We've been told to get as much rust off as possible with a wire brush. Is there any more thorough or faster method? BTW, we live in Louisiana, so during the project we may be stopped by rain more than once and have a wet roof to boot. Should we try to cover it? (The humidity is such here that I don't know if there is a way to keep it dry until primed.)
Anyway, after steel brushing or whatever we need to wash off the residue. Is trisodium phosphate best for this or should we use some solvent like mineral spirits? Can we sandblast instead of the steel brush?
I figure during this we may find/create places that might need patching, so any advice on that is welcome. Would a sealer go under or over the primer, or would the primer act as a seal?
What is the best kind of primer for the job? (I'm assuming some remnants of rust will remain)
What is the right kind of paint? Someone told use latex, and we had ever dreamed of latex on metal. I want it painted an earthen color like terra cotta, and I've been told that earthen colors paints last longer because of the minerals used to make the natural colors, is this true? Is there an acrylic/latex paint specifically for roofs?
We are also curious about the notion of flipping the panels. We can see most of the downside of the panels from our attic since there is no underlayment and haven't found any rust so far. But, if we were to flip the panels wouldn't we still have to clean and prime the rusted outside first before flipping?... Then still shouldn't we prime and paint the outside?
Lastly, we have little to anchor to for safety's sake. An old chimney is about it, and uneven ground to support the ladder. The roof doesn't have a solid underlayment, so we figured to stand or sit on large pieces of thin plywood to distribute our weight. Any logistical and safety tips we can pick up would be most appreciated. We're both in our 50's, and I get vertigo, so most of this falls on my husband's shoulder. He's got a week in March to get the worst of it done.
Thanks for any help, inez