Quality and properly installed metal roofs last a long time and perform better than most roofing materials. Metal roofing reflects solar radiation and provides significant energy savings to homeowners. If you have an old metal roof, you should look out for the warning signs of trouble and protect your structure from moisture and weather damage. Here are three signs your old metal roof needs immediate repair.
The vast majority of residential metal roofs are made of steel. Steel metal is an alloy, comprising iron and other elements. Iron undergoes oxidation and corrosion when exposed to moisture and air. Therefore, to prevent oxidation, steel is coated with zinc. This forms a barrier that prevents corrosive elements from reaching iron and eroding it. Some steel roofing products have both aluminum and zinc coatings for better corrosion resistance.
Despite being coated with corrosion-resistant elements, steel may rust due to exposure to corrosive elements. For example, if you live in coastal areas, the saline environment can accelerate the degradation of the protective coatings. Surface rust can quickly cause structural damage to your metal roofing, causing leaks. Therefore, you need to repair the affected metal panels to protect your home from water damage.
Loose Metal Panels
Roofs are exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations with seasonal changes. In summer, the roof heats up during the day and expands. When the temperatures drop at night, the roof contracts due to the cold. This is known as thermal expansion, and it strains the screws on the panels, causing them to become loose. Over time, the screws may fall out, leaving the panels with no anchor.
If you catch this problem early, you can replace the screws and secure the panels. However, if the problem goes undetected for a long time, you must inspect the roof for structural damage. Loose panels can allow moisture infiltration, causing damage to the insulation and decking underneath. Severe structural damage may require extensive roofing repairs.
Roof frames and panels are designed to handle a specific amount of weight. Anything more than that causes the roof to sag. Minor dips in the structure may go unnoticed, but severe problems can cause the roof to cave in. The leading causes of sagging are
- Moisture damage, causing the wooden deck to rot and weaken.
- Inadequate storm bracing.
- Snow and ice accumulation on the roof.
Inspect your roof to determine why it is sagging. If the decking is warped or moisture-damaged, repair it by cutting out the rotting wood and replacing it with new plywood.
The extent of the damage to the roof will determine whether you need to repair sections of the roof or re-cover the structure. Contact a roofing contractor for in-depth roof inspection and professional roof repair services.