Porch Roof redesign

Help Support House Repair Talk:


Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 28, 2012
Reaction score
I have an 8'x8' front porch with a flat roof with a central drain that is 6"x6", draining to a 3 or 4" pipe that runs to the corner of the porch, then down a pipe that is hidden in the porch column. The surface is flame-down tar. A leak developed at the seam between the roof surface and the drain box that I wasn't able to seal with various tar/polymer based materials. Annually, the roof ends up freezing, I believe because the drain freezes and backs up in the winter, Pittsburgh is known for a lot of freeze/thaw cycles. I clean out the drain annually, so there isn't any debris in it.

I want to fix it so that it lasts longer, how should I do that?

I'm considering an EPDM membrane and moving the drain closer to the down-ward segment of the drain so that it won't have a chance to freeze and backup... Any ideas?


Fixer Upper
Staff member
Feb 5, 2013
Reaction score
Erie, PA
A photo would be great help.

Is there any way to put some slope on it? even 4” back to front would move water away from the house. Our front porch about 8’x20’ has a slight pitch and all the water just runs off the front. Where the steps are I put 6’ of gutter open on each end and it diverts the water off the steps. We have steel roofing on the porch.

On the back of the house I built a 10’x8’ cover roof over the hot tub and used EPDM on it I bought a piece off Amazon pretty cheap. It is pretty much flat and has worked great for a few years now.

The biggest problem with flat is keeping water with ice dams away from the house. We live close to Erie and know the freeze thaw cycles and also all the snow that can fall from the main house onto a porch.