My old 10' x 6' shed (18th birthday present from the parents and still
in their back garden) has stared leaking (so Mums tells me, she now
uses it to store garden toys for the grandchildren and garden
AFAIK it's not been done since I did it at the time and that was 32
years ago now ;-(
For the time being I'm probably going to sheet it off but what's the
current best thinking re flattish shed roofs please?
From memory it is just flat with a rearwards fall (to a gutter) and
treated battens (~ 4" x 3/4" ) on edge round at least 3 sides.
All the best ..
T i m
Thanks for that.
Is it easy for a 'felt noob' to tell if it's 'heavy duty' (before
someone offloads some cling film on me as the 'good stuff')? ;-(
Looking around the web I'm unsure if I just go straight on with one
layer, multiple layers (of the same stuff) or if to use sub layers,
battens, tacks, heat, glue or tape etc?
To save reiterating any old / established stuff, is there a good faq /
guide that would help me please?
All the best ..
T i m
We use what is called here 'Roll roofing'. It usually has a slightly
sandy/gravelly finish. Best to use it on a hot day so that it unrolls
and lays flat in the sun without cracking it.
I guess you could also call it felt, but it's much heaver than the
black paper-felt that one uses under asphalt roof shingles etc.
Depending which way the slope I'd use several rows with as much
overlapping as possible without cutting the roll lengthwise to get a
Also overlapping a slight half inch projection over all edges to allow
drips off the roof edge away from the wood edge of the soffit as much
as possible. Last year I re-covered our shed #1; originally built as
playhouse for son, now 28 after some 20 years. Only one small rotted
area was patched in.
We use large head hot galvanized nails and only if necessary those ugly
looking metal washer (about two cms diameter) nails. You can also glue
under the overlaps with roofing cement etc. If wood is OK probably good
for next 20 years. Considering how these roofs stand up to our wet,
windy and maritime corrosive climate.
I think the last time I bought a roll to complete shed #2 (about 8 by 5
feet) it cost less than $30 Can. and had a enough left over to later do
shed #1 as mentioned.
If you are handy you shouldn't have any difficulty.
In my experience shed manufacturers only stock 2 types of felt, standard
shed felt and heavy duty shed felt. A roll of heavy duty felt is about two
or three times as heavy and therefore larger in diameter than standard felt.
If you see both types side by side they are unmistakable.
For a shed roof you normally cover in a single layer of felt, overlapping
the strips, and either glue it or nail it down. I would study how the
existing felt was laid and just copy that with the new stuff, including the
direction that the strips were laid, either from end to end or side to side.
If battens and galvanised felt nails were used, and the existing felt lasted
for years, then it must have been done right in the first place. Some people
disapprove of using galvanised felt nails but if you have wooden battens you
don't have any choice. If you don't want to use galvanised felt nails then
don't have battens and use glue under the edges. Regarding a 3 layer system,
unless the shed was built to support the weight of 3 layers of felt then
that's a bit risky. A single layer of heavy duty felt, fitted correctly,
should last at least 10 to 15 years.
No faq that I know of, there is a bit about felting a shed roof in this
And all the best to you too, good luck with the shed roof. Don't try it on
a windy day!
This is a special roofing 'glue' I guess. Are there brands to look out
From memory the shed was built 'for me' by a local firm and is of a
fairly substantial construction (not yer typical matchwood of some
modern cheap sheds). I think the roof 'beams' were also a reasonable
Good, that sound straightforward ..
Thanks for that.
No indeed. Like I said I think I need to protect the shed short term
(between the rain / gales) with some polythene sheet (I don't think
those woven blue tarps are very waterproof?). When the weather picks
up have a closer look (noting what I did last time as you suggest) and
just use some decent long lasting gear etc.
All the best ..
T i m
Unless the roofing is really away, I do suggest you try patching until
warmer, and drier, weather. Trying to replace felt roofing at this
time of year is a b*****d as the felt is stiff and the adhesive is
'like, solid man'; believe me I had to a major flat roof rebuild job
just before Xmas.
See if you can locate where the leak is and patch using the flashing
roll material - this you will get from the sheds. It comes in various
widths and lengths, and is a softish bitumen on a thin aluminium
backing - you just roll it out and press it down after cleaning the
area and drying with a hot air gun.
When it comes to the proper repair, get the heaviest felt you can for
the top layer - I think it is called 38kg and has green gravel on it.
One hazard you may be facing is a fault I ran into it that the roof
base could be bitumen coated chipboard; this was popular 20 years or so
ago as it was extremely easy to build the roof with. Unfortunately
when the felt goes, the water inevitably gets into the chipboard and
the whole roof collapses and needs replacing - that was my problem
It doesn't add to the cost significantly to do the job properly and do
an nailed down undercoat - again this can be got in the sheds. The
rolls of felt have good instructions with them on application and how
to deal with the drips, eaves, etc. Basically it is nailed down
undercoat, (two layers if you really want to be pedantic) and then the
heavy coat glued on with a cold mastic glue. It is all very messy by
the way so get throwaway gloves, boilersuit and paintbrushes.
For a 10' by 7' roof, I took 10 hours to totally strip it, put in new
timber (sarking), and two layers of felt. The eaves
and drips were done the next day.
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