How Much to Replace Screws on Metal Roof?

Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance requirements. However, even the most robust metal roofs can suffer from screw damage over time, necessitating replacement. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that determine the cost of replacing screws on a metal roof, the pros and cons of DIY versus professional installation, and the steps involved in the process.

Metal Roof Advantages


One of the primary advantages of metal roofs is their longevity. High-quality metal roofs can last up to 50 years or more, significantly outlasting traditional asphalt shingle roofs. This durability is partly due to the use of robust screws that securely fasten the metal panels to the roof deck, preventing uplift and damage from severe weather conditions.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofs are highly reflective, which can lead to substantial energy savings by reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the building. This trait is particularly beneficial in warm climates, where it can significantly reduce the need for air conditioning. Additionally, many metal roofs are designed with a specialized coating that enhances their energy-efficient properties.

Low Maintenance

Unlike asphalt shingles, which can deteriorate due to exposure to UV rays and extreme temperatures, metal roofs require minimal maintenance. Beyond occasional cleaning and inspections, a properly installed metal roof can provide decades of service with little upkeep required.

The Need for Screw Replacement

Signs of Damage

Despite their durability, metal roof screws can become loose, corroded, or damaged over time. Some signs that screw replacement may be necessary include:

  • Visible rust or corrosion on the screw heads
  • Loose or missing screws
  • Leaks or water damage around screw holes
  • Lifted or buckling panels due to screw failure

Ignoring these issues can lead to more extensive and costly repairs down the line, making timely screw replacement essential for maintaining the integrity of your metal roof.

Preventative Maintenance

Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify potential screw issues before they become major problems. It’s generally recommended to have a professional roofer inspect your metal roof every few years and replace any compromised screws as needed. This proactive approach can extend the lifespan of your roof and prevent more extensive damage.

Cost Factors

The cost of replacing screws on a metal roof can vary significantly depending on several factors, including material costs, labor costs, and additional expenses.

Material Costs

Screw Types

Metal roof screws come in various types and materials, each with its own price point. Common options include:

  • Stainless steel screws: Highly durable and corrosion-resistant, but more expensive.
  • Galvanized steel screws: Affordable and suitable for most applications, but may eventually rust.
  • Aluminum screws: Lightweight and corrosion-resistant, often used for aluminum roofs.

The type of screw you choose will impact the overall material cost.

Quantity Needed

The number of screws required for your roof replacement project will depend on the size of your roof and the screw spacing recommended by the manufacturer. Larger roofs or those requiring denser screw patterns will naturally necessitate more screws, increasing the material cost.

Labor Costs

Professional vs DIY

Labor costs can account for a significant portion of the total project cost, especially if you hire a professional roofing contractor. Professional installation typically ranges from $3 to $7 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the job and the contractor’s rates.

If you opt for a DIY approach, you’ll save on labor costs but will need to factor in the time and effort required to complete the project yourself.

Roof Accessibility

The accessibility of your roof can also impact labor costs. Roofs with multiple stories, steep pitches, or complex designs may require additional safety equipment and take longer to complete, increasing the overall labor cost.

Additional Costs

Equipment Rental

If you choose the DIY route, you may need to rent specialized equipment like ladders, safety harnesses, or power tools. These rental fees can add to the overall project cost.

Disposal Fees

Depending on your location, you may need to pay disposal fees for the old screws and any damaged roofing materials. These fees can vary based on the amount of waste generated and the local regulations.

DIY vs Professional Installation

When it comes to replacing screws on a metal roof, you have two main options: DIY or professional installation. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages.

DIY Approach

Cost Savings

One of the primary benefits of a DIY screw replacement project is the potential cost savings. By taking on the labor yourself, you can avoid the hefty fees charged by professional roofing contractors. However, it’s important to weigh these cost savings against the potential risks and your level of expertise.

Potential Risks

Replacing screws on a metal roof can be a dangerous task, especially for those without proper training and equipment. Working at heights, handling heavy materials, and using power tools all carry inherent risks. Additionally, improper installation can lead to leaks, panel damage, or even structural issues, potentially negating any cost savings in the long run.

Professional Installation

Expertise and Experience

Professional roofing contractors have the necessary expertise, training, and experience to ensure a safe and proper installation. They understand the intricacies of metal roof systems, including screw placement, tightening techniques, and flashing details, reducing the risk of errors and future problems.

Warranties and Insurance

When you hire a professional roofing contractor, their work is typically covered by a warranty, providing peace of mind and protection against defects or issues. Additionally, reputable contractors carry liability insurance, protecting you from potential damages or injuries that may occur during the project.

Steps for Screw Replacement

Whether you opt for a DIY approach or professional installation, the process of replacing screws on a metal roof typically follows these steps:


Safety Precautions

Before beginning any work on your metal roof, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. This may include setting up fall protection systems, securing ladders or scaffolding, and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) like harnesses, gloves, and eye protection.

Removing Old Screws

The first step in the replacement process is removing the old, damaged screws. This can be done using a power drill or screwdriver, carefully backing out each screw without damaging the surrounding panel or roof deck.

Installation Process

Screw Placement

Once the old screws are removed, it’s time to install the new ones. Proper screw placement is essential for ensuring a secure and watertight installation. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for screw spacing and patterns, and take care not to over-tighten or under-tighten the screws.

Tightening Techniques

Tightening the screws correctly is crucial to prevent leaks and ensure the longevity of your metal roof. Over-tightening can cause the screws to strip or the panels to dimple, while under-tightening can lead to loosening over time and potential water infiltration.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommended torque specifications and use a torque wrench or calibrated screwdriver to achieve the proper tightening. Additionally, be mindful of the sequence in which you tighten the screws, working in a pattern to evenly distribute the pressure across the panels.



Once the new screws are installed, it’s essential to clean up the work area thoroughly. Remove any debris, metal shavings, or old screw remnants from the roof and surrounding areas to prevent potential damage or safety hazards.


After the installation and clean-up are complete, conduct a thorough inspection of the entire roof. Check for any missed or improperly tightened screws, and ensure that all panels are securely fastened and properly aligned. This final inspection can help identify and address any potential issues before they become more significant problems.

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Replacing screws on a metal roof is a crucial maintenance task that ensures the longevity and integrity of your roofing system. While the cost can vary depending on factors such as material choices, labor costs, and project complexity, addressing screw damage promptly can prevent more extensive and costly repairs down the line.

Whether you choose to tackle the project yourself or hire a professional roofing contractor, following proper safety protocols, installation techniques, and post-installation procedures is essential for a successful screw replacement project.

Maintenance Tips

To extend the lifespan of your metal roof and minimize the need for frequent screw replacements, consider these maintenance tips:

  1. Conduct regular inspections: Schedule annual or bi-annual roof inspections to catch any potential issues early.
  2. Address small problems promptly: Don’t ignore minor screw damage or loosening, as these issues can quickly escalate.
  3. Trim overhanging branches: Keep trees and vegetation trimmed back to prevent debris accumulation and potential damage to the roof.
  4. Clean regularly: Gently wash your metal roof periodically to remove dirt, debris, and any accumulations that could trap moisture and accelerate corrosion.

By following these maintenance best practices and addressing screw replacement needs promptly, you can enjoy the many benefits of a durable, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance metal roof for years to come.


How often should I replace the screws on my metal roof?

The frequency of screw replacement depends on various factors, including the age of your roof, the quality of the screws used, and the environmental conditions in your area. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to have your metal roof inspected by a professional every 2-3 years and replace any compromised screws as needed.

Can I mix different types of screws on my metal roof?

It’s generally not advisable to mix different types of screws on your metal roof. Using mismatched screws can lead to galvanic corrosion, where dissimilar metals react with each other and accelerate deterioration. Stick to the screw type recommended by the manufacturer for your specific roof system.

How long does it take to replace screws on a metal roof?

The timeframe for replacing screws on a metal roof can vary greatly depending on the size of your roof, the number of screws that need to be replaced, and whether you hire a professional or tackle the project yourself. On average, a professional crew can typically replace screws on a standard-sized residential roof in 1-2 days.

Can I replace just a few screws, or do I need to replace them all?

While it’s possible to selectively replace individual screws that show signs of damage or corrosion, it’s generally recommended to replace all the screws in a given area or section of the roof. This ensures a consistent and secure installation, reducing the risk of future problems.

What should I do if I notice a leak around a screw hole?

If you notice a leak around a screw hole, it’s important to address the issue promptly. First, try tightening the screw to see if that resolves the leak. If the leak persists, you may need to replace the screw and potentially seal the area with a compatible sealant or caulk. If the leak is significant or you’re unsure of the best course of action, it’s advisable to consult a professional roofing contractor.

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Spike Miller

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