Sad Saturday- The Porch Cover Fail

Half of our long front porch is covered by the roof. The other half just has a lattice of 2 x 6s beams with 1 x 2s running sideways. This looks nice but lets the sun and the famous Oregon rain beat down on our freshly painted railing and makes the porch slippery to walk on.

So, we decided to put Sun Tuf clear panels on top of the lattice. These let in the light but screen out the damaging rays and, of course, keep off the rain. They’re not cheap ($20 for a 2′ x 8′ panel) but the alternative was to let the elements continue to damage the porch.

We needed to cover 24′ of porch, but only needed 6′ lengths. So we purchased 10 panels and had the home improvement store cut them to 6′. Our plan was to use the 2′ scraps to cover the final 4 feet of porch- and save a few bucks.

The full size panels were easy to install. And the pieced panels went on pretty quickly too. We could hide the joints along the 1x2s so from below it looked like we used full size panels.

Clever, thrifty us.

Then we got our first heavy rain.

And this is what it looked like. The porch was just about as wet as it had been with no expensive panels.

Where we’d saved money by piecing the panels, it was incredibly wet. Water dripped from a dozen places for seemingly no reason. We’d used special screws with rubber washers. All the panel pieces were overlapping each other just like roofing shingles. There was no reason water should have been running and dripping like there was no roof.

Then a friend explained that when water trickles down from one piece of paneling to the next, it will siphon itself back up between the pieces even though this means it’s running up hill. The more water, the more siphoning. And even though you’ve got a roof with no leaks, the water will come dripping off all the beams like a hydroponic garden.

Back to the store for more Sun Tuf panels. Sigh.




  1. says

    I have those panels on my back deck roof and I love them. Of course mine dont leak like yours because they are one solid piece. But if you can repair them it would be awesome. I like that its almost like a greenhouse on my deck even in the winter. While its not realllll warm, it is much warmer there than anywhere else on our porches and so I grow lots of things out there. I even have roses blooming out there right now.

    I do however have windbreak plexi on the bottom sides and its topped with screening too. So that is something you might consider doing once you get the leak fixed.

    Of course with all this Oregon rain, it might have to wait awhile :)

  2. Nancy says

    My heart breaks for you! I’d love to post a sad post but you don’t have enough blog space! My husband & I hired the worlds worst contractor to build our new home and it has been 3 years of sad Saturday’s for us. Good luck on your project! Keep us posted.

  3. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    So sorry, Nancy! The world of construction is not always wine and roses…hopefully there will be an end for you!

  4. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    So sorry, Nancy! The world of construction is not always wine and roses…hopefully there will be an end for you!

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