Today’s homeowners have been making the switch to metal roofing in droves. In addition to being just as attractive as asphalt shingle roofs, residential metal roofs are more durable and have longer usable lives. The increased longevity of metal roofing doesn’t mean it’s completely maintenance-free, though. Homeowners can read on to find out about a few of the most common signs it’s time for metal roof repair.
Tears or Punctures
Metal is sturdier than most residential roofing materials, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely invincible. The most common circumstances leading to punctures or tears are those that require workers or homeowners to walk on their roofs.
It’s best to leave work that requires walking on the roof to professional contractors who know how to avoid damaging the materials, so avoid the temptation to throw some caulk on the tear and call it a day. Caulking is a temporary solution, and, frankly, it’s an ugly one. Roofing contractors can perform repairs that will seal leaks without affecting the roof’s visual appeal.
Like most materials, metal expands and contracts as temperature and humidity levels change. Over time, that movement can cause the roofing sheets to separate from the screws at the seams, allowing water to seep in. The good news is that if homeowners call for repairs as soon as they notice loose seams, the repairs should be quick, easy, and affordable.
Roofing contractors use sealants around the seams and edges of residential metal roofs. The problem is, while the roof itself could last 50 years or longer with adequate maintenance, the sealant will start to break down after 20 years. Harsh weather conditions can cause the sealant to degrade even faster. Even if the roof looks fine and there are no visible leaks, it’s best to have the sealant replaced every 20 years to avoid more serious problems like rust, corrosion, and water leaks.
Painted metal roofs don’t just look better. They also have an added layer of protection against the elements. When paint begins to thin or gets chipped during exposure to hail or falling debris, homeowners should have it fixed immediately. Thinning or chipped paint isn’t just an aesthetic problem. It allows water to come into contact with exposed metal, which can lead to problems with rust.
Metal roofing is supposed to be sealed upon installation with anti-corrosive agents that protect it from rain and snow. Sometimes, roofers who don’t have much experience with metal roofing install the sealant incorrectly, though, and it often becomes worn or damaged over time.
To complicate matters further, multiple types of metal coming into contact with each other can sometimes create more problems with corrosion. Aluminum flashing should never come into direct contact with copper roofing panels, to give just one example. If an incorrect installation has led to problems with rust and corrosion, call a reputable roofing contractor for repairs as soon as possible.
The Bottom Line
Correctly installed metal roofs can last up to a century with proper care and, yes, occasional repairs. It’s always best to address issues as they arise instead of putting them off. Otherwise, homeowners may find that they need to replace their roofing systems much sooner than they expected.