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Old 04-16-2014, 02:25 PM   #1
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A roof top gym that I am not sure is kosher


I am trying to figure out this foreclosed home that has a section of the flat roof converted into an exercise area.

I think that's what it was, there is a flat screen TV mount, a few plastic chairs and some exercise mats. May be they did yoga or karate there, not sure.

What concerns me is that the roof looks really weird to me.

Here is a picture from the ground looking at the flat roof. You can see the wought iron stairs that lead up to it.



As you walk up the stairs you can see the last owner had put a fence around the perimeter, and my first question was how he anchored those metal fences? They appear to be anchored down to the deck with some masonry bolts or screws.







In further examining the roof deck, it appears to be made of coral rock paver blocks about 16"x16" in some areas. These are 1.5" to 2" thick. I have to imagine these are heavy. MUCH heavier than say a concrete roof tile.

Here are some more pictures of the roof deck. It rained yesterday so today it's ponded in a few spots.







There is a leak underneath.

From the underside, where the leak occurred I can see the underside of the roof deck is plywood, not sure of the thickness. I am thinking, on top of this plywood is 1.5" to 2" of this heavy coral rock stone. I don't have any clue how the waterproofing was done. No way to remove a portion of this roof deck to investigate.

One roofer I spoke to suggested putting a coat of elastomeric roof coating over it and forget it. But I have read a few forums on elastomeric coating and there are lots of negative comments on it from it being a band aid to something that causes more problems because it stops the roof from breathing.

Trying to decide if I should consider ripping out all this and put in a "conventional" flat roof.

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Old 04-16-2014, 05:54 PM   #2
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A roof top gym that I am not sure is kosher


I would assume it's a ballasted membrane roof. That would be a waterproof membrane system over the plywood And the pavers are used both as a walkable deck and ballast to hold the membrane down. Hopefully the pavers are not adhered to the deck in some fashion. If not it is not a terribly difficult job to remove the ballast, repair or replace the membrane, then re-install the ballast.

You are wise in not wasting your time or money on someone telling you to just coat it and it will be fine. They don't know what they are talking about and that would be disastrous on that roofdeck.

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Old 04-17-2014, 01:46 PM   #3
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A roof top gym that I am not sure is kosher


water proofing of some sort was put down before the stone. I could be off base but if it's in florida it could be a hot mop.

Now to deal with the problem. You have some sort of water proofing material that needs to be patched. You have stone that looks like it was placed in concrete. or they are all pavers, hard to tell. Start removing them. They were placed by hand so pick them up. Start the long process of stacking them on the ground. DO NOT STACK THEM ON THE ROOF IN ONE SPOT. Then have someone replace or repair the roof. Id replace it.... Oh and fix the slop so water can drain.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:48 PM   #4
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DO NOT STACK THEM ON THE ROOF IN ONE SPOT. Oh and fix the slope so water can drain.
Really good advice there. Just making sure you saw it.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:01 AM   #5
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A roof top gym that I am not sure is kosher


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They were placed by hand so pick them up.
Are you suggesting that they should be loose and all I need to do is to pick them up?

This is not the case. These are not loose, the only way I can pick them up is after I used a jack hammer on them.

I am thinking of taking an angle grinder with a 4" diamond blade and cut out a 12"x12" piece and see what's under.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:35 AM   #6
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This is not the case. These are not loose, the only way I can pick them up is after I used a jack hammer on them.
This is unfortunate. I would suggest instead of a grinder or jackhammer, first try something a little less destructive. If you can get a flatbar between a joint try to see if you can pry one loose. Hopefully there is a membrane underneath they are laid over and they are not just adhered to the plywood. If that's the case then pretty much everything we suggested is useless to you except where GT said remove them to the ground and repair or replace the membrane.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:11 PM   #7
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A roof top gym that I am not sure is kosher


Really removing them one way or another is the only way to fix it properly. It's hard to tell from here but some of the pictures look like they are pavers, some look like they are imbeded in to concrete.

There is so many different ways this could have been done they only way to know for sure is to open it up. I'm going to venture a guess that if it is poured concrete of some kind it's a lighter weight and would break easy. The structure would still have to be substantial to hold the weight.

When it's removed you have all kinds of options on what to use. And better ways to make it a functioning deck area if that is the direction you want to go. Most of them cost a substantial amount of money.

Even if you are careful in removing them there will be damage to the underlying water proofing. It would be a good time to replace it.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:52 PM   #8
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A roof top gym that I am not sure is kosher


Wow, I can't even imagine putting that much concrete on a wood framed structure like that. I mean, we have some snow load here in Michigan, but to purposely put concrete on a roof just seems like asking for trouble. I can see maybe laying something like a composite decking, but not concrete.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:21 PM   #9
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Wow, I can't even imagine putting that much concrete on a wood framed structure like that. I mean, we have some snow load here in Michigan, but to purposely put concrete on a roof just seems like asking for trouble. I can see maybe laying something like a composite decking, but not concrete.
It's not a wood framed structure. The exterior walls are 8" concrete blocks.

What I don't know is how the roof framing was done in that section of the flat roof. There is a shingled roof section next to it and those are standard A-framed 2x4 trusses over the block wall. The flat roof I am not how it's done.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:29 PM   #10
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A roof top gym that I am not sure is kosher


What I really meant was if the roof structure is wood, to put that much concrete on would worry me. You mentioned plywood so I assumed it has some sort of joists going from wall to wall holding up the roof.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:52 PM   #11
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If it was done to your local building code then there would have been a permit and an inspection report with approval. If you don't have any of that paperwork or aren't able to obtain it then I'm certain that it is not legal and you will have a difficult time getting insurance on your building.

Professionally I would recommend removal of the entire roofing system and going with a conventional flat roof. You can go with BUR, TPO, EPDM, PVC, SBS and even SA if you like. But prep work is key and details must not be overlooked. Remember that when you find a leak you will find more damage around the area.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:20 PM   #12
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It's not a wood framed structure. The exterior walls are 8" concrete blocks.

What I don't know is how the roof framing was done in that section of the flat roof. There is a shingled roof section next to it and those are standard A-framed 2x4 trusses over the block wall. The flat roof I am not how it's done.
You said in the opening post that the underside was plywood. While it can be done generally anything with a concrete topping is done over a precast or steel beams and steel deck.

At this point what it is isn't relevant unless it is wood then I know I would be trying to find out how exactly it was constructed.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:17 PM   #13
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What I really meant was if the roof structure is wood, to put that much concrete on would worry me. You mentioned plywood so I assumed it has some sort of joists going from wall to wall holding up the roof.
I am going to have to remove more sheetrock to see how the flat roof structure is framed. Unfortunately I can't do that until I formally take possession of the house, right now I do not own the property but have a contract to purchase so all I can do is look but I can't remove/rip things out.

I was able to see by removing a ceiling junction box cover, barely a sliver of space with a flash light I was able to see it's plywood perhaps 4" or so above the ceiling box. I was not able to see the structure the deck sits on.

As for permits, that's a tough one. The city here does not keep permits older then 10 years. They destroyed them. Other cities I have been to, microfiche them or scan them for archive, but they do not. They have no detailed record of the roofing permit but there was a re-roof done in 1996 and I got a contractor name. Then I called the contractor and they said they don't have any records of any account on that address - but it could also be it's so long ago they don't have that information anymore.

Trying to call up previous owner who was evicted by the bank due to foreclosure, he hung up on me.

So I am back to square one.

Yes I am worried about the weight of the concrete.

I am also worried about if the waterproofing was done right.

and the leak...

and whether I would have to rip out everything just to fix it and do it right, of course assuming it wasn't done right in the first place and not much I can do to assess that.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:13 AM   #14
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A roof top gym that I am not sure is kosher


Unless you are purchasing at an extremely good price, I would avoid this as it can become very, very costly. If you're in this as an investment property then keep in mind that roofing is the one thing that can destroy your budget but must be done properly.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:08 PM   #15
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TO fix the leak you would need to remove the concrete/pavers what ever to do it properly. Once it is removed you can see what if any water proofing has been done. Then you can fix it, now I would at this point put on a new roof system and do it right, if your going to make a deck out of it there is about a million different ways to do it. I would go for a nice composite decking. The concrete might have looked nice at one time but it just made it terribly expensive to replace.

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