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Old 01-02-2007, 09:57 AM   #1
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leaking tar and gravel roof


Hi, I am trying to fix leaks in an 8-year-old tar and gravel roof. The house is a contemporary ranch with a low-slope roof. There is copper flashing along the outside of the roof.

There are three leaks through the eaves of the roof, and in one case the roof beams have completely rotted through. The leaks seem to be near seams in the flashing.

One roofer suggests removing the roof completely, repairing the flashing, replacing the tar and gravel for $3500.

Another roofer suggests scraping back the gravel and using some sort of "concrete membrane" (I think that's what he said) to repair the three areas, and then the gravel would be replaced. This would be about $1400.

My questions are:

1. What is the best way to repair this sort of roof problem: removing the tar, repairing the flashing, and replacing the tar .... removing the gravel and repairing with the concrete membrane, leaving the flashing untouched ... or something else?

2. Is it necessary to fix the rotted beams if they are outside? Will the rotting stop if the roof leak is fixed?

3. Is it necessary to completely remove the roof to replace the beams, or can a carpenter do this even if the roof is still covered in tar?

4. How much should these repairs cost in Massachusetts?

Thanks very much for any information or suggestions you can give.

Waleed

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Old 01-02-2007, 01:18 PM   #2
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leaking tar and gravel roof


Do you have access to the space below this roof area?

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Old 01-03-2007, 06:50 AM   #3
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leaking tar and gravel roof


Yes, the leaks are over the eaves which overhang the ground by about 5 feet. It's easy to access the rotted beams underneath.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:13 PM   #4
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leaking tar and gravel roof


I would put money on it that your roof is split at the joints in the gravel stop. Most the time this is because the sheet metal guys nailed the gravel stop together and did not allow for expansion and contraction. If you want to repair is you can probably have the contractor spud back the gravel surfacing, remove the stripping and gravel stop and install new gravel stop and stripping. I like to use one ply of modified sbs stripping, but you can use two plies of fiberglass felt feathered out. When installing the gravel stop make sure they use cover plates and not laps or underplates inbetween the sections of gravel stop. Also make sure they nail through only the cover plate and not the gravel stop itself. Leave a 3/8" gap between the gravel stop sections. Sections of gravel stop should only be 10' in length and should be secured at 3" o.c., staggered on the horizontal flange. One other thing, make them embed the gravel stop in a full bed of roofing cememt and I would also recommend 20mil pvc under the gravel stop. Good Luck
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:30 PM   #5
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leaking tar and gravel roof


Are the rotted beams near the lower portion of the roof nearest the overhang?

How much is rotted? (1 foot length, 2 foot length,3 foot...)
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:50 AM   #6
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leaking tar and gravel roof


Thanks for all this information. It's very helpful.

Do you think it is necessary to replace the rotted beams too? Or is it OK to just leave them since they are outside. There is a one-foot section from the edge that is rotted, and about three feet wide.

Also, my roofer is suggesting just patching the area for now with something (concrete membrane?) that goes on top of the tar. Is that a good idea, or should a more permanent roof repair be done? The roof is about 8 years old.

Thanks very much again,
Waleed


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Originally Posted by ncgrogan View Post
I would put money on it that your roof is split at the joints in the gravel stop. Most the time this is because the sheet metal guys nailed the gravel stop together and did not allow for expansion and contraction. If you want to repair is you can probably have the contractor spud back the gravel surfacing, remove the stripping and gravel stop and install new gravel stop and stripping. I like to use one ply of modified sbs stripping, but you can use two plies of fiberglass felt feathered out. When installing the gravel stop make sure they use cover plates and not laps or underplates inbetween the sections of gravel stop. Also make sure they nail through only the cover plate and not the gravel stop itself. Leave a 3/8" gap between the gravel stop sections. Sections of gravel stop should only be 10' in length and should be secured at 3" o.c., staggered on the horizontal flange. One other thing, make them embed the gravel stop in a full bed of roofing cememt and I would also recommend 20mil pvc under the gravel stop. Good Luck
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:50 AM   #7
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leaking tar and gravel roof


A one-foot section from the edge is rotted, and three feet wide. The section that is rotted is nearest the overhang.

Waleed


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Are the rotted beams near the lower portion of the roof nearest the overhang?

How much is rotted? (1 foot length, 2 foot length,3 foot...)
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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leaking tar and gravel roof


If the leaks are all at the perimeter flashing joints, and the ropofing membrane is not split, they probably did not elastomerically seal the flashings together upon installation.

8 years old? Still in generally good shape? I would repair it if it weree mine. To what extent would be an on-site call.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:23 PM   #9
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leaking tar and gravel roof


What part of Massachusetts are you in? we are south of Boston. A built up roof "tar and gravel" should last much longer than 8 years. In Massachusetts there is a shortage of Roofers that are competant to do those kind of roofs unless they are a union shop.You should have it inspected. We would be willing to help depending on your area.

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Old 01-05-2008, 10:27 PM   #10
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leaking tar and gravel roof


Scraper, baby. Blister time.

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