3 Common Causes Of Leaks In Metal Roofs

Posted on: 25 August 2017


From the initial purchase and moving in to installing window treatments and cleaning your carpet, the challenges of home ownership are easy to see. The roof is an imperative part of the home, but you may not place enough emphasis on understanding and maintaining it. Considering a metal roof has a life expectancy of 50 years or more, you may think this durable material does not require any maintenance or repairs. However, as with any roofing system, leaks may occur.  By catching these leaks early and making the necessary repairs, you can prevent costly and overwhelming water damage. With this guide, you will learn a few common causes of leaks in a metal roof, so you will be ready for potential leaks and repairs.

Roofing Screws

Metal screws used to install your metal roofing panels are one of the most common causes of water leaks. Each of the screws used in your roof should have a rubber gasket at the base of the head. This gasket seals the roof, preventing water from seeping through the metal panels. Unfortunately, many issues can occur that affect the position of the metal screw and its gasket seal.

A screw that is properly installed should penetrate the metal straight, compressing the rubber gasket against the surface in a firm and even manner. If the screw is misaligned, the gasket and screw head will not be flush against the metal, allowing moisture and water leaks to seep through.

An overdriven and underdriven screw can also increase the risk of water leaks. An overdriven screw will cause the gasket to bulge at the sides. Also, overdriving can strip out the screw, preventing the metal from a secure installation. An underdriven screw will also allow water to leak through, since there will be space left between the screw head/gasket and metal.

If you are noticing multiple small leaks across your roof, they may be due to issues with the screw. Inspecting the entire roof and reinstalling the metal with new screws will be necessary.


Sealant is used to create added protection against the environmental elements and your roof, but the material will not last as long as your metal. Over time, intense temperatures, the sun's UV rays, and other factors in the environment will cause the silicone to expand and contract, wearing down. Without a sufficient amount of sealant, your roof will have less protection against water leaks.

Sealant is most commonly used under trim, such as the metal ridge caps and flashings, pitch pans, and roof transitions. These are also the most common areas where you may begin noticing water leaks, so it is important to replace the sealant over time.

Consider using a sealant specifically designed for metal roofing. Or, a basic silicon caulking which will adhere to paint and metal materials.


As with any roofing material, your metal roof will be damaged by water if your gutters are clogged.

The gutter system is designed to move water off the top of your house and away from the foundation. If leaves, pine straw, dirt, and other debris are clogging your gutters, seams, and downspouts, water will begin to puddle.

This puddling is extremely dangerous to cedar shake and asphalt shingles, but it can also affect a corrugated metal roof.

Make sure to clean your gutters in the spring and fall to ensure they are clean and capable of moving water off of your roof. This is one of the easiest ways to prevent water damage that is dangerous and expensive.

While one of the most durable options available, metal roofs are at risk of leaks. With this guide and your contractor's help, you will learn the signs of a water leak to ensure efficient and effective repairs are made. Check out sites like http://www.gulfsideroofing.com if you'd like more information.