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Old 09-04-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
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Need opinion on this roof


Hi ppl!

Could you guys give me opinion on this roof? I have some questions about this roof. It's not actually my roof, but I am planning on buying this house. The inspector said the roof (original) was in good condition but the flat roof ( i think you guys would call it flat roof 1ft slope in 18ft ... that's 1/18 pitch right? sorry I don't know anything about roofs and just learned some things from reading posts in this forum) was not put together properly. Is it something I can fix or have someone fix with a total cost less than $1k?

Hope this is ok to ask:

1. Is it normal for the staples and nails to pop up like that? Can I just hammer them back in place and it will be good?
2. Is this overlapping properly done? The roof looks good to me, but I know nothing about roofs. Might be about 10 years old.


1. What are those dark stains? tar?
2. Is it normal to show like that?
3. Are these stains tar or mold/water damage?
4. The big spot looks like water damage? or maybe mold under?
5. What is the grey/white stuff?

The most concern to me is the family room and original house roofing.
The patio can leak if it wants ... that won't kill me. There is water damage along the marked wall in the family room. It is on the side of the window and no where else along that wall. The soffits are a bit damaged and maybe the roofing on the edge is not done right. I hope it's not water coming into the middle area of the family room roof and dripping down to the wall. I'm concerned about water damage and mold on the ceiling/rafters or whatever is under the roof under the roll (this is what you call roll on roof right?)

So basically is the roof ok and if not would I be able to fix or get it fixed and not cost me a wallet?

I have not been on the roof myself. These were photos taken by someone else. How much would it cost to call a roofer to take a look at the roof and will they look at it if it isn't my house?

I was also reading that roofs should have a 1ft slope? every 6 feet? Would it be possible for a diy to rip the roof out and make it slope? Like add materials to the higher end to make it 12 feet instead of 10 feet?

Would a pitched roof cost a lot to build over the flat roof?

Thanks for reading my long confusing post and for any advice/input,

Thomas


Last edited by profenx; 09-04-2009 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:13 AM   #2
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Need opinion on this roof


I'm no flat roof pro, but the whole project looks like someone took the lowest bid. Don't make that mistake. A real roofer should be able to give you answers. I say real roofer instead of just qualified because any geek with a notepad can become qualified. You want to talk to someone who actually does the work.

Everything you pointed out on the shingling is a big problem. That inspector is a moron.

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Old 09-04-2009, 09:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
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....The patio can leak if it wants ...
I dont want to sound like a jerk, but a leak is a leak weather it is damaging something you care about or not.
You might not care that the patio is leaking, but over time it will rot wood, drip and run off to other places, etc. and... if you have little leaks hear and there, once you "add them all up" it might show that who ever did the roof did not do a good job over all.

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Old 09-04-2009, 09:56 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I didn't care about the patio cuz I think i would tear it down.
I'll see if i can get a roofer to come by and check it out. Wondering if this could have been a diy fixer for the roof or be fixed with a little money. I want to be open minded when buying and not rule out something that is easy to fix.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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Need opinion on this roof


From what I see in the pictures,
Flat roof (torch down) could be repaired no problem. The dark spots are from over heating the material during the installation process.
Re-sealing the laps and other penetrations is not that major of a repair.
Even if it needs re-sealed and coated it's a good way to get numerous additional years of life out of the system at a reasonable cost.

Sloped roof (shingles) have several non repairable issues, but they are issues that could be maintained and give you several years to save up for the cost of a re-roof.

I would not let the roof stop me from buying the home, but I would ask for an allowance/drop in price to "at the least" cover the cost of repairs and maintenance that are needed right now.

Not all inspectors know how to roof, not all roofers know how to inspect.
Instead of looking for a free estimate in which case the roofer is going to be pushing for a re-roof sale, find a roofer who offers roof inspections at a set cost, he/she will be the one to give you the most straight forward opinion and best advice.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:05 PM   #6
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IMHO,
That roof is not acceptable.

Could it be repaired?NO!!!
The poping staples(staples are not recommended on shingles)are signs of lack of proper ventilation.
If the staples are in an exposed area of the shingle it was never done right.
The exposure on the shingles also seems to be excessive.
Each course of shingles should be at top of the horizontal tab line of the one under it.
I also don't see evidence of a ridge vent which is necessary for life expectancy and warranty on shingles.
I'd ask for a new roof or credit towards the cost of one.

As Slyfox stated,flat roof is easily repairable.
If you can get a picture of the eave end of the flat roof,the detail there may give a clue to the stains below.

Last edited by oldfrt; 09-04-2009 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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Need opinion on this roof


Slyfox,

Thanks for your reply. If the roof will last a 5-8 more years with some minor repair or maintenance, it would be fine with me. I just don't want to have to replace a roof so early after buying. The roof inspector sounds like a good idea, cuz I was going to go with a free estimate.

Oldfrt

Thanks for your reply. I don't think there is a ridge vent present. There are 2 vents on the sides of the house and multiple smaller vents about 2-3 inches x 8-12 inches through the soffits/eaves? i think. I didn't take measurements, but that's what it looks like. There are only 2 passive? vents on top of the roof. I suppose adding a roof fan in the middle would be a good idea for better ventilation. The roof area (is it attic or crawl space?) inside the house was not that hot when I went up there. maybe 90-100 when it was about 85 outside. I'm sure it will get hotter.


Unfortunately, I can't ask the seller to do any repairs, cuz they are broke and are short-paying this house. The bank is tight with money also as they didn't want to pay for a home warranty.


This area on both sides of the left window from top to bottom have water damage, inside the house. Perhaps its the way the roof and eave was done. There appears to be fungus or something between the soffits.

So would it not be ok to hammer in the staples, add more ventilation, and re-seal the flat area. Would that last at least 6 years? I'm sure I will be able to save up some money by that time to re-roof the whole thing (assuming it doesn't cost more than 5k ... how much would it cost? 3-6k, 6-8k, 8+? cuz if it's that much it'll be a problem.)

Thanks,

I learned quite a bit from these replies.

Last edited by profenx; 09-04-2009 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:36 PM   #8
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You know,
I missed those upper vents when I first viewed this post.You may be Ok vent wise.
Keep an eye on the poping staples and keep them patched so you won't have any water damage from leaks.
The way the roof was put down looks unprofessional,but because of your current situation,will have to be nursed along.
Prices will vary area by area,so depending on what will need to be done(stripping,repairs,resheathing ,local code requirements)get yourself a few quotes when the time is right.

Looks like your in the south?

Now the flat roof:
Unless these stains are from before the roof was put on,
From what I can see,it looks like water running off the back could be getting under the roof through capilliary action.Run a hose on the roof,and see if the water is dripping back under the roofing at the edge and climbing back up hill.
A good way to fix this would be to fasten a drip edge on top of the roofing and seal it by tourching another piece of roofing over it.
If you can't do this yourself hire a roofer.This small job now may be an in for the eventual reroof.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:46 PM   #9
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Need opinion on this roof


Thanks,

I do feel better hearing that it can be saved. I was told by the owner's listing agent that the stains are old & should not leak, but still seems to be a problem. There are no gutters on this house. That drip edge thing sounds good.

Nails aren't suppose to be exposed cuz it might cause leaks, right? So i should hammer them in and dab some roof cement or silicone or some kind of sealant on the staples? I'm a pretty fit and handy person, although I've never really done any construction work.

I'm in SoCal. Not much rain here, but it does rain.

Thanks again!

-Thomas
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slyfox View Post
...
Not all inspectors know how to roof, not all roofers know how to inspect.
Instead of looking for a free estimate in which case the roofer is going to be pushing for a re-roof sale, find a roofer who offers roof inspections at a set cost, he/she will be the one to give you the most straight forward opinion and best advice.
I think Slyfox has nailed this one.

Now for a little personal experience for you...

Take it from a guy that bought a house that "needed" roof repair. It didn't need repair, it needed a tear-off and replacement, but I didn't know that, because I didn't pay someone $175 for a real assessment, and instead paid a moron home inspector that didn't know anything about roofing to tell me that the roof was in good condition and only needed minor repairs. See those popped staples? My roof had a few of those, and over the course of a year it has turned in to hundreds. I now keep buckets in my attic, and I am on my roof monthly patching the new ones that crop up.

Scared yet? Heh.

Make certain that the roof is going to be repairable without turning in to a habitual repair. Get someone up there, preferably a paid expert that only does roof inspections, and listen to what they say. As helpful as the folks here are, they can't walk the roof over the Internet. The peace of mind you'll have from hiring someone is going to be worth it. I'd rather not have you suffer from the same mistake that I made.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:26 AM   #11
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I think Slyfox has nailed this one.

Now for a little personal experience for you...

Take it from a guy that bought a house that "needed" roof repair. It didn't need repair, it needed a tear-off and replacement, but I didn't know that, because I didn't pay someone $175 for a real assessment, and instead paid a moron home inspector that didn't know anything about roofing to tell me that the roof was in good condition and only needed minor repairs. See those popped staples? My roof had a few of those, and over the course of a year it has turned in to hundreds. I now keep buckets in my attic, and I am on my roof monthly patching the new ones that crop up.

Scared yet? Heh.

Make certain that the roof is going to be repairable without turning in to a habitual repair. Get someone up there, preferably a paid expert that only does roof inspections, and listen to what they say. As helpful as the folks here are, they can't walk the roof over the Internet. The peace of mind you'll have from hiring someone is going to be worth it. I'd rather not have you suffer from the same mistake that I made.

I'm scared! I'm very scared! I'm all new to this home owning business also. I do not want to be up there monthly!
I wasn't aware there was an actual inspector for roofing until slyfox mentioned it!

Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Every lil thing adds up but I know it will be worth it in the end. I already paid for the inspection and then there is the appraisal and now the roof inspector all to possibly say i don't want it ... i'm sure it will be worth it though.
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Old 09-05-2009, 06:40 AM   #12
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Need opinion on this roof


You have gotten a lot of good advice here but remember, we are basing our advice on pictures and both personal & work experiences.

Pay the for a proper inspection.
Make sure you get all the inspectors findings in writing and stick them in a folder along with pictures taken by both him and you.
It's only natural for the seller to argue the point in the attempt to sale at the highest cost possible, they can't argue away photos tho.
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I'm scared! I'm very scared! I'm all new to this home owning business also. I do not want to be up there monthly!
I wasn't aware there was an actual inspector for roofing until slyfox mentioned it!

Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Every lil thing adds up but I know it will be worth it in the end. I already paid for the inspection and then there is the appraisal and now the roof inspector all to possibly say i don't want it ... i'm sure it will be worth it though.
Eh, just relax. First time home buying is a nerve racking experience. I wasn't really trying to scare you. You're having no problem doing that to yourself.

It might be worth mentioning that where I live, if you walk away from a deal based on an inspection report, the seller must reimburse you the cost of those inspections. I don't know if it's like that where you live, because every state is different. There is, however, one constant no matter where you live; Your agent is there to answer your questions and help you through this stuff, so make them earn their commission. (I'm assuming you're using an agent, since you're a first time buyer.)
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:43 AM   #14
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Need opinion on this roof


Yes, lots of good advice. Roof inspector is a good call.

I do have an agent and he tells me to calm down, but I have this condition where I feel no one is on my side ever maybe a distrust or security issue.

In ca you pay for your inspections and appraisal regardless of if it is bad. My friend has already paid for 4 inspections on 4 houses and due to problems, did not buy them.

Thanks everyone for your advice and opinion.

I will keep you updated on what the roof inspector says. Realtor advised me to get a roof cert if i am this concerned.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:56 AM   #15
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oh i forgot about this thread. The roof was not in good condition according to a roof cert guy. He said it could be patched every now and then and keep an eye on it and will help extend the life, but it would be better and recommended to replace it. Those marks were tar from a cold application cheap roofing material. The patio area leaked due to a removal of power lines which were updated and attached to a different part of the house.

I decided to get the house afterall. It was a huge challenge from all the repairs i have gone through for this home in the one year i've been here. The roof was fine... but for some reason ... of all years ... it rained hard this year. It was fine throughout october december and january rains. Then I had a leak when it rained in february. It rained continuously for 4 days. Windy too. Anyhow I ended up having to replace the roof. Removed all the staples ( maybe 15 to 20 or so) and patched them. Changed the eaves and flashing too. I don't see any more staples. Perhaps someone used them to hold xmas lights? not sure. There haven't been any water penetrations that I have noticed since. I do have other water issues though

Thanks again everyone.

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