Metal roofing is a common fixture on a variety of structures throughout America. Though newer houses and businesses are most often outfitted with shingles or some other type of material, you’ll find metal used for warehouses, sheds, patio covers, and even some older houses and storefronts. This material was, and occasionally still is, used for its durability; metal roofing is very strong and heavy, and it is therefore resistant to wind, blunt force (as in a falling tree or branch), and a variety of other sources of damage. The biggest problem comes from precipitation. Rain can cause extensive rust damage over time, weakening the structural integrity of the material. This can lead to receding edges, displaced nails, and even holes that allow leakage.
Major damage will generally require the assistance of experts to fully repair the roof. Less serious damage, however, can be fairly easily repaired with the right tools. Leaks are the most common complaint, and they are often the first noticeable signs of damage to metal roofing. If you see signs of leakage, you’ll want to first climb up with a ladder and determine the type of damage leading to the leak. Relevant issues generally fall under the following categories:
– Loose nails
– Rust and rust-related holes
– Miscellaneous holes
– Loose or separated seams and edges
Often, these types of issues will coexist. A series of loose nails, for example, can cause the seams between metal sheets to separate, which allows water to pour through the gap. As such, the first thing to do in the case of loose or separated edges is to figure out if the problem is a set of loose nails. If that’s the case, replacing the nails will solve the problem. Otherwise, you’ll need to hold the metal sheets in place with something heavy and seal the seams with urethane roof cement, asphalt (not recommended due to quick deterioration compared to urethane), or a self-adhesive membrane. All of the above can be found at any home improvement or hardware store, and they are fairly inexpensive. They will, however, require occasional replacement due to degradation over time.
In the case of holes, you’ll want to first determine whether they were caused by rust damage. If that’s the case, scrub the rust out with steel wool or a wire brush until it’s all gone. This is a good opportunity to check for rust on the rest of the roof and to get rid of it before it causes more extensive damage. Follow this with a coat of good primer before applying a top layer of paint. Finally, you can patch the holes with the aforementioned roofing cement or adhesive membrane.
These fixes will suffice for the most common minor damages for your metal roofing. Once again, for any serious damage, the best course of action is to hire an experienced specialist to make thorough repairs.