Metal Roof Repair: How to Get Started & 3 Common Repair Options

Posted on September 14, 2023

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Metal Roof Repair: How to Get Started & 3 Common Repair Options

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a metal roof that’s seen better days. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Metal roofs are known for their durability, but they too, can succumb to wear and tear over time due to aging and weather. The good news is that you can repair them and extend their lifespan. 

As a metal roofing professional and a homeowner myself, I’m here with a helpful guide to walk you through the ins and outs of metal roof repair. So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get started!

Where to Begin With Metal Roof Repair: How the Pros Do It

Here is how professional roofers proceed when you hire them to fix your metal roof. It is recommended to focus on permanent repairs rather than quick fixes, as temporary solutions will not last and may lead to further issues. Quick repairs are fast and cheap, but they just suppress the main problem, which leads to unexpected risks and costly replacements later on. So, let’s understand the correct way to repair metal roofs.

Assessing the Damage

Before we bring out the toolbox, we need to know what we’re dealing with. Metal roof problems can range from minor dents and scratches to more significant damage involving multiple leaks and rust. 

Here’s how you can assess the damage:

Step 1: Visual Inspection

Take a stroll around your home and visually inspect your metal roof. Look for any signs of damage, such as loose or missing panels, rust spots, or areas with chipped paint. Make notes of the areas that need attention. Take a peek at the roof through the upper floors of your home or windows from where the surface of the panels is clearly visible.

Step 2: Interior Inspection

Don’t forget to check your attic or the space beneath the roof for any signs of water leaks or moisture. Water stains on the ceiling or damp insulation are common red flags.

Step 3: Professional Inspection

While you can identify some issues on your own, it’s always best to call in a professional roofing contractor to run a full roof inspection. They have the experience and tools to spot hidden problems and put an end to them. At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we are dedicated to helping Pennsylvania homeowners find risky roof issues early on by providing a free roof inspection.

Once you’ve identified all the problematic areas, it’s time to navigate your repair options.

How to Repair a Metal Roof

Patching, sealing, coating, and refastening the seams are common methods.

Metal Roof Repair

#1 Patch and Seal: A DIY-Friendly Fix

Let’s start with one of the more straightforward repair options: patching and sealing. This method is ideal for those minor annoyances like small holes and rust spots that can inhibit your metal roof’s performance. Here’s how you can do it yourself:

What You’ll Need

👉 A patch of matching metal (usually available at hardware stores)

👉 Wire brush

👉 Metal snip or cutter

👉 Drill with a metal bit

👉 Waterproof metal roof sealant

👉 Safety gear (gloves and safety glasses)

1. Cleaning the Area

Start by using the wire brush to clean the damaged area. Remove any loose debris, rust, or peeling paint. The cleaner the surface, the better the patch will adhere.

2. Cutting the Patch

Cut a piece of matching metal that’s slightly larger than the damaged area. You can use tin snips or a metal cutter for this. Ensure that the patch fits snugly over the damaged spot.

3. Drilling Holes

With your metal patch ready, drill small holes around the edges of the damaged area and on the patch itself. This will help the sealant adhere better and provide a stronger bond.

4. Applying Sealant

Apply a good amount of waterproof sealant to both the damaged area and the back of the metal patch. Press the patch firmly onto the damaged spot, aligning the drilled holes.

5. Securing the Patch

To secure the patch in place while the sealant dries, you can use screws or rivets. Place them through the drilled holes and tighten them securely.

6. Seal the Edges

Finally, seal the edges of the patch with more sealant. This ensures that no amount of moisture can enter the repaired area.

However, for larger holes and major rust issues, or if you’re uncomfortable with DIY metal roofing repairs, consult a professional for advice.

#2 Paint and Coating: Extra Protection

Paint And Coating

Is your metal roof losing its luster? Don’t worry, you can revive its appearance and protect it from further corrosion with a fresh coat of paint and the right coating. Here’s how the professionals do it:

What You’ll Need

👉 Rust inhibitor or primer for metal surfaces

👉 High-quality paint formulated for metal roofs

👉 Paint rollers, brushes, or a paint sprayer

👉 Drop cloths or tarps to protect your surroundings

👉 Safety gear (gloves, safety glasses, and a mask)

1. Paint Selection

Cleaning will always be the first step in metal roof repairs. Once you’re done with that, choose a high-quality metal roof paint. These paints offer better durability and resistance to weather and UV rays. Consult with your local hardware store for the best options.

2. Application Method

You can paint the roof using rollers, brushes, or a paint sprayer. Each method has its advantages, but a sprayer often provides the most even and efficient coverage. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the paint application.

3. Apply the First Coat

Apply the paint evenly across your metal roof. Ensure that you cover all areas, including seams and joints. Allow this coat to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Apply Additional Coats

Depending on your paint’s quality and color, you may need to apply multiple coats. Usually, two coats are sufficient, but some paints may require more. Make sure each coat is dry before applying the next.

5. Final Inspection

Once the paint has dried, inspect your roof carefully to ensure that you haven’t missed any spots. Touch up any areas that need it.

This DIY-friendly option can extend the life of your roof and enhance its curb appeal. However, if your roof is old or larger in size, it’s better to go for professional coating and painting as the right materials and tools can be expensive. You’ll also need a more robust technique which the roofers are already trained in.

#3 Seam Repair: Tackling the Leaks

One of the most common issues homeowners face with metal roofs is leaks at the seams and joints. Over time, these areas can become vulnerable to water infiltration. Fortunately, seam repair is an effective way to address this problem. Here are the steps to take for metal roof leak repairs:

What You’ll Need

👉 Metal roof sealant compatible with your roof material

👉 A caulk gun

👉 A wire brush or sandpaper

👉 Safety gear (gloves and safety glasses)

1. Apply the Sealant

After cleaning the roof, add the metal roof sealant into a caulk gun. Apply a sufficient amount of sealant along the seam or joint that needs repair. Ensure that the sealant covers the entire problem area.

2. Smooth and Shape

After applying the sealant, use a putty knife or your gloved fingers to smooth and shape it. This creates a watertight seal and helps the repair blend in with the surrounding roof.

3. Let It Cure

Allow the sealant to dry based on the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually takes at least 24 hours. During this time, make sure there is no rain or moisture that could compromise the repair.

4. Final Inspection

Once the sealant has cured, perform a final inspection. Check for any areas that may need a second application or touch-up. Ensure that the seams and joints are sealed securely.

If your metal roof’s flashing is damaged, you may need to contact an expert for guidance on how to proceed. Flashing repair and replacements are not DIY options as they need precision in cutting, shaping, and installing.

Wrapping Up Your Metal Roof Repair Process

Whether you’re patching up minor damage, giving your roof a fresh coat of paint, replacing panels, or tackling troublesome seams, there’s a solution for every issue. Remember that regular maintenance and timely repairs are fundamental to extending the life of your metal roof. By following these repair options and taking proper care of your roof, you can enjoy its durability and protection for years to come. If you’re stuck, unsure, or facing more extensive roof damage in Pennsylvania, we are here to help.

Ready to Revive Your Home’s Metal Roof?

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we’re not just roofers, we’re your partner in protecting your home and family. For years, our team has transformed aging metal roofs into secure and watertight barriers that look like new. Homeowners in and around Pittsburgh rely on our efficient and friendly experts for the best results, and you can, too. Don’t wait until the next storm sends you running for buckets and towels. Call us at (412) 353-5660, and we’ll be there with a permanent solution. Discuss your metal roof repair project in Pennsylvania over a free consultation and roof inspection.

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