Leak in Metal Roof


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Old 02-13-09, 08:35 AM
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Leak in Metal Roof

Hi,

I own a 1895 brick row house with a metal roof. Last night after during a heavy rain my attic bedroom began to leak. It wasn't a slow leak but a fairly steady but small stream. It entered the bedroom about halfway down the roof right where the drywall ceiling ends (in a small crawl space that only has insulation and no drywall).

I could climb up on the roof (it's three stories but I've done it before and I'm not afraid of heights) and start by patching an entire vertical section with that tar stuff made for stoping leaks. I've used this on the flat portion of my room before and it's worked great. BUT...nobody ever will see the flat part of my roof. I think it would look pretty ugly for my metal roof to have a whole section (or even small splatches) of black tar on it.

Is there other metal roof sealant that is clear or at least made of something that I can easily paint over later?

Finding a leak is really tough. I don't want to spend weeks searching in vain as I wait for my drywall and insulation to begin to rot and mold. At the same time I don't want to do the entire roof to fix one small leak. That is why I planned on doing one entire section from the top down to the leak and then wait for the next rain storm. If it leaks again, then I'll try doing the sections on both sides of the first section I try. Does this sound like a decent plan?

Of course I'll need to know what type of product to use before I start. I really don't want to have to ugly up my roof with tar if I don't have to. I will if I need to as an ugly roof that doesn't leak is better than a pretty roof that leaks but....please help me.

Thanks,

April
 
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Old 02-13-09, 08:58 AM
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You might be able to use a clear silcione to stop the leak but first you need to figure out where it's leaking. Can you get in the attic and tell where it's coming in?
 
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Old 02-13-09, 09:41 AM
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Hi marksr,

The attic is actually a finished bedroom. The ceiling is a finished/painted drywall. The only way to find the leak throught the attic would be to rip out the entire ceiling and insulation so I don't want to do that. That seems like it would be a lot more work

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to work on fixing the leak outside on the roof and I don't see a hole so it must be small or otherwise invisible to my eyes. But the water that came in during the last rainstorm wasn't invisible so I know there is a leak.

April
 
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Old 02-13-09, 12:59 PM
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You could caulk the seams with silicone and check srew/nail heads. Remember the leak isn't always in the same place - water can run down a rafter, looking for a spot to go thru the ceiling.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 01:28 PM
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silicone???

is silicone something that I can pick up at a lowes / home depot?

Does it come in different forms (paint can / caulking tube)?

Is there a certain type I should look for that works when it's cold and wet compared to when it's warm and dry?

thanks
 
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Old 02-14-09, 03:46 AM
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Silicone comes in caulking tubes. IMO G.E. silicone is the best. While warm weather is better than cold, the cold won't hurt it too much but the surface does need to be dry.

It should be available at all the big box stores, paint stores and probably hardware stores also.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 05:31 AM
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thanks marksr, I'll give it a try. Just to be sure though....it goes on clear? Or it's possible to paint over easily? Will it be good for around the flashing of my chimney too? I would guess that the flashing area could be the source of the leak as it's not that far away from the leak (well, I mean the leak is half way down the roof but the leak is much closer to the chimney side of the roof than the other side)....April
 
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Old 02-14-09, 06:25 AM
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G.E. silicone isn't paintable but it goes on and dries clear. It should work good at the flashing also. When it comes time to repaint the roof, the areas with silicone won't paint well but I doubt you would notice it from the ground.
 
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Old 02-12-10, 05:16 AM
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You could use a silicon sealant to your roof. It is easy to apply, and it is clear so you don't have to worry with the looks after applying it.
 
 

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