A Homeowners Guide To Fixing A Metal Roof
If you have a metal roof, you know that it can last anywhere from 40 to 70 years. That longevity is one of the reasons you invested in a metal roof. However, you also know that without proper maintenance and repairs, that roof can’t last nearly as long as its expected lifespan. To make your roof last, it’s important to understand common issues with metal roofs, and how to fix them.
Common Issues Requiring Metal Roof Repair
Despite metal roofs being incredibly durable and long-lasting, severe weather or poor installation can lead to issues with your metal roof that you should be mindful of.
Holes and Leaks
Leaks can occur from unforeseeable forces like weather and structural damage, or they can happen thanks to poor installation. Strong winds, blowing debris, heavy rain and snow, and ice dams can all trigger a leak in your metal roof. However, it’s likely the leak was bound to happen due to other circumstances such as loose or crooked fasteners, misaligned seams, and failed flashing.
A loose fastening screw leaves a tiny hole where water can leak through, causing damage over time that, if it goes unfixed, can lead to a myriad of problems. Since flashing requires specialized expertise to install in complicated areas like chimneys and pipes, poorly installed flashing is more often than not the root cause of a leaky metal roof.
Rust and Corrosion
People often choose metal roofing because it defends against corrosion for decades. However, inferior materials or material manufacturing issues can cause them to deteriorate much faster than they should. A metal roof that is improperly coated can lead to corrosion as well as metal roofs installed in homes close to the coasts, which can cause saltwater corrosion.
If water gets underneath the protective coating of the underside of your metal roof, it can rust and inevitably cause leaks. It’s essential to choose the right brands that are high-quality and are manufactured to uphold against the elements.
Scuffs or Scratches
Your metal roof, especially sheets, can be scuffed or scratched in many ways. Often foot traffic during installation can cause scratches or wear in that small amount of time if care is not taken to wear the proper tools and avoid setting tools or other materials on the surface. They can also be scuffed or worn during transit, especially if appropriate coverings or protectors are not put on, or end up falling off during loading.
Wind blowing large hail or debris can also cause surface damage to your roof. It’s important to note any changes in the surface or texture of your roof and inspect for any further damage.
DIY Metal Roof Repair
We always recommend you hire a professional for anything having to do with your roof. However, there are a few easy fixes to buy you time if you can safely do so. Here are a few repairs you may be able to do without a professional roofing contractor.
Minor Rust Removal
If you notice the edges of your roof have some minor rust, you may be able to fix it yourself. If you can safely use a ladder or get onto your roof, locate the spot with rust. You can sand, grind, or scrub with a wire brush to remove the minor rust. Then, treat it with some rust remover/inhibitor and re-coat the surface.
Tightening or Replacing Fasteners
As we said before, loose or crooked fasteners can cause small, repairable leaks, and if you can tighten them yourself—great! If you notice some are corroded or need to be replaced entirely, that is an easy fix. Looks for signs in your attic for leaks and examine the fasteners above that area.
If you have one or two holes but no other significant damage, repairing the holes may be your best and cheapest way to repair your roof. It’s relatively simple if you have some experience. If you are afraid of causing more damage, always call a professional.
Anyways, to patch a hole in a metal roof, you will need some butyl tape, a piece of galvanized metal, screws, power drill, caulk, and some roof coating. This page has a helpful detailed explanation of this and other repairs you can do. But essentially, you will first clean the area and scrape off any loose pieces or rust. Then, you will put butyl tape over the hole, extending a few inches past either side. Third, you will cut your galvanized metal to fit the size of the hole, plus 2-3 inches wider. Screw the patch of metal over the hole, making sure not to screw into any rafters. Use caulk to seal the area thoroughly, and then give it a re-coat, and you are good to go!
If you suspect widespread roof damage or have questions about general roof repair and maintenance, please contact us here. We can give you a FREE estimate for repairs or replacement and come out to do an assessment. We look forward to working with you!