1 1/4 Roofing Nails

Edd Johannemann
7/19/2017
While having another problem with my roof corrected, my new contractor discovered that the previous installer used a nail gun an 1 1/4" roofing nails to install the panels on my standing seam roof. The house is less than two years, the decking is OSB. My new contractor tells me that the perimeter of the roof is secure, but is not sure about the roofing nails being enough to secure the panels, he's not seen this type installation before, and the manufacturer has no data for this situation. I need to know how much of a problem this is and what, if anything, can be done to mitigate it short of removing the entire roof. I have 38 solar panels installed on the roof as well.
David Stermer
7/19/2017
Hi Edd, Thanks for buying a metal roof. Nails into OSB are not standard for securing metal roof panels because of the low pull-out resistance they offer. Standing seam metal roofs are typically attached with clips that are screwed to the support material. If you have panel clips attached with nails, then I believe remove and replace is the right strategy. On the other hand, if the panels are exposed-fastened with the nails throughout, it would be possible to add new screws as recommended by the manufacturer. Additionally, you could then replace the nails with screws to better keep water out. Depending on their attachment, the solar panels may need to be taken up to provide access while the screws are added. In either case the fastener/clip spacing should be in accordance with the manufacturers guidance.
Guest User
7/19/2017
Clips were not used install the panels. The panels were nailed through the flange slots, and the standing seam then covers the flange, so there is no direct access to the fasteners. It sounds like what I am hearing that the whole roof should be removed and reinstalled, which would include the solar panels.
David Stermer
7/19/2017
Got it. I agree that there is no good way to improve the fastening of these panels in place. The building code addresses reinstallation of materials, but does not directly address metal panels. (section 1510.5) If you are going to reinstall the panels, I urge care in unseaming the panels. Opening the overlap to get them apart can compromise the panel's ability to reengage and to stay engaged.
Guest User
7/19/2017
Does the building code address what type of fasteners should have been used for the initial installation? In your opinion, does the risk outway the difficulty and expense of a complete reinstall? In other words, how would you proceed if it were a relative's house.
David Stermer
7/19/2017
The code requires metal panels to be secured in accordance with manufacturer's approved fasteners. If there is no manufacturer's recommendation, acceptable materials are listed, such as galvanized, but not the type, such as nail or screw. (section 1507.4.4) The recommendation of every manufacturer of this panel, that I know of, is to attach with screws. So, I suspect that the roof should be replaced and screws used for attachment. However, I do not have the information needed to analyze the roof and form an opinion. I recommend contacting the panel manufacturer for guidance.
Guest User
7/19/2017
Thank you for your assistance David. So far the manufacturer hasn't been a lot of help. Unfortunately they seem to be more concerned with avoiding legal entanglements than in helping their customers. I'll give them another attempt. Hopefully I can get some guidance on how to proceed. All I'm really interested in feeling secure that my roof isn't going to arbitrarily find its way to someone else's house. I appreciate your help, again, thank you.

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