Anatomy of a Metal Roof Repair Sentry

Anatomy of a Metal Roof Leak Repair

Sentry Roof got a call about a leak at a condominium complex in Cobb County. Moisture was making its way into a first-floor apartment along the floor line of an exterior wall — it appeared the apron-style metal roof was to blame.

The metal roof began at the building’s exterior brick wall and extended over the parking area. The decking system for the roof was concrete and also served as the floor for first-floor residents. We found that the metal panels, which had been installed over a support frame and not a solid substrate, were bent at many locations due to foot traffic. Also, the flashing was not adequately flashed to the brick wall — it was clear someone had tried to seal the gap in the past. But the sealant didn’t work and water was intruding at the flashing and in the areas where someone had walked on the metal panels.

To get an accurate read on how to fix the problem, we got approval to remove the metal panels and take a look underneath.

We found a lot of moisture

There were water stains on the support frame, on the eaves details and at the panel seams. It was clear that the metal roofing had been installed for aesthetic reasons but didn’t provide adequate waterproofing.

So we installed a new metal roof — the right way.

Here’s how we fixed it

First, we got rid of all the old materials and cleaned up the concrete deck with bleach to remove any mold. Then we attached the rafter ledger and installed new plywood sheathing to create a solid substrate for the new roof. After that we applied an ice and water shield to the entire roof area. When installing the new metal panels, we extended the panel seam height by 50% over the original height — from 1” to 1 ½”. The eave flashing, rake flashing, metal closures, head wall, and counter flashings were all pre-finished to match the metal panels.

And now? No more leaking!

The roof is doing its job to protect the building. If you suspect a roof leak, let us know. We’ll send out an experienced leak specialist to diagnose what’s going on and stop the damage before it gets worse.

2 replies
  1. Jesse Jamison says:

    So, the denting in the roof was from someone trying to fix the first leak. However, I can’t help thinking that the metal shouldn’t have dented in the first place. Was it just because the framing had been done improperly?

  2. David Tidd says:

    Hello Jesse,
    It was an inherit weakness of the original design utilizing a non structural metal panel on a spaced (not solid) substrate. The roof dented easily under foot traffic between support members from previous repairs and gutter cleaning efforts.

    This was corrected with installation of a solid plywood roof deck to support the new underlayment and metal roof panels. Now the panels will not deflect and deform under foot traffic.

    Some metal roof systems are designed to be installed over a spaced support system and can perform well with a structural rated roof panel. However heavy point loads can still deform the metal if care is not taken during roof related activities.

    When considering a metal roof, all components of the roof system are important to consider for proper performance.

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