Steel or aluminum metal roofs are excellent for homes. They do not require too much maintenance. These roofs reflect sunlight, making them energy-efficient. Metal roofs can also resist hail and wind damage than their counterparts. If you know how to fix a leaking metal roof, then you can save so much money. Doing this is actually quite easy even if you do not have previous DIY experience with roofs.
Indeed, even sturdy metal roofs will leak over time. Their average lifespan of 20-30 years is not a guarantee they won’t incur damage from every storm and gust. The methods used to fix a leaking metal roof depend on the source of the leak. Read on below to know the easiest and surefire steps to patch them up.
How To Fix a Leaking Metal Roof: No Material Lasts Forever
Metal roofs are lightweight, portable, and durable. They are also stylish and give your property a distinct curb appeal with the color and texture varieties available. However, even if you’re using steel, aluminum, or copper, they will become damaged over time.
In commercial properties, huge-panel metal roofing application is common. However, this method allows metal to expand and contract in different temperatures. The small changes in roofing size and density makes them vulnerable to possible leaks in the future.
In addition, poor metal roofing materials rust quicker than quality-controlled metal roofs. These weak materials can rust when water accumulates anywhere after a rainstorm or hailstorm.
Typical Metal Roof Repair Service Costs
If you don’t know how to fix a leaking metal roof on your own, then you might need to save up to use professional service. Most contractors charge around $616-$1,856. Indeed, they can be as much as you paid for square foot of your metal roof (which is about $7-$12 per square foot).
Contractors will inspect the metal roof’s surface. They will check for protrusions and leaks in the vallyes and ridges of the material. Even if professionals installed the roof, a small error or disregard of the metal roof’s design leads to leaks due to overflowed gutters or packed ice during the snowy season.
After their inspection, contractors check if sealants were applied efficiently in the panels. They will remove the panel, reapply the sealant, and reinstall the roof, which inflates the costs further.
Indeed, it saves you much time and money if you know how to fix a leaking metal roof on your own. Here are six steps to help you start!
6 Steps Guaranteed to Fix Your Leaking Roof
Tools You’ll Need
Before you begin, you’re going to need the right tools to help you with the job. Here is a list.
- Extension ladder
- Nail bar and hammer
- Aluminum screw nails, 1 1/2-inch (measure your nails first)
- Cordless drill with screw-tip attachment
- Galvanized-steel screws, 1-inch (measure your nails first)
- Wire brush
- Urethane roof cement
- Plastic putty knife
- Metal-roofing base coat
- Glass-membrane fabric roof patch
- Fabric shears
You can carry the small tools and free your hands using a tool belt. It would save you time and strength by having them all in a single, accessible area. To know how to fix a leaking metal roof, you need to cover these basic equipment.
Use the extension ladder to access your roof. Make sure to tread lightly. Do not step between the rows of nails and instead step on the nail rows. This will prevent any bend damage to their metal panels.
Before heading up the ladder, inspect your boots and clear them of any dust, rocks, and other abrasives that can damage the metal roof. To navigate efficiently on your roof, identify areas of the panels that rest on the underlying decking or battens of your roof. These will support the metal material and prevent any bending that cause further damage.
Locate the Source of the Leaks
Punctured holes are the first sign of leaking roofs. Debris and possible rusting cause metal roofs to weaken and contract (for stronger variants). Take note of rust holes and some panels that have slid down due to the expansion and contraction.
Check the seam transition points. These are sections where one roof panel connects to the others. See if there are any gaps between them. Inspect for missing or loose screws. Inspect the edges and periphery of the roof and look for any missing pieces of the material.
Remove the Screws (and Replace Them)
If you see any loose nails, loosen them up using the nail bar. Immediately replace them each removed nail with a 1 1/2 inch aluminum screw nail. You won’t need to screw them in. Use the hammer to drive the screw nail. Remove rusty nails with the nail bar and replace them with screw-nails where possible.
How to fix a leaking metal roof efficiently: if you find trouble removing rusted screws, do not attempt to remove them. Instead, create a screw hole using a cordless drill with a screw drill-bit. Then drive a 1-inch galvanized-steel screw to secure that section of the metal roof and avoid further nail loosening or rusting.
Dealing With Gaps
Contractors will tell clients to do away with a loosened or damaged metal roof. Indeed, a 1/8 inch gap is enough to create huge damage on a metal roof. You can deal with gaps by cleaning the debris and rust from the surface of the panels.
The metal-roofing base coat helps prevent the passage of water into the gap. Apply a single layer. Then, cover it with glass-membrane fabric cut to size. This makes the gap ready for urethane cement.
Do Away With Loose Caulking (and Re-Apply Roof Cement)
Now that you have screwed everything tight and have prepared each gap for better sealing, you can now apply urethane cement to seal the metal roof’s leaks. Before doing so, make sure you have found all areas with damaged sealants and membranes and applied metal-roofing base coat and glass-membrane fabric roof patch beforehand. Another thing to note is to use the proper urethane cement suitable for your roof.
Once you use urethane roof cement and apply the new patch, you have to do it correctly. Apply a coat of urethane cement over the entire area. An extension of at least six inches is good enough to secure the holes and gaps effectively.
These steps are effective in sealing any holes, gaps, and punctures your roof might have. However, you must have all the tools and materials needed to repair your roof effectively. It might also be wise to consult with a contractor whether your roof is viable for repair, need a full restoration or replacement.