How to Repair Nail Holes in Metal Roof

The roofing industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in North America. Nail holes are one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a metal roof, aside from its durability and maintenance-free benefits. Standard nails have been used for decades by carpenters because they are inexpensive and easy to use.

How to Repair Nail Holes in Metal Roof

However, many problems can arise with this type of fastener if not done correctly. For example, improperly installed nails may come loose over time, causing leaks or other damage due to rusting or corrosion. This blog post will give you some helpful tips on how to repair nail holes in metal roofs so you can avoid any potential issues down the road!

10 Steps to Follow on How to Repair Nail Holes in Metal Roof 

Step One:  Acquire Materials

Choose a metal roof repair kit. A complete kit should include several pieces of patching metal, a roll of roofing cement, and a small caulking tube. If you don’t have access to a kit, purchase several parts of the same size flashing. You’ll also need some roofing nails or screws long enough to sit at least 1/2-inch below the metal surface.

Step Two:  Prepare the Repair Area

If you’re repairing a nail hole, insert a roofing nail or screw into the open space in the roofing sheet metal. If there’s no exposed nail to use, rust around all sides of the hole with sandpaper. Clean the area with a wire brush and wipe it down with acetone or alcohol. Finally, coat the entire surface of the repair patch with roofing cement.

Step Three:  Position the Repair Patch Metal

Slide the top lip under the metal and press it, so it’s flush with the sheet metal along its entire length, and both sides are even at the seam. There should be no extra material sticking out at the sides of the repair patch.

Step Four:  Fasten the Repair Patch Metal

Before you begin, determine if your roofing nails are self-tapping or require pre-drilling. If they are self-tapping, simply drive them through the metal into the roofing sheet metal so they are flush with the patch.

If your roofing nails require pre-drilling, drill 1/8-inch to 3/16-inch holes at each corner of the patch, every 4 to 6 inches along its length and width, using a bit just large enough for the screw shanks. Drive them into place until their heads are recessed by about a 1/16-inch.

Step Five:  Caulk the Seam

If it’s been raining, give the roofing cement 12 hours to dry before you caulk the seam between the patch and sheet metal. If you don’t need to wait for the rain to stop, use an exterior silicone or acrylic caulk designed for roofing. Run a continuous bead of caulk along the seam and press it in place with your finger.

Caulk the Seam Between the Patch and Sheet Metal

Step Six:  Fill the Holes

Once you’ve caulked the seam, fill any holes with exterior-grade roofing cement. If the holes are on metal that’s already painted, thoroughly wash the area with mineral spirits to remove any oil or soap residue. Apply roofing cement liberally and let dry completely. If the holes are on bare metal and you want to keep them from corroding, prime and paint them with a rust-inhibiting exterior enamel.

Step Seven:  Finish the Job

Once the caulk is dry, check your work. Look for any signs of leakage or discoloration around the repair area. If you notice leaks, re-caulk the seam within 24 hours. If necessary, apply more roofing cement to fill in cracks caused by movement along the seam.

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Step Eight:  Protect the Area

After the roofing cement has dried thoroughly, you should take steps to protect it from further damage. First, apply a coat of exterior enamel paint to the entire patch and surrounding sheet metal, including any exposed nail heads.

If your roof is located in an area that gets regular rainfall, install drip edge flashing around the edges of your metal roof. Drip edge flashing will help prevent water from running down the metal and directly onto the patching material.

Step Nine:  Prevent Future Damage

You don’t want to repair your roof multiple times in one year, so take steps to protect it from future damage. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by removing the snow and ice build-up that accumulates during cold weather. You can do this yourself or hire a professional contractor.

Remove the Snow and Ice

Insert roofing nails or screws into the open space in the sheet metal to repair a nail hole. If there’s no exposed nail to use, rust around all sides of the hole with sandpaper. Clean the area with a wire brush and wipe it down with acetone or alcohol. This will help in how to repair nail holes in metal roof.

What Causes Roofing Nails to Back Out?

There are many reasons why roofing nails will back out of a metal roof. Some of the top reasons for this happening include:

  1. The wrong type of nail for the application is being used.
  2. Too much weight is on a single row of nails or using multiple rows with no staggered layout.
  3. The same spacing as previous rows is not maintained during subsequent rows so as to keep even spacing throughout the entire roofing project, causing too much weight to be put on individual nails.
  4. The nails are not installed at the proper angle for peak strength and load capacity. The correct angle should be 90 degrees to the roof deck.

Frequently Asked Question

What Is the Best Sealant for Metal Roof Screws?

There are many types of sealants available in the market. Some of them are:

  • Acrylic Sealant

Acrylic sealant is a thick, white liquid that can coat metal surfaces. It is made from polymers and acrylics, which have chemical properties similar to those found in natural rubber. The fluid helps provide adhesion for the sealant and resists moisture damage on the surface. It is commonly used for steel and aluminum but can also be applied to wood or concrete surfaces with success.

  • Silicone Sealant

Silicone sealant is a clear silicone-based compound that can help prevent corrosion when applied over metal surfaces such as screws or nuts. This type of sealer works by forming an impermeable layer over the metal surface to create a protective barrier against water and other corrosive elements like salt water, oil, dirt, chemicals, etc., that would otherwise cause rusting or corrosion on the screws or nuts. Silicone sealants are typically quite flexible at room temperature but become firm after they are set up overnight in colder temperatures so they will not deform during application when working with items such as roofing screws or nuts on cold winter days.

Silicone Sealants Are Flexible at Room Temperature

Is There a Filler for Metal?

Filler is a type of aggregate material that fills the space between two pieces of sheet metal to make them smooth and seamless.

Metal can be manufactured by welding, brazing, or soldering together sheets of metal to form a solid piece. The seam can then be filled with a filler such as copper powder or graphite particles.

Filler helps reduce friction at the joint which prevents unwanted wear and tear from rubbing against each other. It also serves as an insulator between the two pieces of metal which reduces electrical conductivity.

Is Flex Seal Good for Roof Leaks?

Flex Seal is a strong liquid sealant that can be used to stop roof leaks and improve the waterproofing of roofs. It is highly recommended for use on metal, tile, and concrete roofs.

The good thing about Flex Seal is that it does not require priming or curing. This means that there is no waiting time before using this product, and you can apply it immediately after purchase.

Another benefit of using Flex Seal is that it has been designed to help protect your roof from future leaks by making the surface hydrophobic, which means water will not stick to the roof surface once cured.

It should also be noted that this product was tested under extreme conditions in order to make sure its performance would meet all customers’ expectations and needs.

Can You Use Silicone on Metal Roof?

We recommend using silicone on metal roofs only if you want to seal it with a liquid. If you are not sure whether or not your roof is metal, check out the manufacturer’s website or call them and ask!

We Recommend Using Silicone on Metal Roofs


When it comes to your metal roof, the last thing you want is a nail hole. But if one does happen, don’t worry! We can help you repair those pesky holes in no time at all with our easy-to-follow guide and quick video tutorial.

After reading this blog, you should know how to repair nail holes in metal roof. Now that the sky is clear and it’s time for your spring home improvement projects. A metal roof provides a low-maintenance, durable surface that is easy to maintain with regular cleaning. Roofs are generally fairly affordable and have an average lifespan of 20 years or more.

Check it out also – How to Remove Roofing Tar From Metal Roof .

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