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ithinkican 03-21-2012 09:13 PM

maintenance for a flat roof
Hello everyone,

I'm hoping someone can help me with a little direction on some maintenance on my flat roof. I live in a city row house and recently went up to the roof to inspect it since I realized I've been here since 2003 and when I bought the house the previous owner told me they had the roof re-done a few years prior and it had a 10 year guarantee. I found several fairly large cracks in whatever they used to seal the edges. (I think it's called flashing?) I was initially just going to see about getting tar or something similar to fill in the cracks but after doing some reading in this forum I've learned that's not a good idea until I verify what I'm dealing with.

So I'm posting some pics of the roof in the hopes one of you guys that actually know what you're doing gives me a little help in identifying what I've got up there and what I can used to fill in the cracks and possibly coat that grey rubber-looking section.

Your time is greatly appreciated!

1st one is the overall roof.

Most of the roof is covered with grainy sheets like big shingles with the exception of the section in this picture. I'm thinking I could use an aluminum coating on this section?

It looks like someone used clear silicone to fill in that top crack with the exposed brick:

more silicone?

Could I use tar, or roofing concrete on the black stuff here?

One last pic.

joecaption 03-21-2012 11:06 PM

Not going to like this ansewer I'm sure.
Someone chose to install roll mineral roofing.
It's the lowest grade of roofing there is, and it was installed wrong.
You would be really lucky to even get 10 years out of it even it had of been installed correctly.
Why was there plywood left exposted? Even a first time DIY would have known better then that.
You can try and patch all you want but anyplace it does leak is going to start rotting out the joist and sheathing below and will end up costing you far more to fix.
That area that looks like someone just dumped some left over concrete on the roof has to all go.
If it was mine I'd be replacing it with EPDM roofing.

shazapple 03-22-2012 07:13 AM

I can't tell from the pictures if it is modbit or rolled (I'm looking at them on a cell phone screen). Assuming it is modbit, there is no way that roof is 10 years old. Maybe the neighbours roof, and maybe all that goop they smeared over it, but not yours...

As for maintenance, check all the seams between sheets and around the perimeter for openings and seal them up. The flashing is pretty much ruined, so if it is not leaking just keep an eye on it and save up to replace the roof.

Roofmaster417 03-22-2012 08:47 PM

WOW !!!!!!,,There is NO patching that mess.You need a reroof in the WORST kind of way.There is nothing right about that and I am surprised that the "Roofers" even put a 10 month warranty on that.

That has got to be leaking ?.,If not check your attic and see if they have 5 gallon buckets lined up or a swimming pool.That thing is a mess.

Donnig 03-22-2012 09:16 PM

Well the verdict is in and we all agree you need a new roof. I would suggest you immediately get some roofing mastic or cement and plug up the holes in your flashing. If the holes are to big get some 45 lb felt and cut patches. Mastic then cover with patch then mastic again. Stop the water from getting in is the important thing at this point and also an attic inspection is definitely be prudent. I also could not tell where the water goes? Do you have a roof drain or scupper by the edge where the water runs to? With asphalt roofing you do not want water standing on the roof. I would contact a good reputable roofer to inspect and offer you some solutions. You have options of rubber roof, or combo rubber and asphalt but you may need to build up portions of the lower part of the roof to get the roof draining the right way. Roof maintenance can be done by the average do-it-youselfer but a reroof is best left to the experts.

AndyWRS 03-22-2012 10:16 PM

I saw this thread before it had responses, the pics left me speechless. I beleive Roofmaster covered my initial response.

"the previous owner told me they had the roof re-done a few years prior"

Redone my a$$, thats an abortion.

ithinkican 03-23-2012 10:05 AM

Wow!… Thanks for all the input. The roof isn't actually leaking at this point (that I know of). I don't have an attic and haven't seen any signs of water. But it sounds like it's time to get some estimates on a new roof… Any ballpark guesses on how much something that size should cost just from looking at the pictures? The once picture is of the whole roof. I was standing at the very front of the house looking back and what's in the picture is pretty much the whole thing.

Thanks again!

shazapple 03-23-2012 11:48 AM

We don't know anything about your roof and nobody would be able to give you a price unless they stand on it, so you would be best to get quotes from local roofers.

Windows on Wash 03-23-2012 11:52 AM


That is a complete re-roof my friend and you better make sure you get a pro.

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