The home we purchased two years ago has a flat roof. Previous owner
wasn't sure about the top coating. Now we have leaks, etc. Our only
info is visual - silver color; lots of mountains and valleys (where
rain water likes to pool) and a soft feel as you walk on it. Some one
said it was a rubber roof; other said it wasn't; it's got many crack
plus it doesn't run at a slant so that it drains out the several drain
spouts --no roofer we've contacted has given a good idea -- like they
are pulling "solutions" out of a hat.....what can we do?
Look for an engineer.
Your description sounds like the entire roof system needs repair at
You may end up with sloped inslulation to encourage draining.
Forensic engineers and architects may be able to help.
They can at least suggest who in your area has experience.
Please let us know what happens.
that's not a rubber roof. rubber roofs are black and look like, well,
rubber. it won't crack. they are definitely the way to go for flat
roof. you'll want to find a roofer who is experienced with rubber
roofs. in my area i would look for a roofer who does commercial work,
cause that's where most of the flat roofs are.
Can't see it from here, but it sounds like 1 or more layers of old hot-mop
roof that some fool painted with 'trailer paint' to reduce heat load and/or
stop minor leaks. Best course of action is probably a total tear-off and
replacement with a modern membrane roof. (I've personally never seen an
actual rubber roof- it is either asphalt+mopped tar+gravel, or some sort of
plastic membrane painted with a sealant.)
Expensive, messy, a real PITA. But it does give an opportunity to inspect
the deck surface and fix any mushy spots. You can usually also add several
inches of stiff insulation to improve the R-factor, and as one of the other
guys noted, they can add some slope where needed, to improve drainage. A
common trick is to slightly slope the insulation toward and existing or new
scupper hole and/or downspout on the side of the roof the neighbors see.
Slope is created either by carved layers of the insulation board, or even
via sprayed foam. Depending on climate, you then pick the surface color-
light if you want to reduce A/C load, darker if you want snow to melt more
quickly. Most flat roofs I have seen go on in last few years are pale gray
Yes, you do want somebody who does flat roofs on a regular basis, not some
guy reading the manual while he does it. It is a specialty, and experience
makes a big difference on speed and quality of the installation.
Hope your bank balance is in good shape. It will be painful, but better to
do it the right way and get it over with, IMHO.
Excellent advice, every word of it. There are a number of replacement
roof systems, here is a basic description of them and some of the
advantages and disadvantages of each. One other poster suggested you
contact a commercial roofer and I second that idea. Be sure you
understand how the flashing and drain systems will work - many of the
problems that I see with flat roofs could have been avoided with proper
edge flashing and proper sloping for drainage.
I have worked around the rubber "Grace roofing system" Not many home owners
can afford it.
Authorized installers only. Comes with a 20 year guarntee.
The rest of this text is excellent.
Do not wait any longer. You may have waited to long now. You may be at risk
of structural damage from the leaks.
Q, a word of friendly advice- nobody outside Google Groups can tell what you
are replying to, since most of us do not use Google Groups to get to Usenet.
We don't see the messages in a nice tree, we see them in the order they were
received by our news servers. Click the 'show options' hilight, and then
click the 'include original message' link, so it is included in your
posting. (Delete the parts that don't matter, of course.) Doing this will
increase the odds that people respond to your followups, and keep them from
yelling at you.
(and shame on Google for not making that the default, and not making it
clear to new users that the Groups do NOT live on Google, and they are just
And some less friendly advice. Don't waste everyone's time
and bandwidth with dumb-ass content-free "thankyou" replies
to every freaking message you get on a topic. Wait a few
days, and send ONE generic "thanks all" at the end, if you
feel you have to. Preferably along with any resolution if
there are open questions.
EPDM with pebbles on top ("ballast") is another option. With a small rise
near the edge, it might trap rainwater and make a cool roof. A large roof
might drape 20' rubber over 6"-tall "standing seams" 16' apart.
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