Metal Roofing Repair: Causes of Premature Leaks

Dealing with a freshly installed leaking metal roofing situation is pretty upsetting. You just spent thousands of dollars to a company that granted an everlasting leak-free roof, and you feel you were cheated on. Moreover, you are probably calculating how much it can cost you to have a professional repair done to solve the problem. Not to mention how disappointed you get when you call the installing company and they say your leaks are not covered by any sort of guarantee.

If this is happening to you, you are not alone. Thousands of home owners struggle with similar issues. Now, truth is that you should not have to be facing a metal roofing repair if your newly installed roof was installed correctly. But human errors happen, and they may be the reason of your leaky roof.

Detecting the Causes of Premature Leaks

What about the roof slope?

You need to ensure that the roof has enough slopes for a metal roof system that has a leak. Most of them require a minimum slope of 4.5 inches of rising every 12 inches of the roof. If you find metal shingles on a roof with a lower slope (3.5 inches or less), then you will have found the reason for the leak.

In the case of a standing seam, a minimum slope of 3.5 inches will be needed for the majority of the architectural standing seam metal roofs. Some commercial systems can accept a slope of 2.5 minimum, and some mechanically locked standing seams can work with a shallow pitch of only 1.5 inches.

Has it been properly locked?

There may be many causes other than the insufficient slope for a leaky metal roof, for instance, metal shingles or panels having blown away during a wind storm. This tends to happen when the roofs were not adequately installed or secured. If this is your case, you will have to see if the roof accepts being repaired by replacing the missing panels. You will have to identify what failed, as metal roofs are usually rated for a wind uplift of 100 mph or greater. For instance, you might find out that the panels blew away because they were not properly interlocked or were not secured to the deck with the right fasteners.

If none of the above applies, what could it be?

There are less obvious situations, and one common reason is that they were not correctly flashed around certain critical areas. I´m talking about roof penetrations such as skylights and chimneys. To repair such type of leak, you will have to use a particular type of silicone.

Another area to observe are end walls, side- walls, and also valley flashing. You need to verify that end or sidewall flashing ascents up to 5 or 6 inches from the base. For that, you will need to stick the hand under the siding to discover the height it ascends up from the base level. If it only raises a couple of inches, then you will have found the reason of your leak and will have to replace the flashing.  

Now, if you don´t find any of the above-listed causes, I´m sorry to tell you that you should better call a reputable professional to find out why your roof is leaking and have him do the metal roofing repair.

James Loveland

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