Leaky Roof- metal in the Tropics

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.


....back in the saddle again....
Sep 29, 2004
Truckee, CA
Hi Guys
Anyone know how to fix roofing and do it well?

My roof looks like this

The green parts aren't built yet, please ignore for the moment.

The walls are cinder block masonry w/ a porous stucco finish and approx 10" thick. At the edges of the sloped roof are gutters that are about 6" wide by about 5" tall.

The roof is actually corugated zinc now-- it had spanish style tile on it, but we pulled that off because it wasn't really doing anything positive for us. Mostly an accoustic barrier, but it trapped huge amounts of organic debris and iguanas lived under the tiles....


I've got some leaks in the gutters, and I think water is also seeping into the stucco on the vertical concrete wall, bypassing the gutter, and pooling on the interior ceiling surface. The ceilings are gypsum screwed into metal strips. There is insulation in the void space. The insulation is 2" of spun fiberglass.

So I want to seal the vertical walls. Aesthetics aren't very important, we are on the top of the hill, the only people who can see my actual roof are monkeys in the trees or folks in airplanes.

My local hardware store isn't the best at offering product advice. They read the can and say "it says it seals concrete!". Unless prodded, they won't read more than 1 can to realize that all 10 cans on that shelf all say "seals concrete!"

As of now,
I'm thinking I'll get some elastomeric putty compound, and use it to seal all of the roofing fasteners (hex-head screws). Just in case. Then use either elastomeric putty or perhaps peel n seal asphaltic/aluminum tape to seal the joints between the metal sheets and also where the flashing hits the corrugated metal roof.

I was then planning to putty known cracks in the gutter w/ same putty, then put a coast of elastomeric paint along the entire gutter ( the product I'm looking at is "Siliconizer" by Lanco @ Lanco Paints - The complete online guide to enhancing your home )

Here's my questions:

1) should I use an elastomeric, latex compound to seal the walls, or a penetrating sealer?

2) is it worthwhile to seal the entire roof? or should I just hit all the seams/fasteners and maybe do a simple anti-corrosive paint on the roof?

I'm sure that the "best" approach is to use the elastomeric paint on every single surface, but that stuff is spendy down here- over $40/gallon and a gallon does 1 coat for approx 100ft2. 80cents/square foot starts adding up.

If there is a real benefit to doing the whole thing, I'll probably do it. But I'd just as soon save a few hundred bucks (and a day or two of hotter-n-hades work) if I can.

Anyone with experience have any suggestions?

ps: I'm in Costa Rica. So think- Humid air like Florida for 4 months, sun like Phoenix for most the year, 4 months of dry air (same sun) and 4 months of rain like Seattle for a few months (but temps in the 70s and 80s)

Thermal expansion/contraction is a big deal and a big part of why I'm sealing the stucco.
If you seal the walls and the ceiling, you have opened yourself up to mold and mildew. These can be bad on your health. You need to seal the roof or where the water is coming in.

Have you looked at rubberized sheet type roofing? They are using them more and more in the areas that get rain but have low pitch roofs.
good point on the importance of breathing
need to do some more thinking
I've got some leaks in the gutters, and I think water is also seeping into the stucco on the vertical concrete wall, bypassing the gutter, and pooling on the interior ceiling surface.

Some real pictures would help a lot.

If there are just cracks in the gutter try to fix them the proper way and not just with some liquid rubber paint.
The area between wall and gutter......how are they done?
The top part of the walls......are they covered with anything?
Not a helpful statement, but I hate that type of roof design.

How easy would it be to pull the gutter out?
I'd try that and replace them. To me, that's the only long term fix; unless you are 100% sure you don't have mold & moisture under them.

In that climate if you get mold started, you will not stop it.

Good luck.
replacement is probably the best solution, but our finances are a little tight right now, so I'd rather water money on a temp solution now vs. accrue debt.

I think.

We topped the wall w/ asphaltic mylar stuff, seems to have helped, so far. We've had a few good storms and no signs of leaks (yet?).

also sealed obvious holes/cracks and hit all of the bolt heads w/ caulk stuff (uerthane based elastomeric compound that should retain 275% stretch ability for 5-10 years if you believe the package).

there are pics at
Living well in Tamarindo, Costa Rica: Travel, Land Cruisers, Gardening, Food, and Jewelry: Roof Repair, Oh What a Monday

but you can get an idea of the work done ...

Clean it up and seal the s*** out of it....I mean REALLY seal the s*** out of it. Just make sure you get an even spread, don't glob it, etc. If you wanted to get anal about the walls you could do some flashing. The gutters are going to be a bitch, pretty much forever. If I were you I'd patch it with sheet metal if there are obvious gaps, etc rust or rot and it'll last for a long time. You got better things to do there than chase leaks with a view / pad like that!

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom