While metal seems indestructible and metal roofs are notably tough and hard to damage, they can still experience damage as other roofing might. Does your metal roof need to be replaced or repaired? How do you know if it’s time for a roof repair?
How Metal Roofs Get Damaged
Metal roofs can get damaged in the same ways that other roofs can, even if they seem to be more resistant to damage.
- Poor installation such as poor caulking, sealants, and flashing can lead to roofing damage.
- Weather and age can damage the roof. Seams separate, the roof rusts, coatings come off, and sealants fail. Ice dams move water under the roof, and branches and wind loosen or damage the roof.
The Dangers of a Damaged Roof
Even if you have a metal roof, you can’t get too complacent about roof repair because a leak can lead to:
- Moisture damage inside the home
- Damaged ceiling tiles
- Mold or insect problems in the home
- Damage to the roof deck or underlayment
It can be hard to determine the source of a roof leak. According to Whirlwind Steel, “water from a roof leak doesn’t always appear near the leak. It may run through the trusses or rafters to another part of the ceiling. It can seep into the side walls or pool in a moisture barrier before spilling over.”
How to Repair a Damaged Metal Roof
According to The Spruce, “aluminum or steel roofs…can easily last 50 years or more, and zinc roofs have been known to last well over 100 years.” How can you make sure that your metal roof lasts that long? Ensure that it is repaired correctly.
To repair a damaged metal roof:
- Clean the hole. Make sure that any dirt or cleaning residue is gone.
- Scuff the surface with a wire brush.
- Cut out a patch of sheet metal to match the hole. It should overlap onto the metal two inches past the hole on every side. Round the corners with a file or emery board.
- Place the patch over the hole. Trace around it to confirm that it is large enough (at least two inches wider than the hole on all sides).
- Place urethane sealant inside the lines you traced. This sealant should match the color of the roof.
- Press the patch on. The sealant should squeeze out from under. This is your moisture barrier; make sure it is working. Check to ensure that sealant is coming out on all sides.
- Use pan-head sheet metal screws to attach the patch to the roof. The screws should be installed every 3 to 4 inches. The screws should go into the roof panel below, but not into the decking.
- If desired, paint the patch to match the rest of the roof.
At Harry Helmet, we help your family find the best roof repair and replacement solutions. If you’re wondering how to repair or replace your roof or gutters, we can help. Contact us to schedule a free estimate today.