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Unlike asphalt or other roofing materials, a properly installed metal roof system can handle just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it. Metal roofing can protect your home against extreme temperatures, high winds, hail, marine air and even fire—all with minimal maintenance. But if your metal roof system wasn’t installed properly or it has been compromised from storm damage, you may experience leaks over time. The construction details that make up a metal roof are unique to these systems. As a result, the options for metal roof repair in St. Petersburg and Tampa are unique as well.
Have you experienced roof leaks on your metal roof system? If you have, you are not alone. Metal roof systems are prone to leaking in certain situations. Common metal roof issues can include:
- Open seams
- Water penetration of flashing
- Metal roof oxidation
- Fastener backout
- Open ridge or headwall flashing
- Metal panel storm damage
Before we get into where leaks develop and how they are repaired, let’s look at a few design characteristics of a metal roof systems.
Architectural Versus Structural Metal Roof Systems
Metal roof systems are installed as architectural metal assembly or as a structural assembly. The primary difference between the two is the use of a structural roof deck. An architectural metal roof system is installed over a separate structural roof deck. These are used on most residential applications. The main characteristic of this type of metal roof system design is that there is a separate structural deck that supports the metal panels.
A structural metal roof system is just as it sounds. This type of design uses metal panels as both the structural deck as well as the waterproofing system for the structure. These metal roof systems are found on pre-engineered metal buildings. This type of roof system is installed using the clips that attach the panels to the horizontal purlins for the building. Typically batten insulation is laid across the purlins before installing the metal panels.
Standing Seam Versus Screw Down Panels
The two most common metal roof systems to choose from are standing seam or screw down panel. Both have their uses and both have their advantages and disadvantages.
A standing seam metal roof system involves a series of panels that are locked together at seams or seamed mechanically. The ribs or standing seams are usually between 12 and 24 inches apart, depending on the length of the panel and the aesthetics of the home. Standing seam roofs are installed over conditioned air spaces.
Screw down panels, in contrast, are fastened to the home using screws and washers, fastened to the structure through the metal panel. They are typically installed over non-conditioned air spaces, such as those found in barns, garages or carports.
Whatever metal roof system you choose, you need to be aware of factors that include expansion capability, maintenance, oil canning and cost, so you can make the most informed decision.
Metal roofs experience something called thermal expansion. When they heat up, the metal expands. The metal contracts when it cools down.
Standing seam panels are fastened under each rib or seam. These clip-like fasteners allow the roof to expand and contract freely, the panels gliding over clips.
A screwed down metal roof system doesn’t allow the metal to expand and contract naturally. As a result of this stress, screws become unfastened due to wallowing. Because these fasteners are exposed to the elements, this leads to leaks and water penetration. As a result, the screws and washers need replacing every few years with larger screws and washers.
Once a standing seam roof is installed, there is virtually no maintenance required, except sealing around penetration points, such as where vents or piping rise up out of the roof. Boots and collars will eventually need to be replaced around these points.
One advantage that the screwed down metal roof has over standing seam roofs is that it is not prone to oil canning. Oil canning is when the metal on your standing seam roof is trying to expand but is in a bind. Some installers will put the standing seam panels too tightly together and then put the clips on them. The panels have room to expand lengthwise, but there’s no room for expansion sideways. That starts the oil canning process.
This binding action starts to form large bubbles in the metal. Bubbles turn into bubbling, which turns into oil canning. It is called this because it looks like oil cans lined up together.
Repair, Restoration or Replacement
Homeowners have three options when dealing with their metal roof system. They can repair the roof system, restore the roof or replace the roof with a new roof system.
- Repair and maintain: At Classic Roofing & Construction, we encourage our metal roof clients to have our trained team members inspect their roofs on a bi-annual basis to catch any issues early on before they develop into more expensive concerns. Problems such as oxidation can be addressed before they become a more expensive issue. Fasteners that have started to back out can be replaced or re-tightened. Sealants can be applied to close any damages caused by storms.
- Restoration: As a metal roof ages, the frequency of the leaks may increase. Eventually the rate of leaks and the overall condition of the roof system will require a more significant scope of work. There is a limited window of opportunity to implement a restoration program before a replacement becomes necessary.Metal roof restoration consists of a specific set of steps. These include some of the steps outlined previously, such as fastener replacement and application of rust inhibitors. Additional repairs to any penetrations may also be necessary.
After these repairs are made, a coating may be recommended to the surface of the roof. There are acrylic and urethane coatings. Each has restrictions that need to be considered when designing the restoration solution.
- Replacement: If it is time for replacement, Classic Roofing & Construction can help you select a new metal roofing system for your home. Today’s residential metal roofs are available in a wide array of styles, construction types, material choices, paint options and coatings. You can easily find the perfect look to complement your home.In fact, metal roofing can be made to look exactly like common roofing material such as asphalt shingle, cedar shake, clay tile or slate roofing–only stronger and more durable. For the distinctive look of traditional metal roofing you can choose from residential standing seam panels in a wide variety of colors to make a bold architectural statement. Blend in or stand out, with metal roofing the choice is yours.
Get Started on Metal Roof Repair St. Petersburg and Tampa
Contact Classic Roofing & Construction to get started on protecting your home from Mother Nature’s wrath in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater, Fort Myers or surrounding areas. Call us at 727-329-8023 or click to schedule a free consultation.