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Old 04-19-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


Am closing on a (foreclosed) house at the end of the month. Over an addition in the back of the home there is a 'flat' roof that also doubles as a deck. It is kind of a nice place (I guess) to sit and hang out potentially but it leaks or leaked at some point. There is obvious damage to the below ceiling and the roof feels compromised when walking on it. It pitches about 4-6" over 10'...

I am planning on fixing up the house a bit and renting it out. This roof/deck doesn't have railings so as a landlord that is an obvious problem. If I leave it as is I would have to put a guardrail up and fix the roof. I am unsure how to reroof this area if I leave it as a deck ... First it has to be leak proof, second it has to be tough enough to walk on, and third I'd have to put up a guardrail.

I am debating just building a hip style roof over the flat roof and putting a window where the existing door is. Thinking it might be cheaper than the alternative. The thing is I don't know the alternative - is there a tar and pebble solution, rubber, roll roof???

I'm looking for the cheaper easier solution here-not building taj mahal...

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Old 04-20-2012, 03:59 AM   #2
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


If you plan on walking on it or using it as a deck, I would spend the money and put a rubber membrane roof on it or you will be constantly trying to source leaks and spending every weekend attempting roof repairs. If you can afford it, I would put a membrane roof on in any event.

However, is it framed to function as a deck and support dead and live loads? I suspect you will need a permit and inspections if you proceed? Code, neighborhood association, city aesthetic regs will let you turn it into a deck? Of course you will need a guard rail. Will you need to provide another means off the deck?

A window may be your cheapest solution but will it keep your tenants from using the space as a deck anyhow? It sounds awfully tempting and like it could be a nice feature enabling you to bump the rent up a bit.

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Old 04-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


Judging by the quality of ANYTHING in the addition I doubt very much it was actually designed to be a deck, much less handle snow loads. I guess I'll see when I rip the Sheetrock ceiling out-it is badly damaged from water...

Good point though cuz it hadn't occurred to me that it wasn't engineered to be a deck...

Even with a rubber membrane could it be walked on or should It get a tar/pebble style treatment or equiv??
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


So let's assume it WAS framed to carry the load, and it IS going to fetch a higher rent, how would you finish the surface? Rubber alone? Tar and pebble? Roll roof? Build deck platform over any of these??
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:08 PM   #5
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


Any opinions on torch down vs rubber?

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Old 04-30-2012, 01:10 AM   #6
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


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Any opinions on torch down vs rubber?

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Spend the money and do the membrane. I will be 80 by the time you realize you should thank me. 62 if you torch it.

I dodged your question about structure. I have no idea what the support is availed you and you really would not want me designing an elevated deck for you without seeing it would you?

I keep the architects and structural engineers that work and draw for me at times really poor. I just bet there is one in similar situation near you? Yes, common folk can work with architects and save tons of money. And you will like the experience. Structural engineers are in a different more nerdy class. They all still wear pocket protectors. You have to snap them on the nose at times and train them to heel.

Architects will ignore plates of free cookies. Structural engineers will sit down with you and ask if cookies are all you had to offer? They will point out, even not within their immediate realm, that your draperies and refrigerator are sort of energy deficient. They will suggest they know a guy, another nerd-dweeb-gearhead that can teach how to bake cookies on your rooftop, saving you having to turn on an oven.

You will like them all. I promise.

Last edited by user1007; 04-30-2012 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


In my case a membrane is going to cost m less than $200-it is a small area of roof and will have no seams. I've mostly decided to install the rubber, put up guard rails, and key-deadbolt the door. Let the next HO worry about it....

Thanks for all the great advice!
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Justgaff View Post
In my case a membrane is going to cost m less than $200-it is a small area of roof and will have no seams. I've mostly decided to install the rubber, put up guard rails, and key-deadbolt the door. Let the next HO worry about it....

Thanks for all the great advice!
Make sure you install a good smooth splinter free decking under the EPDM as it will puncture easily with foot traffic, it is noted for getting pin holes in it. If sdsester is talking about a different type roof then forget what I said.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:09 PM   #9
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Flat rubber(?) roof.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943

Make sure you install a good smooth splinter free decking under the EPDM as it will puncture easily with foot traffic, it is noted for getting pin holes in it. If sdsester is talking about a different type roof then forget what I said.
The specifications for the epdm say it is not designed for foot traffic. I am going to key bolt the door to stop tenant from using it and installing guardrail in case they figure out a way to get up there. If/when I sell the home I can look at building a floating deck but for now I'm trying to keep it cheap and dry...

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