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Old 07-11-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
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Flat roof


I have about a 3,000 sqft flat roof that is currently torch down with gravel/small rocks on top. Its about 25 years old and not really fixable anymore. First roofer I talked wants to put on fiber board on top of the gravel/rocks and then a new rubber roof on that. Second roofer says he would scrape the gravel, put new rubber on top of the torch down and put the gravel back down, so essentialy the rubber would be floating but attached at the edges. He said he has done this before and it works well. He said maybe fiber board would be needed if you used this roof like some people do, for parties and what not, but nobody go's up there ever. The kicker, omitting the board would save me a couple grand. Any thoughts? They both offer a 10 year warranty.

Someone else told me you shouldnt even put rubber on a non pitched roof. Also told me the option by roofer2 sounds insane. Not sure who to trust now... Any advice?

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Old 07-11-2012, 04:16 PM   #2
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Flat roof


Sounds like your in Phoenix or Vegas? A lot of those flat roofs on commercial jobs use a foam spray roofing, if you don't really use it as a party spot, check into that.

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Old 07-11-2012, 05:46 PM   #3
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Flat roof


Just want to clarify:

You have a smooth torch down modified roof. Someone applied loose small gravel over it, Pretty much all of it can be swept off. Or

You have a granulated torch down modified roof (like shingle granules). The granules are stuck, you won't get any of, other than sweeping up a little. Or

You have a asphalt and gravel roof. Larger pieces of gravel embedded in asphalt. Probably quite a bit of loose on the roof.

The answer can vary based on your exact roof system. If unsure can you post a pic?

(Roofer 2 may not be insane, but may need to change a little, and even be the better option - also EPDM is no problem at all with a non-pitched roof. EPDM, TPO , PVC work great on non-pitched roofs.)
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:47 AM   #4
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Flat roof


roofnron

Well, roofer1 gave me a repair option as well, which was new torchdown on top of old to fix leaks but was too expensive. Thats where I got that it was torchdown. The rocks on top almost look like pea gravel, not granules. Some you can kick off with your shoe, some is embedded in the roof. I always thought it was tar and gravel until roofer1 told me about torch down. Another guy called it built up. I just dont know exactly what it is.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:12 AM   #5
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Flat roof


Sounds like you have an asphalt and gravel roof. First all the loose gravel should be swept from the roof. You can usually pull 1-3 lbs of loose gravel off a sqft which will offset the weight of the new roof.

(You can scape all the gravel off the roof, but over 3000 sqft, that would be labor intensive)

Then the roof will have to be covered with some kind of recovery board. You can't put EPDM directly on the embedded rocks. (Have roofer2 show you the spec from the mfg he is using) 6-sided fully coated fiberboard like Temple-Inland or Celotex is a good option as it cheap and EPDM performs well on it. Depending on where you live you might consider use a gypsum board like Dens-Deck as a recovery board as you may be able to maintain a Class A fire rating.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
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Flat roof


Would the rocks poke holes in the rubber if you didnt have the board? Any other reason you cant do that? So it does basically sound like he doesnt know what he is doing? Or at least thinks I dont know and wont find out....
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:35 PM   #7
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Flat roof


The rocks could potentially pokes holes. Likely not from just laying there but when waking around on the roof doing maintenance, cleaning gutters. Also the wieght of snow and ice that may sit up there pushing on the rock. Also he is taking on putting the loose rock on the rubber so know you have rock top and bottom.

There are ballasted EPDM roof systems where rock holds the roof down. But you are talking needing 10 lbs a square foot of smooth river rock holding them down. You don't use small sharp pea gravel. You would probably want an engineers approval before adding that kind of weight to the structure.

Unless I am misunderstanding something, the best option is to use a recover board. If done properly you would have a roof that would last 20 years.

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