Checking Your Metal Roof For Damage After A Storm
The durability of a metal roof is one of its prime selling points. But while many people choose metal roofs because of their low maintenance requirements, severe weather can still have an effect on them. You should take a look at your roof after any big storm; the earlier you catch any damage, the easier repairs will be.
How To Inspect
Generally speaking, you want to walk on a metal roof as little as possible. This is not a maintenance issue but an aesthetic one. A professional roofer will know where the joists are in your roof and will walk over them to avoid putting pressure on the surface of the roof; if you don't know where the joists are, you risk denting or scuffing the roof panels or shingles by walking across them. This won't compromise the integrity of the roof, but it may be visible from the ground.
It's completely possible to conduct your roof inspection from the ground with a pair of binoculars, and you won't have to worry about losing your balance. You should be able to see the surface of your roof quite clearly without any risk to the roof at all. You can also get an up-close view of some parts of the roof using a ladder.
If you notice rust in the main part of your roof, this is a serious problem. It's most likely a sealant failure – look for areas where the surface of the roof may have fine cracks or appear to be flaking. However, sealant failure is not the most common kind of rust problem. In addition to looking for obvious rust on the surface of the roof, you should take a look at the seams between panels as well as the fasteners.
Usually, the fasteners on a metal roof are slightly separated from the roof by neoprene washers. If these washers are damaged in a storm or the high winds of a storm cause the metal to shift so that the fasteners are pressed against the roof, this can cause accelerated rusting. And this will also give you a chance to spot any loose or missing fasteners as well.
Metal roofs have high impact resistance, so dents to metal roofs after storms are generally a sign that you had some pretty serious hail – or perhaps that high winds pulled down some tree branches. These dents are usually an aesthetic issue; dented metal isn't structurally compromised and won't lead to leaks.
However, there is something to watch out for with dents in a metal roof. Whatever caused the dent in the roof may also have damaged the paint or sealant in that spot. With paint, this may be easily visible; for sealant, look for fine cracks or simply keep an eye on the spot for further signs of damage. If the paint or sealant is compromised, the metal underneath may rust from exposure to water in the future.
If you notice any signs of damage, be sure to call a metal roofing expert to make repairs promptly.