Illinois homeowners with metal roofs can feel fortunate to have a roofing material that is both durable and fire resistant. Even metal roofs, however, can develop problems if they are not well-maintained. The best way to prevent any particular issue from becoming a serious problem is to inspect your metal roof occasionally. Here is a guide to this important home maintenance topic.
Metal roofing panels are typically fastened to the framing or decking of the house with specially-made screws. In some cases, the screws can loosen over time, which allows water to leak into the house and cause damage. Check the fasteners from time to time to ensure that no screws are loose. You should not be able to turn a screw manually if it’s tight and secure.
In addition to loose fasteners, you should also check for missing fasteners. A storm or high winds could cause a loose fastener to fall out of its hole. A good way to check for any missing fastener is to stand on the ground and visually inspect the fastener rows with a pair of binoculars.
Another complication to look out for is rust. Although modern metal roofs have coatings that resist rust, long-term exposure to the elements can still cause rust to develop in some instances. The rust issue is sometimes a product of loose fasteners, as water gets under the fastener and allows rust and corrosion to gain a foothold.
Look for rust along the cut edges of the metal panels. Rust may begin as a small pinhole on the edge of a panel or could first appear as a discoloration on the metal. Rust is often difficult to see from the ground, so a close-up inspection on the roof itself is usually necessary.
Debris and Dirt
Check for debris on the roof often regularly. If you allow debris to build upon the roof, it could lead to staining. Also, organic materials, such as tree branches and leaves, tend to retain water, and you don’t want any water to remain on the roof. All water needs to drain off the roof quickly.
Sometimes dirt will get into the seams of the metal panels and harden. When hardened dirt appears on the seams, water will often collect in this area. In some cases, the roof will develop leaks because of water not flowing off the metal panels.
Any area of a metal roof that is penetrated by a feature such as a plumbing vent, skylight or chimney, is vulnerable to leaking. You need to inspect locations where penetrations exist at least every year to ensure that the feature is securely attached to the roof and not allowing any water to leak into the house.
Typically, a leak in one of these spots is due to the sealant at the base of the feature wearing out or a failure of the boot or flashing that secures the base to the roof.
Metal roof inspections are not easy for the average homeowner to perform themselves because a full inspection of a roof requires you to get on top of the roof, which presents some serious safety issues. The best way around this problem to have roof inspection by a professional roofing company.
To have your metal roof inspected by trained experts, talk with the qualified professionals at Amenity Roofing, Siding & Gutters LLC. We will identify and resolve any issues that could potentially damage your metal roof including fastener problems or rust issues. Contact us to learn more about this subject or for any of your roofing needs.