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Causes Of Metal Roof Leaking And What To Do About It

causes of metal roof leaks

If you have a metal roof, it’s important to be aware of the potential causes of leaks. Metal roofs are a popular choice for homeowners because they are durable and long-lasting.

However, no roof is completely leak-proof, and metal roofs are no exception.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common causes of metal roof leaking. We’ll also provide tips on how to prevent these leaks from happening in the first place.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Metal Roof Leak?

The cost of repairing a metal roof leak will be between $500 and $2000. This depends on the size and severity of the leak. If the leak is small, you may be able to repair it yourself with some sealant and flashing tape.

However, if the leak is larger or more severe, you will likely need to hire a professional contractor to make the repairs. The cost of hiring a contractor can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the size of your roof.

On average, you can expect to pay between $500 and $2000 to repair a metal roof leak.

However, if the damage is severe, you could end up paying more. If you are unsure of how to perform a metal roof leak repair leak yourself, it is always best to hire a professional.

Most Common Causes of Metal Roof Leaking

1. Improper installation

Improper installation is one of the most prevalent causes of metal roof leaks. It’s more likely that your metal roof will leak if it wasn’t installed correctly.

Make sure you get someone who is qualified and experienced to install your roof because it’s very common to have metal roof leaks in heavy rain.

Improper installation includes:

Metal Roofing Screws –  The most common reason for leaks at the screw heads is over-tightening or using the wrong size or type of screws.

You should always consult your metal roofing manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper size and type of screws to use. These refer to:

  • Under-driven screws
  • Missing washers
  • Damaged screw heads
  • Wrong size or type of screws
  • Misaligned screws
  • Over-driven screws

Standing Seam Metal Roof Clips – Clips that are not properly sealed can also lead to leaks. This is especially true if the clips are installed over an existing roof membrane.

The old roofing material can actually wick water up into the standing seam metal roof panel, causing the clip to rust and leak.

Related Article: How Do I Find A Metal Roof Leak?

Inadequate SlopeMetal roofs should have a minimum slope of 3 in 12 (or 25%), but ideally a slope of 4 in 12 (or 33%) to ensure proper drainage.

If a metal roof is installed with too little slope, rain and snow can pond on the roof, causing the seams to leak.

Flashing – Flashing is used to seal the areas where the metal roofing panels meet vertical surfaces, such as around chimneys, skylights, and walls.

If the flashing is not properly installed or sealed, leaks can occur. Improper flashing installation includes:

  • Using the wrong size or type of flashings
  • Not properly sealing around penetrations such as pipes and vents
  • Inadequate step flashing

Improperly Sealed Roof Penetrations – Any time a hole is cut in the roof to install something, such as a skylight or vent pipe, it creates the potential for a leak.

Metal roofs should include a sealant in their regular maintenance schedule, particularly around these areas:

  • Metal ridge caps
  • Reglets
  • Roof transitions
  • Counter flashings
  • Z-flashings
  • Pitch pans

2. Poor drainage and poorly installed or damaged gutters can also cause leaks

Another common cause of metal roof leaks is poor drainage. If your roof does not have adequate drainage, water can pool on the surface and eventually work its way underneath the shingles or panels.

This can cause serious leaks. Make sure your gutters are the proper size for your roof and are installed correctly.

metal roof leaking

3. Damage

Metal roofs can be damaged by hail, high winds, and tree limbs. Loose panels or flashings can allow water to enter your home.

If your roof is damaged, it is much more likely to leak. Inspect your roof regularly for any signs of damage, and have repairs made as soon as possible.

*Even small hail stones can cause dents or breaks in your metal roofing panels, which can lead to leaks.

4. Age

As metal roofs age, they become more susceptible to leaks. If you have an older metal roof, it is important to have it inspected regularly by a qualified contractor.

Especially in areas with severe weather conditions, an older roof is more likely to sustain damage and develop leaks.

There are a few things you can do to prevent metal roof leaks:

  1. Regular maintenance

One of the best ways to prevent leaks is to have your roof inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. This will allow you to catch any problems early on before they have a chance to cause serious damage.

  1. Use high-quality materials

When you are having your roof installed, make sure to use high-quality materials. This will help to ensure that your roof is durable and long-lasting.

  1. Hire a qualified contractor

Make sure you hire a qualified and experienced contractor to install your metal roof. This will help to ensure that your roof is installed correctly and will decrease the likelihood of leaks.

If you follow these tips, you can help to prevent metal roof leaks.

However, if you do experience a leak, it is important to have it repaired as soon as possible. If left unrepaired, a small leak can quickly turn into a big problem.

Why are metal roofs the best option for roofing?

Metal roofs are an excellent choice for roofing because they are durable, long-lasting, and low maintenance. In the summer, metal roofs reflect heat away from your home and make it cooler.

In the winter, metal roofs can help to keep your home warmer by trapping heat inside. Metal roofs are also environmentally friendly, as they can be recycled when they are no longer in use.


Metal roofs are indeed durable and can last for many years, but they can still leak if they’re not installed or maintained properly.

Be sure to have your metal roof inspected regularly by a professional to ensure that it’s in good condition and catch any potential problems before they lead to leaks.

If you do experience a leak, it is important to have your roof inspected and repaired as soon as possible. If left unchecked, a little leak can quickly develop into a major problem and greater expenditures.