How to find a leak in a metal roof?

Dec 20, 2020 | Blog, Leak, Roof Problem

Searching for leaks on a metal roof can be quite difficult if you don’t actually know where to look. When your efforts are more focused then it is more likely that you will accurately discover the leaks and therefore will be better able to repair them.

1. Leaks in the main body of the metal roof

These types of leaks are more common than others and occur in the main metal panel of the roof. So this is where you should start your search for leaks in a metal roof. A thorough visual estimate of the roof should suffice for these kinds of leaks.

How to find them?

  • Debris will give rise to puncture holes.
  • Screws will be missing, loosened, overtightened, or misaligned. 
  • Parts of the panel that are sliding due to thermal expansion and contraction.
  • Corroded and rusted holes.

2. Leaks at the termination details of the metal roof

The region where a metal roof ends is known as a termination detail. It is the edge of the home where the ends of the metal panels are concealed by counter flashing and trims.

How to find them?

  • Pieces of the coping cap, ridge cap, or hip cap are missing or loose.
  • Water is blowing or running under the caps.
  • There is a lack of integrity in the sealant behind the counter flashing. 

3. Leaks at transitions points in the metal roof 

In the language of architecture, transition points are where one section of a metal roof meets another. It can be very difficult to keep the transition points dry if they have an intricate shape or complex geometry. If water gets trapped in the transition points then it can lead to tricky leaks that are hard to find. That is why you have to pay very close attention when inspecting transition points of a metal roof because even small negligence will lead to a leak going undetected. 

How to find them?

  • Gaps or loosened trims are found between the pieces.
  • The butyl tape or the sealant is missing.
  • Screws will be missing, loosened, or misaligned. 
  • Lack of uniformity at the overlapping of metal panels.

4. Leaks around metal roof penetrations

The points where the vents, mechanical supports, and pipes pass through the metal roof are called penetrations. You will have to use a flashlight to inspect these points. These regions are highly dependent on the sealant, tape, caulking, butyl, and pitch pan sealer to keep the water out. Therefore, these regions have a high probability of leaks. That is why you should regularly inspect metal roof penetrations as a part of your maintenance regimen.

How to find them?

  • The sealant is degrading or deteriorating. 
  • There are rampant cracks where the penetration meets the metal panel.
  • There are gaps in the corners of HVAC curbs or metal trims.

5. How to repair leaks in a metal roof?

Repairing leaks in a metal roof can be a bit tricky if you haven’t done it before especially if they are found in the transition points or at the penetrations. You can save yourself the hassle by hiring a professional roof contractor like Guardian Roofs. We can efficiently repair leaks in your metal roof in a timely manner. Contact us at (714) 633-3619 to obtain a quote or schedule your roof repair service right away.

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