Tag Archives: powder coated screws

Skylights Leaking

Skylights Leaking

Reader DIANA writes,  ”skylights leaking in 40 year old barn. Is it possible to replace the sky lights with metal.”

Skylights in steel roofs are problematic, and not just due to them eventually leaking. You will certainly want to read this article: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/one-more-reason-to-not-use-skylights-in-steel-roofs/.

Now, considering your entire roof is 40 years old – it would be possible to replace only skylight panels. This would be providing rib configuration of steel can be matched. Over 40 years many patterns have been discontinued.

You asked for my expert opinion and I therefore take upon myself to answer as if it was my very own building. This isn’t about trying to make money (although some readers may become Hansen Pole Buildings’ clients following reading of a few of my articles), it is about people getting a great value for their building dollar. I’d be first to admit to it, if I did not believe our buildings are an example of best value.

If someone actually does happen to have a better value component, let me know and we will try to incorporate it and, if possible, improve upon it.

I’d look to replacing entire roof surface. Paint systems, such as Kynar (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/05/kynar/), are available in most U.S. areas. There are also ‘Lifetime’ warrantees available on many SMP (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/05/smp/) painted products.

Your existing roofing was probably installed using nails, rather than screws. It was industry standard then (read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/12/ring-shank-nails/). Ideally a new roof panel screw layout will be such as with some adjustment all existing nail holes can be missed.

I’d recommend using powder coated Diaphragm screws to attach roofing to underlying purlin framing. You can read why here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/08/this-is-a-test-steel-strength/.

It Is Exactly the Same Building: Part II

Well, maybe not exactly the same building.

Yesterday I ran a beginning list of comparison’s between a Hansen Building quote and a quote by one of our competitors espoused to be “exactly the same” by a client of ours.

The saga continues:

Powder coated diaphragm screws vs. #10 diameter painted screws . Those who are familiar with the properties of paint and powder coating know the first is far superior. Some more information on powder coated screws is available here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/08/lobular-powder-coated-screws/. There are structural challenges which occur when using industry standard small diameter screws, which we found out about only when we went to test a building roof: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/08/this-is-a-test-steel-strength/.

 

Recessed purlins vs. stacked purlins. Stacked purlins go over the top of the interior roof trusses, which effectively lowers the truss by the thickness of the roof purlin, hence reducing interior clear height – you get less volume of usable space! Stacked purlins also attach to the trusses via “paddle” blocks, which are highly problematic: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/05/paddle-blocks/.

Bookshelf girts vs. flat girts. Wall girts placed flat on the outside of columns rarely meet with the deflection criteria of the Building Code as can be found here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/girts/.

Inside closures at eave vs. no eave closures. Inside closures keep the flying critters out of your new post frame building. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/12/the-lowly-inside-closure/.

True doubled trusses vs. Single trusses each side of columns. When two trusses are spaced apart by blocking, they no longer act as an integrated pair, each truss functions on its own. In the event of a critical roof load, if the weakest link is a flaw in one of the trusses, the entire roof could easily land on the ground. With true double trusses, they load share – and since the probability of two trusses having the exact same weak point is extraordinarily small, an overloaded roof is more likely to stay standing after the single truss roof has gone boom.

Engineered steel hangers to attach purlins and truss bracing vs. Nailed connection. There is a reason Building Officials like engineered steel connectors – they are a stronger connection! https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/08/simpson/

Ledgerlocks to attach trusses to columns (eliminates drilling huge through bolt holes) vs. Bolts. We are into providing buildings which are structurally sound as well as easily constructed by the average person who can and will read English. This truss to column connection is both!

Engineer sealed plans and calculations vs. not sealed plans. My long term readers have read my harping on engineered plans. Here is why: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/10/engineer-stamped-pole-barn-plans/

500+ page Construction Guide. Let’s face it, it does not matter how good the design or materials are, if there are not explicit instructions on how to get everything together right. I’ve seen plenty of post frame building kit packages instructions in my nearly four decades in the industry. Absolutely nothing compares to what we provide.

Getting a better “deal” on a post frame building than what was quoted by Hansen Pole Buildings? And of course it is “exactly the same building” – let us review any competing quotes you are considering. The service is absolutely free of charge and if it is indeed an equal to or better building, and a better price, we will be the first ones to tell you so!

Screwed Up! A Poor Installation.

The photo you are witnessing happens to be an example of a poor installation job done by a “professional” builder. I use the term professional here in quotes, because anyone who is being paid a sum of money (or perhaps receiving a horse in trade) in exchange for providing a service could be deemed as a professional.

Professional can be rather like “quality” – just as quality comes in good and bad, so do professionals.

This particular screw happens to be just one of thousands on a very expansive roof – an 88 foot clearspan width by 120 foot long horse riding arena. It turns out the roof has more than a few roof leaks, which (if there are many screws installed like this one) is not sadly overly surprising.

Apparently the partially installed screw method was quite popular for this particular installer, as witnessed in this photo:

It seems whomever was working the eave edge of the roof wasn’t quite certain as to what a seated screw should look like.

While we are looking at this second photo, take heed at the first rib of steel closest to the middle of the page. The overlap is clearly not tight against the underlap.

My suspicion is the builder did not predrill the roof panels (as instructed in the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Manual), given the propensity for screws elsewhere on the roof to have been driven in at an angle, as well as places where two screws sit about two inches apart from each other, with one of them sporting a fresh coat of caulking (not an approved fix for a missed screw).

The engineered building plans and the installation instructions also call for screws to be placed on each side of every high rib at the eave and ridge. These areas have the greatest sheer loads to carry and a shortage of screws at these locations will eventually cause slotting under the screw heads, followed by even more leaks.

Strangely (or maybe not) we rarely have a DIYer experience a roof leak……think about it.

Loosening Roof Screws

Help! My Roof Screws are Loosening!

Ask The Pole Barn GuruOur office gets all sorts of phone calls. Besides those clients who are potential investors in new post frame buildings, there are those who have made mistakes (or had builders make them on their behalf) and are looking for fixes.

 

 

One call came in earlier this year to Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rachel, who wrote:

“Guy called wondering about buying insulation from us. He was looking for fiberglass. He asked some suggestions and said he has a little issue in his roof.  He has blanket insulation and said his screws are loosening.  I told him I thought it may be the insulation was too thick and the screw was not tight to the framing.  He understands but is wondering what the suggestion may be.  Wondering if he should replace all the screws?  Told him I thought it would still be an issue but not sure.  Thoughts?”

The caller’s building has a product known as metal building insulation under his roof steel. This insulation is most typically a six foot width roll of thin fiberglass insulation usually bonded to a white vinyl vapor barrier. This insulation is installed over the roof framing with the faced side down (fuzzy side up) then the roof steel is applied on top. Installed properly, with the seams tightly sealed (which rarely occurs) and any rips taped, it does make for a fairly effective condensation control.

It also makes for a lousy insulation solution, as the fiberglass is compressed nearly to nothing as it crosses each roof purlin. I’ve heard of builders selling metal building insulation as thick as six inches and trying to convince (and often getting away with it) clients they will achieve an R-19 insulating value!

All of this fluffy insulation wants to cause the roof steel to bend upwards in between the roof purlins, in some instances beginning to look like the Sta-Puff Marshmellow Man. Between this and the compressed fiberglass at each purlin – stress is laced upon each of the roof screws. If the screws are relatively short in length and/or small in diameter, they will eventually work loose (and cause leaks).

Reflective InsulationThe best solution (although time consuming) would be to remove the roof steel and the metal building insulation, replacing it with a reflective radiant barrier and placing the steel back on the roof using larger diameter and longer screws.

If the building owner is willing to accept the look of what he has, he could attempt a fix just by changing out the screws.

The best solution truly would have been prevention – not having used metal building insulation to begin with.

Why Use Stainless Steel Screws with Steel Roofing and Siding?

One of our prospective clients recently contacted me with a list of features being promoted by a builder he was considering investing in a post frame building kit with. One of the features happened to be the use of stainless steel screws to attach the steel roofing and siding. My quick, off the cuff, response to the client was why – when the manufacturer of the screws provided by Hansen Pole Buildings guarantees them (and they are not stainless steel) to outlive the steel! Along with this, I stated the stainless steel screws would be about four times as expensive.

Well, I was wrong.

I checked the prices on stainless steel screws vs. standard screws at a major big box store today and found I could purchase five pounds of standard screws for the exact same price as one pound of the stainless steel ones of the same size!!

Now stainless steel screws do have their place. If one is using them to drive into ACQ pressure treated lumber (please read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/06/acq-treated-lumber/), then stainless is the way to go. Fortunately, ACQ is now rarely used for post frame construction, as other alternative methods of preserving lumber have been developed.

So, what is so special about the screws provided by Hansen Pole Buildings?

The JS1000 plating system has been developed by Leland Industries and has been proven to remain completely rust free in over 1000 hours of salt spray testing. This is 20 to 25 times the corrosion resistance of regular electro-zinc products – and considerably more than the best known coatings on the market.

This plating system provides for a high lubricity for reducing tapping torque and less stress on small diameter screws. JS1000 is completely non-toxic. It is compatible with aluminum and other construction metals. It is hexavalent Chromium free and RoHS compliant, making it an environmentally friendly product.

For those who “just have to know”, RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances, originated in the European Nation. It restricts the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.

In our case, we order these screws powder coated, which when used over JS1000 increases salt spray testing rust resistance by over three times!!

Let’s Count Screws

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 16 of the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Manual:

Use sheeting screws ONLY on one side of each high rib (See Figure 16-2) with the following exception:

  • Roof – each high rib side at Eave Girt and Ridge Purlin (as well as at any end over end splices).

screws

Figure 16-2

Use 1-1/2” long diaphragm screws at eave purlin and ridge purlin, installing one screw on EACH high rib side (unless instructions state otherwise).

 If double screws are used at any other locations, there will NOT be enough screws. 

 Use a diaphragm screw next to each high rib (one side only) on field purlins.  These will be 9” on center, with first screw next to overlap rib.

This language also appears on the blueprints for every Hansen Pole Building which has steel roofing or siding. As not everyone is a reader, a handy diagram is also provided so as to clarify any possible confusion.

Earlier this week, Hansen Pole Buildings’ Shipping Wizard Justine forwarded to me this message from one of our clients:

“This client thinks he is short screws for the roof, would you run a quick count.  He feels he should have received 2618 screws for his building”.

As usual, I start with the premise of we must have done something wrong, so I did a complete breakdown by hand. This client’s particular building is a monitor style (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/building-styles/monitor-building-designs/).

Here was the breakdown I provided:  Each wing has 8 rows of fasciae, eave girts & purlins

Main roof has 10 rows

(8 X 2) + 10 + 8 extra (to account for double screws at eave and ridge of four roof planes) = 34 X 51′ of roof = 1734 X 4/3 (4 screws per 3′ width panel) = 2312

At times I am realizing I am not sufficiently verbose in my answers, and I might confuse some clients, as I did this one who responded:

I am unclear about what each of your numbers represent, it looks like this was calculated by linear foot per panel, but that would be incorrect. 

Please run this by your tech support:

  1. Plans call for one screw at each raised rib on each purlin, with screws on both sides of each ridge at the eave and ridge.  That makes 8 screws on each end (2×8=16), and 5 screws for each remaining purlin (5×6=30).  That makes the total 46 for each sheet of steel.  There are 34 sheets between the two wings.  34 sheets x 46 screws each = 1564 screws for the wings
  2. For the main roof that makes 8 screws on each end (2×8=16), and 5 screws for each remaining purlin (5×3=15).  That makes the total 31 screw for each sheet of steel.  There are 17 sheets on each side of the main roof, equaling 34 sheets x 31 screws each = 1054 screws for the main roof.  
  3. 1564 + 1054 = 2618 total screws.

Thank you for sending the additional screws, but I do want to clarify both for myself and others, as their method for calculating does not appear to work for all roof designs.”

 The client told me where he went wrong – It is FOUR screws for each remaining purlin (36″ width / 9″ o.c. ribs = 4). Somehow he is using (or planning on using) a fifth screw.

The instructions on the blueprints even go so far as to specify the field screws as having four per panel.

The Hansen Pole Buildings Instant Pricing™ system is not perfect, but is pretty darn accurate. Assembling one of our buildings and find something which isn’t adding up? Contact us before it is too late and additional materials are needed to resolve the issue.

How Should I Do Knee Braces?

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.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you guys have any ideas or pictures on how one might want to finish off a pole building with knee braces? Thanks, GARY

DEAR GARY: Thank you very much for your question.

Our designs do not utilize knee braces, you can read why not here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/01/post-frame-construction-knee-braces/

Your question is probably best addressed to the RDP (Registered Design Professional – engineer or architect) who originally designed the building, as they may have one or more of these issues with knee braces:

Not designed to support dead loads such as framing being placed between them to support a finished angled ceiling; having too much flexibility to support gypsum wallboard without cracking it; if adding a fairly rigid covering (such as OSB or plywood) making the assembly too stiff for the trusses to carry the imposed loads.

If you can stand the look – I’d suggest staining or painting the knee braces, as you will not negatively impact the structure.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru
DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello! What is a walk door? PAUL

DEAR PAUL: Also known as an entry or man door (or being politically correct a “person door”), is a pre-hung, hinged door allowing for access into or egress from a building by means of turning a lockset or pushing a “panic bar”. Most popular size is 36 inches in width by 6’8” in height. 48 inch and double doors offering a 72 inch width are also available as standard sizes.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I used too many screws in my siding on my Hansen Pole Barn. I need more to finish. Where can I purchase 1000 pearl gray 12x 1.5 screws? Dave

DEAR DAVE: It does happen every once in a while, however using too many is structurally better than not enough. Please contact Justine@HansenPoleBuildings.com and she will get your extra screws on the way!

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Fastening Steel Panels the Right Way

In the early 1980s steel covered pole buildings started to make the move from the steel panels being fastened with nails, to being fastened with screws.

At the time I owned M&W Building Supply Company, in Oregon and Farmland Structures (owned by Jim Betonte) provided erection services for the clients of ours who needed to have their pole building kit packages assembled.

Pole building crews being pole building crews – Jim found out they were using hammers to drive in the screws!! Jim quickly put an end to this bad practice, by purchasing screw guns for the subcontract crews.

Using the right tool (not a hammer) for fastening steel roofing and siding panels is critical for easy installation, proper watertight sealing of the building and the integrity of the connection.

Corrugated SteelWith any steel panel fastening case, screw guns with an adjustable clutch and/or a depth sensing nosepiece, and a minimum of six amps of power are the proper tools of choice. This assures the fasteners are optimally installed. Often (which we recommend) steel panels can be predrilled to prevent walking of the screw point across the surface of the steel …and creating scratches you really didn’t want to have. Selecting a tool with the correct RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) is essential for ideal performance of the pole building system.

Drive sockets with a recessed magnet and internal lobular hex design can help to reduce damage on the fastener head, reduce wobble and increase socket life. (Read more on lobular sockets here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/08/lobular-powder-coated-screws/)

Metal chips which accumulate in the magnetic socket need to be regularly removed so the hex head of the screw is fully embedded in the driver socket. This helps to eliminate screw wobble and improve drilling performance.

High speed screw-guns with RPM greater than 2500 should not be used with fasteners used to attach steel panels to the wood framing. When the drill point is rotating and cutting the substrate, it creates friction which generates heat. If the heat is high enough it can damage the hard surface of the screw and cause the screw point to “burn up”. Slower speed screw-guns used with less pressure during drilling will minimize the amount of friction, heat and damage to the drill point. High RPM tools can also cause over-driving, damaging the screw head which can lead to premature rusting.

Using the wrong driving bit, or a tool with excessive RPM, can lead to fastener damage and problems, Problems can include damage to screw heads, over-driving, scratches and damage to paint (or powder coating) finishes leading to rusting screw heads.

Check with your pole building kit supplier to see what type of drill bit they recommend for their screws. At Hansen buildings, two free bits are provided with every pole building kit order. We want to get you started on the right track.

Dear Pole Barn Guru: Better Pole Barn Screws?

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 send from a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking for alternatives to the standard hex head and separate washer pole building steel screw.  I have been told that Hansen Buildings has some new ideas.  Is there anywhere on the net I can research these (or other good fasteners), or do I have to contact a Hansen salesman?  I have already found Atlas International, btw.  Thanks JIM in ROCHESTER

DEAR ROCHESTER: Without knowing exactly what your objection is to the fairly industry standard screws, it is difficult to properly address the concerns you may be having. I’ve seen many alternative screws, however have yet to hear raving reports back as to ease of installation or satisfactory performance.

 Generally people who are looking for an alternative have had issues with either the neoprene rubber gasket decaying (resulting in leaks), the paint chipping off from the screw heads, or the screws themselves rusting.

Years ago we went to using a screw which offers the ease of installation of the standard ¼” hex head – but with many improvements. Featuring EPDM gaskets, powder coating, and JS500 plating, the manufacturer guarantees these screws will outlive the steel they are attaching.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am constructing a pole barn with treated, round poles.  It is not clear to me however, the best method to attach roofing girts to the poles.  I have seen pictures in books of “circular spike grids” that attach to both the poles and girts, but none of the building supply places carry these here.  Do I have to notch out the poles or can I just use lag bolts or carriage bolts? Thanks! MISPLACED IN MISSISSIPPI

DEAR MISPLACED: You have just discovered one of the many reasons to not construct pole buildings using round poles – they are difficult to build with. By the time you project is completed, you will have chewed up enough extra time, energy and effort to have made paying for dimensional posts (4×6, 6×6, etc.) a bargain.

 Back to the problem at hand…flat to flat is going to give the most solid connection. I’d recommend cutting the posts to give flat surfaces at all connections. Assuming the posts are treated with preservative chemicals, be sure to wear all appropriate safety gear when cutting.

 Unless countersunk (adding more time and effort) lags or carriage bolts have heads which will protrude and cause problems when it is time to install siding.

Dear Pole Barn Guru: Will Poles Rot?

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. 

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Will the poles y’all use that are embedded in the ground rot?  How long will a pole building hold up? KENNEWICK GIRL

DEAR KENNEWICK: Will they rot? Maybe eventually, but none of us will live long enough to witness it. The probability of a properly pressure treated post rotting off is small. Small enough so over my three plus decades and 15,000 buildings of experience, I’ve never experienced it happening.  Keep in mind I said “properly treated”.  There are companies who “treat” their poles but not with the right procedure and proper depth of treatment. Make sure you are purchasing a pole building with properly treated poles!

 As to the lifespan of a pole building, unless hit with an unexpected natural disaster, or the building is purposefully torn down, as long as proper maintenance of the siding and roofing is done, there would be no reason to not have the building standing hundreds of years from now.

 See also my blog about a properly treated post:

  https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/10/pressure-treated-posts-2/

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking for alternatives to the standard hex head and separate washer pole building steel screw.  I have been told that Hansen Buildings has some new ideas.  Is there anywhere on the net I can research these (or other good fasteners), or do I have to contact a Hansen salesman?  I have already found Atlas International, btw.  Thanks JIM in ROCHESTER

DEAR JIM: Without knowing exactly what your objection is to the fairly industry standard screws, it is difficult to properly address the concerns you may be having. I’ve seen many alternative screws, however have yet to hear raving reports back as to ease of installation or satisfactory performance.

 Generally people who are looking for an alternative have had issues with either the neoprene rubber gasket decaying (resulting in leaks), the paint chipping off from the screw heads, or the screws themselves rusting.

 Years ago we went to using a screw which offers the ease of installation of the standard ¼” hex head – but with many improvements. Featuring EPDM gaskets, powder coating, and JS500 plating, the manufacturer guarantees these screws will outlive the steel they are attaching.

 More information on these “Diaphragm” screws is available at: https://www.lelandindustries.com/productpdfs/page%2001.pdf

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am constructing a pole barn with treated, round poles.  It is not clear to me however, the best method to attach roofing girts to the poles.  I have seen pictures in books of “circular spike grids” that attach to both the poles and girts, but none of the building supply places carry these here.  Do I have to notch out the poles or can I just use lag bolts or carriage bolts? Thanks! MISPLACED IN MISSISSIPPI

DEAR MISPLACED: You have just discovered one of the many reasons to not construct pole buildings using round poles – they are difficult to build with. By the time you project is completed, you will have chewed up enough extra time, energy and effort to have made paying for dimensional posts (4×6, 6×6, etc.) a bargain.

 Back to the problem at hand…flat to flat is going to give the most solid connection. I’d recommend cutting the posts to give flat surfaces at all connections. Assuming the posts are treated with preservative chemicals, be sure to wear all appropriate safety gear when cutting.

 Unless countersunk (adding more time and effort) lags or carriage bolts have heads which will protrude and cause problems when it is time to install siding.