Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..?? - Roofing - Contractor Talk

Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??

 
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #1
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Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


About 5 years ago I built a covered porch with half polycarbonate roof panels and half metal panels.


Last year it started to leak at one screw, so I tightened it and the leak stopped, this year there are 6 locations where it is leaking at the screws.
Everything is installed per manufacturer's recommendation. Holes were pre-drilled slightly larger than screw diameter, joists are 12" OC, perlins are 16" OC and screws were placed on the ribs, not the flats, well within the specifications of supports and screw pattern/placement.

It's a little difficult to see from the picture, but if you zoom in, it looks like the neoprene washer has full contact with the panel, but the hole looks like it's become slightly oblong.




These are the screws I was provided by the manufacturer:


Strange part is that there have been no leaks in the metal part, only in the polycarbonate part.
I contacted the manufacturer and got nowhere. Their technical rep suggested I should have used screws with EPDM washer, though all of their installation literature says neoprene washer...and they provided the screws. His second suggestion...brace yourself....was that the rafters could have crowned over time causing the neoprene washers not to make full contact anymore!!!!

Having done a little looking around, I've seen people recommend using ZAC AB screws, but haven't been able to source them locally. I've been getting a few requests this summer for similar covered porches and I'd like to understand how to prevent this in the future. I don't want to be going back to customer's places every three years to tighten screws.

Any ideas/suggestions?
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:11 PM   #2
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


well you can't screw ontop of the rib to framing with the poly sheets and get a good seal unless you have the wood strips that are the shape of the panel.

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Old 06-26-2015, 09:40 PM   #3
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


That makes sense, thanks for the response.
It is the one and only time I've used them, so I just followed the manufacturer's recommendation of screwing on top of the rib.

Might be a stupid question, but can you buy filler strips in the profile of the panel, or is that something you usually make yourself? Do you usually screw beside the rib on poly panels to avoid this problem?
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:14 PM   #4
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


They sell plastic supports that are wavy like the roofing.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:48 PM   #5
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


The poly carbonate is probably expanding and contracting and messing with the seal. Also keep in mind that the screws you are using are the classic week point in the roof and only have a two year warranty.
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:37 AM   #6
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


We call it wiggle board. Without it, you wil get expansion and contraction in every direction and then it leaks.

It may leak anyway, but at least the wiggle board gives it a fighting chance.
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:40 AM   #7
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


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Originally Posted by FrankSmith View Post
The poly carbonate is probably expanding and contracting and messing with the seal. Also keep in mind that the screws you are using are the classic week point in the roof and only have a two year warranty.
What screw do you recommend? Those are the only type I have been able to find locally.
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:50 AM   #8
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


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Originally Posted by aptpupil View Post
They sell plastic supports that are wavy like the roofing.
After doing a search on the web, I see the piece you're talking about. It seems to be only available for the potato chip waffle type of poly panel. The ones I have are Americana profile to match the steel roof. Do you know of a source for support boards in that profile?
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:14 AM   #9
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


Have you contacted customer support from the panel manufacturer?
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:36 AM   #10
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


You're missing the strips Polycarbonate roof panels leaking at screws..??-imageuploadedbycontractortalk1435404848.602720.jpg

Last edited by festerized; 06-27-2015 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:47 AM   #11
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


Where did you buy the panels? They should have the inserts. Is it an R/PBR style panel? Menards sells the foam inserts.

Use the EPDM washer screws and don't over tighten. If you do throw the whole screw away and start again.

Also your fasteners are in the wrong locations, they go in to the flats of the panels. The only fasteners in the ribs should be for stitching the panels together. There is less the panel/screw can move when secured down in the flats.


Last edited by 1985gt; 06-27-2015 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:25 AM   #12
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


That's a lovely picture and all, but the manufacturer of the profile he's used recommends the opposite - screws atop the ribs (not that we need to bring back that age old debate).
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:44 AM   #13
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


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That's a lovely picture and all, but the manufacturer of the profile he's used recommends the opposite - screws atop the ribs (not that we need to bring back that age old debate).
It is a lovely picture. Look at the fasting pattern for the panels you use, what do they say? Of the 3 we have used, MBCI, Peterson Aluminum, and even the menards (midwest Manufacturing) All fasten in to the flats.

Poly panels are to weak to screw in to the top of the ribs like that. A lot of manufactures prepunch the ribs forthe stitch screws.

So to change the weakness you would install the supports first, then risk cracking every single one by running a 1.25" screw through them.

@OP

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Strange part is that there have been no leaks in the metal part, only in the polycarbonate part.
That's because the poly panels flex much more then the steel.
http://www.hardwareworld.com/Closure...k_YaAn1D8P8HAQ
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:19 AM   #14
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


Get the matching ribs from the manufacturer of the panel. I've only done one roof in that style and it was all from HD.

Edit: Very attractive knee bracing, by the way.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:51 AM   #15
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1985gt View Post
It is a lovely picture. Look at the fasting pattern for the panels you use, what do they say? Of the 3 we have used, MBCI, Peterson Aluminum, and even the menards (midwest Manufacturing) All fasten in to the flats.

Poly panels are to weak to screw in to the top of the ribs like that. A lot of manufactures prepunch the ribs forthe stitch screws.

So to change the weakness you would install the supports first, then risk cracking every single one by running a 1.25" screw through them.

@OP



That's because the poly panels flex much more then the steel.
http://www.hardwareworld.com/Closure...k_YaAn1D8P8HAQ
I don't disagree with what you say about the issues that arise when screwing on the ridges with poly panels, just noting that the manufacturer of those panels (ideal roofing, Americana) shows screws to be placed atop the ribs. So he can't be blamed for following manufacturer's instructions.
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:49 PM   #16
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


I can't get copy and paste to work but I read the instructions and it clearly suggests screws in the Valleys (low points)

pg4 ,III, #4
http://www.idealroofing.ca/english_u...l/Auralite.pdf


their data and drawings suck !

I do see the screw detail for americana panel to be on the ridge. But that is for the steel panels
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:20 PM   #17
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


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Originally Posted by Red Adobe View Post
I can't get copy and paste to work but I read the instructions and it clearly suggests screws in the Valleys (low points)

pg4 ,III, #4
http://www.idealroofing.ca/english_u...l/Auralite.pdf


their data and drawings suck !

I do see the screw detail for americana panel to be on the ridge. But that is for the steel panels
That's not the panel he used, but I agree that their installation details are less than desirable.
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Old 06-27-2015, 11:46 PM   #18
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Re: Polycarbonate Roof Panels Leaking At Screws..??


I think the leak is from being screwed on top of the rib
All the steel I install the manufacturer recommends screwing in the flat, at stitch screws on the rib overlap on some panels ,and certain roof pitches
The panels you installed also have an extra little " bump" on top of the rib where your screw is. I have always felt on that rib pattern the washer on the screw on top of the rib never makes full contact with the panels

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