5 Signs that You May Need to Replace Your Metal Roof

Metal is among the most long-lasting and durable materials for a commercial roof, but it will still eventually wear out and need a replacement. If your roof is more than 15 years old, it’s time to start paying close attention to signs of wear. Regular maintenance will help prolong a roof’s life, but there are a few major problems that are beyond repair. Here are five signs that you may need to replace your metal roof.

1. Your Metal Roof has Rust

Painted metal roofs are protected from moisture with paint or coating. When this starts to break down, the metal will begin to rust. If a rust look isn’t intended, you are looking at potential roof failure—it also marks a significant weakening of its structure. Metal paneled roofs are instrumental to maintaining the squareness of the entire structure. With rust, material weakens and won’t do much to protect your building from damage. Once rust is there, it’s time for a new roof.

2. Your Metal Roof’s Paint is Peeling, Chipping, or Cracking

While the 15-year mark is a common expiration date for most types of roofs, today’s painted metal roofs are warrantied up to 20 to 40 years against peeling, chipping, and adhesion failure. They can last longer, but not always. If the metal roof is properly fastened and coated, it could last for decades, but the fasteners and sealant will likely give out first. Once your paint is more than 30 years old, it’s time to closely monitor your roof for rust and prepare for a replacement soon.

3. Your Metal Roof has Leaks

Leaks can damage the interior of your building and cause a major nuisance. While some leaks may be able to be repaired, they are usually a sign of major damage to roofing panels or hidden rust. A roofing inspector will be able to determine the cause of the leak and suggest whether your roof needs replacement or a repair.

4. Your Metal Roof has Wallowing or Protruding Fasteners

Some metal roofs use fasteners, called thru-fastened panels, to hold the panels in place. Over time the screw holes in these panels will enlarge as the screws and metal panels expand and contract. Eventually, these holes will be too large for the screws, causing the panels to become unstable and creating the potential for leaks. If this problem is addressed early on, larger screws can be fitted into the fasteners to get a bit more time out of the roof, but eventually, the fasteners and roof panels will need to be replaced.

5. Your Metal Roof has Sustained Storm Damage

Other than maintenance, weather is the biggest determining factor in how long a roof will last. Prolonged exposure to high winds, heavy rains, snow, or hail can damage metal roof panels and weaken the roof’s structure. Debris, like tree limbs, can also cause leaks by denting or putting holes through the roof.

Have a Metal Roofing Project in Your Future?

The Formwell Industries team is here to answer all of your metal fabrication and precision cutting questions. Ready to start your metal roofing project? Contact your local fabricator, Formwell Industries, today to discuss your options.


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