Metal Roof Repair

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Expert Help for Your Metal Roof

By repairing your metal roof, you might be able to avoid having to completely replace your roof if your metal roof system is leaking or appears to have reached the end of its usable life. Metal roof restoration and repair services are offered through our network of contractors.

You have choices as a property owner when it comes to fixing your metal roof. By connecting you with the top metal roofing businesses in your area, who will be happy to provide you with an estimate for the repair, we can assist you in determining the best course of action.

The first step in having your roof mended is understanding how metal roof leaks are repaired and how to locate a roofer in your neighborhood with experience fixing a challenging roof leak repair.

A Simple Checklist to Metal Roof Repair

metal roof panel after storm needing repair Highland Home Services

Repairing Your Metal Roof

With the exception of severe damage or natural disasters, one of the benefits of metal roofing systems is their ability to be repaired and maintained for several decades, which helps demonstrate how long a roof lasts. In fact, before they need to be updated, the majority of metal roofing systems can last for several decades. Most experts advise having your metal roof inspected every two years to check for structural concerns or minor leaks that could develop into larger difficulties. A metal roof leak repair sealant should then be applied.

Discovering and replacing oxidation-damaged sections, assessing whether fasteners are beginning to loosen (and then re-tightening them), and other minor metal roof issues can go a long way toward preventing larger maintenance or replacement work in the future.

Metal Roof Leaks

Major issues might arise from errors in the design and installation of a new metal roof. The places where issues most frequently arise are typically not in the system selection. The majority of issues that result in metal roof leaks are caused by the final details applied to the metal roof system. These errors do not become obvious right once after installation. They might take some time to form.

The majority of the most typical issues found during a metal roof condition evaluation are listed below.

Openings in the Horizontal Seams

The fabrication of metal roof panels that span the whole building’s rafter length is challenging, and occasionally impossible. The length of the panels may be restricted in some designs by the project designer due to expansion and contraction.

Due to the limitation on panel length, the roof system must have horizontal seams installed by the installer. The standing seams in the metal roof are perpendicular to these horizontal seams.

Over time, horizontal seams are prone to separation. This may make a hole in hydrostatic metal roof systems, allowing water to seep back into the structure.

Openings in Penetration Flashing

worker fitting flashing around chimney to fix metal roof leak Highland Home Services

Expansion and contraction are common with metal roof systems. This is the effect of temperature variations causing the metal panels to move. Stress is caused by this movement at the roof system’s penetrations and points of connection. The stress causes the flashings at the penetrations to break down, which causes roof leaks at skylight and vent penetrations.

Metal roof systems are made by joining separate metal panels at their seams. The metal roof systems are particularly challenging to remove and disassemble after they are installed.

They do not disassemble to enable for the repair of penetration flashing, unlike an asphalt shingle system. This makes dealing with long-term repairs more challenging, especially if the penetration is put in after the metal roof is put on.

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Metal Roof Oxidation

A wide range of materials are used to create metal roofs. These include copper, zinc, tin, steel, aluminum, and aluminum. These materials can oxidize in some cases. The majority of metal roof panels are constructed from sheet metal that has undergone a protective surface coating. This coating may become worn over time, exposing the metal panels to oxidation.

Surface oxidation may cause issues. If the metal roof system is a structural system, these issues may include structural failure. Moreover, oxidation hinders repairs. Application of sealant may be challenging where exposed fastener heads on metal panels have oxidized.

Fasteners Backing Out

Generally, both exposed and hidden fasteners are used in metal roof systems. Nails or screws are acceptable fasteners. The fastener head on exposed fasteners often has a neoprene washer to seal it to the metal roof panel’s surface.

Fasteners frequently revert to their seated position after extended use. There may be several causes for this. Fastener back out may result from wind uplift. Under windy conditions, metal panels will vibrate, which will cause the fasteners to loosen. Fasteners may come loose due to freeze-thaw cycles. Water might enter the neoprene washer when it dries out. Winter weather can cause the water to freeze and expand, which can cause the fastener to loosen.

Open Ridge/Headwall Flashing

Roof systems must terminate into additional building-surface conditions. These circumstances include wall details that rise and places where the roof system blends into other surfaces. A metal roof system that ends in a rising wall beneath a sign band on a retail mall might serve as an illustration of this.

This is where weakness usually manifests itself. It frequently results from inadequate detail from the initial installation. To stop water from blowing back into the detail, closing strips are needed on these details. The placement of this closing strip is optional for contractors. The underlayment first protects the roof system against blow-back by waterproofing it. Moisture may enter the roof system when the underlayment ages.

There are several potential sources for metal roof leaks. These five sources can be checked first because they are quite popular. Only half of the battle is won by being aware of where to check for potential leaks.

Let’s now examine various possibilities and solutions for metal roof repair and replacement.

4 Repair Options for a Leaking Metal Roof

Replace all screws and fasteners

Most metal roof leaks are caused by screws and other fasteners that have worn out or been damaged.

Due to the lack of pressure being given to the gasket when a screw backs out, a pathway for water to enter the structure is created.

If you have several of these, one solution is to take out anything that seems questionable, take out the screw and fastener, and then replace it.

This option for repair is not advised.

To check each screw for potential issues would require a significant amount of work. Additionally, it will be challenging to locate a screw that is 0.01 inches backed out or a fastener that is fractured.

Get a New Roof

A metal roof cost will cost between $8 and $15 per square foot for labor and supplies.

You might be approaching the $15–$20 per sq. ft. range when you factor in the cost of the labor to remove the old metal roof and the transportation of the waste to the landfill.

While a new roof is a lovely way to start over, there are other, more cost-effective solutions.

Install a roof coating system over the existing metal roof

spraying roof coating on old metal roof after repairs Highland Home Services

This is your best choice if cost is a consideration. A roof coating system will typically cost between $2 and $4 per square foot.

It differs from painting in that an elastomeric coating (meaning it can stretch) can be applied over an existing metal roof.

Fluid application of coatings involves spraying or rolling the substance across the roof.

The amount of tear-off is limited with coatings. Just the damaged sections are taken out.

The metal roof must first be made ready to take the coating before installation can begin.

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To prepare the area:

  • Replace any metal that can compromise the performance or adhesion of the coating.
  • Roof cleaning using power washing
  • Tests of adhesion with various coatings
  • Considering using a primer with a rust inhibitor
  • Putting a second layer of coating over the seams
  • Adding extra coating to screws and other fasteners
  • You can see that the seams have a second coating to reinforce them, possibly with fabric or scrim woven into that coating.

Most roof coating methods have guarantees of 10, 15, or 20 years. The coating’s thickness affects how long the warranty will last.

  • There would be 20 mils of coating applied for a 10-year warranty.
  • There would be 25 mils of coating applied for a 15-year warranty.
  • A coating thickness of 30 mils would be applied for a 20-year warranty.

Either the contractor, the manufacturer, or a combination of both may offer a warranty.

Install spray foam over the existing metal roof

workers installing spray foam over metal roof to stop leaks Highland Home Services

Installing spray polyurethane foam over your current metal roof is a fantastic alternative.

Because it provides extra advantages that coating systems don’t, can be laid over your existing roof with little tear-off, and has other advantages.

These advantages consist of:

  • R-value increase and energy savings
  • Spray foam has a significant R-value compared to coatings. Spray foam will lower your energy bills throughout the course of the roof because it has an R-value of 6.5 per inch of thickness.
  • Depending on the roof’s existing state, spray foam may result in energy savings that exceed its cost.

Closed cell insulation

This type of spray foam has closed cells. This means that if there is a crack, hole, or other damage, the water will remain in the crack and not move.

If a gap in open-cell insulation allows water to enter, the water will spread out horizontally and vertically, saturating a huge area.

The use of spray foam has some disadvantages.

First, spray foam is more expensive than coatings. Pricing for a spray foam roofing system ranges from $4 to $7 per square foot.

Two, spray foam can only be applied with a sprayer. Coatings might be a better choice if your metal roof is close to a location where overspray is a major concern (like a car dealership).

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Hail Damage to Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are engineered to withstand hailstorms. The amount of damage and the severity of damage is dependent on various weather-related factors as well as roof characteristics.

Cosmetic vs. Functional Damage

If a heavy hail storm hits and your building is affected, the very first thing you should do is take full documentation of all the damages. When a metal roof is being evaluated for damage after a hail storm, there are two main categories of dents, dings, or punctures:


A metal roof’s cosmetic hail damage is a complex issue. On the one hand, insurance firms frequently assert that this kind of damage doesn’t affect the roof’s main purpose. However, even if there were no punctures as a result of the hail damage, the building owner still has to deal with a plainly damaged roof. A professional roofing firm should be consulted when deciding whether or not hail damage to a metal roof is merely cosmetic. Only a qualified roofer can determine if a hail-damaged metal roof can be safely left alone or whether it actually has to be repaired or replaced.


Functional damage occurs when locks, seams, flashing, or other metal roofing components are damaged to the point of developing holes in the metal itself. Most insurance policies almost always cover this type of hail damage to metal roofs, which typically necessitates sections replacements of properly gauged, painted, and coated metal.

Metal Roof Restoration FAQs

What is metal roof restoration?

Metal roof restoration is another term for services to repair damage and to apply elastomeric coatings to extend the life and functionality of your metal roof. In some cases flashing or panels may be replaced.

What is an elastomeric roof coating?

An elastomeric roof coating is a flexible coating that can be applied to varying types of underlying roof materials to seal gaps, stop leaks, provide protection and extend the life of your roof. “Elastomeric” is a term used to describe the elastic features of the coatings that allow them to stretch and move. Common elastomeric roof coatings are silicone, acrylic and polyurethane.

Can my metal roof be repaired?

In many cases, a metal roof does not require a full roof replacement. If your metal roof is still structurally sound, it may be a good candidate for roof coatings. A roof inspection can determine this. One of the benefits of using roof coatings is that your trim, soffit, fascia, siding and downspouts are not impacted during the process.

How often should my metal roof be inspected?

While your roof is often out of site out of mind (until you have a roof leak), it should be part of routine maintenance inspections.

Ideally, your roof should be professionally inspected at least annually and directly after any major weather event.

A good professional roof inspection will look for damage to membranes, sealants, caulking, flashing, etc. We look for ponding water, punctures, mold & mildew buildup, blisters, cracks, damage from falling objects or foot traffic, clogged drains or gutters, unsealed seams and deteriorated materials.

What type of maintenance should be done on my metal roof?

While roof maintenance varies by roof type, in general, there are certain best practices that will help extend the life of your roof.

  • Remove debris– debris that accumulates can clog drainage systems and damage the roof surface no matter what kind of roof you may have including one made from asphalt shingles
  • Fix roof leaks quickly– a small roof leak can cause major damage over time. Fixing them may require sealing around flashing, seams or replacing worn-out components.
  • Maintain drainage system– keeping your drains and gutters clean and sealed help prevent water pooling and keeps water moving away from your roof.

Questions We Get Most Often

  • How do I know if I need a metal roof repair?
    If you have a metal roof, it is important to regularly inspect it for signs of damage. Look for missing or damaged panels, rust, holes, or other signs of wear and tear. If you see any of these, it is important to have a professional roofer come out and assess the damage to see if a repair is necessary. If you do need a metal roof repair, the roofer will first assess the damage and then determine the best course of action.
  • How can I tell if my metal roof is leaking?
    If you have a metal roof, it’s important to know how to tell if it’s leaking. There are a few things you can look for to see if your roof is leaking: 1. Check the roof for any signs of water damage. This can include water stains on the ceiling, wet insulation, or mold growth. 2. Inspect the roof for any cracks or holes. These can be caused by weather damage, age, or poor installation. 3.
  • How do I know if my metal roof is structurally sound?
    If your metal roof is more than 20 years old, it’s a good idea to have a professional roofing contractor inspect it to check for any signs of wear and tear. Some things to look for include: -Missing or damaged shingles -Rust or corrosion on the roof panels -Loose or missing fasteners -Cracks or holes in the roof panels
  • Who is qualified to provide metal roof repair services? Remember, metal roofs move constantly. It doesn’t matter if they are screw-down or standing-seam, they move. Because of that, metal roofs also have their own specialized group of accessories for pipe penetrations, roof openings, snow retention and other roof-mounted equipment. Never allow another contractor – i.e.: plumbing, electrical, mechanical or other profession – to penetrate your metal roof. They don’t understand them and they will not do it correctly. They also not properly trained on how to walk on a metal roof. Uncontrolled foot traffic can do serious damage to your roof. However, it is generally recommended that metal roof repair services be carried out by a qualified and experienced roofing contractor. This is because metal roofing is a specialized area of roofing and requires a high level of skill and knowledge to carry out repairs correctly. A qualified roofing contractor will have the necessary skills and experience to carry out metal roof repairs safely and effectively.
  • Where do you find metal roofing repair contractors? While there is no easy answer to this question, the fact is that metal roofing is a specialty on its own. (This is one reason why we offer our contractor finding services. ) You need a contractor who is very experienced in metal roof repairs of all kinds starting with locating the leak. Knowing which type of sealant for which type of leak is also important in solving the problem.

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Metal Roof Repair Tips

  1. Recognize that a metal roof is a top-of-the-line roof system if you have one. If there is a problem, you must contact a business that specializes in fixing metal roofs. Hire the best men to advise you on repairs. Ask them to offer photographs and details on how they plan to make the repair.
  2. Caulking or coating over issues with a metal roof will soon lead to a variety of other issues, some of which will void your warranty and others which will decrease the life and increase the cost of your roof.
  3. Hire a professional if you need to change the roof, install openings, equipment, etc.; taking short cuts here is not a good idea. Specially created components for metal roofs enable for movement and optimum sealing. Metal roofs are not intended to be covered with conventional roofing materials.
  4. Replace the roof with a new metal roof if it has actually reached the end of its useful life. The structure was created with such purpose in mind. Use a retrofit system that has been thoroughly engineered and can provide documentation proving that it will abide by the most recent building requirements for wind and snow loads. Your ability to be insured and sold will both be improved. Additionally, it will result in the lowest overall cost for your investment.
  5. Take a closer look at those tax advantages. Section 179 of the tax code may permit a $1 million write-off for commercial roofing. This will greatly simplify the retrofit process overall.