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Old 08-21-2014, 03:43 AM   #1
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Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

I'm planning on building a deck on top of my transit bus which will be multi-functional - the front half will support a solar-panel array while the back half will be for storage and as observation deck. To be on the safe side I wanted to make sure it could support up to 2000 lbs, so I thought the best bet is to tie the support studs to the bus body's outer structure/studs, which will require cutting holes in the roof, 10 in all.

So my question is does anyone have an idea of the best way to make this water-tite? I know there are some really good caulks/sealants, like Sikaflex 715, but I'm wondering if I should use some kind of flashing, like a roof jack of some kind? I'm planning on using 1-1/2" square tubing for the supports. Any input or better ideas is appreciated
;?D
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

Rather than installing it through the roof of the bus, I'm going to look into installing it on the struts (studs? The things the steel is riveted to. WALL THINGIES) along the side of the bus, like a giant roll cage. That way the 'cage' can be removed in sections (I'm thinking 4' sections) and the roof cleaned/painted without having to figure out a way to wiggle mop-pads and rollers underneath the observation deck.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

I have been using the rubber strip stuff about 1/8 thick and 3/4inch wide that has been used for years on rvs...let me look

this stuff or similar
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Rv-Trail...3c397c&vxp=mtr
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:34 PM   #4
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

If you are going to poke holes all over your roof then you might want to use Henry 212 Clear All Purpose Patch. You might want to keep a tube on hand for future leaks as well. We are leery of poking holes in our non-leaking roof. So far we only have one hole (black tank vent) and are still trying to decide if it is worth punching any other holes for solar exhaust vents.

http://us.henry.com/roofing/roofing-sealants/

to coat the roof we used the 287 Solarflex Elastrometric
http://us.henry.com/roofing/reflective- ... f-coatings
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:20 AM   #5
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

Yes I understand many folks are hesitant to make perforations in an otherwise perfectly sound roof, lol, but that said, there are many people and companies that do so and there's lots of examples, like this one for instance:


That's exactly what I want on top of my transit bus, and the deck is pretty sweet too
Of course as in many pics it's difficult to tell how they did it, but I have some ideas of my own, but I'd like some input from people who have experience in successfully doing this.
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File Type: jpeg RV roof deck.jpeg (53.4 KB, 363 views)
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:39 AM   #6
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

Hey Bansil, yeah that looks like some products I've seen online, also found something called Eternabond that seems to have some good reviews, so that's one possible route. I was hoping to find some kind of actual boot or jack/flashing designed specifically for this application, as in this pic of a bus deck.


There LOOKS like there's something attached to the roof around the support, unless it's actually bolted to the roof, which is possible if it's metal and the underlying roof brace has been beefed up to take the weight.
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File Type: jpg Nice roof deck.jpg (44.1 KB, 362 views)
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:59 AM   #7
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

Hey Mel,
Well I've got some re-siding to deal with which will conflict with my ability to attach the vertical studs/supports to the outside of my transit. Plus I'm thinking you either deal with just ten big holes or 40-50 small holes, any of which could possible leak as the vibration from all the weight/movement deteriorates them over time, and so I chose the apparent lesser of two evils, lol. But imo a well designed roof jack/boot sealed with top-of-the-line marine grade sealant like Silkaflex, should do the trick. Getting it bonded depends on using a really good solvent mixture to really get it CLEAN, say acetone/MEK/toluene, that should do it, then rough it up with some 180 grit sand clothe and finally a primer if the adhesive/sealant calls for it.

As for working on the roof, I'm with you there cuz you never know when you might need to fix something (especially in this case, lol), so my deck will be designed with re-movable grate material. The deck will actually consist of two parts, a light-weight front area for the solar panels, with a skinny cat-walk down the middle to access/repair/clean them, and then the rear half will be much beefier to hold the weight of storage (around 400 lbs.) and the weight of 4 - 6 adults if I want to have friends up for a party

This pic looks like what I have in mind, just imagine that it's on a slightly larger scale, and the AC unit is actually a storage box, and instead of the solar panels in the back there's a party deck, easy peasy right ;?D

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Old 08-22-2014, 09:40 AM   #8
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightfoot
40-50 small holes
Dunno how ya got that number. I figured connect the cage like ya do the RV-style awnings (ever notice those are connected to the sidewalls and not the roof? I just noticed that). A single connection just under the roof line and one towards the lower part of the 'arm', so to speak.

I are not technical. :P

So I'd be looking at about 8-16 holes, depending on how long I make the observation deck (it needs to be large enough to hold at least two people, a chair to sit in, a massive bowl of Halloween candy, and a paintball cannon, so it would be anywhere from 6 foot to 8 foot).
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:39 PM   #9
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?

Ah, I see, well guess we're talking about 2 different systems, but with the 1 ton weight capacity that I'm planning on I don't think something like that would work. I thought you were suggesting, as others have, of running vertical supports on the outside of the bus and bolted through into the outer body structure. You'd need at least 4 - 5 bolts for each member (I believe in overkill when it comes to anything involving safety) so with 10 supports that how I came up with that number

I suppose another option is to add additional steel roof trusses and also add additional support members to the existing vertical studs, then just screw through into the roof trusses and again use plenty of sealant and caulking. Hmmm, decisions, decisions....
;?D
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:53 PM   #10
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Re: Punching holes in my roof - best way to seal em?



it would be easier to buy another keg.....drunk folks won't get hurt if they fall off



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