubborn stains may require you let the litter sit for a few hours) and then be quickly swept away.
Establish a routine of regular maintenance, cleaning, and inspection. Consistency is the most important factor. Whether you clean out the garage every week, once a month, or even quarterly, regular cleaning and inspection will allow you to spot and correct problems immediately. Leaving a structure to sit for long periods of time will only lead to decay and trouble, not to mention complaining neighbors.
Many homeowners in need of additional parking or storage space install metal carports, and it’s easy to understand why. Metal carports are much more cost-effective than building a new garage or expanding an existing one. They’re also more customizable and versatile.
Sturdy, weather resistant, and well made, current technology has made metal carports a serious and reliable option when it comes to adding vehicle storage to your property. Despite all this, they aren’t indestructible! Follow our tips, and your carport will continue to serve your needs, look good, and increase your property value for years to come.