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bucs107

join:2013-05-15
Saint Petersburg, FL

Corrugated Plastic Roofing leaking

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The house I just bought has an old carport that was turned into a outside seating area and with all the rain we are getting I am now seeing all the leaks in the roofing. There are no holes in the roofing it is just leaking across all the seams. I don't have the cash to replace the whole roof, so I was looking at an cheap way of sealing all the seams.

I was wondering if you guys thought duct tape would be a good idea until I could replace the whole thing?

I have attached some photos of the roof, but it was dark but I can always get more if needed. Also, the structure is supported by 4x4 posts with 1x6s running along the roof. Am I okay walking on these? The structure seems very strong and I only weigh 160 pounds.


Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand


What's the roof pitch ?


bucs107

join:2013-05-15
Saint Petersburg, FL

No pitch it is a flat roof and that is part of the problem I am guessing.



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

Do the panels overlap each other? If so, and if they can be unfastened and lifted along the edge, you could apply sealant where they overlap. If they do not overlap, you can still do this. Caulk/seal all seams. A few tubes of sealant and a caulk gun isn't too expensive.

Duct tape will fail quickly in your climate in this situation. It wouldn't be worth your time.


bucs107

join:2013-05-15
Saint Petersburg, FL

The panels over lap and where the panels were too short they cut 4' pieces and sealed the seems together. Could I do the caulking from below the structure?



DarkHelmet

join:2014-02-21

said by bucs107:

The panels over lap and where the panels were too short they cut 4' pieces and sealed the seems together. Could I do the caulking from below the structure?

Go to Lowe's and get some of the caulk below. It's dirt cheap and great stuff. Then caulk up all the seams preferably from the top via a ladder. From the bottom would work as well just not the best way to do it.

$3.55 for 2 tubes! I'd say get 4-6 tubes and a caulk gun. It might cost you $12-15 to seal it up. You can even find a 10% coupon for Lowe's somewhere to save more.
»www.lowes.com/pd_444949-72643-GE···=4402709

bucs107

join:2013-05-15
Saint Petersburg, FL

Thanks! I bought 2 rolls of very expensive duct tape, so I'll take those back and buy some tubes. I guess where you live they are a lot cheaper they are about $5 for 2.



DarkHelmet

join:2014-02-21

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said by bucs107:

Thanks! I bought 2 rolls of very expensive duct tape, so I'll take those back and buy some tubes. I guess where you live they are a lot cheaper they are about $5 for 2.

They are coming up $3.55 for 2 for me. I only find them in Clearwater though.

bucs107

join:2013-05-15
Saint Petersburg, FL

Yeah, I ended up ordering 5 from Clearwater because they were all out in St Pete. Thanks a lot for all the help. When I am applying the silicone how thick should I make the sealant? Also, should I lift the panel and get it a little under the seam or just run it all along the seam?



DarkHelmet

join:2014-02-21
reply to bucs107

Normally I cut the end off so it's like 1/4". Then pop on nitrile gloves then apply an even bead. Lastly I run my finger down the bead to smooth it out and push some into the joint. How to apply it is personal preference so if you want to lift up the panels some and apply under the edge that works. The goal is just to remove any way for the water to get in. Under the panels adds some protection from the sun but that caulk is made for sun.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
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·surpasshosting
reply to bucs107

Caulking is just a stop-gap measure that will fail (probably sooner rather than later). There is only one solution, and you aren't going to like it:
Remove the roof and fix it.

I inherited a similar (corrugated metal) roof on a 20x20 patio several houses ago. The idiots that installed it made it with no pitch. To add insult to injury, they only overlapped the sheet by a few grooves (trying to save $, I'm sure).

I ripped 2X lumber at angle for each ceiling joist. I ran new cross slats because most of the old ones were rotten. I laid the old material back down (with proper overlap!) and bought a few more sheets of material. It was enough to keep water from pooling on the roof deck.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


bmilone2

join:2001-01-26
Mays Landing, NJ
reply to bucs107

said by bucs107:

No pitch it is a flat roof and that is part of the problem I am guessing.

Thats your main problem. Even caulking the overlaps it will only be a short term fix because with normal expansion and contraction of the panels seams will open up standing water will easily come in.

Can you elevate one end to provide some pitch? The high end panels would have to overlap each lower panel as it came down and also any seams of the panels going across the opposite plane would have to be staggered.


stevek1949
We're not in Kansas anymore
Premium
join:2002-11-13
Virginia Beach, VA
reply to bucs107

I agree with Nunya. There is probably built-up junk in between the panel ends that may prevent any seal if you try to add anything to stop water. Best to remover them and replace if you can. A zero pitch roof is always trouble, and to have seams to seal up is double trouble. It sounds like you have inherited a project.

Duct Tape isn't even good for ducts! Take it back unless you want to make wallets or a prom dress out of it. It will never fix a roof leak. Maybe some of that spray on sealer that you see on TV would work better.


bucs107

join:2013-05-15
Saint Petersburg, FL
reply to nunya

I know that this won't last a long time but if this fixed it for 2 seasons I would be happy. I looked at replacing the roof but the structure is 19' x 14' so just in material I am looking at around $300. I would rather do the $25 fix and budget the roof replacement out.



DarkHelmet

join:2014-02-21
reply to bucs107

A pitch would help but it's very very very common not to have a pitch in Florida. Most of the flat roofs in Florida I've seen have EPDM under them.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to bucs107

You may as well send that $25 through a paper shredder.

There's an old expression: "Throwing good money after bad".

You'll be lucky if the caulk idea works at all, even temporarily. You'd be better off saving that $25 and putting it into a real fix.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
reply to DarkHelmet

Every roof is supposed to have pitch. Even "flat" roofs need pitch. It doesn't have to be a lot, it just has to keep water from pooling.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



DarkHelmet

join:2014-02-21

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said by nunya:

Every roof is supposed to have pitch. Even "flat" roofs need pitch. It doesn't have to be a lot, it just has to keep water from pooling.

They should have 1/4" per 12 feet minimum but a perfectly flat roof is common in Florida. Ponding is an issue but people work around it all the time.

bucs107

join:2013-05-15
Saint Petersburg, FL
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

You may as well send that $25 through a paper shredder.

There's an old expression: "Throwing good money after bad".

You'll be lucky if the caulk idea works at all, even temporarily. You'd be better off saving that $25 and putting it into a real fix.

So in your opinion what is a cheap fix that allows me to continue to use the roof that is in place without spending over $300. The leaks aren't bad at all I had dripping in two areas last week and that was it. All the seams aren't leaking just a couple. I also have another flat roof just like this over my porch and that one doesn't leak at all.


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
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1 recommendation

reply to DarkHelmet

The roof pictured is a perfect example of "how not to". It's very very very common for all kinds of people to do things wrong. Just being commonplace isn't an exemption or an excuse.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
reply to bucs107

Sometimes, there isn't a cheap fix. That's life.
I'd be really surprised if it actually cost $300 to fix it.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



DarkHelmet

join:2014-02-21
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

The roof pictured is a perfect example of "how not to". It's very very very common for all kinds of people to do things wrong. Just being commonplace isn't an exemption or an excuse.

People have been doing it longer then you or I have been on this planet and with success no less. That success might not meet your high bar nor mine but no one is trying to get it over that either. Merely stating it's a common occurrence and people have lived with it for many many years successfully. There's no reason why the OP can't as well. The recommendation is add a pitch. The reality is there are other solutions to the problem.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to bucs107

The following may be a "cheap fix" but only if you ignore the investment that you are making in terms of time and effort.

Instead of applying the silicone caulk to the seem edges you should detach the panels from each other, clean the overlapping surfaces thoroughly and then apply a thick bead of silicone (in the middle of the dry, clean overlapping area) just before putting the panels back in place.

It is hard to say how long it will last but it will fix your problem initially. Heat and sun will eventually deteriorate the caulk and cause it to lose its elasticity. Thermal expansion and contraction (or mositure and frost depending on where you are located) will then break the seals.

Since you say you are planning to replace the roof within a couple of years you should also be aware that sticking the panels together with caulk will make it a tougher job to remove them later on.
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iknow_t

join:2012-05-03

said by leibold:

The following may be a "cheap fix" but only if you ignore the investment that you are making in terms of time and effort.

Instead of applying the silicone caulk to the seem edges you should detach the panels from each other, clean the overlapping surfaces thoroughly and then apply a thick bead of silicone (in the middle of the dry, clean overlapping area) just before putting the panels back in place.

It is hard to say how long it will last but it will fix your problem initially. Heat and sun will eventually deteriorate the caulk and cause it to lose its elasticity. Thermal expansion and contraction (or mositure and frost depending on where you are located) will then break the seals.

Since you say you are planning to replace the roof within a couple of years you should also be aware that sticking the panels together with caulk will make it a tougher job to remove them later on.

silicone caulk is guaranteed for 50 years, even in the heat, sun, rain, and wind. and thermal expansion is no problem, silicone caulk can be stretched to many times it's length, without problems.. you are thinking about other types of caulk, when you think this..


DarkHelmet

join:2014-02-21

said by iknow_t:

said by leibold:

The following may be a "cheap fix" but only if you ignore the investment that you are making in terms of time and effort.

Instead of applying the silicone caulk to the seem edges you should detach the panels from each other, clean the overlapping surfaces thoroughly and then apply a thick bead of silicone (in the middle of the dry, clean overlapping area) just before putting the panels back in place.

It is hard to say how long it will last but it will fix your problem initially. Heat and sun will eventually deteriorate the caulk and cause it to lose its elasticity. Thermal expansion and contraction (or mositure and frost depending on where you are located) will then break the seals.

Since you say you are planning to replace the roof within a couple of years you should also be aware that sticking the panels together with caulk will make it a tougher job to remove them later on.

silicone caulk is guaranteed for 50 years, even in the heat, sun, rain, and wind. and thermal expansion is no problem, silicone caulk can be stretched to many times it's length, without problems.. you are thinking about other types of caulk, when you think this..

Yea the stuff I recommended will be fine for a long time. I just hate working with it. Oil based is messy!


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to DarkHelmet

said by DarkHelmet:

A pitch would help but it's very very very common not to have a pitch in Florida. Most of the flat roofs in Florida I've seen have EPDM under them.

Here in Puerto Rico were flat roof is more like the norm, no pitch is normally seen in flat slab poured concrete roofs. Corrugated, or wooden roofs are usually built with some degree of pitch to allow rain water to drain quickly. And even with concrete roofs some builders put a bit more concrete in the middle so that the slab has a tiny slope to to prevent water from pooling.


hortnut
Huh?

join:2005-09-25
PNW
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to bucs107

Is this Fiberglass or Polycarbonate roofing? I do not know of any corrugated plastic roofing.

As others have mentioned use some type of caulk with a gun at the seams and overlaps. Also make sure fasteners are tight and that there are truly no holes. Make sure it is is UV resistant and is labeled for this use.

To get the best bang for your buck and time, I suggest pressure washing it first. Make sure to get the dirt and grime out from the end overlaps and the side overlaps. Then apply the caulk. That is what I did to my sister's patio area covered with fiberglass in 2009. Just use a wide nozzle to spread the pressure. It still does not leak and still looks good.

Also suggest buying some fiberglass roofing nails. They are usually aluminum and have a washer on them. While on the top, I bet that you will find some that need replacement. Or maybe just a few taps to reseat. If needed a little caulk around them may be good.

You may think that it is the seams leaking, but it could be around fastening points and with a flat roof, the water is flowing between the overlaps and/or down the sheets exiting at the nearest point gravity takes it. And there can be holes, but if this is fiberglass, its makeup can somewhat hide them. Too bad they did not put a pitch on it.

Walking on it? Get a hold of some 2x6's or ? that can span an area and put several courses that you can walk forward of you, then reach back and get the last one, put it ahead of you and so on. This will distribute your weight. Fiberglass at 4 oz or 6 oz is not very forgiving for walking on and is very easy to step through.

My first Greenhouses were covered with fiberglass panels and this is how we maintained them. 1st place had over 6,000 sq ft of them. Next place went with hoop houses and poly.



double

@comcast.net
reply to bucs107

I add another vote for: silicone caulk, clean the overlaps first and let them dry out a day in the sun, use a pressure cleaner if available. caulk EVERY screw or nail or fastener.

another option for spreading the weight is to use two pieces of thick plywood, say 3/4" thick, and longer than the distance between the boards. you use one to sit on, the other for your feet. as you move across the roof just switch them - move yourself to the foot board, then pull the one you just were sitting on under your feet.

work slowly, for safety, even though it's a tedious job anyway. old plastic can be very brittle, unsafe, and with sharp edges if you do break through it.

oh, if the wood is sagging at all from water damage, jack them up with any homemade jack arrangement made of 2x4 and car jack, and use splice boards alongside to keep the wood straight.



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to bucs107

If you take the time to remove the roofing to clean it before applying silicone sealant, consider building it up a bit so there is a down hill pitch from the house to the yard.

Take a 2x6 and rip it from the 6" down to 0" over the length of the rafters. Remove the stringers, fasten the ripped 2x6 to the rafters and then attach the stringers to the top of the 2x6. Just be sure when reattaching the panels that you use the proper self sealing fasteners and lots of them so you don't have to find the roof after then next tropical storm. Also check the specs to see how many rib overlap the panels should have. You may need one or 2 new sheets if the builder cut corners and you need to increase the lap.

Yes this is a bit of work, but it will stop leaks long term.

Be safe, these panels get brittle over time.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.