Factors That Cause the Need for Commercial Metal Roof Repair
Why the Need for Commercial Metal Roof Repair?
Design and installation mistakes in new metal roofs can cause major problems and the need for commercial metal roof repair. The areas where most problems occur typically do not involve system selection. Most of the problems that end up causing leaks in metal roofs relate to the details that are used in finishing a metal roof system. Those mistakes are not obvious immediately following installation. it might take time for them to develop.
The following are five of the most common problems found during the assessment of a metal roof’s condition:
Horizontal Seam Openings
It is hard and sometimes impossible to create metal roof panels extending the building’s entire rafter length. The project designer in some designs will limit the panel’s length based on contraction and expansion.
Due to the panel length restrictions, the installer must install horizontal seams on the roof system. Those horizontal seams will run perpendicular to the metal roof’s standing seams.
Over time, horizontal seams tend to become prone to separation. With a hydrostatic metal roofing system, that can create openings that allow water to get back inside of the building.
Penetration Flashing Openings
Metal roofing systems are also prone to contraction and expansion. This is due to the moving of the metal panels when the temperature changes. The movement causes stress at the roof system’s penetrations and points of attachment. The stress results in the flashings breaking down at the penetrations. This can result in leaks in a metal roof.
Metal roof systems are built by individual metal panels being attached together at their seams. After the metal roof system has been installed, it is very had to remove and also disassemble it.
In contrast to asphalt shingle systems, metal roof systems cannot be disassembled to repair the penetration flashing. That makes it much harder to address long-term repairs especially if the metal roof and penetration have already been installed.
Oxidation of the Metal Roof
Metal roofs are constructed out of a broad range of different materials. They include zinc, copper, tin, aluminum, and steel. Some of those materials are prone to oxidation. A majority of roof panels are made out of sheet metal that is coated using a protective surface. This coating over time may wear away which can result in the metal panels oxidizing.
Surface oxidation can result in problems. The problems may include structural failure when a metal roof system is in the form of a structural system. Repairs are also impeded by oxidation. When metal panel oxidation occurs at the exposed fastener heads this can make it difficult to apply sealant.
Commercial Metal Roof Repair With the Experience You Require
Backing Out Of Fasteners
Typically, metal roof systems include a combination of concealed and exposed fasteners. The fasteners may be screws or nails. Exposed fasteners usually come with a neoprene washing which seals the head of the fastener to the metal roof panel surface.
Fasteners over time have a tendency to back out of the sealed position. There can be a number of different reasons for this. Wind uplift may result in the fastener backing out. Under wind conditions, metal panels can vibrate which can result in fasteners backing out. Fastener back out can also be caused by freeze-thaw. As neoprene washers dry out, it can allow water to enter. During the winter, water may freeze and expand which can also lead to fasteners backing out.
Headwall/Open Ridge Flashing
Roofing systems must terminate into different conditions on the building’s surface. One of those conditions is rising wall details at the point where the roofing system matches other surfaces. One example would be when a metal roof system ends at a rising wall under a shopping center’s sign band.
That is an area where weakness tends to develop. In many situations, it is due to poor detail on the original installation. Closure strips are required by these details to prevent the blowing back of water into the detail. There are some contractors who might skip installing the closure strip. The underlayment initially waterproofs the roofing system from blow-back. Then as the underlayment continues to age, moisture may penetrate into the roofing system.
There are other potential causes of metal roof leaks. The five above are quite common that you can initially check. Half the battle is knowing where to look for possible leaks.
Taurus Elite Commercial Roof Systems, 512-332-4422, is a commercial roofing contractor based in Austin, specializing in Commercial Metal Roof Repair, Commercial Metal Roof Restoration and Commercial Flat Roofing Services. If you need help with other commercial roofing services, please contact our sister site, Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors.