Metal Roofs & Leaks

How to Locate a Leak in a Metal Roof

Metal roofs are the favorites of many people, especially because they are aesthetically appealing, durable, and long-lasting. When you look at homes across San Diego, you will find many metal roofs gracing the buildings.

Metal roofs have a lifespan of up to 50 years, but in the course of these years, a time would come when you could need to make a few repairs. For instance, when there is a leak in your metal roof, it could pose a challenge to identify and fix. Metal roofs pose more challenges than the cedar shingle roof or the normal asphalt.

Let’s look into what can cause a leak in your metal roof and how to identify points where your roof is leaking or damaged.

Poor Installation

Many faults and issues that you face with your metal roofs are caused by poor installation. Because metal roofs are quite modern, some roofers who aren’t well skilled in handling them might commit installation errors.

The most problematic installation issue happens when a roofer doesn’t install seams properly. In such a case, the seams will lift and water will pass through and leak under the roof.

When this happens, the first place to study is the actual roofing panel, that is, the body of the roof.

You can find such leaks by carrying out a visual inspection of all aspects of the roof. Look for things that might be missing, loose, or too tight.


Your metal roof can rust over time, but rust doesn’t always equate to a leak. However, rust is a sign that your roof is getting weak. It breaks down the protective coating on your roof, and if left unchecked, smaller openings might develop and eventually cause leakages.

Hence, it is important to speak to an installer once you notice rust so that an inhibitor will be applied. They will also look for other issues that might need attention.


There are several causes of holes or dents in a metal roof. They include someone walking on the roof or debris falling on it and causing damage to it.

Once you notice a dent on your roof, fix it immediately because it could cause water to pool on your roof. Any accompanying cracks from the dent can also lead to rust, and the development of a hole can cause more serious problems.


Fasteners are used to attach metal roof panels. They connect directly to the purlin, which offers strength, stability, and support to the framing.

Fasteners become covered when the panels get seamed and crimped together. However, as time goes on, fasters that have rubber washers could get worn out and cause gaps or holes between the metal and washer, which is a recipe for leaks.

Roof Penetrations

An interruption anywhere on the roof is described as a roof penetration. Roof penetrations include points like vents, skylights, chimneys, and vent pipes. It is important to inspect these penetrations frequently for signs of issues.

Termination Details

The point where your roof stops are called a termination detail. Such points include counter flashing along the house walls, gable trims, or the ridge cap.

It is important to ensure that there are no missing pieces, just as you should ensure that water isn’t getting under the caps.

Roof Safety Measurements For Homeowners

Basic rooms of Roof Safety for Homeowners

You might have been tempted at one time or the other to try handling your roof maintenance and repairs by yourself because it seems like something you can easily fix. While a DIY for your roof isn’t impossible, it isn’t always the best option because of concerns like safety and expertise. It might look easy when you observe with the eyes, but it doesn’t mean that the activity is without risks.

Although it is important to always engage the services of roofing experts for all your roof matters, if you choose to go the way of DIY, either for inspection or repairs, you’ll need to use the right equipment for your safety, as well as a smooth work process.

1. Crowbar

Your roof repair or maintenance might begin with nail or shingle removals, and you need to know how to get it done. Without the right tool, removing them from your roof will be both difficult and dangerous.

If you use the wrong tool, you’ll have to exert more force than usual, which could lead to a fall, accidents, or a dangerous situation.

Even professional roofers always go about with crowbars to make the process easier for them. You should definitely do the same, especially because you might need to remove stubborn shingles or a rusted nail. Crowbars make the work easier.

2. Flat-Head Shovel

Apart from a crowbar or utility bar, a flat-head shovel is also very instrumental in removing shingles from your roof. So, if there are old shingles you want to remove and replace, you’ll need to own a flat-head shovel and use it.

3. Fall Protection equipment

Just as you could topple over by trying to take out shingles and nails without the right equipment, climbing on your roof for whatever reason could result in a fall. You could get a minor or even a serious injury from such a fall, so safety is key.

So, one of the first kits to get before starting your DIY roofing activities is a fall protection kit. This kit should contain a safety harness, roof anchor, shock-absorbing lanyard, and a rope lifeline.

While this kit can go a long way to protect you from the incidence of a fall, the process can also be tricky if you have a steep roof. In this case, it is always best to leave the job to an expert who has more experience handling such roofs.

4. Toe Boards

There is no such thing as too much protection when you’re handling roof maintenance by yourself because the danger from a fall is better imagined than experienced.

Toe boards are important when you’re climbing on your roof because they help to make your footing firmer and more comfortable. Toe boards have roof jacks that can be attached under your shingles, making it possible for you to move fluidly throughout the roof without slipping, falling, or getting wounded.

5. Ladder or scaffold 

You need to get on the roof before you get any work done, so you must have equipment that takes you up there safely. A ladder, scaffold, or even a shingle lift are safe enough to help you climb up your roof and climb back down when you’re done.

Professional roofers always go about with any of these tools, so ensure that you also have one of them. Make sure they are in top condition to avoid accidents or a fall while using them.

6. Roofing Nails

You can’t use just any nail when working on a roof repair. You’ll need to use specific nails that fit what you’re doing. Purchase the right roofing nails you need for your DIY project because using the wrong nail to hold your shingles and roofing system in place would be counter-productive.

First, the nail won’t hold the roof in place, thereby creating the need for repairs again in no time. Also, trying to force the wrong nails into position can cause accidents.

The best nails to purchase for your DIY roof maintenance or installation are the 1.25-inch coil nails. They are strong and sturdy and can be used for several roofing purposes.

After getting the nails, also ensure that you secure them right. This entails ensuring that they pierce through your roof deck completely so that they hold better and don’t remove at the slightest issue or wind.

7. Hammer 

You’ll be needing a hammer or roofing nailer to get the nails into position or replace a few shingles. You’ll need the hammer to replace the shingles after removing the old and worn-out ones.

But when dealing with an entire roof replacement, you’ll need a roofing nailer for the new attachment as it delivers greater efficiency for such a wide-range job.

Engage the services of a roofing expert for your repairs

While these tips will be helpful for your DIY roof repairs or maintenance, it still won’t be easy to carry out the process, especially if you don’t have any experience in such matters.

If you don’t have the necessary experience or you’re not sure you can do a great job on your roof, reach out to a roofing expert to handle the process for you.

A roofer has all the experiences you might lack, and also has the right tools for every process. So, you don’t have to rent or buy these pieces of equipment. Allow a professional roofer to handle the process safely and efficiently.