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Metal Roof Fasteners: When and Why They Need to Be Replaced

Published: 3/30/2022

roofing scams

If your home is outfitted with a metal roof, you might be aware that the way it is attached to your decking structure is a bit different than a traditional rooftop. The key hardware used here is metal roof fastening screws, which may wear out before the actual panels do.

In this post, we review the basics of metal roof fasteners and discuss how to know when they need to be updated.


What are Metal Roof Fasteners?

All metal roofs use fasteners to secure them to the roof decking – the wood beam structure that the roofing is placed upon. These are heavy duty screws, paired with gaskets. They are either screwed through the face of the metal panels into the roof decking, or placed somewhere under the surface, in the case of more complex mounting systems.

Natural Vulnerabilities

Being metal makes the screw portion of these components susceptible to corrosion. The gaskets are typically made of neoprene, rubber, silicone, or another type of cushioning material that degrades under UV exposure. That means that sunlight will cause damage over time.

The longer, narrow shape of the screws and how they are mounted also creates the potential for problems if they are not installed correctly. It’s possible to mistakenly drive the screws in at an off-center angle, which will put tension against the roofing structure and weaken the hold.

How to Know When to Replace Metal Roof Fasteners

The typical lifespan of metal roof fasteners can be as long as 20 years. However, the weather extremes down on the Southwest Florida coast can cause them to expire sooner.

Here we have an excess of everything that cripples fastener strength: sunshine, wind, rain, and humidity! After an intense hurricane season, we always recommend checking your fasteners to make sure they’ve held up well enough. In our climate, you may find yourself in need of replacements every 10-15 years.

There are some signs that your roof fasteners may need replacing. These include:

  • Stripped screw heads
  • Crumbling or missing gaskets
  • Corrosion (rust) around the fasteners or other parts of the panels
  • Loose or uneven paneling
  • Raised fasteners
  • Leaks in your attic

Should you find that your fasteners need to be switched out, it’s critical to get it done ASAP. Because the fasteners are the main thing holding your roof together, you could end up with a lot of damage if another heavy weather system hits before they’ve been replaced. The ability of your roofing to withstand forceful winds and rain will be seriously compromised.

Do My Fasteners Need to be Replaced if I Have a Standing Seam Roof?

With standing seam type metal roofs, fasteners are concealed beneath the panels. This is advantageous because it shelters the fasteners from exposure to the elements, which would normally accelerate their deterioration.

However, the fasteners can still succumb to conditions over time. Florida’s excessive humidity and storm winds will put a strain on them regardless. So while you can get away with less frequent maintenance on a standing seam metal roof, there will still come a time when you need to have the fasteners replaced.

It’s important to note that the design of standing seam rooftops makes it very difficult for the typical homeowner to inspect the fasteners and perform basic maintenance. You’ll need the assistance of experts.

Assessing Your Roof’s Health with a Professional Inspection

If you have a feeling your roof’s fasteners and other components may be succumbing to wear and tear, it’s time to take a good look up there. However, for many of us, doing a DIY inspection just isn’t feasible.

Not only is it physically strenuous (and risky!) to climb up on your rooftop, it can also take a trained eye to distinguish between normal visual changes and actual deterioration. Having an expert on the job can help you stay safe and get the right assessment.

Here at AKVM, we’ve helped countless homeowners throughout the Bradenton-Sarasota area evaluate their roofing condition and perform the proper maintenance. Our crew provides free inspections and quotes, giving you all of the information you need without any commitments. And if you’re in need of assistance paying for your roof work, we can help you secure financing from a trusted lender.

We invite you to read through our FAQs for more information. When you’re ready to schedule your risk-free inspection, please contact us!