Metal roofs are quite durable, but the metal panels are still susceptible to being dented if a large object such as a tree branch falls on them. A dent in your metal roof doesn't always mean that you'll need to replace the damaged panel, but it's a good idea to have it inspected — if the paint on the panel was scraped off or if the branch penetrated the panel, your roof is now vulnerable to rust. Below, you'll find out how to determine if you'll need to have a metal roof replacement after a tree branch fell on it.
Did the Tree Branch Damage the Paint?
The biggest risk that a falling tree branch poses to a metal roof is damaging the paint, and a metal panel with damaged paint needs to be replaced. The paint on a metal roof goes beyond simply adding visual appeal — it protects the metal underneath from rusting. A tree branch falling on a metal roof can scrape off the paint on a portion of a panel, which makes it vulnerable to rust. Rust can spread quickly throughout a metal roof once it takes hold, so you'll need to have the panel replaced as soon as possible in order to protect the rest of your roof.
Does Water Pool in the Dented Area?
Metal roofs can't stand up to pooling water very well, since it will rapidly degrade the paint. If the dent in your metal roof is large enough to allow water to pool in it, you'll need to have a roofing company pull the dent out. This is a process similar to fixing a dent on a car — the metal panel will be lifted up using a stud welder and the dent will be hammered out from underneath. Pulling the dent out of your roof and preventing water from pooling in it will protect the paint, and protecting the paint is important to stop your roof from rusting.
Are You Satisfied With the Appearance of Your Roof?
In some cases, a dent caused by a falling tree branch is simply a cosmetic issue. If the tree branch was small and caused a tiny dent that didn't damage the paint, then the structural integrity of your roof won't be compromised. You're able to leave it as-is without worrying about your roof leaking. However, a dented roof can still be an annoying cosmetic issue. If you're unsatisfied with the appearance of your roof, you can have a roofing contractor pull out the dent.
If you're unsure if the tree branch caused structural damage to your roof rather than just causing an annoying dent, call a roofing contractor in your area and have your roof inspected. Replacing a damaged roof panel that's vulnerable to rust due to losing its paint will protect the rest of your roof, making sure that you don't have any roofing leaks in the future.