Tag Archives: metal roof

How to Fix Many Leaks on a New Steel Roof

How to Fix MANY Leaks on a New Steel Roof

Reader GUY in SHELTON is probably wishing he would have ordered a new Hansen Pole Building right now. He writes:

“Best way to fix MANY roof leaks on a guaranteed newly built pole barn with metal roof over 2-inch vinyl glass woven insulation. Purlins are on 2 feet centers with no underlayment. Thank you.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru advises:

Sadly this makes my case for why clients should do their installations, as rarely do we ever find an instance of a D-I-Yer having roof leaks.

You need to put whomever installed your building on notice, following whatever procedure is outlined in your written contract with them. If there is no procedure outlined, send a certified letter, return receipt requested, to them, demanding prompt repair or replacement of leaking roof panels, as well as any metal building insulation underneath. Steel panels should never be installed over damp insulation, as this moisture can cause premature deterioration of panels and void steel manufacturer’s warranty. You might want to include that the repaired roof must be inspected by a representative of whomever manufactured your building’s steel panels and require them to sign off as to repair having been done adequately, so steel panel warranty is not compromised. You will want to pay careful attention to time frames, as Washington State only requires registered contractors to offer a one year warranty on materials and labor. Should you not get a prompt correction, you need to file a claim against their Contractor’s Bond (you may want to do this anyhow, as chances are you are not the only person this builder has done poor work for, and claims are paid in order filed). It may also behoove you to engage an attorney who specializes in construction law.

If a “random miss” occurs, repair is to have someone hold a wood block underneath the hole and drive a screw through the hole into the block.  This is the manufacturer’s only approved repair for a missed screw. 

Do NOT, under any circumstance, attempt to fix a missed screw hole with caulking.

Here is a short story about how I handled a similar situation, back when I was a builder: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/09/omsi/

My Barndominium Attic Has Moisture Issues!

My Barndominium Attic Has Moisture Issues!

Reader DAVID in CHICAGO writes:

“Greetings – I’ve got a pole barn style home that’s about 2.5 years old and I’m having moisture issues in the attic. Hoping I can talk with someone to get a consult or second opinion to resolve as quickly as possible. Let me know if it is something you can connect on. Attached is an image from the attic where you can see moisture on the underside of the metal roof. It freezes at night and then during the day when the sun is out, it melts and drips into the attic insulation. 

Attic space is dead, image below. Vented through passive soffit vents and ridge vent, with a few solar blaster ridge vents to help with active venting when the sun is out. Attic insulation is R50 blown in at 20 inches deep. Image of exterior attached. It’s sheet metal that’s then spray foamed on the inside and additional R25 batts. Image below from when we had this same issue earlier this year in February 2021 when the drywall walls and ceilings had to be torn out due to water damage. We purchase in January 2021 and the home is now 2.5-3 years old. There is a solid concrete slab that has in-floor heat. I believe it has a vapor barrier underneath from an image I saw. “

Mike the Pole Barn Guru writes:
You are victim of what is such a simple and economical solution, when planned for in advance. Why builders and building providers fail to address steel roof condensation initially drives me to consider alcoholism!

I do realize they are just ‘selling on a cheap price’, rather than providing a best solution for their client.

Easiest solve is to have two inches of closed cell spray foam applied to underside of roof purlins. Any other solutions will take removal of roof steel panels, adding a thermal break, and then reinstalling roofing.

At time of construction I would have recommended roof steel with an Integral Condensation Control (ICC) factory applied. Investment then would have been a fraction of having to solve it now.

For extended reading on ICCs https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/09/integral-condensation-control-2/.

Lightning and Steel Covered Pole Buildings

Lightening and Steel Covered Pole Barns

From a www.kmbz.com story of March 8, 2018 by Jim Cunningham:

“Each year more than 100 people are killed by lightning in the U.S., according to the National Weather Service. Another 300 people are injured in the electrical strikes. 

Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 4-10. 

In most cases victims of lightning strikes are outdoors, but some structures do not provide adequate protection from lightning, said Al Pietrycha, NWS Meteorologist.

“Several years ago in my pole barn, only 200 feet from my house, this storm came up and I wanted to watch it, thinking I’m okay, I’m okay,” Pietrycha said. “Lightning struck the barn and I got knocked off my feet in the compression wave, and since then I’ve lost some hearing.”

Pietrycha says he should have listened to his own advice that day to take lightning safety more seriously.

Lightning can strike up to 10 miles from a thunderstorm. Vehicles and enclosed buildings offer the best protection. Pietrycha says people should wait at least 30 minutes after a storm has passed before going back outdoors.”

Here is what Bryan Arlington, PE of Star Building Systems has to say about metal roofs and lightning:

“It has been observed that installing a metal roof makes building owners think more about lightning and the dangers of lightning strikes. There is a perception, or at least a suspicion, that a metal roof will increase the likelihood of lightning striking the building. After all, metal is highly conductive, just like the materials used in lightning rods that are used to attract lightning strikes, so doesn’t it stand to reason that the metal roof will attract lightning, too?

The short answer is, no, a metal roof will not make lightning more likely to strike, but it may make a lightning strike less dangerous if it occurs. That’s right, less dangerous, not more.

The Metal Construction Association, in its Technical Bulletin MCA13a, breaks the issue down into two issues: probability of a lightning strike at any particular location, and the consequences of that strike.

Lightning has been studied for hundreds of years, and there is good general information about how it works, but many of the details of how it forms and where it strikes are still unknown. That lack of knowledge means that its behavior remains unpredictable.

Lightning is a rapid discharge of atmospheric static electricity. There are three major types of lightning strike: Intra Cloud (IC), discharges inside a single cloud, from a highly-charged area of the cloud to a less-charged portion; Cloud-to-Cloud (CC) discharges from a highly-charged cloud to a less-charged cloud; and Cloud-to-Ground (CG) discharges from a highly-charged cloud to the earth. CG is the type that is best understood, and the type we are most concerned with in terms of dangers to life and property.

The exact location where lightning discharges appears to be governed by geography and topography, as well as the movements of the storm.  When lightning is ready to discharge, it will, whether there is a metal roof handy or not. It is faulty logic to assume that a metal roof attracts lightning strikes similarly to a lightning rod, because lightning rods are not made to “attract” lightning. Rather, they are made to channel lightning safely to the ground if it happens to strike the location of the building.”

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion on lightning and metal covered pole buildings.

Steel Roofing: Hail, Hail the Gang’s all Here

A couple weeks ago I posted about vinyl siding damage due to hail storms in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Vinyl siding was not the only thing damaged – on my four mile running loop are numerous yard signs from roofers. The roofers are replacing shingles which were damaged by the same storm.

When I first began providing building kits in the Midwest, I was stymied by the number of clients in Michigan who were asking for shingled roofs, instead of steel.

Initially, I thought this must be a regional aesthetics thing. My curiosity finally got the best of me, so I asked about it. The answer – fear of steel roofing being damaged by hail! I never would have guessed.

My first reaction was to call each of the six steel companies who supply steel roofing and siding for our buildings. Only one of them had ever even had a claim submitted to them for hail damage! This certainly seemed contrary to the perception of pole building clients in Michigan.

Metal roofs are very tough and highly resistant to hail damage.  Hail will not penetrate a metal roof.  Even a new asphalt shingle roof won’t protect a home from the next hailstorm.  In fact, many metal roofing products have the highest impact resistance and hail rating (Class 4) granted by Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL).  This means that a sample of the product did not crack when hit twice in the same spot by a 2-inch steel ball, which, in a storm, would translate into a huge hailstone.  As a result of metal roofing’s superior performance in hail prone areas, some insurance companies even provide a reduced rate for homes protected by metal roofs.

The durability of the metal roofs along my running route would seemingly back up the tested results – nowhere along my running loop was a single steel roof being replaced, or even showing signs of cosmetic damage.  My son’s new garage in Maryville, TN, (built less than a year ago), has a steel roof and has not a dent or even a hint of one on his roof.  I’d like to think this is where we got the phrase, “Strong as Steel!”

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