Fix a Metal Roof Leak
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.
Even the most durable metal roofs will eventually leak. Their average lifespan of 20-30 years is no guarantee that they will not be damaged by every storm and gust. The methods used to repair a leaking metal roof vary according to the source of the leak. Continue reading to learn the simplest and most effective ways to repair them.
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 repair a leaking metal roof on your own, you may need to save up to hire a professional. Most contractors charge between $616 and $1,856. They can be as much as you paid per square foot for your metal roof (roughly $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
You’ll need the right tools to help you with the job before you start. Here is a list of them.
- 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
A tool belt allows you to carry small tools while freeing your hands. It would save you time and energy if they were all in one convenient location. To learn how to repair a leaking metal roof, you must first acquire the necessary tools.
To gain access to your roof, use an extension ladder. Keep your steps light. Step on the nail rows rather than between the rows of nails. This will keep their metal panels from bending.
Before climbing the ladder, inspect your boots for dust, rocks, and other abrasives that could damage the metal roof. Identify areas of the panels that rest on the underlying decking or battens of your roof to navigate efficiently. These will support the metal and prevent it from bending and causing further damage.
Locate the Source of the Leaks
Roof leaks are first detected by pierced holes. Metal roofs weaken and contract as a result of debris and possible rusting (for stronger variants). Keep an eye out for rust holes and panels that have slid down due to expansion and contraction.
Examine the seam transitions. These are the points at which one roof panel connects to another. Check for any gaps between them. Check for any missing or loose screws. Examine the roof’s edges and periphery for any missing pieces of 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’ve screwed everything tight and prepared each gap for better sealing, you can use urethane cement to seal the leaks in the metal roof. Before proceeding, ensure that all areas with damaged sealants and membranes have been identified and that a metal-roofing base coat and glass-membrane fabric roof patch have been applied. Another thing to remember is to use the correct urethane cement for your roof.
You must use urethane roof cement correctly when applying the new patch. Cover the entire area with urethane cement. An extension of at least six inches is sufficient to effectively secure the holes and gaps.
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.