Tag Archives: Ridge cap

Help! My Cupola Leaks

Help! My Cupola Leaks

If you have a leaking cupola, I can understand why you would be looking for help. Only twice ever have I gotten feedback from a client with a leaking cupola. In first case client’s builder somehow neglected to read installation instructions in Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Manual.

Aforementioned builder decided to defy Isaac Newton (Laws of Gravity) and installed cupola and flashing directly to top of roof purlins, then butted steel roofing and ridge cap up to cupola. According to Mr. Newton, things like water will flow downhill, resulting in water leaking around said cupola.

In today’s dilemma reader PAT from TRAFALGAR writes:

“If possible I would like a direct response via email

My 30×40 pole barn was completed in September. When it rains it get very small amounts of water leaking in through the cupola. Is this normal? Should I require my contractor to repair, under the warranty? Will repairing result in other problems?”

As much as I would like to have sent a direct response via email, Pat neglected to share his email address. For those who are curious, Pat did not invest in a Hansen Pole Building.

Water leaking in through or around a cupola would be abnormal. Your contractor should indeed repair it and a proper repair should not result in other problems.

Most often provided cupolas are pre-manufactured. If site built instead, it should probably be replaced with a manufactured unit.

Pre-manufactured cupolas come with either standard flashings or a universal base. Universal bases do involve a slightly greater investment, however save a significant amount of labor as well as greatly reducing (or probably eliminating) chances of a leak. Many builders are short sighted and will go the cheaper route, ignoring end result challenges.

Assuming the builder wants to fix rather than replace – find the leak (sounds pretty simple, eh?). This requires a hose and someone to stand inside and tell a person upon the roof when water starts coming through. Begin with downhill edge flashings, run a pretty good stream of water onto them (one side, then other) for a minute or so. Even if the leak happens to be along one of them, keep checking along the way, as it could be multiple points. Next, check ridge cap side flashings, using the same process. Then check each side of the cupola individually (letting water run down from cupola roof).

If a leak exists, it should have shown up in the hose test. With leak isolated, a repair can be done using the best silicone caulking money can buy. If a flashing edge happens to not be sealed to the roof, Emseal AST expanding closures work quite well to fill those gaps. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/03/emseal-self-expanding-sealant-tape-closures/

 

Why it is Essential to Supervise Professional Installers

Why It Is Essential to Supervise Professional Installers

In an ideal dream world, one would be able to hire a professional installer and know the job would be done right, without the need for hands on supervision.

RYAN in ELLENSBURG recently contracted out the roof steel installation of his new Hansen Pole Building kit package and this was his report:

“My roofer finally showed up yesterday and I wasn’t able to supervise the installation, so several mistakes were made but the one I’m most uncertain of is that the ridge cap was installed with diaphragm screws instead of stitch screws. He also left off all of the closures so the ridge cap has to come off anyway. My question is whether or not it can be reinstalled with stitch screws because of the difference in screw profile.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru says:

It is a shame to have invested in a professional for installation and not be able to leave them alone and expect the job to be done correctly. The diameter of the diaphragm screws is larger than a #12 stitch screw (which was provided to attach the ridge cap). In the event the roofer placed the diaphragm screws so as they were driven into the solid wood of the ridge purlins, then you could do the same once again. Otherwise you are probably going to need to invest in some #14 diameter stitch screws.

Well, it turns out it was worse than originally imagined, as Ryan wrote back:

“Yes, I agree. That’s just the beginning of the list of issues with the installation. On top of that none of the insulation seams were taped together, screws that missed the purlins were just left in place with no wood block placed behind them so they will leak at some point, the insulation was placed over the peak of the roof so the ridge cap that is supposed to be vented can’t flow any air, and none of the closures (vented closures and eave closures) were installed. It’s really disappointing because he did the roof on my house 3 years ago and I thought he’d done a good job on that, now it makes me wonder what corners were cut on that job, too.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru:

There are ways to avoid being sadly disappointed by a contractor:

(1) Do it yourself. Hansen Pole Buildings are designed with the Do-It-Yourselfer in mind. The step-by-step construction manual covers every aspect of assembly. If you can and will read the instructions, chances are you will have a better finished product than what any builder will construct for you.

(2) Still want to hire a “professional”? Require a performance bond. (read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/contractor-bonding/).

(3) If you hire a contractor, familiarize yourself with the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Manual and be onsite during construction to make certain the contractor does the work correctly.

 

How to Install a Steel Roof Over Shingles

How to Install a Steel Roof Over Shingles
Absolutely true story, with me as part of it! My lovely bride bought a raw weed covered property along the South Dakota shore of Lake Traverse in the early 1990’s. For a home, she had a double wide manufactured home set up on the property. A few years later, she had a 32 foot square stud framed garage added. Both the home and the garage had asphalt shingle roofing.
Between extreme temperatures from 100 F plus in summer to -40 F., some potent winds and occasional hail storms, this is a brutal climate for shingles. More than a few of them had broken or blown off.
Reader DAN from MOUNDS VIEW triggered this soliloquy with his message to me:
“I was reading past questions and the subject of metal roofs was brought up, which prompts this question.

We have a cabin that I intended to have a metal roof but didn’t get one. We are now getting close to needing a re-roof and I’d like to get metal on it.

The question is, when starting with an existing asphalt shingle roof, installed over, I believe 1/2 cdx, what should be done to prepare for the metal? FWIW, it’s a 10/12 pitch.

Thanks.”

Mike’s story:
Before sharing what we did I did my usual Google search to see if I could find someone else’s good advice. Ran across some scary stuff, so I felt compelled to share.

steel roofingMy wife’s roof had only a single layer of shingles. If I had more than a single layer I would scrape them off as it would potentially overload your roof trusses or rafters.
We placed 2×4 flat on top of the shingles running the long direction of the roof and 24 inches on center. Allowable spacing will vary due to snow load where the building is and load capacity of the steel. You are going to hear (actually read) me tell you I would do it differently soon. We used 40d threaded hardened nails to attach the nailers – with two nails through the nailer into the top chord of each truss. The nail length (five inches) is enough to get into the trusses comfortably with the threads helping to resist wind uplift issues.

A1V radiant reflective barrier was placed draped loosely over the nailers and the steel installed with 1-1/2” long powder coated diaphragm screws.

Here is what I would do differently next time. I’d run a 1×4 nailer up the roof on top of each roof truss., then the 2×4 nailers. This would allow for free airflow up the roof for eave to vented ridge.

For trims, use an eave trim at the low edge along the sidewalls. Install on top of 2×4 nailer at edge of overhang leaving the vertical about an inch out from the fascia. Place one inch thick venting material between the vertical leg of the eave trim and the fascia to keep insects out. Standard Rake trim and Ridge Cap can be used, with vented closure strips beneath the ridge cap.

It’s been about eight years since we reroofed my wife’s house and garage with steel and it still looks brand new.

Ridge Cap Replacement, Floor Plans, and Pole Barn Pics

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My poly ridge cap needs to be replaced because it was leaking due to cracks. I want to replace it with a metal ridge cap. The purlins spacing specified for a poly ridge seems to be a little too far apart for supporting a metal ridge cap. Is this going to be an issue? Do I need to add more purling for additional support. JOHN in SUMMERFIELD

DEAR JOHN: A good quality steel ridge cap (one with several small bends on each side of the peak) should be sufficiently strong to span across the distance. You will want to make certain to attach the ridge cap to each high rib of the roof steel with stitch screws so you do not have any buckling issues.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have floor plans? TALLY in PORCUPINE

Engineer sealed pole barnDEAR TALLY: Yes, however they all look the same – an outline of the perimeter of the building. What we provide are the engineered plans and materials for the structural portions of your building, the parts which hold it up against climactic conditions like wind, rain, snow and seismic occurances. Unless asked for specifically (or for cases such as supporting multiple floors) post frame buildings are open clearspans. This allows for nonstructural interior walls to be placed wherever is most convenient for your use. The beauty of this is – you can always reposition a wall at a later date, without structurally compromising your building.

 

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Where can I see many pictures of pole barn homes? JAMES in FLAGSTAFF

Prefab pole barn cabinJAMES: Not to sound snarky – but anywhere. Since post frame (pole barn) buildings can be sided and roofed with any materials, there is really not practical way to tell the difference between a stick built and a post frame building without getting up close and personal to the building. Look online or at any book of house plans, any one of these could very well be a post frame building. Home shows, open houses, and driving through virtually any suburban American neighborhood will give a plethora of examples of what post frame can do for you.