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.

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