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Thurman 07-31-2009 07:42 PM

Finding leak in flat roof
O.K., so here's you'se guys chance to kick my butt. One of my bestest friends has an auto parts business in an approximately 9000 sq. ft. building, and it has a flat tar and gravel (very little) roof. The building was built in 1958, as far as we can find out has never been totally re-roofed. The PO had repairs done to it which are clearly visible, but are not near to where the leak is. The roof did not leak for the first eight months he was in it, now it only takes a little sprinkle shower to start a leak. You can imagine how bad it was leaking today with about 2 1/2 hrs. of steady rain. It leaks in only one spot, same spot each time, and quite a lot. There is only one local roofing company that will mess with this type roof and it will be three weeks before they can even look at it. Any ideas as to how to find where the water is getting in at? I've been up there in dry, hot weather and can't find anything out of the ordinary to me. I do know these roofs will have a way for water to intrude here and run under the tar/gravel and leak over there. I helped my Uncle mop tar years ago and am about ready to fire up a fish cooker to melt tar and go to mopping everything (joking there). Any suggestions? Thanks, David

Slyfox 07-31-2009 08:32 PM

With out pictures the only thing I can say is wait until it's dry and take a water hose up there and run water in small sections until you get to the leak and than look for loose laps, holes through the material, bad flashing on a penetration, etc.

With pictures I could probably be of more help.

Leftyho 08-01-2009 08:47 AM


That is rare when water travels far to come in a building. A steel deck water will travel to the seam. Wood water will travel to a seam.

If it comes in one spot I can send you a tarp that has a hose fitting on it. The tarp hangs from the ceiling. This catches the water the hose takes the water to a sink, drum or drain.

Stay off the roof, if you could not see the problem. You are causing more damage. You probably walking on the roof like it is a sidewalk.

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