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TOPIC: Valley Flashing - Metal Roof (need some help please)

Valley Flashing - Metal Roof (need some help please) 9 years 2 weeks ago #36002

During my inspection today, the house was being repaired in two locations where water had damaged the drywall on the ceiling.  Both were relatively close to valleys on the roof but not directly below them (within 2'.)  Noted some minor signs of water on framing members in attic above one of the locations - the other was inaccesible.  The house has a metal roof - standard vertical seam... nothing fancy.  One of the valley flashings - the one I was able to get below in the attic - was done the way i'd expect - metal flashing below roofing material on either side EXCEPT that every single gap along the edge was jam packed with silicone (some old some less than a week old.)  The other one had a valley flashing of this same sort, but also had a sort of cap over the top which I can't figure out.  Seems like it would just collect water and debris and, INDEED, it was fully caulked up too.  There were also many roofing screws through the roof (rubber grommet/gaskets which i'd expect) which i'm not used to seeing.  Seems like most metal roofs have the screws covered under the ribs.  A small group of the screws in the two areas in question had also been recently smeared with silicone as well.  None of the other screws had been.

Any information/help you can provide would be a huge help in writing up my report.

Thanks in advance.
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Robert Decker
Hawkeye Residential Inspections, LLC
Iowa City, IA
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Re: Valley Flashing - Metal Roof (need some help please) 9 years 2 weeks ago #36016

  • Bert de Haan
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That roof has not been installed by someone who knows how to install steel roofs.
The cap in image one is not anything I've seen before.  I have seen valleys that had a cap installed.  The cap is screwed to the a center upstand in the valley flashing with a sealant like butyl tape between the two.  Water flows under the cap so there should be no need for caulking.
If you are able to see what is under that cap (at the very bottom for instance,) you may still be able to determine if the flashing underneath has been done correctly.  Without being able to see underneath, you should write it up as having been installed incorrectly.  That caulking isn't going to keep the water out.

The third image shows that the steel has been cut tight to the upstand in the valley.  This hinders water, ice, debris etc from flowing down.  There should be a space between the bottom edge of the sheet and the upstand in the valley.
There is a row of screws quite close to the bottom of the sheet in the valley. With screws that close to the bottom, you should check if there is a fold in the valley flashing to stop water from working its way between the sheet and the valley flashing and going down the screw hole.  The screws should be above this fold.  Without this fold, the screws should be up higher, preferably with a closure strip below the screws to prevent water from working its way up to the screws.

(BTW, this is not a standing seam roof. )
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Bert de Haan
www.KitchenerWaterlooHomeInspector.ca
Benchmark Home Inspection Services Kitchener-Wateroo and Guelph area Home Inspection
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Re: Valley Flashing - Metal Roof (need some help please) 9 years 2 weeks ago #36017

Thanks Bert!  I appreciate the help.  I apologize for the wrong terminology.  I didn't say standing seam - i know that the fasteners wouldn't be showing right?  The overlapping ridges would cover them?  I didn't know what to call this type, specifically, so I just called it standard vertical seam.  What would be the exact term you would use for this sort of roof?
Like I said, i'm pretty new with metal roofs but this will help me for the next one.
I told the client that this roof looked to be installed incorrectly and that they need a metal roofing expert up there to repair it.
I wonder if they haven't even been getting some ice dams that back up water as well. 

Thanks so much for your help!

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Robert Decker
Hawkeye Residential Inspections, LLC
Iowa City, IA
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www.iowacityhomeinspections.com
Last Edit: by Robert Decker.

Re: Valley Flashing - Metal Roof (need some help please) 9 years 2 weeks ago #36018

Sorry, missed a few points as well.

Yes - there is a proper valley flashing under that "cap" as well.  But that silicone sealed cap can't be doing anything good other than forming some sort of reservoir under the roofing material.

What do you think about those screws?  Normally the rubber gasket on them should seal right?  After 9 years I can't imagine they'd be leaking but someone (the repair guy) certainly thinks they might be.  I don't see evidence of it inside the attic however.

As far as the roof that is "properly" flashed.  It's got the flashing underneath the roofing sheets but, like you said, the screws seem too close to the valley but also they have fully sealed all of the gaps along the valley with silicone as well - you can see it in the picture but it's not quite as clear.  This can't be correct.  I feel like all that this silicone is doing is causing "reservoirs" under the sheets so that ice dams and heavy rains are going to eventually work their way under the roofing material and being to pool.

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Robert Decker
Hawkeye Residential Inspections, LLC
Iowa City, IA
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www.iowacityhomeinspections.com

Re: Valley Flashing - Metal Roof (need some help please) 9 years 2 weeks ago #36020

Here's a couple more pictures.
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Robert Decker
Hawkeye Residential Inspections, LLC
Iowa City, IA
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Re: Valley Flashing - Metal Roof (need some help please) 9 years 2 weeks ago #36035

  • Bert de Haan
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Oh I see now that you wrote Standard, not standing.  I don't actually know what this would be called.  It is a corrugated roofing sheet but usually only the sheets with a continuous wave pattern are called corrugated.  These sheets look like VicWest Super Vic but that is a brand name and won't help you much.  Usually they are used on commercial or agricultural buildings.  That doesn't mean that they won't work on a house; they will if installed correctly.
You are correct; the silicone is not doing any good, possibly doing harm.  Probably a desperate measure to make the roof watertight.  Same with the caulking on the screw heads; Probably wasn't sure where the leak was so the guy went wild with the caulking gun.

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Bert de Haan
www.KitchenerWaterlooHomeInspector.ca
Benchmark Home Inspection Services Kitchener-Wateroo and Guelph area Home Inspection
Serving Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Orangeville, Mount Forest and surrounding areas.
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