Fixing the Leaky Roof Fan

Sad news! About one week after installing the roof fan we experienced heavy rain in Gothenburg and discovered a small amount of water making it’s way in somewhere around the front right corner of the wooden frame and depositing a few drops of water on the floor. To be honest it was not that unexpected since the installation ended up being a little rushed and it was the first time either of us had even laid eyes on a bottle of SikaFlex, let alone cut a giant hole in a van roof! In this post we will talk about what we did to fix it.

We considered whether we should just strip it all out and start from scratch, but that would easily be a day’s work and we were already behind schedule. Now despite the fact we had a leaky roof, we had two things going for us:

  • The leak was very small
  • It was in a corner which made it easier to locate the entry point

With this in mind we decided to cut back as much of the sealant as possible and reapply it. Armed with a utility knife, a couple of scrapers and some bangin’ tunes we began to cut and scrape away at the SikaFlex.

Not long after cutting away the sealant from the screw heads we discovered some of them were not sitting flush with the frame. We were able to tighten most of them enough that they were now flush, but there were a couple that were impossible to tighten all the way without making the frame buckle. These we left with about a 1 millimetre gap and ensured they were well covered with SikaFlex later on.

After scraping the sealant back to just inside the lip of the frame it was time to fix the damage to the paintwork from all the scraping and cutting. We used SikaPrimer to clean the surface followed by Hammerite silver paint.

While the paint was drying we finished cleaning up any excess sealant around the screw heads and reapplied fresh SikaFlex. Applying a blob to the screw head and spreading it around using your thumb seemed to be the most effective method to get a good seal.

Once the paint had dried it was time to reapply a bead of SikaFlex all the way around the outside of the fan frame, again using the thumb to smooth out the sealant and ensure there are no gaps between the van room and the fan frame.

Picture of the end result to come!

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