Nearly flat (tar?)roof - leaks


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Old 06-20-03, 04:31 PM
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Nearly flat (tar?)roof - leaks

I have a nearly flat roof - not flat - it does have a slight pitch to it. It is covered with something that looks like tar (but not sticky - you can walk on it). I noticed a leak in one spot - but only sometimes. Other spots have these little dimple like things that are soft to the touch - so I think I must be taking water?

How do I go about repairing this kind of roof? Or is it something better left to the professionals? (no attic space to crawl in and see where the leaks are coming from - can't get in there)
 
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Old 06-21-03, 07:11 AM
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Add'l info

Just read my post again - see a little confusion - the dimples that are soft to the touch are on the sheetrock ceiling under the roof. Indicates leak??

Is it just a matter of putting some kind of sealer like they make for driveways on the roof???
 
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Old 06-21-03, 08:45 AM
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Flat roof

Flat roofs tend to have more problems than sloped roofs because rain and snow can not readily move off them. When they reach the end of their life expectancy, it is time to replace them.

If ceiling sheet rock is spongy, then you have serious leaks. There is no quick fix. The roof needs to be removed and inspection made for damage to sheathing and repairs made. Ceiling sheetrock should be removed and inspection made for damage to joists and insulation and repairs made.

Asphalt roll roofing, which is usually one layer of asphalt-saturated organic or fiberglass base felts is installed over roof felt with nails and cold asphalt cement. It usually has a granular surface, but if patched over many times with tar or if very old, the granules may be gone. This type of roof lasts about 10 years, but may develop problems sooner. It is probably the least expensive option.

There are many membrane type materials available on the market today. Installation and repairs should only be performed by roofers authorized by the manufacturer. Warranties of 10 to 12 years are typical, but as with any roofing system, proper installation is crucial and maintenance by the owner is still required.

There are also options of multiple-ply or built-up roofing, which may last 10-30 years depending on materials used. And, of course, there are metal roof options that can last a lifetime if properly maintained.
 
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Old 06-22-03, 06:19 AM
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a friend of mine has suggested just building a sloped roof above the flat section. It's an old house that has had a few additions - and we might actually be able to tie this into the roof on another section of the house and make it cosmetically more appealing as well as solving the leak problems. Sound viable? Or do I still have to pull up the old roof ?

Thanks fopr your insightful comments on the last post!
 
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Old 06-28-03, 11:46 AM
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nearly flat roof

If you can add pitch . . . if not, membrane roofs are the way to go. I have a "concaved" roof -- slopes into the middle of the home from all sides with two drains to take water away. You'll keep on repairing the tar and paper operation.

Bid the job out, get and call on references (I used my local weekly community newspaper to find contractors).

It cost us about $6,000 to have the whole thing done. It's been two years. No leaks! (And we live in Michigan with lots of snow and spring rain and hard summer rain).
 
 

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