Aside from asphalt shingles, metal roofing is one of the most prevalent roofing materials that is readily available in the market. Metal roofs are known for being almost impervious to leaks while being resistant to the different elements of the weather. However, there are some roofing materials like ridge caps and flashings that are not entirely watertight which can sometimes lead to leaks.
A leaky roof might not be much of a problem in the short-term but, if left unchecked, this could lead to several problems, such as moisture and water being trapped in your roof’s interiors; this can lead to the growth of algae, mold, mildew, and other organic growths. As such, it’s best to repair any early signs of leaking as soon as possible.
However, the key to repairing roof leaks is to determine the root cause of the leak. When these problems occur, it is likely that there is more than just a hole that you’ll need to patch up.
Common Causes of Metal Roof Leaks
Improperly Placed Screws
Having a properly driven screw on a metal roof can help it endure winds of more than 120 miles an hour. However, improperly driven screws can inadvertently cause more problems. Improperly driven screws are one of the most common causes for leaking in metal roofs. It is quite common for some screws that are being driven into the metal roof to be inserted at a wrong angle or also be overdriven.
Another area that is quite prone to leaks is flashing that’s used on HVAC equipment. Normally, metal roofings expand and contract depending on the temperature that it’s exposed to. The rubber sealing that’s on these flashings can break or become thin when overexposed or tend to breakdown over time with wear and tear.
Sealants that are used on metal roofs have a lower lifespan than the metal roofing materials so it’s recommended that regular roof maintenance should be performed. Metal ridge caps, and ‘Z’ flashings have to be regularly topped off so that these won’t wear off.
In most cases, HVAC units sit on curbs. Leaks don’t necessarily happen on the metal panels, but will usually happen in these areas as well. This is one of the harder flashings to remedy since it will involve removing the metal roofing panels and starting over with the installation process.
Seams and Overlaps
Roof leaks also occur due to a phenomenon called a capillary draw. This happens when water is pulled upwards and into tightly spaced areas that are formed when two metal pieces are set closely together.
Solving the Leaking Problem
Building and home owners have different ways of addressing the leaking problem on their roofing systems. The best option that you can take will depend on the severity of the damage on your roof. Again, before making any plans and decisions, it’s always a good choice to communicate with your local roofing contractor first. A thorough inspection has to be done on your roof so that the damages can be surveyed and documented.
Repairing and maintaining
Metal roofs have a life expectancy of 30 years and even more at the right conditions. However, metal roofs, just like every other roofing material in the market, are still quite susceptible to the elements of the weather. In order to lengthen the lifespan of your roof, it’s highly recommended that you do maintenance at least twice a year.
Reviewing your roofing system, checking on your fastenings, checking for early signs of leaking and fungal growth can help save a lot of money that could otherwise end up going to replacement and repairs.
One of the main rules-of-thumb that roofers follow when identifying leaks is that the age of your metal roof directly relates to how likely leaks will form on your roof. Normally, leaks will increase as your metal roof ages.
Restoring your roof means you have to follow specific steps in repairing your roof.
First, you’ll have to make repairs to the fasteners and the rust inhibitors.
Second, once all the necessary repairs have been made, it’s time to apply the necessary coatings. Urethane coatings and acrylic coatings are both great for roof restorations.
If you think that your roof is at the point in its lifespan where it is beyond repair and restoration, then it’s best to replace it. Replacing a roof might be a big investment, but in the long-run, you’re also investing in the safety of the inhabitants of your home. You also have to consider the slope of your roofing and the ideal design that you’re going to use.