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How To Fix A Leaking Metal Roof

What Is The Ridge

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When it comes to metal roofing, the ridge is essentially the peak of the roof, where two metal pieces are joined together. Its often covered by a ridge cap to hide and protect the seams.

The problem, arises, of course, when the cap doesnt offer quite enough protection, and water from an Alabama summer storm or frequent rains infiltrates the area.

Rust On The Surface Of The Roof

Metal roofs have a lot of pros, but one con is that you have to check for rust. Rust on the surface of a metal roof doesnt automatically mean there is a leak. However, rust can destroy the roofs protective coating, leaving holes or scaling which can lead to a leak in the metal roof. If you spot rust on your roof, be sure to inspect for leaks and consider using a rust inhibitor to prevent the rust from spreading.

Replacing Your Metal Roof

As previously stated, due to age or damage from natural causes , there are times when your metal roof will need to be completely replaced.

There are a various of options to consider when youre replacing a metal roof, depending on the characteristics of the previous roofing system and the building itself.

Was the previous roof steep or low sloped? Does it need to be able to retain or repel moisture with quality roof seals?

These and other design considerations are essential to consider when you replace or install a completely new metal roof.

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Why Is The Metal Roof Leaking At Ridge Such A Problem

As you can imagine, a roof leak at any location can have some serious implications for the structural integrity of your roof, and ultimately your home. However, a leak or water infiltration at the ridge, especially if you have a metal roof can be quite problematic. First, it can be difficult to discover exactly what is causing the leak. It could be improper sealing at the ridge itself, improper installation of the ridge vent, or perhaps the seam itself wasnt lined up correctly. Each of these cases is a possibility, and each one requires a different solution.

The second reason why leaks at the ridge of a metal roof can be such a hassle is that they can be unnoticed for quite some time, and therefore can lead to some serious mold or mildew issues even before you know what is happening. Since they are more likely to occur directly above your head, they can be difficult to notice until the water starts to drip on your head. By then, the damage may already be done.

How To Repair A Damaged Metal Roof


According to The Spruce, aluminum or steel roofscan 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 .
  • 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 youre wondering how to repair or replace your roof or gutters, we can help. Contact us to schedule a free estimate today.

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How To Repair And Waterproof A Metal Roof With Liquid Rubber

Metal roofs are known for their durability and strength, and, unfortunately, rusting. Rust can cause leaks, which then lead to water damage to the supporting structures. Preventing rust is one of the best reasons to waterproof your metal roof. A waterproof seal not only protects the roof from rust but also protects it from damage caused by wind. Storms may lead to lost fasteners, parts or pieces of the roof that can further compromise its integrity.

Coating the metal surface can also reduce heat, which can help you save on energy bills, as well as minimize the expansion and retraction of the metal due to high temperatures. One of the best reasons to waterproof your metal roof is simply because it improves its appearance, especially when applied to older metal roofs showing their age and in dire need of a makeover. Now it’s easy to have a waterproof metal roof with solvent-free Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant.

How To Repair A Hole In A Metal Roof System

  • Pin
  • Total Time: 1 – 2 days
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $15 to $50

When a metal roof system is installed properly, its life expectancy is second to none. According to the National Association of Home Builders, asphalt shingles last, on average, about 20 years, composite shingles about 25 years, and wood shakes or shingles about 30 years. Aluminum or steel roofs, on the other hand, can easily last 50 years or more, and zinc roofs have been known to last well over 100 years.

But no building material, especially one that faces the constant weather battering of a roof, lives forever. Like all roofing systems, a metal roof requires regular maintenance and repair. Any roofing repair can be a hit-or-miss proposition. Done properly, repairs can last as long as the roof system itself. Done improperly, those same repairs can quickly break and fail, leaving the homeowner or building owner with a recurrent or constant leak. A recurring leak can be aggravating, but more serious is the interior damage and mold growth it can cause. It is always best to fix a roofing problem quickly and correctly.

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Can I Replace My Own Shingles

The truth is, anyone can replace their own roof, with the help of the many DIY websites. For residential houses, roof replacements typically take two days the first day to remove the old roof, and the second day is to install the new one. A day or two more can be necessary depending on the size of the roof.

Restoring Your Metal Roof

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No matter how well your metal roof was crafted in the first place, as the years go by the potential for leaks and other problems will increase through no fault of your own or the construction company or commercial roofing contractors who installed it in the first place.

Of course, the longer your metal roof is in place, the more likely it is to leak or be damaged, so if you have an older roof, it will probably be recommended that it be replaced if you experience severe damage.

That said, keeping an eye on and regularly reviewing its condition can help you discover leaks or other flaws that can be fixed via repair or restoration as opposed to a complete replacement.

Keep in mind there is usually a limited window of time between when a roof is damaged and can be fixed with relatively simple repairs and when it needs to be completely replaced.

Note that restoration usually involves repairing spots with deficiencies, replacing fasteners, and perhaps applying an acrylic or urethane coating depending on the type of roof and how it was originally constructed.

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Metal Roofing Issue #: Missing Pieces

Consistent high winds, storms, debris and even deterioration can cause pieces of your metal roof to fall off. Even if you live in an area that doesnt always produce this type of weather , your metal roof is going to sustain wear and tear over time.

When you have other structurally necessary parts that are poorly installed, you run the risk of water intrusion and leaks. That includes foam closures, vent flashings, boots, downspouts, gutters and edge metal.

For example, if your plumbing vents or HVAC curbs arent installed with the proper materials and sealants, theyll come apart much easier, allowing the elements to enter.

What Causes A Metal Roof To Leak

If you aren’t sure if your metal roof is leaking, you might want to inspect it. Tell-tale signs to look for so you can prevent any further damage include:

  • Loose or missing fasteners
  • Apply Liquid Rubber Seam Tape around vents, flashing and protrusions.
  • Paint Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant over seam tape around vents, flashing and protrusions to seal.
  • Apply Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant on the entire roof with a brush, roller or sprayer.
  • Allow the sealant to dry between coats.
  • Apply a colored or reflective top coat, if desired.
  • If some areas of the roof have a significant amount of rust, apply Liquid Rubber Multi-Purpose Primer before applying Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant. If the roof is more heavily rusted, use Liquid Rubber Metal Safe Sealant.

    The best time of the year to waterproof your metal roof is at a time when you can avoid hot, direct sunlight while temperatures remain above 5C/40F. You also want to make sure to avoid starting your project if there’s a forecast for precipitation. For areas prone to dew in the morning, application early in the day works best to allow time for drying between coats and for the final coat to dry before the next morning.

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    Roofing Diagnosis : Metal Roof Leaks Around Screws

    When it comes to roofs, there are few products that can match the strength, durability, and performance that a metal roof can offer. But like just about anything else, metal roofs are not indestructible and they definitely can spring leaks.

    Knowing where and how to identify leaks in a metal roof is the first step towards implementing the repairs that you will need to get your roof back into working order. Here are just a few things to look for if your metal roof is beginning to leak.

    Visible Rust On The Roof Surface

    Metal Roof Leak Repair

    Visible rust on the roof surface is a surefire sign that something has gone wrong with your metal shingles.

    If you notice that there are brown or red stains in streaks running down the face of your rooftop, then this could indicate an underlying problem.

    And its best to get these repaired right away before they spread further along your roof.

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    Option 1 Replace All Screws And Fasteners

    Most metal roofs leak due to screws and fasteners wearing out or becoming damaged.

    You can see this screw has backed out, which is creating a way for water to enter the building.

    If you have a number of these, one option is to remove anything that looks suspect, remove the screw and fastener, and install a new one.

    This is not a recommended repair option.

    It would be very labor-intensive to inspect every screw to see if anything is suspect. Plus, a cracked fastener or a screw thats backed out by 0.01 inches is going to be hard to find.

    Keep reading, there are better repair options below.

    Does Insurance Cover Roof Hail Damage

    Most often, the answer is YES. To begin a claim, youll need to contact your insurance company and let them know that you suspect hail damage . Your next step is to call a professional roofing contractor like Allstate. The first thing well do is schedule your no-obligation roof inspection.

    Once onsite, our team will conduct a thorough review of your home to look for hail damage or other roof damage. A complete roof inspection includes an assessment of your shingles , your entire roof, from protective under layer to top layer, metal fascia trim, roof vents, gutters, and more. Even if you dont see obvious damage, our team will cover every inch of your home to ensure nothing gets missed.

    Next, youll get a full report that outlines anything we documented, from minor damage and signs of normal wear to major hail, leaks, dented gutters, missing roof shingles, etc. We work regularly with a homeowners insurance company so we understand exactly what the insurance company expects to see to support an insurance claim. Our expert roofers have a trained eye to capture any signs of hail damage or concern.

    Once your claim has been opened, well work with your appointed insurance agent to keep them apprised throughout the repair or replacement process. Insurance policies are written to limit the opportunity to commit fraud, so by working together with your insurance company throughout any insurance claims, we add peace of mind for everyone and act as a resource along the way.

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    How Does Heavy Rain Affect Your Roof

    No matter what your roof is made of, youll find that if youre not careful about roof maintenance, water can get in and cause all kinds of damage. The main issues it causes is that of wood rot and mold.

    When water gets in under the metal roofing, it will stay in the wood thats underneath it, as it has nowhere to go. If wood stays wet for long enough, starting to rot away.

    If the wood rots enough, it will significantly weaken the whole roof and lead to a whole replacement needing to be done. This is expensive and time consuming, so obviously you want to avoid this at all costs.

    When mold gets into your home, its very difficult to remove. When you get a leak and it goes unnoticed for long enough, youll see that it can lead to mold developing in the rest of your home, too.

    Mold is dangerous, especially if theres anyone in your home with allergies. Mold is linked to several health issues, so stopping it from taking it hold is crucial.

    Openings In The Horizontal Seams

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    It is difficult and sometimes not possible to make metal roof panels that extend the full rafter length of the building. In some designs the project designer will limit the length of the panels based on expansion and contraction.

    As a result of the restriction on panel length, the installer has to install horizontal seams into the roof system. These horizontal seams run perpendicular to the standing seams in the metal roof.

    Horizontal seams are prone to separation over time. In hydrostatic metal roof systems, this can create an opening that allows water to enter back into the building.

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    Metal Roofing Issue #: Surface Rust

    Depending on the finish you apply to your metal roofing, rusting may occur sooner than later. Rust is a normal reaction when metal is exposed to the elements. But fortunately, rust doesnt automatically equate to leaks.

    However, if you notice rust on your metal roofing, address it immediately. Rust left unattended will spread and cause damage. The coating will begin to peel, the metal will begin to scale, and eventually, itll eat away at the metal causing holes. All of this can lead to severe structural damage.

    Its important to use a rust inhibitor to stop the rust from spreading. It wont kill off the rust or stop it completely, but itll buy you enough time to have the necessary repairs done.

    Inspect From The Outside

    If youre taking good care of your roof, then youll know the importance of regular inspections. When youre taking a look at the outside of your roof, look for any signs that water is getting in.

    Often, poor installation will lead to leaks. That means youll see:

    • Incorrectly installed flashing and seams
    • Failed sealant,
    • Incorrectly installed screws

    Any of these can allow water in.

    While youre up on the roof, you may also see spots where the roof has been damaged, letting water in. This includes rust spots, holes, dents, and more. If theres any damage, thats a sign that water could be getting in.

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    Best Practices To Help Prevent Damage

    Through attentive controls and periodic maintenances of flat roofs it is possible to repair damaged parts of the membranes. Therefore, we can prevent those situations that can damage waterproof coatings. In fact, we can implement different types of interventions that make the surface of flat roofs perfectly waterproofed and protected. This is possible thanks to the modern technology that offers innovativeand high-performance solutions for these types of applications. These solutions not only protect the waterproofing function of bituminous membranes, but also restore damaged surfaces.

    General Metal Roof Problems

    Why Your Metal Roof is Leaking and How to Fix It

    There are four general problems that metal roofs run into roof leaks, blow offs, punctures & tears and ponding.

    Roof leaks are a common problems that homeowners face with metal roofs. For example, poor workmanship in the initial installation phase may have resulted in both gaps and punctures in the roof. Such openings allow for water to leak through over time.

    Blow-offs also occur due to poor installation. When the flashing is not properly attached, the resulting open seams and laps provide insufficient support for the roofing, thus allowing to be blown off when face with heavy winds.

    Metal roofs are also vulnerable to punctures or tears. Typically, this occurs due to excessive human traffic on the roof or from heavy debris that land on the roof due to a storm. It is advised that minimal weight and stress be placed on metal roofs since they are thinner than most.

    Ponding refers to the situation whereby water accumulates on your roof. When ponding occurs, excessive pressure is placed on the roof since it carries the ponds weight. Moreover, ponding weakens any waterproofing systems and allows for moisture to slowly creep past the surface.

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