Help PLEASE with leaky metal roof


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Old 03-25-07, 12:37 PM
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Help PLEASE with leaky metal roof

I have a big problem with this metal roof on my outbuilding. We bought this great house way out in the boonies here in Illinois two years ago. The property included this beautifully built 48íx36í steel outbuilding - with separate water, a 200 amp service, cement floor with a drain, all treated lumber for the framing and on & on. But, the roof leaks. Itís apparent that the roof on this otherwise perfect building, was installed improperly. From what little information I have been able to gather, the gasketed nails holding the roof down should have been driven through the tops of the ribs on the roofing sheets rather than along the sides (*photo at http://sallyband.adnetweb.com/ebaypics/roof.jpg). The only place that I can see where water can enter is between the sheets, around the holes on the BOTTOM sheet. Since there are no gaskets between the sheets, that appears to be the only place where water can enter. It really leaks badly when the wind drives rain in from nailed side.

In desperation during the first year we were here, I siliconed the most noticably open gaps along the sides of the sheets. I knew that it wouldnít last but it slowed it down for a while. I was going to pull the nails along the edges and use a rubber gasket between the sheets and replace the nails with gasketed screws - a big job but, I was pretty confident that that would do the job. Then I fought with one of the nails useing a variety of different tools to remove it, but these puppies are ribbed and virtually impossible to remove without pulling the heads off or damaging the roof and, thereís a whole lot of them.

So, I really donít know what to do about it. Is there a chemical sealant fix? That for sure would be the easiest way out. The rub here though is that, if there is something, it would have to blend in cosmetically. Like I said, itís a beautiful building - I donít want to apply anything that will be blatantly visable - itís way too nice of a building to goop it all up with something you can really see. Iím willing to do about anything short of replacing the roof to fix this right. So, can one of you roofing geniuses out there give me a way out of this mess?? All help will be hugely appreciated. Thanks. Don Berbaum
 
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Old 03-25-07, 01:05 PM
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The pic was good . But I cant tell if that lap is over a full rib like it should be. I know to try and pull the nails forget it. Id put some of the black roof cement around the nails I know you dont like the color. Or take and try the white or Alum roof coat Home Depot and Lowes have them
 
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Old 03-25-07, 02:49 PM
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Metal Roof

The nails are definitely in the wrong position. Should be on top of the ridge. Rubber gaskets should be under each nail head. I am also thinking the nail spacing is too sparse. What about the structure underneath? Is the roof sheathed solid with sheet goods such as OSB or is it slatted construction? If slatted and slats are too far apart, wind will vibrate the metal and cause leakage. The way the sheets are lapped in relation to the direction of the prevailing winds is another issue to consider. When placing the sheets, each course should begin on the downwind side and progress in the upwind direction.(working into the wind;opposite direction from which the wind is blowing;hope this makes sense.) Sealing around each nail head with silicon sealant would be a temporary fix for the lack of rubber washers.
 
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Old 03-25-07, 03:13 PM
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You have a very common problem with a metal roof. Espically the kind you have. Nails or screws with rubber washers always on the top of the ridges.
One sheet overlaps the ridge of the next sheet. A 39" sheet covers 36". Now, I get called on to repair many roofs just like yours. If you have a color problem, the best thing to do is to use clear 100% silicone (get the 30 year stuff, more expensive, but worth it) and just start in. Do not pull any nails out. Simply silicone over each one. Now if the metal was not overlapped, then you will have to silicone every seam. If you feel there are areas that need to be attached better, use barn screws with washers. Here is a story.
In 1999 I was called to a metal building that about twice the size of yours. It had virtually the same problem. These people had done everything. It always leaked. They had spent alot trying to stop the leaks. I asked them if they really down deep in their hearts wanted all the leaks stopped for good. I said I could do it, but it would be expensive. They said go ahead. I called in a foam truck and they sprayed the whole roof with liquid silicone. It has not leaked one drop since. Once a year this family still sends me a Thank You card at Christmas. Thats just how it is. Good Luck
 
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Old 03-26-07, 12:19 PM
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First thanks to Ed, Wirepuller, & Jack for your very good advice. Ed, to answer your question, yes the sheets do overlap, rib over a rib. Wirepuller, to answer your questions, the nails do have rubber gaskets on them. There is no full length support under the seams. Here is a photo of the roof from the inside (http://sallyband.adnetweb.com/ebaypics/roofin.jpg). Unfortunately, the prevailing sping and summer winds come in from the seam side. I get a lot more water in the building during the rains that come this time of year.

I just crawled up on the roof a few minutes ago to see how the silicon That I applied in the worst places in May of 05' was holding up. I'm surprised to see that it is still in place and actually looks really good. I used OSI HM-270 Construction Silicon Sealant back then. I would be happy as hell if the fix was as simple as applying silicon sealant to every nail head and every seam. I am concerned that since this does receive direct sunlight, that the UV rays might cause the silicon to deteriorate over time. If that were to happen, it would most likely make the fix after that really complex what with scraping the residue off. But like I said, my two summer old silicon job is holding up well. Do you think that this product would hold up in the long run, or could suggest a product that you that would be confident would do the job? The spray-on silicon that Jack suggested is also very interesting and, it's an approach I would seriously consider if sealing the seams and the nail heads seems unreliable. I have never heard of that before. How would I find out more about it. Again, my sincere thanks for all of your input on this. There might actually be a light at the end of this tunnel yet. Don Berbaum
 
 

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