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dbai 10-23-2007 08:00 PM

roof leak and EPDM membrane
I am new to this forum and am hoping someone can give me some advice. I own a townhome with a flat roof. Two years ago our homeowners’ association decided to replace our roofs with EPDM membrane installed over a foam (?) recovery board and with crickets added to help with drainage. About six months ago I had a major leak in my roof. The company that installed the roof came out and determined that the roof leaked because at two corners, the edge of the EPDM had pulled away from the flashing. Enough water got under the membrane that the EPDM visibly bubbled up and squished like a water bed. The roofers noted this, but after calling it in to headquarters, simply squeegeed out the water using their hands and then patched the two leaks. There have been no leaks since then, but presumably there was still water trapped under the membrane. Visibly the membrane looks good, but the other day when I pressed down on it I could feel (and hear) that there was still some water trapped underneath. That water has been baking under the membrane all summer and soon will start freezing under it as we approach winter. I have not had good luck in getting our property manager to talk to the roofing company about this and am wondering whether I need to be more aggressive. Or am I overly concerned and is this a non-issue? I would be grateful for any comments regarding whether trapping water under a membrane is standard procedure, or is it something to worry about? Thank you.

Ed the Roofer 10-23-2007 08:07 PM

It is absolutely incorrect.

Now, the water is on the original roof, which needed to be reroofed in the first place.

Also, the different versions of insulation board and recovery board should be expected to be completely saturated and worthless. They will break down and create further damage under the membrane.

The trapped "Interior" moisture will decrease the adhesive contact quality og the lap seam joint sealants.

All around, it is not acceptable.

If the leak and additional damages occurred due to some wind storm which pulled the membrane from the flashings, then this could possible be an insurance claim for the remedial work now required.


dbai 10-24-2007 02:07 PM

Ed the Roofer,

Thanks for your response -- I will push harder on the roofing company and our property manager. Thanks again.

trashfromthepast 10-27-2007 01:15 AM

Could you tell me of a way to find holes in the membrane? I installed a white 60 mil EPDM roof and suspect that I may have some pinholes in it. The roof is leaking and owners have been very patient. I am really embarassed that I can't stop the leaks. I have checked all my penetrations and laps but still have leaks. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Aloha from Hawaii

oldfrt 10-27-2007 11:38 AM

If you used the type of backer board I use ,it will become saturated near the leak.Look for the squishy spots,push down and watch the water pop to the surface.If you use this technique where there is standing water and you'll get air bubbles.

Ed the Roofer 10-27-2007 01:22 PM

Also, by sponge wiping the area with a damp sponge or cloth and then wiping it dry, by being on your hands and knees, if there are any perforations, you should be able to observe a small area by the pin holes that does not dry off completely.

A thorough, roof cleaning and visual inspection would be required, unless you want to invest in or rent a thermal moisture detection device.


the roofing god 10-27-2007 03:00 PM

the pinholes are the last to dry

trashfromthepast 10-28-2007 12:37 AM

Thanks for all your replies. Great ideas. Aloha !!!!!!!!!!!

RooferJim 10-28-2007 05:16 PM

infarred scan

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