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Old 08-23-2010, 10:34 PM   #1
burleymike
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Default How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

The title pretty much sums it up. I have started to work on converting the old pole barn into my shop. The biggest problem is the guy that built it used nails to attach the roof panels. These are the proper nails that have the neoprene gasket.

When it rains hard for a long time or when the snow melts some of the nails leak. It is not a huge flood but the occasional drip. The thought of pulling all the nails out and replacing them with screws makes my back start aching. He put a nail on every ridge on the panels so it would be a boat load of nail pulling.

One thought I had was to use some of that white snow roof coating and put a dab over each nail to make them seal better but I get the feeling that stuff will get brittle over time and it will leak again. What would you all do?
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

The type of metal on the roof is probably more important than the fasteners. If it is corrugated tin your probably screwed. All of the corrugated I have seen the past 10yrs or so is not worth putting on as a roof. Barely worth using for anything at all. I've bought a few places that had this crap for roofing and wound up removing it and replacing it with R or U panel.

Screws are the only way to go. get the covered gasket types as the gaskets will degrade if exposed to sunlight.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

If you don't care too much about appearances, you could dab each one with roofing tar.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

It is "R" panel no paint just galvanized. I would like to pull the nails but that numskull used enough nails to supply a small country. I really don't know how I would pull that many nails without damaging the panels or my bad back.

I wonder how some Vulkem 116 on each nail covered with foil to block UV light would hold up?

Everything the guy that built this place did has caused me grief just because of his stupidity, laziness and cheapness.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

A couple of decent coats of proper roof paint will stop every leak you have.
Been there, done that many times.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

I would consider tracking down the few that are seeping and replace or drive in further for a quick fix.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

Consider what I did:

My house roof was questionable. It's raised seam, galvanized. I had it removed, new water barrier and reset. Just for your comparison that was $2200 and no back ache. I live in Vermont.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

Its amazing how some people complain that they got too few nails in the roof, while others complain they got too many. You should be happy he used so many nails, this way when there is a storm, you will still have a roof and a workshop that hasn't been destroyed on the inside when the storm is over.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

Seems the easy solution is to put a small amount of sealant on each. Like roofing tar, outdoor rated caulk, or even heavy roof paint as suggested. It just depends on the appearance you want.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

Not sure what the name of it is, but I've seen rubber roof flashing with foil on one side and pressure sensitive adhesive on the other side. You just peel and stick. Comes in rolls.

I'd buy a roll of that and a 1" circle punch/die. Punch out as many circles as you need and peel and stick to your hearts content. The foil will protect the flashing and help the "repair" blend in.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

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Originally Posted by rodnok1 View Post
I would consider tracking down the few that are seeping and replace or drive in further for a quick fix.
This is what I've done on my shed that was built in 1980. The gaskets on the nails have deteriorated to the point where they don't do anything so I've slowly tracked down the bad ones and replaced them. As new ones pop up they get pulled and replaced with covered gasket screws.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

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Originally Posted by Justanoldguy View Post
A couple of decent coats of proper roof paint will stop every leak you have.
Been there, done that many times.
For awhile. If you want really long term solution, ensure that you have proper underlayment and replace the nails with screws. Oh, and ensure that what the screws screw is stable. Then what the quote above says will last your life anyway.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

I had the same issue as you. I tried many of these fixes listed her with no relief. Today when you ride past that building you no longer see the galvanized tin. You see a white steel roof with screws. And I no longer see leaks. By my experience I would have been better off just replacing it from the start. My 2 cents...
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:51 AM   #14
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd View Post
Not sure what the name of it is, but I've seen rubber roof flashing with foil on one side and pressure sensitive adhesive on the other side. You just peel and stick. Comes in rolls.

I'd buy a roll of that and a 1" circle punch/die. Punch out as many circles as you need and peel and stick to your hearts content. The foil will protect the flashing and help the "repair" blend in.
That is a great idea, I have some of that stuff that is used for window flashing and it stuck to the side of a coffee can in the basement so well I had to leave it on the can. I will give that a shot.

At this point I cannot afford to replace the roof. If all else fails I will pull as many nails as possible in an hour a day until the whole roof is screwed. That way my back will not take such a beating. Thanks for the replies guys.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:35 AM   #15
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

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Originally Posted by burleymike View Post
...That way my back will not take such a beating. Thanks for the replies guys.

What???? Back???? What are your referring to????

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Old 08-25-2010, 10:47 AM   #16
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

I would only pull out the ones (and maybe a few more around that area) that are leaking and replace them with new rubber washer type screws. Just putting tar on them- it will only dry out and crack in a year or two and you will wish you had just replaced them. Using either screws or nails that have rubber covered washers- the rubber will dry out eventually any way on either one. But screws will hold better. Good luck. jwillis
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

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Originally Posted by burleymike View Post
It is "R" panel no paint just galvanized. I would like to pull the nails but that numskull used enough nails to supply a small country. I really don't know how I would pull that many nails without damaging the panels or my bad back.

I wonder how some Vulkem 116 on each nail covered with foil to block UV light would hold up?

Everything the guy that built this place did has caused me grief just because of his stupidity, laziness and cheapness.
I had the same thing when I bought my house & barn. What I did was get up on the roof & pulled all the nails that popped out & replaced them with pole barn screws and used some geocell in a caulk gun to go around the nails that hadn't lifted. I understand the frustration with stupidity, the fall after I bought the house I discovered the drain to the kitchen sink was held together with white tape and they had part of it running uphill, no wonder it didn't drain very well. Ground wires were clipped off, heat ducting not screwed together, 240V electrical lines for the dryer & range taped together, the list goes on. Took a lot of work but I think I've undone about everything he did & got it the way it should be. The good thing is by the time you get everything uncobbled you will have a pretty good understanding of how the systems of a house work.

Last edited by SteveU; 08-26-2010 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

I wound up with an 2005 tin shop (bought, did not build), had at least 100 nails leaking, basically, they missed the damn rafters, 3000sqft, about 5 tubes of caulk (dabs on the nail heads) on the offending nails, the leaks have stopped, but not sure how long that will hold, but its made it through one winter.

Ive got an older, probably 1960s 5000 sq ft shed that has been leaking for years (bought it this years), its rotted the rafters, and the tin has rusted around where the nails sat, to the point it will need new rafters, and tin. The only thing I have going for me, is the building is steel trussed. It had been neglected, so it all has to be replaced, the holes are large enough that I don't see anyway to really remedy it (to big for washers).

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Old 08-27-2010, 09:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: How to stop nailed on metal roof from leaking

I don't know how long you have had leakage issues but you might want to inspect the sheathing and/or trusses for water rot and decay!
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