5 Common Reasons for a Leak Problem on an Iron Roof

The roof is a barrier between the interior and exterior of your home. It keeps you safe from debris, snow, rain, hail, etc. Many roofing materials can be used to put up your favorite roof. However, metal rooftops are relatively more beneficial than others. The metal roofs do not rot, break, burn or crumble.

No matter how good the material you use, there can still be a point where the leaking problem arises.  Let us look into the reasons for a leak problem in iron rooftops.

Curb Flashings

The most common installations on iron roofs are HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and air conditioning) units. Installation of the roof in the panel is an easy process, but the real test comes at flashing. The uphill side of the curb and two upper corners of the curb flashing are difficult. This curb is the main area from where the water gets in and creates a leak problem. The water stands behind the flashing and slowly erodes the sealant to enter the flashing, resulting in a leak.

Seams and Overlaps

Sealants and some designated tapes are used to keep two metal roof pieces in place, also called a seam. These sealants may erode with time, or the tapes may break, causing a leak in the roof. These sealants’ presence is necessary because they help keep leakage in place even when the water travels up hills in these seams. Erosion or breaking of these does not cause as much leak as their absence would.

Metal Roofing Screws

Iron or metal roofs have screws in them which are majorly responsible for leaks on these roofs. The screws seal water by compressing a rubber washer at the base of the head of the screw; however, there are several things that may go wrong while driving the screw into the roof. The main wrongdoings could be termed as-

  • Under driven screw
  • Overdriven screw
  • Screws that are driven at wrong angles and many more.

There could be many reasons why a leak problem hits on iron roofs, like the old sheets allow water/ moisture to crawl through, creating a leak in the roof.

To understand what these are, read further.

Under driven screws- When the rubber washer is not properly compressed to form any gasket. This gasket problem can arise when there is not enough torque on the screw—the non-formation of the gasket results in leakage.

Over Driven Screw- The excessive pressure on the screw causes a breakage in the rubber washer resulting in a water leak problem on the roof.

Screws that are driven from the wrong angle- The wrong angle means the screw might be tilted, which means the rubber washer that is fitted will not have a flat base to rest. If the rubber washer is not only in place, there will be a leakage problem in the roof.

When the screws are drilled in the iron roofs, they do not specifically hit a hard place; it is difficult to know if it has fit well or not. The screws fit correctly may also wither with time and according to the seasons. Hot, cold, snow, rain, they all affect the iron rooftop in their way.

Missing Sealants

Sealants are installed in iron roofs to secure them. The sealants do not have life as long as the metal roof. They need to be duly checked, time and again, on areas like Metal Ridge caps, Counter flashings, reglets, Pitch pans, Z-flashings, etc. The sealants are of various types and are made using different materials; hence, a sealant made specifically for roofs should be used to avoid early leakages and maintain the seal through all the seasonal expansion and contraction of the metal roof.

Stack Flashings

These are the boots around the pipes that come out of the iron roofs, which are the vents of various building appliances. The HVAC vents, plumbing pipes, air vents etc., have to vent and come out of the iron roof. Mostly, the stack is rubber material based which sits flat on the roof and squeeze around the pipes to form a seal. It is continuously being tested under various harsh weather and expansion and contraction of the metal. A check on these is extremely important as they also cause water leakage when breaking because of external factors like weather or internal factors such as their durability.

Final Words

These are 5 of the many reasons that may cause a leak problem in the metal roof; hence keeping a regular check on these advised points should help you keep yourself safe from continuous water leakage that may result in heavy damages in your building. The leakage may even be dangerous for people staying or working there in terms of life and can be heavy on the pocket too.

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