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How to Repair a Leaking Metal Roof without a Roofing Company

Metal roofs are one of our favorite roofs to install, just ask any roofing company and they will tell you, metal roofs look amazing and last a long time, longer than traditional asphalt shingle roofs.

While the typical lifespan of a metal roof is a testament to how durable they are, metal roofs are not immune to damage. These roofs may become damaged, compromised, and leaky before or after their expected lifespan due to major storms that result in hail or wind damage or impact from a tree or neighbor’s house.

If a metal roof leaks during its lifespan, poor installation is most likely to blame, the process of installing a metal roof is not the same as the installation process of an asphalt shingle roof. When screws, fasteners, or seams are installed incorrectly, this can occur. At times, the product itself is the issue starting at the manufacturing level.

A leaking metal roof can also be caused by old sealants or attachments, like roof vents. Sealants and coatings will degrade over time, their lifespans vary between different types and brands. Other parts of your roof could be to blame as well, screws, seams, and attachments will deteriorate over time as a result of long periods of heating and cooling as well as typical movements from your house settling.

Making repairs to metal roofs

Loose attachments or panels with rust spots, wrinkling, buckling, tears, cracks, and holes are all signs of metal roofing damage. Moisture and leaks can be caused by a variety of issues, including loose attachments, cracks, and holes.

There are multiple options for the different types of repairs metal roofs can sustain – be sure to check with any warranties you may have on your roof to make sure you are not voiding them by doing the roof repairs yourself. The repair may just need one panel replaced or you may have to replace a section or the entire roof.

Spot treatments and patches can be used to repair minor issues such as rust, cracks, or tears. Other issues, such as larger holes or holes associated with buckling, should be addressed with a full panel replacement. Certain areas of the roof may also need to be resealed or recoated.

Homeowners should exercise caution when undertaking this type of home repair work. Metal roofing is durable, but it does not hold up well to foot traffic, so walking around a metal roof is not recommended.

Anyone working on a metal roof will need to use a ladder, be comfortable working at heights, know how to navigate on slippery surfaces, and understand the roof’s underlying structure.

How to do your own metal roof repairs:

Begin the project by inspecting and cleaning the damaged area.

First, check to see if any metal roofing around the damaged area is lifting up. The roof may be lifted, curling, jagged, or sticking up. If you see anything like this, cut it off or hammer it down until the area is completely level.

Then, using an all-purpose cleaner such as Simple Green, clean the area. Remove any grime, film, dirt, or algae growth with the cleaner. Then, using a wet cloth, wipe the surface again. Then, using a clean, dry cloth, dry it.

Determine the area of the roof that requires repair. Then, on all sides, cut a piece of sheet metal that is at least 2 inches larger than this.

Round out the corners and smooth the edges with an emery cloth or metal file. Make sure to finish this step because it is critical for preventing snow and ice from accumulating on the piece of metal.

Scuff the surface area and outline the patch. Place the patch over the damaged area and trace around it with a pencil.  After that, use a wire brush to gently scuff the repair area’s surface. Scuffing it will aid in the adhesion of the repair sealant to the metal, but it will also remove some of the protective coating from the roof. So, only brush within the patched area and try not to go beyond that. Apply the urethane sealant to the damaged surface area. Apply the sealant along the inside edge of the outline, staying within the first two inches.

The sealant must ooze out from underneath the patch along the entire edge. Moisture will be able to enter any areas where it does not currently exist. As a result, ensure that the application is even and generous.

Place the metal patch over the damaged area and press firmly. Check that the sealant is oozing out from all sides. Apply more sealant to any areas where the sealant isn’t showing through. To secure the hold, use pan-head sheet metal screws. The screws should be placed approximately 1 inch inside the edge and spaced every 3 to 4 inches. Make sure the screws only go down to the underlying roof panel. Screws should not be driven into the decking or rafters.

After you’ve finished screwing, use the putty knife to smooth the sealant along the patch, making sure it completely covers the edges. It is not necessary to paint repair patches. If the patch isn’t visible or is already the same color as the roof, some metal roof repairs benefit from a coat of paint. If you want to paint the metal patch, you must wait until the sealant has dried. Furthermore, you must use paint that is compatible with the sealant. To begin, lightly scuff the surface of the patch and the surrounding roofing with the wire brush. Then you can paint it.

Metal roof repairs using a roofing company

Metal roof repairs are a little more complicated than other types of roofing projects. Quick fixes can be made to tide things over, but for long-term repairs, it’s best to hire a professional roofer. We recommend working with local roofing companies that have experience installing metal roofs in Minneapolis.

A professional roofer will begin by conducting a thorough roof inspection to determine the full extent of the damage and to assess the roof’s integrity. They’ll then give you a report on what’s going on as well as recommendations for the best repair method.

A professional metal roof repair may be slightly more expensive than doing it yourself, but it is significantly less expensive than a roof replacement or interior restoration.

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