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Metal Meania

bob756 | Posted in General Questions on

I acquired a house with a history? Indeed the original owner, now deceased, did e everything he knew about hammers and nails, I know far less, since i’m a retired electrician. Still, I own this with pride, as of yesterday, hmmmm! The roof is a 36″ wide panel metal roof @ 5/12 in the NC foothills. The metal is installed on horizontally mtd. 1 x 4s, now approx. 12 years old, and no sheeting or underlayment. It passed inspection back then! He was building it by hand by himself, and its 2 x 6 stick framed on 16″ center truss. Exceptionally well built or so it seems to me? Anyway, building inspector says i need to remove metal and install OSB and underlayment, WTH… huge cost to me suddenly, its Christmas, and no 2nd stimulus it seems? He seems rather ambiguous about the code which mandates this, so my question is do I have to, or is there an alternative, I’m thinking there is! I did a bit of research and decided to run the simple styraphon  air deflectors from soffits to ridge vents to move any condensate to soffits, IKR, I have no idea what I’m doing!! I’m planning on sealing the sheetrock after reading this, but? 

Help Please! Do I have to remove the existing installation, is it ok with 
the styrofoam batts as is, I’m a complete rookie, need help! Thanks

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  1. user-2310254 | | #1


    By building inspector, do you mean the local code enforcement official or the person you hired to inspect the home prior to purchase?

    1. bob756 | | #2

      Local building inspector/authority! Actually he spoke of the build up of condensation to a point of leaking down, and damaging sheetrock ceiling, (a friends), no mention of a building code!! This is a ridge vented roof, and has previously passed inspection years before! I am installing breathable soffits of course! Also, as I detailed, I ran a styrofoam batt per code which is attached to the attic side of the 1x's in every truss bay from soffits to ridge vent, "Washing" the underside of the metal roof! I also plan to seal the sheetrock ceilings thoroughly! Air proof specifically, but vapor retardation as well, possibly as far as a vapor retardant primer application! Any help or opinions welcome!

  2. charlie_sullivan | | #3

    What work is being done that brought the inspector to look at it? Can you leave it along and avoid needing to change anything?

  3. bob756 | | #4

    Seems appropriate, however, he brought it up in initial comments upon my introducing myself, off site, referencing previous contractor/owners wife, min. deck work, which was turned down! He quit, she sold...? Anyway, the code is open to installing metal roofs without OSB/felt paper, besides original permit is still active! It behooves me to assume that same permit, which is legal I understand!

  4. walta100 | | #5

    I think you arguing with the inspector would be a mistake.

    I say you should put 100% of and costs needed to make the inspector happy should come from the seller’s pocket. They sold you a complete home in livable condition! If they delivered an, incomplete construction project with an open building permit, that sounds like a misrepresentation to my ear.

    I would be surprised if you can close a permit opened in someone else’s name. The city would likely be within its rights to require you the new owner to apply for a permit in your name and require you to meet whatever version of the code is being enforced as of your application date.

    If the permit is still open make sure your real estate agent knows what it happening.

    My guess is you will need a lawyer to fix this mess.


  5. bob756 | | #6

    I sure hope not, but have attorney just in case, I did buy as is! Inspector infomed me I can assume permit because it is grandfathered in! Still, you may be right about the city, or they just want to finally get it done, and maybe the inspector was just givimg his opinion. As I said, it was an imptompt off site meeting! I'm going to leave it alone for now still I'm trying to find out if there's a code that mandates OSB/underlayment today, clearly it wasn't back in the day? But if so, which? Especially since he suggested the vapor/condensate would damage ceilings! Anyway, what's the fun, without risk after all, smilezz...

  6. Expert Member
    Akos | | #7

    If you are not in area with a seismic or wind requirements in your local code, you most likely don't need full roof sheathing. For example, skip sheathing is very common for cedar roofs.

    You DO need an underlayment though, which they should not have skipped, this should have been over the skip sheathing. The inspector is correct about condensation dripping from the metal roof damaging the ceiling. Lot of times the insulation can buffer enough of it to evaporate during the day, but you don't want to rely on that. Not ideal as it should go over the wood, but stapling up a synthetic underlayment underneath should solve this issue.

  7. bob756 | | #8

    Thank you, awesome! And, is that a remove the metal sheeting process, ugh!, or can I install in attic space? I did install the 16" styrofoam baffles which fit in the truss bays, from soffits to ridge vent, covering the exposed metal, and supplying a channel to capture and allow for draining through the soffits, not to mention added vapor barrier of sorts, maybe! Also, if I can inhibit the vapor exchange into attic space, perhaps I can effectively minimize the condensation? I am replacing the entire sheetrock ceiling, (thus, easy access, installation of the baffles) and using a vapor retardant paint/primer, and naybe installing this synthetic underlayment, possibly? WYT?

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