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How to Repair Metal Roofing

Expert advice on how to repair metal roofing, including DIY metal roof inspection tips and information on how to seal leaks and seams on metal roofs.

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Metal roofs are very durable, but because of storm damage, rust, or expansion and contraction of the metal, they occasionally need repair.how to repair metal roofing

Before making repairs yourself, investigate whether you have any paperwork on the original purchase of your roof—the warranty may cover some or all of the repair costs.

Step-by-Step Metal Roof Repairs

If the damage is fairly large, you can replace an entire section of the roof. But don’t jump into this as a do-it-yourselfer unless you have experience with working on this type of roofing. It is generally best to call a metal roofing specialist trained in working with your roofing material.

You can, however, handle certain small repairs if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer. Here are some tips for general inspection, maintenance, and small repairs:

1Look for loose nails. Pull and re-nail them.


2Look for holes, rust patches, or other signs of deterioration. If you find any, remove rust with a wire brush and/or steel wool. Then prime the surface with a metal primer and follow-up with a top coat to match the color of the roof. You can find a wide selection of metal spray paint colors in an auto parts store.

3Seal up leaks. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One is to use urethane roof cement, which has better protection against ultraviolet rays than common asphalt or plastic roof cement. Smoothly spread it over the hole or damaged area, using a putty knife. Another option is to use a self-stick waterproof flashing membrane like the one shown at right. Both urethane roof cement and waterproof flashing membrane will deteriorate over time and need replacement.

4If necessary, reseal all seams and edges along the flashing using a urethane roofing cement.


5Replace severely damaged flashing; for this, call a metal roofing repair specialist.

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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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  1. how can u determine what type of metal is on ur metal roof so u can match a patch for repairing a hole, caused by a fallen branch?

    • Joseph, where will you be buying the replacement roofing? If you have a dealer that sells various types of metal roofing, I suggest that you take a close-up photo of the roof and, if possible, snip off a fragment and take that to the dealer for identification.

  2. I’m interested in replacing my roof with metal roofing. Many of the roofing guys I’ve talked to have warhead me that the screws have a gasket that can eventually crack and allow water to seep in or the screws can pop up due to expansion and contraction of the metal in warm or cold weather. Is this true?

  3. My warehouse roof (0.5mm corrugated sheets-Zamil steel structure) had punctured from several spots and causing leakages. Is there any solution to repair it other than replacing the sheets or use of liners.


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