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Old 12-22-2007, 07:20 PM   #1
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I need advice on a flat roof


Hi! I own a 1907 Victorian home with a 1960-70 flat roof addition. The addition's roof is leaking! I have been given some advice on covering it with tarps and smearing tar over it, but none of it seems like wise advice. I know I should probably replace it, but until I get my degree (and a job) in 2009 that is probably not possible. The flat roof section is about 70ft by 23 feet and is leaking in three different places. It is currently covered by black rubber that is coming apart at the seams. Help! Should i cover the seams with the sticky black rolls of adhesive at the store, slather some kind of goop on it, or just wait for it to fall on my head? How much does a roof of this size/type usually cost to replace... I'm at a loss. Any advice?

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Old 12-22-2007, 07:24 PM   #2
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I need advice on a flat roof


Can you post any photos of the roof?

Depending on the serverity - there are products available.


Last edited by redline; 12-22-2007 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:10 PM   #3
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I need advice on a flat roof


I don't have a digi camera available to provide pictures. The surface is completely flat and a dirty black rubber is rolled over it in about eight foot wide strips. The strips appeared to have been smeared with a tar-like substance that has deteriorated and is allowing the seams to lift from each other. I'm pretty sure this is where the water is getting in, as there are no holes or rips anywhere. (Thanks for responding btw)
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:28 PM   #4
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I need advice on a flat roof


You may be able to go to a home improvement store and get bucket of roof patch to temporarily "seal" the bad sections.

The roof will more than likely need to be replaced.

Do you know how old the roof is?

Is the roof 70' x 23' ?
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:03 PM   #5
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I need advice on a flat roof


Sounds like another poorly applied "torch down" failing at the seams. You are wanting a patch job to last a fairly long time here, so I would suggest locating a roofing company that does a good bit of commercial work, and thus a lot of flat roofs of different materials. They will not be the cheapest up front (compared to some guy in an old pickup with the back full of half empty 5 gallon buckets of roofing mastic), but if the leaks are not sealed properly, by the time you get around to replacing the roof, there is going to be substantial damage to the decking and framing beneath.
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:26 PM   #6
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I need advice on a flat roof


thanks for all the responses guys! Yes, the roof is 70' by 23' approximately. I need some major damage control right away that I can do myself. I can't afford to pay someone else to do it. (have a little faith gentlemen, I'm rather handy for a chic).... unless replacement is a heck of a lot less expensive than I'd geuss, I'm gonna just have to find a reliable method of patching it. However, I do agree, replacement is undeniably necessary (the roof feels all squishy) I need something that will help me put that off for a year.
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:54 PM   #7
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I need advice on a flat roof


okay,sounds like epdm,only it`s 10 ft. pieces,you need to clean the seam areas with white gas and a rag,buy eternabond seam tape from a bradco or allied roofing supply(see what`s available near you ,possibly others)Set the 6" tape centered on the seam areas,peel the backing off,and use a hand roller to roll over the seam,starting at the center and going to the outside edges,lroll it really well to make sure you get good adherence,OH NEXT TIME POST IN THE ROOFING SECTION !
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Last edited by the roofing god; 12-23-2007 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:14 AM   #8
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I need advice on a flat roof


I suggest you buy a sealant of some sort to patch your roof. There are a lot of good sealants in hardware stores.
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Old 12-25-2007, 12:35 PM   #9
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I need advice on a flat roof


I have the same problem with my flat roof. My house originally had a tar-pitched flat roof, then the previous owner decided to put a cheap, flat metal roof on the house. Of course, it leaks. My insurance company would'nt insure it from the get-go.

My current contractor is no fan of flat rooves. He even walked off a big construction project for Walmart because he didn't want his name stamped on the flat roof they wanted to install. That was two years ago and the roof has been leaking since.

The only way to go is a gabled roof with a decent pitch. In the meantime, my contractor is installing a temporary fix (verbiage from the contract):

"Caulk all joints, seams and any areas such as vents, pipes, etc. with Dynaflex 230 as well as snow cap moisture barrier. This is not a permanent fix,, but should safely get you through the winter with little or no leaking. I believe it will be problem-free throught the winter and spring. We would be spinning our wheels to tarp it."

I suggest you find a contractor who can do this for you, using verbiage similar to the above. I researched the sealant and found that it will withstand very cold and very hot temperatures. The labor and materials for this came to $1,150 -- in the Midwest.
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:16 PM   #10
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installing a flat roof system relies on technical accuracy to have it perform properly,having a contractor unfamiliar w/a system walk away is a very smart thing,to have a contractor caulk seams for 1150 $ sounds great especially with no warranty involved,meaning I wish people hired me to do caulking fixes at extreme rates(WOW!!)--ANY WARRANTY IS WARRANTED BY THE MANUFACTURER ONLY WHEN IT HAS BEEN INSTALLED PROPERLY,unfortunately there are many who think they can do or give advice on roofing that have not the experience necessary,and do more harm than good,usually this is a result of getting the lowest bid for work,and not the best job,eternabond seam tape to seal epdm(rubber) roofs is the proper fix for the situation,with the seams cleaned properly 1st,and the tape fully attached using a hand roller-this in the right situation will probably get you years out of the roof,whereas sealing seams with caulking rarely gets you to the next rainstorm,and is a huge waste of money$$,generally because caulking cures and at the next expansion/contraction it can leak again,the roof probably by all rights should be replaced at your earliest convenience,by removing and installing a brand new system,I would recommend the IB ROOFING SYSTEMS(ibroofing.com) 60-80 mil roof,which w/removal should be in an9-12,000.00 range dependent on circumstances,which in turn would have a lifetime warranty for the homeowner provided it is installed by a trained and certified contractor,post some pics please,so the pros here can see what`s going on-Thank you !
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:55 PM   #11
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I need advice on a flat roof


Trg is correct.
To me, it also sounds like an EPDM roof. Caulks will not work on it. EternaBond will though.

No comment on the caulk price.

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