Top 7 Most Common Metal Roof Problems

sheet metal roof

A metal roof’s elegant appearance, along with its being a durable and long-lasting material, makes it a popular commercial roofing choice for many businesses and homeowners. When building a house or rebuilding a roof, it’s important to think about the type of roof you will have. If you decide to go with a metal roof, you should be advised that these roofs come with their own set of problems. No products, no matter the amount of money it costs or how well they are cared for, end up being flawless. You may be in the fortunate position of never having an issue with an item or service you have purchased, or you could have one or many difficulties simultaneously. It all depends on the situation. Roofing made of metal is no exception.
While there are many factors that might influence the difficulties that can arise with a metal roofing system, occasionally things happen that are far beyond our control. This may not be the answer you are searching for, but metal roofing has fewer long-term issues than other materials such as asphalt metal roofs over shingles or concrete tiles. At Dream Roof, we believe it is critical to inform consumers about the possibility of common metal roof problems, which can occur at any time. In this post, we’ll look at:

  • The top seven frequent difficulties that can arise with a metal roof
  • Possible solutions and techniques to repair or avoid the issue
  • Important things to keep in mind that can help you avoid some problems with metal roofing

Top 7 Most Common Metal Roof Problems

Metal roof leaking

1.Metal Roof Leaking

A leaking roof is the last thing anyone wants. In most situations, a leak can destroy other expensive objects in your home or property, in addition to costing you more money to replace the roof. Metal roof leaks can happen for a variety of reasons, some of which are beyond our control and others which are caused by human mistakes. Leaks may harm your building’s structure as well as the various assets within, which dramatically increases the cost of restoration if left unattended for too long. Extreme weather—ice that freezes and thaws quickly—is the most common source of leaks in metal roofs.

Leaks can also develop as a result of aging or because your roof’s seam (which links numerous panels) was not built properly in the first place. It’s also possible that issues with your roof’s flashing (which prevents moisture from pouring into the joints) are at fault. Make it a priority to act as soon as possible to resolve this prevalent sort of metal roof issue. Ignoring your leak will only worsen the situation. Also, this time, do yourself a favor and employ experts like us at Dream Roof to solve the problem for you efficiently and effectively. An inexperienced eye may be unable to detect the real source of the leak, resulting in the worsening of the issue.
The following are some examples of uncontrollable triggering events or factors that might result in a leaky roof:

  • It’s pouring rain outside.
  • Snowfall that is heavy or melting
  • Damming of ice (consistent freezing and thawing)
  • Wind
  • Damage to the structure
  • Other weather-related events
Metal roof corrosion


Many people prefer metal roofing because it resists corrosion and deterioration for decades (usually for up to 60+ years), making it the final roof they will ever need to buy. Manufacturers and contractors can effectively assist you in determining which metal material will best withstand corrosion in the climate in which your house or structure is located.
The majority of metal roofs includes corrosion-resistant paint systems or coatings, although there are certain exceptions, such as:

  • Corrosion – on the underside of the panel may occur if the metal is poorly coated. This happens when water molecules become trapped between both the panel and the insulation, causing the metal to corrode if it isn’t covered properly. Also, if a granulated underlayment is used or installed directly over a shingle roof, the protective backside coating may be scratched, causing the metal roof system to collapse from within.
  • Saltwater Corrosion – Because of saltwater’s effect on metal, homes, and structures near the coast are frequently ineligible for warranties. Aluminum and zinc are two metals that perform well in coastal areas, but there is no assurance that they will survive as long as a roof is not exposed to seawater. To decide if you’re in a place that might be prone to early corrosion, read and evaluate the warranty or product specifications extensively when purchasing.
  • Dissimilar Metals – When certain metals are combined, a negative interaction may develop, resulting in early corrosion that would not have occurred otherwise.
  • Cut Edges – On a steel roof, cut edges will undergo edge creep, which is corrosion at the cut edge. Many of the features on a standing seam metal roof include folds or hemmed edges to hide the metal’s cut edge. Edge creep can be minimized by employing many roofing techniques such as painting apparent cut edges using a paint pen.

Corrosion will occur at some point throughout the roof’s lifespan. It depends on being taught on the various metal kinds, paint systems, and the settings in which they operate best, whether it happens early on or in 60 years.

Metal roof fading is common among problems with metal roof

3.Chalking & Fading

Whether you’ve heard of chalking and fading before or not, it’s another trendy issue that might become a problem. The white residue seen on a painted or coated metal surface is chalking, which is caused by the paint resin breaking down due to UV exposure. Fading occurs when the pigment in the paint applied to the metal substrate degrades (because of UV radiation, water, pollution, chemicals, and other factors), resulting in a color shift. Because every panel on a roof isn’t always uniformly exposed to the sun and other chemicals, uneven fading may occur.

No matter where you reside, chalking and fading will occur.

However, the degree of chalking and fading is entirely dependent on the climate and chemicals to which the roof is exposed. Fortunately, most respectable manufacturers provide paint guarantees that cover chalking and fading that exceed a specific measurement over a set length of time, as long as the warranty properly indicates this, you are set.

Metal Roof Flashing Joists Installation

4.Installation Errors

Miscellaneous issues resulting from installation mistakes, such as missing components or accessories, loose screws, or improperly connected flashing, are touchy matters since they are entirely unpredictable. We will discuss how to prevent the issues we’ve discussed, such as choosing the best installer to avoid these common install difficulties.

metal roof hail damage

5.Dissimilar Metals & Materials

Combining various metals on a metal roof system can cause interactions, which can lead to early deterioration, discoloration, and even the complete failure of the system. Certain types of roofing function best when it is not in touch with certain materials including copper, bricks, treated timber, iron, and concrete. If some roofing materials come into contact with these materials and are exposed to water, galvanic corrosion will occur (scientifically the corrosion occurs between the two materials interacting on a molecular level).

Ask your contractor about the goods that will come into touch with your metal roof and if the metal roof material you choose will respond properly to them. Read more on metals that are more prone to corroding as a result of galvanic reactions. Keep a lookout for the following items and materials that might cause unfavorable interactions:

  • Panels\sGutters
  • Fasteners
  • Rivets
  • Materials for flashing and lead pipe boots
  • Trim\sChimneys
  • Fascia
  • Dripping edges
  • Siding and walling materials
  • Copper drain pipes are used to install roof-mounted air conditioners or swamp coolers.
  • Other roofing methods, such as cedar shake shingles, are also available.
Rust cause metal roof issues

6.Scuffing & Scratching

Metal roofing, like everything else with a paint system, is susceptible to scratching and scuffing at any time during its lifespan. Most metal coil producers take great precautions to guarantee that the coil is not damaged during the slitting, recoiling, or transportation to your place of residence or business. During the roll forming and installation process, most contractors and installers generally treat coils and panels with care. However, it is always possible that one or more of these parties will handle the metal incorrectly, resulting in surface damage. This might occur if:

  • Because the metal is incorrectly coiled or recoiled, it may rub together and remove the coating.
  • In shipment, no edge guards are utilized to protect the sheet edges.
  • Carriers do not use suitable lifting mechanisms to handle the coil.
  • The coil passes through a roll forming machine, and one of the components has failed, or the coil has brushed up against a machine component accidentally.
  • Panels are usually walked all over by the workers on site, and even scuffed up in very high traffic areas. This is a major issue with acrylic-coated metals which do require more care, attention and special treatment to.

It is always important to bring about a scratch or scuff to the attention of your contractor in order to have it replaced, especially if it is extremely visible and extends from top to bottom of the metal panel. A lot of scratches and scuffs can be repaired and tended to with paint and touch-up pens. However, if a scratch is deep and penetrates all the way through the metal material, it must be replaced.

Hail metal roof damage

7.Oil Canning

Is there any part of your metal roof that seems wavy or wrinkled?

If this is the case, you are most likely dealing with a problem with oil canning. Oil canning is one of the most prevalent metal roof issues. It can occur with a variety of metals and has nothing to do with the building’s structural stability.

The roofer who constructed your roof may have left insufficient space for it to naturally expand and contract as materials usually do, or they could have put too much pressure on the metal during the initial coiling procedure.

Oil canning is a natural characteristic of virtually all metal roofs and walls, to be honest. Consider oil canning to be an over-stressed metal on a standing seam metal system that is unable to retain a flat shape, causing the metal to give in and generate apparent waves. Because it’s difficult to describe and measure, oil canning is one of the trendiest issues in metal roofing. Oil canning can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

Overproduction, such as when the metal is coiling under severe pressure, is an example of overproduction.

  • There is a lot of strain in coil slitting (cutting) and roll shaping panels.
  • There isn’t enough room for the panels to expand and compress as they heat up and cool down.
  • Changes to the structure’s initial shape that cause stress in the panels or cause them to shift.
  • Installers’ improper use, handling, and storage. For example, if a panel is not placed according to the structure’s stipulated dimensions, oil canning may occur. Contractors should always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, which are industry standard.
Metal roof problem - oil canning

Fortunately, there are a number of techniques to decrease the risk of oil canning, including:

  • Investing in a thicker metal
  • Breaking up the amount of flat space on a panel using a rib roller profile
  • To prevent reflection, which can limit the visibility of oil canning, use a low-gloss or matte surface.
  • Purchasing tensioned (stretched) metal, like this coil is.

How to Avoid/minimize Potential Problems with Metal Roofs

Choose the Right Metal Roof Contractor

Regretfully, there are a few metal roofing contractors and installers who lack the skills and the experience, hence why finding and finally selecting the right contractor is so important. Verify the following to see if a contractor is capable of performing to the highest standards:

  • They are properly licensed, insured, and registered with the building department.
  • They have a track record of installing metal roofing.
  • They’re kind, quick to respond and knowledgeable about the subject.
  • They go through all of the available items and how to install them in depth.
  • They were referred by relatives, friends, or neighbors who had previously employed them as an installation.
  • If you don’t know anybody who has a metal roof, check out home roofing sites, online reviews on websites, and social media.
  • You may also inquire with the metal producer about references in your region.
Sun windows installed in new steel roof

Know Manufacturers That Make Quality Metal Products

Manufacturers of High-Quality Metal Products Should Be Recognized
Buying metal roofing materials from a reliable manufacturer that carefully tests its goods and stands behind them with warranties is one of the greatest methods to reduce metal roofing difficulties. You should also ensure that the manufacturer’s products adhere to the government’s and industry’s established standards.

metal roofing contractors

Know Your Roof & its Environment

You never realize how much a new roof costs until you go through the process. Know the following design factors before you buy the material as they may influence the panel profile you require or the material that will perform best in your environment.

Pitch of the roof (slope)

Standing seam metal roofing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s critical to pick a mechanical system that is doubly locked if you have a low-slope application (3:12 or less is the industry norm). Snap-lock systems with a clip should be utilized if you have a steep-slope application (3:12 or higher is the industry norm).

Before installing, make sure to verify the manufacturer’s minimum slope requirements and measure your roof size in square feet.

  • Note down flashing sites, such as valleys, chimneys, vent pipes, skylights, and so on.
  • Areas on the roof where moisture, mildew, or debris might accumulate
  • Roof sections that are always in the shade or exposed to sunlight should be changed.
  • Pre-existing leaks or other issues that a new roof may or may not resolve
red metal roof installed in Oakville

Do Your Research

Everything we’ve spoken about so far has to do with research. Research is essential both before and after purchasing a metal roof. Know as much as you can about potential difficulties and who you should avoid.

All in all, we hope that this article has provided you with information on not just the most frequent metal roof problems, but also the causes of such difficulties.


  • When looking for a roofing contractor or installation, ask for recommendations.
  • Do not attempt to resolve the issue on your own or without expert assistance.
  • Check your warranty and know when anything could be a valid claim.
  • Check the roofing structure on a regular basis to ensure it is not compromised.
  • Inquire and be informed about possible issues.

Working with a roofing specialist who can assist you in making the best option for your roofing material is, at the end of the day, a wise decision. If you already have a metal roof problem, don’t try to fix it yourself. It is dangerous for inexperienced persons, and it may potentially do more damage to your roof.

Spend some time on our website instead to learn more about the services we provide. Get in contact with us when you’re ready for the finest!