Leaking Metal Shed Roof: How to Fix
LESLIE: Geraldine in New Jersey, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
GERALDINE: I had a shed – well, it’s my first home but I’m 74 and the shed is – was put up about 10, 15 years ago. And what happens is – it’s a metal shed. It wasn’t put up by professionals, if you know what I mean. Somebody recommended people. The roof has leaks in it. And so the floor is a wooden floor like, I guess, a plywood floor. And I went to look at it and everything was wet. So, apparently, it had got leaks in the roof. And the floor, of course, has to be replaced.
My question to Tom is – my neighbor says, “Well, just tear it down.” No. But I come from the old school where you’re taught to save things and repair them. And my theory is that maybe if I can find out from him what I can put in the roof to perhaps seal the metal – and also, that every shed – I just want to ask him. Every shed, I think, should have some kind of ventilation. And this, I believe, has nothing.
TOM: Well, not necessarily. I mean all sheds don’t have to have ventilation. They’re generally so drafty that they’re kind of self-ventilated.
But in terms of this leak, Geraldine, if the roof is structurally intact – in other words, it’s not rusted out – then we can assume that the leaks occurred in the seams of the roof. And the best material to use that would be silicone caulk, because it lasts a really long time and it seals very well. It sticks very well to the metal. It will expand and contract. So, I guess what I would probably do is have a contractor or a carpenter to seal all of the joints in the roof with silicone caulk and see if that controlled it.
Now, one of the things you could do is simply take a hose up there. And by working one small section at a time, you may be able to narrow down exactly where it’s leaking. It might not be the whole roof. There just might be some sections of that roof that are leaking. And this way, you’re not kind of doing the whole thing. But you need to figure out where the leak is and deal with that.
Metal-shed roofs don’t lend themselves to second roofs. It’s kind of one and done. And if it turns out the roof is structurally rusted out, then I would probably agree with your neighbor that it was time to tear it down and get a new one. But if it’s structurally in good shape, not deteriorated, it’s just a matter of a seal that’s broken somewhere. You’ve got to figure out where that seal is and then fix it with silicone caulk.
GERALDINE: Thank you very much, Tom.
TOM: Good luck, Geraldine. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.