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rlarkin70 06-04-2007 11:39 AM

Flat roof leaking - repair? replace?
Hi all-
I just bought a 1949 home that has an addition in the back. The addition has a flat roof. I don't know much about roofing, but it seems to have several large pieces (maybe 3' x 6-8') of roofing material (with a gritty, shingle-like finish) and the seams have a black tar-like material applied over them. During a long rain we noticed a good amount of water was entering the room through the ceiling, most of it drained down through the ceiling fan but there are some large stains on the newly painted ceiling near the fan. It seems the water is entering through one or more cracks in the seams, and pooling in the ceiling area. There is no way to access above the ceiling that I can see, other than going in through the top of the flat roof.
The current roof is about 14 years old. Is it time to get it replaced? Or can it be patched up with some roofing cement and tape along the seams, then a complete coat of rubberized roofing compound over everything?
The roof is probably 10' x 20' in size. I wonder what a "normal" cost to get a roof of that size replaced is.

Thanks for any suggestions,

glennjanie 06-04-2007 01:57 PM

Welcome to the Community Ron:
If the flat roof is any kind of asphalt roofing you can figure on 5-6 years, which can be extended with patching or coating with a fiberous sealer. You said the ceiling has been recently painted, you are probably doing a lot of fixing up on the house.
I would strip all the old roofing off the flat part and, at a very mimimum, install "half lap" roofing. I really recommend a full size rubber sheet over the roof and going up about 3 rows high under the shingles above it. You can buy the half lap and do it yourself but the rubber and rubberized materials are franchised and can only be obtained through one of their dealers. A google will turn up dozens of brands and maybe even a franchizee in your area.

inspectorD 06-04-2007 05:46 PM

If you have the money for a reputable rubber roof it.;)
This is always cheaper than fixing the ceilings or other damage...once the roof leaks again.
They are also so much easier to repair, just like the ol tire tube patch....only better.:D
They also last up to 20 yrs.
Remember ....The other stuff is how roofing companies stay in business.:eek: We all need work!!!

rlarkin70 06-06-2007 08:22 AM

thanks for the info, I like the idea of the full size rubber sheet going up under the shingles. I am getting some estimates from roofers this week, and will ask them about that and see what they say. The one guy I talked to so far quoted a rolled roof.


Mephistopheles 06-07-2007 05:53 PM

Yep roll or T&G is the standard. 15 years old...most likely the right lifetime in many climates of the USA. Several factors are involved, shading, substrate, material used ect....

Check the roof CAREFULLY before they install a new one, look for dryrot using a ski pole or like, especially at the ends of any boards and roof sheathing/decking. DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY PUTTING A NEW ROOF ON ROTTEN WOOD.

After inspecting over 8000 houses/buildings,,,,thats the most common roofing installation error by far.

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