One of the most common types of roof in the Philippines is still the metal roof. Its normal life span is significantly longer compared with the other roofing materials in the market. Not only that, it’s more affordable and easier to install. So if you are reading this article, most probably your roof is made out of metal too. Leaking roof is one of the hardest house issues to ignore. It causes stress and discomfort at home. With this COVID19 global pandemic forcing us to stay home, we just can’t afford to have an uncomfortable house. A leaking roof does not only damage your property but also takes a toll on your mental health. In this article, we are going to share with you 7 reasons why your metal roof leaks. As they say, learning the cause of the problem is halfway to solving it.
1. Mechanical wear and tear due to changing weather, extreme weather and even falling fruits and tree trunks
Normal rain and wind cause mechanical wear and tear on a metal roof, rivets, tekscrews, and flashing over time. They become loose and develop gaps that rainwater may sip into causing leaks inside your house. Once these areas start to let water in, rust develops which worsens the roof leaks over time.
If normal rain and wind can cause your roof to develop gaps, how much more can extreme weather. If your roof is poorly designed for the harsh weather conditions of the Philippines, then your house will not stand a chance when it comes to roof leaks. A typhoon in the Philippines is as sure as day. Strong wind can create gaps in your metal roofs. In extreme cases, the typhoon can just blow your metal roof away from your house. This is the reason why, in the Philippines especially, roofs must have at around 30 degrees angle to be able to withstand harsh weather.
You also read it right, even falling fruits and tree trunks can cause your roof to leak over time. In some instances, it may cause roof leaks instantly. Watch out for those trees beside your house, with their tree trunks extending above your roof.
2. Dirty and unmaintained gutter
Trees beside houses have lots of benefits. For one, they provide shade from sunlight, better air circulation. Just looking at them improves your mental health. But it may not be so advantageous to your roof. Leaves, tree trunks, and even their fruits may fall on your roof and eventually end up in your gutter. A dirty gutter may cause the water to overflow and cause leaks inside the house. Not only that, leaves and other dirt will cause the metal gutters to rust quickly. Once the rust develops and worsens, there is just no avoiding replacing the affected area if you wish to have a peaceful life during rainy days.
In January 2020, the Taal volcano erupted, spewing a great amount of ash that even reached a large area of Metro Manila. Volcanic ashes covered the roofs of houses. More problems came when it started raining. The ash was washed down to the gutters and became mud, clogging the gutter system. If you are within the affected area and you haven’t had your roof checked since then, you should be concerned by now.
3. Wrongly installed metal sheet flashing
Borrowing the definition from Wikipedia, a metal sheet flashing refers to thin pieces of impervious material made of metal installed to prevent the passage of water into a structure from a joint or roofing intersections or as part of a weather-resistant barrier system. These joints and intersections are notorious areas that cause leaks into the structures. Hence, wrongly installed flashing is one of the most common causes of leaks simply because of its failure to serve its purpose – that is to prevent water from sipping into the most vulnerable parts of your roofing.
4. Wrong roof slope
In the Philippines, wherein weather can be really erratic with frequent typhoons bringing with it heavy downpours and strong winds, a flat roof is not suitable and may cause frequent leaking even if it’s just newly installed. Water, blown by strong winds, may easily enter into the joints or intersections of your roof. It is advised that in the Philippines, the correct roof slope is around 15 to 30 degrees.
5. Improper application of umbrella nails or tekscrews
Metal roofs use umbrella nails or tekscrews, depending on the type of metal roof you have, to fix the metal roof firmly to the structure. Incorrectly applied umbrella nails or tekscrews will allow rainwater to sip in and corrode your roof gradually and eventually cause leaks to your house. There is a higher risk of this occurring when your roof installations were not properly supervised and checked for quality.
6. Foot traffic on the roof
One of the disadvantages of having a metal roof is that it is quite easy to bend. With frequent foot traffic or people stepping on the metal roof, the rivets, umbrella nails, or tekscrews can easily become loose. These are the areas wherein water can go in eventually. Once water goes in, there is no more stopping it. Your metal roof will eventually develop rust. Your ceiling will start to have watermarks and eventually rot. Ironically, you may also experience this problem when you employ workers to repair a portion of your roof. When your workers don’t mind where they place their feet or even where they place their heavy tools at such as a ladder, you will end up with new areas of roof leaks to resolve.
7. Neglecting regular roof inspection
If you wait until your metal roof leaks, then be prepared for an expensive lesson. Neglecting to do a regular inspection of your metal roof, especially every after a typhoon, will eventually result in expensive repairs or worse, replacements. A proactive approach is still the best approach. An inspection can reveal small holes, gaps, or developing rust that you can immediately patch up and rectify so they don’t get worse. This way, you also prolong the life of your metal roof and avoid the unnecessary stress of looking for a handyman to fix your roof during rainy days.
By knowing the possible causes why your roof is leaking, you can now easily make the right decisions on how to address them. If you need help, Mr. Butler Home Services is here for you. We specialize in roof repairs, ceiling repairs, and restoration. Our handymen are well-vetted; skilled with more than 10 years experience in different trades; insured and; strictly follows a COVID19 safety plan to keep you safe while we work.