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Old 08-18-2007, 01:49 PM   #1
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Thinking of Buying house with Flat roof


I am thinking of buying a house with flat roof. The house was built in 1974 and has a tar and gravel roof. The property is located in Vancouver so it has to withstand a lot of rain. I would appreciate any input whether this is a big concern and if maintenance of such a roof is going to be costly. From what I have read flat roofs do cause more problems and are more expensive to replace. Should this be a show-stopper or are todays materials and good maintenance enough to manage such a roof?



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Old 08-18-2007, 04:33 PM   #2
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I would hire the best home inspector in your area and find out the current condition of the roof. He should also be able to tell if there was any previous leaks over the years. After 33 years and millions of gallons of rainwater on that roof, I would think that it's probably been well maintained. If not, there would be signs of water damage all over the interior ceilings and walls, and a musty smell throughout the house. Any competent roofing company with a good reputation can make sure a flat roof will protect your house for years to come. However, build a few thousand dollars into your budget when the time comes for a new one.


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Old 08-18-2007, 06:09 PM   #3
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Thinking of Buying house with Flat roof

A good flat roof is great.

In 1967, I bought a home (built in 1917) that had a flat roof. I assume it was not original. I sold it in 1974 and never had a problem.

According to the neighbors, the next purchaser did have some repairs, but it did not sound like a major replacement and it is still apparently woorking well.

Do not have a typical home inspector look at it. Hire a roofing specialist and explain up front that you want an opinion and not a sales job. If you are in a major city, you may be able to find a roofing consultant that does not work for a roofer.

A properly designed flat roof can have a long life with on minor repairs. Do not believe the 20 or 30 year shingle guarantees that have conditions, outs and sliding scales.
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replies, I appreciate your input
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