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Metal Roof Issues: Unveiling the Major Problems

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Residential Roofing

As champions of quality construction, we emphasize the importance of a reliable roof, acknowledging the distinct challenges each roofing material faces. Focusing on metal roofs, known for their longevity yet not immune to issues like oil canning, leaks, and corrosion, we delve into these common problems in our article. Importantly, we offer practical solutions for metal roof repairs. By understanding these challenges and how to address them, you’re equipped to maintain your metal roof’s durability against the elements.

Key Takeaways

  • Proactive metal roof maintenance can prevent many issues.
  • Despite their durable nature, metal roofs can experience problems such as oil canning, corrosion, and leaks.
  • Recognizing the symptoms of common metal roof problems aids in early detection and resolution.
  • Engaging professional service is a vital step for effective metal roof repair solutions.
  • Even though metal roofs are vulnerable to certain issues, by being informed and taking preventive measures, you can ensure your metal roof remains a valuable, long-lasting investment.

Introducing the Unavoidable Imperfections

Metal roofing combines durability and aesthetics, yet it’s not perfect, being susceptible to issues, often due to environmental factors. These problems, while less severe than those of other roofing materials, underscore the importance of early detection and proactive repair. Understanding and addressing potential weaknesses—akin to a mechanic maintaining a vehicle—can ensure the long-term effectiveness and resilience of metal roofs. This approach doesn’t discourage their use but advocates for informed maintenance and problem-solving skills to safeguard against and overcome inherent challenges.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of metal roof issues in the table below:

Type of Issue Description Solution
Oil Canning Visible waviness in the flat areas of metal roofing and panels Opting for thicker metal or tension-leveled metal and ensuring proper installation
Leaks Water intrusion due to failed fasteners, flaws in seams and sealants, or improper installation Engage a reputable contractor for repair and preventive maintenance
Corrosion Rusting due to various circumstances, including undue exposure to saltwater or interaction with dissimilar metals Choosing corrosion-resistant materials and replacing impacted panels when necessary

Now that we’re familiar with these challenges, we’ll analyze them in depth in the sections to follow. Stay tuned!

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The Pervasive Challenge of Oil Canning

As part of the broader discussion on Metal Roof Issues, it’s important to understand a common concern “oil canning.” This term refers to the visible waviness that often appears in the flat areas of metal roofing and panels. Despite the durability and resilience of metal roofs, oil canning is a trait inherent in almost all of them.

Defining Oil Canning in Metal Roofs

The Metal Construction Association defines oil canning as a visible waviness in the flat areas of metal roofing and panels. It becomes evident as a distortion across the flat areas of the panels, causing the surface to reflect light unevenly.

Contributing Factors to Oil Canning

While oil canning is typically a natural characteristic of metal roofs, several factors can intensify the issue. These include stresses from the metal coiling process, coil slitting, panel roll forming, and improper installation. Even structural changes to the building after the installation can lead to variations in the stress levels on the panels, resulting in noticeable oil canning.

Contributing Factor Description
Metal Coiling Stress from the coiling process can cause distortions.
Coil Slitting The process of cutting a large roll of material into narrower rolls can lead to uneven stress distribution.
Panel Rollforming The shaping process can stress the metal, causing distortions.
Improper Installation Incorrect installation procedures can lead to uneven stress.
Structural Changes Any modifications to the structure can alter the equilibrium, leading to oil canning.

Strategies to Mitigate Oil Canning

  • Opt for thicker metal: Heavier gauge metals are less susceptible to oil canning.
  • Select low-gloss or matte finishes: These finishes are effective in diminishing the visual impact of the waviness.
  • Purchase tension-leveled metal: This procedure involves stretching the coil to eliminate waviness.

Implementing these metal roof maintenance tips will undoubtedly lessen the chances of oil canning. However, the skills and experience of the installer remain paramount in averting this issue. An installer who is well-acquainted with industry-standard processes is the most crucial component in successfully preventing rust on metal roofs and other metal roof issues like oil canning.

Understanding and Tackling Leaks

Metal roofs, though robust, are not immune to leaks, which can cause significant damage and costly repairs. Leaks stem from a variety of factors, both controllable and uncontrollable, such as extreme weather, faulty installation, and inadequate sealants. However, fixing leaks is not a mystery. Identifying the cause is crucial, and experienced contractors have effective methods to prevent leaks, emphasizing the importance of hiring reputable professionals to minimize leakage risks in metal roofing systems.

Sources of leakage Preventive Measures
Weathers Events Regular inspection and maintenance
Failed Fasteners Using top-quality fasteners
Inadequate Seams or Flashing Apt installation and regular checks
Impaired Sealants or Butyl Tape Make use of premium sealants and butyl tape
Incorrect Installation Technique Ensure experienced and skilled installation

Recognizing these potential culprits is your first step towards a successfully leakproof metal roof. Remember that even if a minor leak seems harmless, in the beginning, it can lead to major damage if overlooked. Make sure to get your roof inspected regularly, especially after a major storm.

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Scuffing & Scratching: Maintaining the Aesthetics

One noteworthy metal roof issue to be aware of is surface damage, such as scuffing and scratching. These cosmetic defects can happen at any stage of a metal roof’s lifecycle and originate in varied circumstances, from manufacturing to installation. Ensuring the aesthetic longevity of your metal roof requires thoughtful troubleshooting and effective repair solutions.

Preventing Damage During Transportation and Installation

Metal roof manufacturers and installers often go to great lengths to protect the surfaces of panels and tiles from scratches and scuff marks. However, the challenge of avoiding surface damage starts right from the point of manufacture and extends through the transportation and installation processes. To mitigate potential issues, panels are commonly shipped with plastic or resin coatings, and edge guards also prove beneficial in preventing damage during transportation.

Repair Solutions for Scratched or Scuffed Metal Roofs

Despite our best efforts, mishandling or accidents can still result in scuffs or scratches on the metal roof surface. When this happens, rest assured that there are a number of metal roof repair solutions for various levels of damage. Minor scratches can be treated with color-matching paint or touch-up pens that blend seamlessly with the rest of the roof. For more extensive damage, such as deep gouges or scrapes, the affected metal panel or flashing piece may need to be replaced.

Type of Damage Preventive Measure Repair Solution
Minor Scratches Utilizing edge guards during transportation Color-matching paint or touch-up pen
Deep Gouges or Scrapes Proper handling during roll forming and installation Replacement of the affected panel or flashing piece

With intentional preventive measures and appropriate repair solutions, we can effectively navigate through the challenges of scuffed and scratched metal roofs, ensuring their appeal and function remain intact over time.

Metal Roof Corrosion: Causes and Prevention

A significant concern when discussing Metal Roof Issues is corrosion. While metal roofs are specially designed to resist corrosion, certain factors can increase the risk of this damaging phenomenon. Understandably, addressing Metal roof corrosion prevention is a key aspect of maintaining a robust metal roofing system.

Identifying Potential Corrosion Triggers

Various circumstances can trigger corrosion in metal roofs, even those that have been engineered with corrosion resistance as a central feature. Some common corrosion triggers include underside corrosion, saltwater corrosion, contact with other metals, and exposed cut edges that can lead to rust. Recognizing these potential triggers is the first step toward Preventing rust on metal roofs.

Metal Roof Longevity & Durability

Choosing the Right Materials for Corrosion Resistance

Selecting the appropriate materials for your specific environment is fundamental for reducing the risk of metal roof corrosion. For instance, marine-grade metals that are more resistant to saltwater corrosion are recommended for buildings located near the ocean. It’s crucial to thoroughly read product specs and warranties to understand how well different materials resist corrosion.

Implementing Effective Corrosion Prevention Tactics

Beyond choosing corrosion-resistant materials, several tactics can be incorporated into your maintenance routine to mitigate the risk of corrosion further. Regular roof inspections help identify potential problem areas early, while timely replacements of corroded panels can prevent the issue from spreading.

Corrosion Trigger Preventive Measure
Underside Corrosion User moisture barrier under metal roof sheeting
Saltwater Corrosion Utilization of marine-grade metals
Contact with Dissimilar Metals Separation of dissimilar metals using a suitable barrier
Exposed Cut Edges Application of an appropriate rust-inhibitive primer

By understanding the different factors that could lead to corrosion and implementing effective corrosion prevention strategies, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your metal roof.

Dissimilar Metals & Materials: Avoiding Incompatible Combos

Among the variety of Metal Roof Issues, one aspect often overlooked is the interaction between different metals and materials on a roof. Mismanagement of these materials can lead to galvanic corrosion, a phenomenon in which dissimilar metals react, accelerating degradation and potentially leading to premature system failure. What exactly can trigger such a reaction? Due to their differing electrochemical properties, certain materials, including the coated steel product Galvalume®, should not come into direct contact with copper, treated lumber, bricks, iron, or concrete. When they do, galvanic corrosion can occur.

Galvanic corrosion can drastically reduce the lifespan of a metal roof. That’s why being aware of potential interactions between materials and taking the necessary precautions is a necessity rather than an option.” Familiarizing ourselves with Metal Roof Corrosion Prevention is a proactive approach grounded in regular inspections and careful material selection. Here’s a brief guide on materials that should, ideally, never come into direct contact with your roof:

Material Incompatible with
Galvalume® Copper, Bricks, Treated lumber, Iron, Concrete
Copper Aluminum, Galvanized steel, Galvalume®
Iron Galvanized steel, Galvalume®, Magnesium
Stainless steel Brasses, Copper, Galvanized steel, Galvalume®
Aluminum Copper, Galvanized steel, Galvalume®, Bronze

But fear not. By working closely with your contractor or roofing specialist, you can ensure the right materials are used and strategically placed. Through careful planning and execution of your metal roof construction, you stand a better chance at sealing your roof’s longevity and durability. Remember, preparation and education are the pillars of effective Metal roof maintenance.

Navigating Metal Roof Repair Solutions

Having a sturdy and reliable roof overhead is one of the most important components of a safe household. Understanding the variety of Metal Roof Issues and the repair solutions available is a significant part of this undertaking. When it comes to metal roofs, it’s important to become familiar with the common repair needs and explore professional repair services designed with these roofs in mind.

Identifying Common Metal Roof Repair Needs

Metal roofs, while known for their durability and longevity, are not exempt from needing regular maintenance and occasional repairs. Some of the most common repair needs include:

  • Addressing leaks that can arise due to weather, failed fasteners, improper installation techniques, and more.
  • Rectifying installation errors such as incorrect fastening, flawed alignment, or improper sealing.
  • Fixing panel damage caused by environmental factors like hail, heavy snow, or falling tree branches.
  • Resolving issues related to flashing, which acts as a water-resistant barrier in roof joints.

Being equipped to troubleshoot these issues may help extend the lifespan of a metal roof and maintain the overall aesthetic of one’s home.

Exploring Professional Metal Roof Repair Services

Metal roofs have unique concerns that require a specialized approach when it comes to repairs. Seeking Metal Roof Repair Solutions from professionals with specific expertise in metal roofs can result in more effective and lasting repairs. These professionals can bring valuable expertise to the table, helping to troubleshoot issues and implement successful solutions.

Professional Roof Repair Services Description
Inspection services A thorough assessment of the current state of your metal roof, identifying any potential issues before they escalate.
Re-roofing and panel replacement Complete roof replacement or replacement of specific damaged panels with new, high-quality metal roofing materials.
Leak repairs Identifying and fixing areas prone to leaking, using appropriate sealants and installation techniques.
Flashing repair or replacement Addressing any loose, damaged, or improperly installed flashing to prevent water seepage and subsequent damage.
Regular Maintenance Routine assessments and minor fixes as needed to prevent larger, more expensive, and damaging issues from arising.

By leveraging the expertise of professional roof repair services, homeowners can ensure their metal roofs continue to provide the level of safety, durability, and aesthetics that they’re renowned for.

Metal Roof Issues

While metal roofing is known for its durability, it is not without common issues. Whether it’s signs of roof damage, leaks, or typical wear-and-tear, being knowledgeable about these issues can help in preventive maintenance. In this section, we will refer to insights from leading names in the industry, ProCraft Exteriors and Sheffield Metals, providing comprehensive information about the most common metal roof problems and their practical solutions.

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ProCraft Exteriors’ Take on Metal Roof Problems and Fixes

ProCraft Exteriors, a US-based home improvement brand, stresses the need for periodic attention to maintain the quality of metal roofs. To facilitate this, they suggest some preventive strategies such as:

  1. Regular cleaning to avoid accumulation of debris
  2. Inspections to spot early signs of roof damage
  3. Immediate repair of damaged panels to avoid further deterioration
  4. Maintaining sealants and flashings to prevent leaks
  5. Ensuring proper drainage to avoid water build-up

With these steps, potential common metal roof problems like leaks and damage can be circumvented effectively.

Savage Roofing’s Education on Metal Roof Challenges

Savage Roofing emphasizes the importance of proactive maintenance and understanding the complexities of metal roofing issues. Highlighting the benefits of regular professional check-ups, they explain how addressing common metal roof problems, like leaks, can extend a roof’s durability and appeal. Their expertise suggests that investing in preventative care not only preserves the roof’s condition but also reduces long-term repair costs.

Metal Roof Maintenance Tips for Longevity

At the core of a long-lasting and robust metal roof is a conscientious and consistent maintenance routine. Metal Roof Maintenance Tips range from regular cleaning to avoid debris accumulation to the timely inspection and repair of any loose or damaged panels or tiles. These proactive steps ensure the preservation of your roof’s integrity and contribute significantly to its extended lifespan.

  1. Adopt a cleaning routine to prevent debris accumulation
  2. Regularly inspect and repair any loose or damaged panels or tiles
  3. Address sealant and flashing issues promptly
  4. Ensure regular gutter maintenance
  5. Consider scheduling professional inspections for early detection of potential issues.

Preventing rust on metal roofs is essential for maintaining their aesthetic and functional integrity. Early detection and repair of corrosion prevent minor issues from worsening. However, metal roofs may require specialized care based on their material, installation, and exposure to elements, particularly in coastal or high-rainfall areas. Emphasizing Metal Roof Corrosion Prevention as part of your routine maintenance, including regular inspections and prompt repairs, ensures your roof’s longevity and performance. Our maintenance tips are designed to keep your metal roof in top condition, enabling it to withstand the test of time and continue delivering its intended benefits seamlessly.


As we unveil the curtain on the major complexities of metal roofs, it’s clear that despite their stellar durability, they’re not without their share of problems. From oil canning to leaks, corrosion to damage from dissimilar metals – these Metal Roof Issues paint a candid picture of what homeowners may have to combat. But that’s just half the story. The other half teems with Metal Roof Repair Solutions, tools to troubleshoot these issues, and methods to prevent them from escalating.

Summarizing Major Metal Roof Problems and Their Remedies

Familiarizing ourselves with these common issues is the first step; applying our understanding to take preventive measures and addressing repairs promptly when needed comes next. By being proactive in maintaining our roofs, we can significantly minimize potential problems, thereby prolonging the roof’s lifespan. Rest assured, the challenges aren’t insurmountable. Many of these matters can be circumvented with the right knowledge and a conscientious approach to maintenance and repairs.

Future-Proofing Your Metal Roof Investment

Lastly, but significantly, our roofs aren’t just shelters – they are also long-term investments. Ensuring the soundness of this investment lies in teaming up with professionals who bring their nuanced knowledge and experience to the fore, selecting the best materials, and adopting industry best practices. In doing so, we stand the best chance at future-proofing our metal roof and ensuring it remains a testament to robustness and longevity for years on end. As we traverse this journey, understanding Metal Roof Issues, navigating Metal Roof Repair Solutions, and effectively Troubleshooting Metal Roof Issues will lay the groundwork for a sound and secure roof overhead.


What are some common metal roof problems?

Metal roofs can present issues such as oil canning, leaks, corrosion, and damage from dissimilar metals. These problems can arise from stress brought on the metal during production processes, improper installation, environmental factors, or an interaction between different metal materials.

What is oil canning, and how can it be mitigated?

Oil canning is a visible waviness or distortion in the flat areas of metal roofing and panels. It can be controlled or minimized by using premium materials in larger thicknesses, opting for low-gloss or matte finishes, relying on tension-leveled sheets for the roofing, and hiring experienced and skilled roof installers.

How do you repair metal roof leaks?

Metal roof leaks can be prevented and repaired by selecting and utilizing suitable sealants and fasteners, ensuring proper detailing around penetrations, keeping the roof clean, and conducting regular inspections for signs of damage or wear. When leaks do occur, they should be attended to by professionals experienced in metal roof repairs.

What are some preventive measures against scuffing and scratching on metal roofs?

Care should be taken during the manufacturing, transportation, and installation process to prevent scuffs and scratches. This includes using edge guards during shipping, carefully handling materials during roll forming and installation, and promptly repairing any damage that does occur.

How can one prevent corrosion on metal roofs?

Corrosion can be kept at bay by choosing the right materials as per the environmental conditions of the location, avoiding contact with dissimilar metals, and adhering to a regular maintenance and inspection schedule. Also, it is necessary to thoroughly read warranties and product specs and be willing to replace affected panels when required.

Why is it critical to avoid contact between dissimilar metals on a metal roof?

When different metals come into contact on a metal roof, it can lead to galvanic corrosion. This interaction can cause premature degradation and may eventually result in the failure of the roof system. Thus, it is crucial to ensure compatibility of materials used in rooftop assembly.

What advice do ProCraft Exteriors and Sheffield Metals offer for dealing with metal roof problems?

These industry leaders emphasize the importance of understanding common metal roof problems, regular maintenance, and being proactive in resolving issues early. They also emphasize the importance of working with reliable contractors and using premium materials.

What metal roof maintenance tips can extend its life?

Routine cleaning to prevent debris accumulation, timely inspection and repair of loose or damaged panels or tiles, addressing sealant and flashing issues, and regular gutter maintenance are key to maintaining the roof’s condition. Professional inspections for early detection and rectification of potential issues are also key.

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About Patrick Scheidler
I'm an Army veteran and a second-generation roofer with two decades of dedication to this industry under my belt. As a proud father, I steer my company with unwavering integrity and a deep-seated ethical code. My mission is clear: to transform the roofing market by standing firm against the insurance roofers compromising our standards.