Education Roofing Exteriors

5 Common Reasons Metal Roofs Leak

Metal roofs have become increasingly popular with builders and homeowners alike, with tons of styles ranging from traditional silver to modern reds and blues. But while metal roofs are often chosen for their longevity and durability, they are not impervious to leaks. Learn the five most common reasons metal roofs leak and how you can avoid them.

1. Improper Installation

Unfortunately, the main reason that metal roofs will fail before their lifespan is up, sometimes within the first few years, is improper installation. Metal roof installation is very different than the typical asphalt shingles that most roofing companies have experience installing. Do your research beforehand and ensure that the company is experienced in metal roofing installation specifically. If your metal roof is installed incorrectly, the faulty installation can even void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Download our How to Repair a Roof Leak Step by Step Guide

2. Failed Flashing

Any place that your roofing material is penetrated, like a chimney or vent pipe, is an opportunity for water to get in. Flashing and the caulk that seals it does not have as long a lifespan as your metal roof. That means flashing will fail faster than your roof and need to be replaced about every 10 to 15 years. With regular maintenance, it’s relatively easy to avoid a roof leak through flashing.

3. Roof Rust

If the coating on your metal roof begins to peel, rust can eat away at it until there are holes, which allow water in and can even cause structural issues for the roof. If you see rust on your roof, take action right away by applying a rust inhibitor that can stop the rust from spreading. You should still call a roofer to come out and do a more extensive fix to replace the roofing panel, or potentially your entire roof. Still, rust inhibitors can buy you some time, saving your home’s interior from potential leaks while you work with a roofer to find the best solution.

4. Faulty Fasteners

Exposed fastener systems, which are not engineered to the same standards as the standing seam systems that Brothers installs, can allow rainwater to seep through the screw holes. Fasteners can become exposed due to vibrations from wind or freezing and thawing, which pushes fasteners up and leaves holes or gaps in the seam laps. Leaks could also be caused by under or over driven screws, or even screws driven at the wrong angle during installation. With standing-seam metal roofs, which most experienced roofers will recommend, the fasteners are hidden, eliminating this issue.

5. Separated Seams

Even in a standing seam system, the overlaps can be a place for water to penetrate. These seams must be sealed correctly upon installation to keep water out. However, over time the sealant can break down as the roof shifts. That’s why it’s essential to have regular roof inspections to ensure that your seams remain secure.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter why your metal roof is leaking; you just need it to be fixed! If you don’t, the water will leak down into your home and can cause a myriad of issues, from mold and mildew to structural damage.

If you need help with a leaky metal roof, or you’re looking for expert metal roof installation, schedule a consultation with one of our metal roofing consultants.


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