Steel Roof Leaks

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

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DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a 20 year old pole barn that I replaced the screws with washers…My steel roof leaks in the area half way between the top and the edge of the roof. the water runs across the two by four inside and I am not sure where the leak really is.Thanks MILES IN PRINCETON

 DEAR MILES: I can tell you how to find where the steel roof leaks….it involves two people, a ladder and a hose. One person stands inside of the building and makes lots of noise when the water starts to leak. The other ventures cautiously, utilizing proper safety procedures and equipment, onto the roof with hose in hand.

 Begin with running the hose above the spot where water has been showing up on the inside of the building. Give it at least a minute – no water, chances are the leak is not there. Go up the roof to the next row of screws and repeat. Eventually you will find the spot where the water is coming in.

 Now – how to fix it. When replacing old roof screws always go with both larger diameter shanks as well as longer parts. Putting the same size screw into a deteriorating hole is not going to be a solution to the problem. Remove the suspect screws and replace them appropriately, this should be a resolution to the problem, unless there is an actual hole somewhere in one or more of the steel panels.

 Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have any type of financing available ???


 DEAR KEITH: We have numerous options available for financing, and in many cases – your entire post frame building improvement (not just the building kit package) may be able to be financed. Monthly payments will very due to credit worthiness.  You can begin the free process at: 

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to have the top half of the gambrel roof just a bit longer so there is less of a peak and a somewhat flatter? LOST IN SPACE DEAR LOST: The beauty of a gambrel style roof is the pitch break locations (height above and horizontal distance from the eave) can be placed anywhere one’s heart desires and eye fancies.

There is a proportion for gambrel roofs which most people generally consider to be the most pleasing: 

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thank you for adding me on Facebook. I live in northern Illinois. I’m looking into adding a new building on my farm. I’m thinking 72’x130’x19′. A lot of people in my area use FBI buildings and I have a sales rep coming out in a couple of weeks. I’ve read a lot of your post and it gave me a couple of questions to add to my existing list of questions. What is the biggest mistake you see people in my shoes make and do you have any links to any similar buildings? Thanks again. STEVE

DEAR STEVE: I love Facebook, it is amazing how many clients chat with me on it – or just check in to read my daily blog posts. The number one mistake I see people make is thinking the only way to get a building like this is to hire a general contractor. Don’t get me wrong, FBI ( does a great job, I’ve known the Bahlers for decades and one of my former employees worked for FBI.

But, at the end of the day, it comes down to getting the most for your investment. If you do not have the time or manpower to build it yourself, look into buying a package and hiring an erector to assemble it. Chances are you will save 25% or more right there. At the least, get a quote from us on your materials – it will keep anyone else honest. Oh – and always buy an engineered building.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

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