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-   -   Flat roof, need help (http://www.diychatroom.com/f9/flat-roof-need-help-68161/)

salahnajm 04-02-2010 12:14 PM

Flat roof, need help
 
We live in Cleveland Ohio, and we have a 13x11 feet sunroom that was leaking slightly when we bought the house (7/2009).
So far we spent a fair amount of money trying to fix it (2 'professional' roofers) and the leaking has significantly decreased but we still notice 1 or 2 water dops hanging from the ceiling with very heavy rain.

And as a side note the 'professional' roofers took the money and never came back!! we called them several times and they kept telling us they'll come back to 'reassess' in 1 or 2 weeks and never do! That's when we gave up on the first and hired the second and same story!!! he even gave us a 1 yr warantee!! Probably next time I should hire a reputable company and spend the extra money!!!

What they did was a couple of patches were they thought it was leaking.

My wife and I decided to try ourselves, if that doesn't work then we might just need to swallow the bullet and fork out a few grands for a whole new roof :(:(

Any suggestions from anyone? we were thinking something we can buy in one whole piece and just put it over the sunroom roof (which is flat). Something like epdm or pvc and cover the torch down (which seems to be ok in light-medium rain) and not do anymore patching!

And we also think that the gutters might be filling quickly and causing backflow... we try keeping them clean... do we really need them? can I just get rid of them?:icon_confused:

Bob Mariani 04-02-2010 12:20 PM

leaks are tricky to find. You find one and the rain will find another to get into. This does not mean that it cannot be done.

Yes you need the gutters. If you remove them you jeopardize the foundation. Water must be diverted away from the building.

KyleB 04-02-2010 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salahnajm (Post 423126)
We live in Cleveland Ohio, and we have a 13x11 feet sunroom that was leaking slightly when we bought the house (7/2009).
So far we spent a fair amount of money trying to fix it (2 'professional' roofers) and the leaking has significantly decreased but we still notice 1 or 2 water dops hanging from the ceiling with very heavy rain.

And as a side note the 'professional' roofers took the money and never came back!! we called them several times and they kept telling us they'll come back to 'reassess' in 1 or 2 weeks and never do! That's when we gave up on the first and hired the second and same story!!! he even gave us a 1 yr warantee!! Probably next time I should hire a reputable company and spend the extra money!!!

What they did was a couple of patches were they thought it was leaking.

My wife and I decided to try ourselves, if that doesn't work then we might just need to swallow the bullet and fork out a few grands for a whole new roof :(:(

Any suggestions from anyone? we were thinking something we can buy in one whole piece and just put it over the sunroom roof (which is flat). Something like epdm or pvc and cover the torch down (which seems to be ok in light-medium rain) and not do anymore patching!

And we also think that the gutters might be filling quickly and causing backflow... we try keeping them clean... do we really need them? can I just get rid of them?:icon_confused:

EPDM is the way to go. Before you lay down a layer of fiberboard and cover it with the EPDM membrane, make sure you only have the only layer of torch down on there. Adding a third layer of roofing (if you already have two on there) would put an awful amount of stress on your support system. EPDM is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with, and if you do have a puncture it's as easy as patching a bike tire. Good luck :thumbsup:

AaronB 04-02-2010 11:33 PM

So am I correct to assume you hired "roofers" but not roofing contractors?

KyleB 04-03-2010 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AaronB (Post 423400)
So am I correct to assume you hired "roofers" but not roofing contractors?

No, I was a roofer in the DC area for about 6 years. We did a ton of EPDM roofs in the city.

For material, stick with the Genflex stuff, we never had good luck with Firestone products.

AaronB 04-04-2010 03:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KyleB (Post 423497)
No, I was a roofer in the DC area for about 6 years. We did a ton of EPDM roofs in the city.

For material, stick with the Genflex stuff, we never had good luck with Firestone products.

Sorry, Kyle, I was talking to the topic poster... I shoilda said something.

Also, EPDM on fiberboard has apparently had some signifcant issues with moisture/condensation under the sheet, deteriorating the board. I have not personally seen this, but only read it online more than a few times.

KyleB 04-04-2010 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AaronB (Post 423798)
Sorry, Kyle, I was talking to the topic poster... I shoilda said something.

Also, EPDM on fiberboard has apparently had some signifcant issues with moisture/condensation under the sheet, deteriorating the board. I have not personally seen this, but only read it online more than a few times.

That's usually down to improper installation of flashing. I would see it from time to time, but as long as it was put on properly, you won't have a problem. It IS a good idea to re-caulk all of your seams every other year or so, the caulk does tend to degrade over time.

salahnajm 04-04-2010 09:13 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by KyleB (Post 423369)
EPDM is the way to go. Before you lay down a layer of fiberboard and cover it with the EPDM membrane, make sure you only have the only layer of torch down on there. Adding a third layer of roofing (if you already have two on there) would put an awful amount of stress on your support system. EPDM is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with, and if you do have a puncture it's as easy as patching a bike tire. Good luck :thumbsup:

Yeah, I was thinking of using epdm; the problem that I'm encountering is to also cover my roof edges before putting down the EPDM. The current torch down covers the roof and around 10inches of the edges, If I put a fiberboard that would cover the flat roof but not the edges, right? and epdm should not touch the torch down roof. I attached pictures to show you what I mean.

I found a retailer selling PVC membranes that should cover my roof in 1 piece (no seems) It comes in 18x18 feet. Will that be better way to go? or do I still have to worry about PVC coming in contact with my roof?


Quote:

Originally Posted by AaronB (Post 423400)
So am I correct to assume you hired "roofers" but not roofing contractors?

Yeah, I hired a 'roofer'. You see, we're new to homeowning and we're learning slowly. The 'expert roofer' I got was off of yellowpages, called him in and when he came he sounded decent and seemed to really understand what he was doing. We stressed on him that we needed someone to guarantee his work and not just patch and leave the roof leaking. He assured us that he'll back up his work and wrote a 1 year warantee, signed it in front of us... he patched the roof... it kept leaking (however I have to admit a bit less) and now doesn't answer our calls anymore. If he does, he would tell us that he'll come over 'next week' and we never hear from him.

KyleB 04-05-2010 04:45 PM

I see one vent pipe in those pictures, are there any other protrusions in the roof? Does it tie into a sloped portion of the roof at any point? I see trees in the background, do you get a lot of debris (branches, etc) falling onto the flat roof? Based on those photos, I'd say that's a good candidate for EPDM, provided that you don't get too many sticks/branches falling down on the roof. Even with a .060 membrane, you might be looking at punctures if a big enough branch fell down. You can still use EPDM on that roof, you'd just cut back the portion of torch-down that is wrapping around the edges and intall a good metal drip edge in it's place.

Have you thought about getting some tar, patching up any visible leaks, and then painting that torch-down roof with some good quality fibered aluminum paint? It's not a permanent solution but it might buy you some time until you decide which roof system to go with.

I like EPDM because it's relatively inexpensive, and very DIY friendly.

salahnajm 04-05-2010 05:33 PM

Thanks KyleB!! Very helpful tips!! I will throw some aluminum paint in the meantime. Honestly we have a HUGE tree on our backyard... Lots of branches and debris do fall down on our flat roof. You can't see it very well in my pictures but it's actually one flat roof (no piping no protrusions, that's part of a railing that was installed and taken out to patch were the railings went into the roof. Now it's just 'sitting' on top of the roof and I do not plan to drill any holes to put any railings)

with that said would a one sheet of PVC work? Can I just glue it on my roof? There's a seller that sells an 18x18 Feey PVC sheet that should cover my whole roof in one piece.

KyleB 04-05-2010 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salahnajm (Post 424426)
Thanks KyleB!! Very helpful tips!! I will throw some aluminum paint in the meantime. Honestly we have a HUGE tree on our backyard... Lots of branches and debris do fall down on our flat roof. You can't see it very well in my pictures but it's actually one flat roof (no piping no protrusions, that's part of a railing that was installed and taken out to patch were the railings went into the roof. Now it's just 'sitting' on top of the roof and I do not plan to drill any holes to put any railings)

with that said would a one sheet of PVC work? Can I just glue it on my roof? There's a seller that sells an 18x18 Feey PVC sheet that should cover my whole roof in one piece.

When you get the paint, make sure you get the 'fibered' paint. Be VERY careful with it too; it can get messy if you're not careful. Don't be afraid to apply it very liberally.

Honestly, I never worked with PVC. Hopefully someone that has can chime in and give you some pointers. With what you said about the tree cover, I would go with a membrane a bit more impact resistant than EPDM; I have a small flat roof on my house too, and I think I'm going with standing seam tin when the time comes. With three big oak trees over the house, I'm afraid the EPDM would probably puncture.

Slyfox 04-06-2010 07:07 AM

Hi salahnajm, before you set off on a diy adventure I would suggest trying a few more roofing contractors.
Call several roofers that offer "free estimates", do not ask them to come fix a leak (do not even mention the leak), simply call and ask for an estimate to replace the roof, this will allow you to gather numerous "free" hands on opinions from roofers, than after the estimate ask each about a possible restoration of the existing roof system.

Some pros suggest you get atleast three estimates, some say just one,
I say call three or four and if you don't feel totally confident with any than call three or four more and continue doing so until you find the company you trust.

When working with flat roofs "EPDM or what ever" the field work is fairly DIY friendly but the detail work is not so much, if you do a class A job in the field and goof up on the detail work your roof will continue leaking even tho it's brand new.

AaronB 04-06-2010 11:46 PM

What exactly did the "roofer" do? Was this his only solution? If not, what were the others?

salahnajm 04-07-2010 06:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AaronB (Post 425132)
What exactly did the "roofer" do? Was this his only solution? If not, what were the others?

Initially there was a satellite dish attached to the roof and also a railing with 4 posts attached to the roof (they were going through the torch down roof). He removed them all and patched the areas beneath them and also patched all the seams. So now my roof is one flat roof with nothing coming out from it. I think this helped a bit, but it still leaks a bit with heavy rains.

From my looking at the roof, and you can probably also see on the picture, I feel that the edges are slowly coming apart.

Our options were to rip the whole roof and place a new one (4-5thousands at least from 2quotes) or do more blind patching as no one is sure were the leak is coming from... (2 'roofers' and 'several' patching).

From my research, and also trying to save from paying a large amount (we recently moved in and had plenty of expenses), I think covering the whole roof with 1 membrane should help... If it doesn't, then probably we should just replace it and then just 'hope' that the new roof doesn't leak (everyone tells us our roof is in great shape anyways; there's a leak somewhere and actually nothing wrong with our torch down roof)

KyleB 04-07-2010 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salahnajm (Post 425174)
Our options were to rip the whole roof and place a new one (4-5thousands at least from 2quotes)

You were quoted 4 to 5 thousand for a 11'x13' flat roof with no protrusions?!?!?!?!?!!? That's bloody robbery.

What ever roofing companies quoted that to you, never call them for anything.


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