Does My Metal Roof Require Repair or Replacement?

Everyone’s metal roof needs repair or replacement eventually. But sometimes, it can be hard to know when.

There is a variety of issues that can impact the integrity of your metal roof, including age or significant damage from leaks or deterioration. If you’re having issues with your metal roof, it’s important to first decide if it needs replacement or repair. You’ll save both time, money, and frustration if you know exactly what needs to be done, and where.

What Can Impact the Integrity of My Roof?

A close up of heavy rain draining from a gutter onto an asphalt roof.

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to roof damage, and the need to get it repaired or replaced. Roofs are consistently exposed to all types of natural elements, which can take a toll on the integrity of the metal:

  • Excessive rainfall. Consistent excessive rainfall can lead to eventual leaks in your metal roof. Rain that falls very hard and fast can lead to your roof being unable to shed the water, especially if your downspouts and gutters have clogs, and can result in corrosion of the metal roof.
  • It’s easy to underestimate the weight of snow and the pressure it’s putting on your roof. Your metal roof will be more efficient at shedding the snow than other roofing types, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect. If you experience a lot of snow during the winter season, or you’ve had an exceptionally large snowfall, it can potentially cause damage to your roof over time.
  • Metal roofs are known for their ability to withstand incredibly strong wind gusts. That doesn’t mean that they’re impervious to wind damage, though. If your home is hit by a strong windstorm, the panels of your metal roof could be loosened. In some unfortunate cases, parts of the metal roof can be ripped off by extreme winds.
  • In general, metal roofs hold up against hail. However, the size of the hail, the thickness of your metal roof, and the slope of your roof are three prominent factors that can determine the amount of damage the hail has on your metal roof. Large hail can cause denting, or it can even puncture the roof.
What Are Signs I Need a Repair or Replacement?

There are quite a few visual signs that indicate your metal roof needs repair or replacement. You should try to not ignore any signs of roof damage. If a small problem that could be fixed with a simple repair is ignored for a longer period, it can turn into an expensive, full replacement.


Roof and shingles damaged from water leak

Leaks are an immediate sign of damage that you won’t be able to ignore. There are a ton of reasons that your metal roof could be leaking, including environmental or unsatisfactory installation. Leaks are also a sign that there may be more underlying issues, and they should not be taken lightly. Ignoring leaks can end up damaging your house’s structure and electrical systems, and you might even invite hazardous molds to grow in your home.

Rust or Corrosion

Although metal roofs are incredibly durable, they can be subject to rusting over time. If you have a sheet metal roof, when you see rust, it is an indication that your roof’s protective coating is starting to, or has, deteriorated. If rust on your roof is ignored, and the protective coating completely deteriorates, corrosion can begin to eat away at your metal roof. Water and moisture can enter your home, and the structure of your entire house can be destabilized.

Worn Paint

Close-up of a section of vented standing seam metal roof with peeling paint and rust against a background of bare trees and a blue sky.

Paint doesn’t serve just to make your roof more aesthetically pleasing. Paint provides a necessary protective layer on your roof, almost like an additional coating. Fluctuating temperatures and exposure to the natural elements can make your metal roof’s paint fade over time. When the paint fades, it can make your home more susceptible to water leaks and incoming moisture. If your roof is new, but still has faded paint, it’s a good idea to contact a professional for their opinion. New, but faded, paint can be an indicator that your roof is potentially encountering chemicals that you could be completely unaware of.

If you spot any sort of visual damage on your home’s metal roof, be sure to contact a roofing contractor immediately. If left unchecked, what might have been an easy repair can damage the structure and integrity of your home.

I Have Damage. Should I Replace or Repair?

You should always take the advice of trained roofing professionals before jumping to any conclusions. There are a few questions to take into consideration if you are debating on repair versus a whole replacement.

How Old Is the Metal Roof?

If you owned the building when the metal roof was installed, it will be easy for you to determine how long the metal roof has been in place. If not, you should have the roof inspected for an age determination. Depending on the environmental factors the roof has endured, and what type of metal it is composed of, you should be able to get a lifespan up to 50 years. If the roof is at the end of its lifespan, the best decision will be to go ahead and replace the metal roof. Although a complete replacement is going to be more costly upfront, it will be worth the savings from potential damages for years to come.

Where Is the Damage Located?

Dent on roof. Bent metal profile.

If the damage is only presented in specific isolated areas, a simple repair will most likely be your best option. If your metal roof’s damage is widespread, you’ll want to consider replacing the entire roof. A roofing contractor can give you a good idea of what the total damage looks like and will be able to spot if the damage isn’t caused by the metal roof itself. It’s always possible that damage located around chimneys or pipes could be the result of failed seals, which can be easily replaced.

Could It Be Other Issues?

Sometimes, it’s the shape of the roof that can cause water to back up or pool on the surface of the roof. Both can result in leaks, but a contractor may recommend addressing the cause of the problem, before moving forward with an entire roof replacement. Chances are, you’ll need a modification to the draining system, and a small local roof repair.

If you are experiencing issues with your metal roof due to damage and are unsure if you need a full repair or replacement, contact a roofing contractor for an estimate. They can locate the exact damage that needs to be addressed and give you a solid answer on the benefits and downsides of repair versus replacement.

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