Roof water damage is a common issue to garden buildings, and metal sheds are no exception. This shows how impervious to damage a metal shed is, regardless of how durable the material is.
Both natural and human factors can damage a metal garden building from top to bottom. This is especially if no effort is made to maintain them.
Speaking of shed maintenance, repairing metal roof panels – an entire roof shed, in general, is one of the common challenges you’ll have to face. In this post, we’ll show you how to do it!
Here, we’ll break down the guide into four (4) categories, and these are:
- Metal roofing panels maintenance;
- The different types of shed roof repairs (such as roof coating);
- How to repair roof shingles;
- Guide to repairing metal shed roof (such as roof leaks, rust, and waterproofing);
You don’t want your Lotus Apex Metal Shed (grey finish) to reduce its life expectancy for years, so let’s get the work started!
Metal Roofing Panels Maintenance
First things first, why is roof maintenance important to sheds, such as pent roof metal sheds and apex roof metal sheds?
The structural appearance of a shed roof can be compromised over time. Thus, regular maintenance is an important part of preserving and protecting your investment.
Doing so will help you save time and make sure your shed roof continues to serve its purpose. Most importantly, it spares you from spending money on costly repairs in the future.
And the small investments that you make in conducting basic repairs every few years are worth it.
Types of Shed Roof Repairs
Shed roof repairs fall into three (3) basic categories:
- Roofing and underlayment
- Roof sheathing or plywood repair
- Roof rafters
1. Roofing and underlayment repair
If the shingles or underlayment of your shed roof is damaged, the sign includes drip here and there inside. There’ll also be a noticeable stain on the roof sheathing when you look up.
A damaged underlayment can often be fixed by fixing the hole or ripped shingle. This method doesn’t need to tear down the entire roof.
2. Roof sheathing or plywood repair
Now, if the leaks have occurred over a long time, chances are you have to replace the sheathing underneath. A hole or leak at the edge of the roof vent damages the roof sheathing, but not always to the point of replacement.
As for the plywood, remove the outer roofing material and underlayment from above. This will allow you to see the extent of the damage.
If the plywood is moist and soft, it’s a sign to replace it. And if you have to replace a section of plywood, you’ll have to remove all the material on that piece.
For most sheds, including practical garden storage, this means you have to remove some or most of the roof. Depending on your roofing material, it might be easier to take off the entire roof and replace it. (A tip from an expert!)
3. Roof rafters
Leaving the leak issue on your shed roof for longer will affect not only the roof boards but also the rafters. If this is the case, you’ll have to fix the sheathing first (refer to #2).
When fixing the rafter, you may adjoin it with the existing damaged rafter. This means cutting it to the exact dimensions of the other rafters then affixing it.
The outcome is the new rafter sits butting up against the damaged one. Also, you’ll have to make sure the rafter is anchored to the shed – not the damaged rafter.
If you have more than one damaged rafter, you’re likely to have to tear down your shed roof. Top tip: We recommend practising regular visual inspections of your shed roof. Walk into your shed and look up!
How to Repair Roof Shingles
Roof shingles are cost-effective, easy to install, and durable. However, when exposed to constant sunlight or high winds, they tend to deteriorate.
What’s worse, it could leave your roof sheathing exposed, with cracks, peels or fly away. Here’s how you can repair your roof shingles.
1. Remove the damaged shingle
If the wind blows the shingle off, install a new one underneath. Ensure the new shingle fits exactly like the last one. Nail into the tar strips, and you’re all set!
But if it’s a damaged one, use the flat end crowbar (24″) to pull it off. Alternatively, you may use a roof ripper or a hammer with an extended claw to do the job.
Top tip: Remove the old shingle slowly. Make sure the crowbar or ripper pries the old shingle from where the existing nail is sitting. This ensures a clean pullout, reducing the risk of the underlayment or sheathing getting more torn up.
2. Inspect the sheathing and underlayment
After taking the shingle off, check underneath for any further damage. You’ll want to make sure there’s no leak next to a roof vent or vent. If so, inspect the flashing around the opening.
Shingles should cover the flashing around the vent, top and sides. The bottom of the vent flashing should be visible and above the row of shingles beneath it.
3. Replace the shingle
Once you’ve removed the damaged shingle, check if the roof boards are still in decent shape. They shouldn’t be showing signs of dampness and rot.
If the boards are in good condition, replace the shingle. Be careful not to damage the shingles above. Use a flat pry bar or roof ripper to lift each nail gently.
Top tip: Re-insert the nails through the original holes so the shingle above won’t cause roof leaks.
Steps to Consider for a Longer Shed Life
1. Identify the problem area
This is to address the metal roof product and its problems right away. Using a wire brush, loosen as much rust and corrosion as you can.
Once you’ve softened up the area, use a broom to remove the debris. You’ll also want to make sure the roof is clean and dry.
2. Prepare your metal shears
Next, use garden tools like metal shears to cut two patches of roofing mesh. You need to have two identical, square patches – large enough to overlap the damaged area (at least two in. on all sides).
Use urethane roof cement to fix the rest of your shed roof.
3. Use urethane roof cement
This cement is one of the important upkeep/building materials you’ll need. Start off by applying an even layer of cement around the hole in your roof.
Utilise the cement according to specifications, otherwise, it’ll not hold, and your effort will be vain. Consult the directions provided by the cement manufacturer
Top tip: Use a trowel to get the job easier.
4. At last, take one of the mesh patches into the roof cement
Once you have it firmly secured, use the trowel to spread more cement over the mesh. This ensures the material permeates it.
It’s also important that the top and bottom layers of the cement are a mixed bond with each other. Otherwise, the plug won’t be able to keep moisture out of your shed.
5. Apply the second patch
The second mesh patch should be applied on top of the other layers. After securing it, use the trowel to add a final layer of cement.
Make sure all three cement layers are bonded to each other. To do this, exert gentle pressure on the roof plug with the hand tool.
Lastly, allow the plug to solidify according to the instructions provided by the cement manufacturer. Do this after the third layer of cement has been worked into the second patch.
6. Replace leaking screw holes
Metal roofing relies on hex head screws with thick rubber washers. And sometimes, these washers fail, hardening and wearing away in extreme sun or cold. As a result, water seeps under the roof.
To resolve this issue, simply replace the screw. Roof coating the screw hole with roof sealants ensure the screw won’t be an issue anymore.
7. Get rid of the metal roof rust
Galvanised flat roofing materials feature a zinc coating for anti-rust. But scratches from tree branches and other impacts will expose the steel underneath, leading to rust.
Overlooking the rust can lead to a few holes in your shed roof. In this case, you need to replace one or more of your metal roof panels.
8. Consider waterproofing
You can also paint the metal roof panels. Waterproofing combines two basic forms of weather protection: sealing and painting.
Regular sealing and painting will keep the rust away for much longer. Use roofing paint/roof sealants that are retailed for the specific purpose of waterproofing.
Other considerations to keep in mind:
- Unlike other roofing materials, metal roofs maintenance is minimal.
- Carry out a general checkup at least twice a year. If you notice a potential issue, solve the problem right away.
- If you feel uneasy about getting on your roof, don’t do it. We recommend hiring a professional contractor or metal roof maintenance service.
- If you can do it on your own, be aware of the steps you can take to ensure that damage is mitigated as soon as possible.
- In addition to number 4, ensure a second person stays on the ground for added safety.
By following these steps, your metal shed roof coverings should now be in tip-top condition for years. The entire maintenance process should also take less than an hour to complete. (Not including the time needed for the cement to dry off completely.) Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your item, its size, complexity and other circumstances.
For more, read our ultimate guide to metal sheds next!Shop Metal Sheds