7 Common Problems of a Metal Roof

25January 2019

Metal Roof Problems – How to Avoid Them – How to fix them, What They Are.

1.  A Metal Roof has one issue that occurs called oil canning or stress wrinkling — that wavy appearance you see in the roof panel occurs with standing seam panels which are caused by thermal expansion and contraction.

The material itself could cause this problem, it could be the roof condition that depicts that oil canning.  There’s a lot of different scenarios that build its case for oil canning itself.

Is oil canning completely aesthetic or is it going to damage your roof?

It’s completely aesthetic.  The metal roof is still going to perform well, there’s no degradation in the material, so the roof is still of a high standard.

Is there any way to avoid oil canning or kind of eliminate that possibility?

Oil Canning shown on flat, ribbed and striated panels.

Striated panels, or pencil ribs in the panel, minimizes oil canning and provides a more aesthetically appealing panel.

Manufacturers are executing a waiver form that if you really do want to flatten the panel you sign a waiver form.

Steps to take to help minimize the visual effect of stress wrinkling on a metal roof when you are in the planning phase:

  1.  Go for thicker, higher quality material.
  2.  Choose a light color with low-gloss.
  3.  Choose the right panel design.
  4.  Insist on backer rods.
  5. Hire an experienced roofing contractor.

3.  Why Does a Roof Leak?

There are several reasons and one could be a bad installation, or it could be a major weather event.  A bad rainstorm and your roof are overwhelmed with the amount of water.  Heavy rain storm falling on metal roof.

Could also be unfinished business, the counter flashing did not get finished by the installer due to their day ending and they never got back to it.

The other reason could be on a face fastened panel the screws themselves is one of the biggest problems.  The neoprene washer is unprotected from UV so it will deteriorate very fast.  The washer’s sides are not protected from the UV and are going to be exposed and deteriorate.  The roof will be ok for a while, but it will eventually start leaking where these fasteners are underdriven or off-center.

Your underlayment is your last hope that water doesn’t infiltrate and you want this installed properly from the beginning.  Underlayment and flashings are crucial they create your homes primary water barrier.

4. Scratching and scuffing how does this happen and how does it affect your roof?

Scratching and scuffing caused when the installer steps onto the roof to finish the flashing. The installer should limit the amount of traffic on the roof at this point.  Tools fall and can skip across the roof causing scuffing or scratches.

The installer can fix these with a manufacturer paint pen by filling these areas with the paint pen as it can lead to corrosion and degradation of your roofing material.

5.  There are a few different things that can cause your roof to corrode what are those things?

Improper cutting, using the wrong tools, any sort of an abrasive blade will cause corrosion.  When handling the material if it gets gouged scratched as we spoke before anytime we scratch, we definitely want to infill with the proper paint from the paint manufacturer.

The other part is different environmental conditions and especially I would seriously recommend a preventative maintenance schedule like say once or twice a year.  Check out your roof to see what’s going on up there, you’ve made the investment on an expensive metal roof you should maintain it and make sure that it’s in good shape.

Galvanized steel being a metal roof material will show corrosion from a scratch.  On a galvanized material substrate and the corrosion will spread throughout the scratch.

A Galvalume Substrate will do a whole lot less spreading.

Steel is a Goblin Substrate and its galvalume; a scratch will start the corrosion part and then it subsides it doesn’t keep spreading as it would on a galvanized substrate and that is the real advantage of goblin.

How To Fix Corrosion On Your Metal Roof

First, you must identify the problem and then contact your metal roofing manufacturer, don’t delay, as they will definitely lead you in the right direction.  They will come up with a remedy and potentially save your roof from a catastrophe.  The roof can completely fail and you don’t want that expense.

6.  Dissimilar Materials What Does That Mean?

Dissimilar materials, for instance, is copper, aluminum and some stainless steels are dissimilar metals.  When these meet a dissimilar material can cause corrosion or other problems.

An example would be a prefinished metal roof that has copper gutters. The copper gutters water and the splash creates corrosion throughout the entire linear design.  That material is failing water splash runoff from a copper pipe all those things can lead to dissimilar metal corrosion.  This type of dissimilar materials can dissolve an entire corroded area on a metal roof.  They don’t have to be in contact with one another but just an environmental condition.

What Does A Chalky and Fading Metal Roof Mean?

This visual condition is the degradation of your paint, meaning it’s faded.  Understand that all paint systems will fade over time.  Warranties account for it so you can select a paint system and warranty that provide maximum protection. This condition when measured scientifically by the paint manufacturer to either warrant it or assess where the warranty stops.

7.  Installation Error.

A bad installation error is a valid condition,  that’s when the edge of the panel is wide open, and some flashing’s that are not installed properly. You spend a lot of money on a metal roof and your installer must follow manufacturer’s instructions correctly.

The only way to protect yourself is with recommended installers properly trained by the manufacturer.

If you’re going to make that big investment of a metal roof you definitely want to do your research, beforehand.  You want to take a look at the installers details, that they’re going to be installing versus what the manufacturer recommendations.  Make sure that those things marry up.

If you feel something is wrong, identify the things that don’t necessarily look correct.   After the install, you want to work it out with the roofing contractor, but if you can’t get it resolved potentially a roof consultant can help you.

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