Slate Roof Maintenance, Roof maintenance, Installing a new roof

Slate roof maintenance/slate roof construction detail:

For a slate repair such as a loose or fallen out slate you will need a specialist tool called a slate knife and a strip of copper metal to steady the new slate instead of using nails up underneath where you cannot reach.

slate roof maintenance
Roof leaks in slate

The slate knife is used to easily remove the nails up under the existing topmost slates. Once these are removed the broken slate will fall out all the way. Nail your copper strip to hang down below the new slate by nailing in-between the two exposed slates under the new slate. Then simply turn the copper up and over the bottom of the slate so placed and cut off the excess copper over the top of the end of the slate tile.

Tile roof flashing details:

When walking on a clay or concrete tile roof place all of your weight on the very front edge of the tiles as it is under this that the timber battens holding them up are. Locate the cracked or broken tiles and slip the claw of a hammer up under the row above just off to the left side of the tile to be removed. Then pull out this tile and slip in the new one. And pull the hammer out to finish.

tile roof flashing details
Roof leak

Sometimes it is necessary to repair a tile with a masonry grade silicone sealant in position. In these cases you must seal down both sides of the tile being sealed as well as the crack itself. Also sometimes silicone is very useful if there is a crack in the ridge capping or the mortar work. However the best way to repair the ridge capping is by mixing up 6 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement plus water. And after gently lifting the loose ridge capping run a new bed of mortar and re-position them and run a steel trowel down the sides to finish.

How to repair screw holes in metal roof

Where at all possible locate the leak by viewing its arrival in the attic space under the roof proper. This will give you an accurate realization as to where the water is penetrating inwards. If there is paper fitted under the roof it may be traveling quite some distance before showing up where it has down below in the house. If there is no roof space to crawl into then measure off an outside window to where the leak is coming into the house. Or use an existing chimney as your guide point to get into the general area of the leak.

how to repair screw holes in metal roof
metal roof

If the roof is rusted out and the hole is obvious then proceed to measure up for a replacement of this damaged area in long run if possible or if a very old roof at least the same sized sheets as are used now. If the leak is not obvious look at each nail and look for any sign of a gap into which water will simply track and flow under. Take a silicone gun with a good flowing silicone in it and simply with the tip cut back about a 45 degree angle proceed to swirl in figure eights around the outside of any suspect nails and up and over the top to complete each seal like this. More often than not take special care to go over the fixings on the flat side of the ridge or other flashings.

As with expansion and contraction holes can open up to let in a surprising amount of water where it used to be perfectly well sealed before this damage occurred. If the leak is down the outside wall check the spouting is not overflowing down in behind the fascia board. Or if there is a centre or parapet roof gutter take some rags and after cleaning off the joints. Inspect for cracking and if necessary reseal with a swirling of silicone over the top.

Framing for metal roof installation: Metal roof installation instructions:

Remove all existing roof covering as far as weather permits for the time you have and you are ready to begin. Measure length from ridge board to a point 2- inches (50 mm) into the guttering. Minus 1-inch (25 mm) for allowance for the house being slightly off square.


metal roof installation instructions
Metal roof

Locate the new sheets for this measurement and roll out insulation paper and cut to this length. Place this first roll at the top of the roof and staple it down. Then let the rest of this mini roll drop down the purlins into the spouting. Staple it down. Or use galv flat head nails or mini paper clips if available to hammer down. If starting next to a gable end barge board. Position first sheet edge so that a 6-inch (150 mm) side flashing will fit well ending its edge neatly over the top of the second top corrugation in. Now before fixing make two marks on the bottom edge of the sheet 2-inches (50 mm) back to show where the sheet passes by the fascia board and into the spouting.

When these two marks are on the fascia you are square with the house and ready to place your first fixings. Do so to secure the sheet. Now you can work off this sheet. Mark the centre of the timber or steel purlins onto the sheet edge where you will still see the mark after lapping the next sheet over.

Hip roof advantages and disadvantages: Hip roof framing:

hip roof advantages and disadvantages: hip roof framing:
Hip roof

If the roof does not have a gable end. Begin your first sheet where the angle of the top ridge drops down laying your longest sheets first across the top ridge. When you finish the last sheet coming across the top ridge board and are beginning to drop down into the lower hip stop and measure the triangle of the roof sheets now still left to do on this side. If there is a large enough area of ground to lay out these same size sheets already with laps and taking the measurement of the widest bottom by the spouting end of this triangle of cuts to be made.

Mark this measurement of the very corner on the sheets laid out on the ground. Then place the measurement of the distance the right-angled side of the triangle rises up the sheets to the top of the triangle from the spouting edge of the sheets. Run a chalk line between these two points and flick on the chalk. Double check your measurements by choosing a measurement in from the sheets already laid say 6-feet (1.8 M) in and measure how long the section of roof is at this point on the ridge from the point 2-inches (50 mm) into the spouting.

Check you have the same measurement on your chalk line. If so you have the correct angle and you are all set to cut this chalk line off with either a pair of straight tinsnips or an electric steel nibbler. Then simply run out your insulation building paper and place your first longest sheet lapped onto the sheets you have already laid. Then at the spouting end sit the sheet where it is 2- inches (50 mm) into the spouting and double check the other side to see that it is also 2- inches (50 mm) into the spouting. If it is not you may have to at times shrink the outer edge of this sheet to assist it to come around to square on again. To shrink the side of the sheet.

Place fixings in the lap joint and then lift the edge of the sheet in the middle to shift the outer most edge back shrinking it towards the lap side of the sheet. Now with the sheet puckered up in the middle place a fixing on the outer edge opposite where you want the sheet to shrink either at the top or the bottom. Then place the rest of the fixings in after rechecking your 2-inches (50 mm) into the spouting mark against the timber or steel fascia board. If the pitch of the roof is lower enough to easily walk all over you can flick chalk lines after pinning the entire roof on the laps and place the final fixings.

However if the roof is very steep and you are constantly working off the purlins fix the sheet off fully as you go with short flicks with your chalk line. Note: The off cuts from the first triangle you cut will go on the opposite hip section of the roof. When laying these, start with the first two small sheets and line them up into the spouting off the edge of the fascia board using your 2inch (50 mm) in marks.

Roof valley construction:

When placing a new valley simply bend 2-inch (50 mm) galv nails over on the top edges of the very outside of the valley coming directly out of the valley board timber or out of the valley purlin timbers. Thus keeping the entire valley nail hole free. Bend the top most section of the valley over at the top to shape two 45-degree angles as a water-proofing fold. Seal this very inside corner with silicone sealant. And give the valley a turn down into the spouting. Now make marks 2-inches (50 mm) outward from the centre of the valley and flick a chalk line between them from top to bottom of the valley.

Roof valley construction
Roof valley

This is the line where the roof sheets will finish. With these chalk lines you will be able to measure and mark out chalk lines on the ground based sheets laid out and ready lapped to fill in these valley sections of the roof. Remember measure twice and cut once.

Note: A trade secret or simply common sense demands making a neat drawing of the roof to be so formed before you make the transfer of these measurements onto the ground based sheets and onwards to cutting them up ready to be fixed into place. If working with corrugated steel roof use a shifting spanner to turn up the ends where they go up under the ridge covering. Likewise for roof profiles with large pan widths in-between ribs. If you cannot borrow a turn-up tool have a simple one made at a local engineering shop.

Roof construction cost: Roofing estimate cost:

To work out the costing for this new roof. Draw a plan of the ridges, gable ends and valleys and transfer accurate sheet measurements and ridge lengths, outside wall spouting measurements etc., onto this plan. Take this plan along to your local roof manufacturer. They will kindly work out for you a list of the sheet lengths and quantity of them. You need along with ridge lengths, valleys etc. And the approximate number of roof fixing screws you need. All you have to do is decide on colour or plain and profile shape.

Note: Always double check with the supplier the minimum pitch rating for each profile. As if the roof is a very low pitch a low pitch suitable; wide pan wide ribbed profile, may have to be used, even if corrugate was laid there last time around.

Roof ridging: Roof ridge detail:

Where possible use self-drilling roofing screws with rubber seals to fix down the new roof. These will give a longer lifetime of weather proofing when compared to nailing in the fixings with a hammer. You can either buy a battery roofing gun or hire one by the day for the duration of the project.

Hip capping: How to install metal ridge cap on hip roof:

hip capping
Hip capping

Working with wide pan roof profile place your ridging where it will sit centre of the roof ridge board. And carefully mark out the section of the ribs to be cut out to allow the ridge capping to sit down flush with the roof ribs and close off the roof to wind driven rain. If using a lead or similar ridging for corrugate, roofing use a hammer to form this edge.

Roof work safety

roof work safety
Roof work safety

Be careful when roofing. In some parts of the world, the government safety requirements demand a scaffold safety railing. Which should be placed against the spouting around every section of roof a certain distance above ground level. Or a harness to be used whilst laying the roof.


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